Telisha Caldwell

Telisha is pictured on the right.

Cold Toes, Warm Heart

A very special Caregiver Spotlight.

The power to hear is a gift. The power to understand is a practiced skill developed through time. Telisha Caldwell practices this skill every day and stands as a shining example that hard work pays off!

It was just one of those days. Snow had blanketed the ground in Independence. The car wouldn’t warm up fast enough. Telisha’s toes and fingers were miserably cold. She didn’t want to go to work.

Telisha tried to convince herself it was the cold that made her want to stay home. But the truth was the past few days hadn’t been great with the client. It was difficult. Moods were intense. She had not felt appreciated. It took all she had to walk in the door each day.

But Telisha has a caring heart. She knew her client didn’t feel well. She knew the dialysis hurt her. She flashed back to her own young life when her father was on dialysis and often couldn’t bear the pain.

So, she went to work.

In her own words Telisha explains:

“This a.m. was horribly frigid at 5 a.m. DUH. So, I wasn’t thrilled about going to work and maybe threw a baby mental tantrum on the way to work. My toes were numb, and I was agitated to say the least. I took a deep breath and clocked in and set up work mode. My client mentioned she’d been sick all night because of her medical situation-dialysis. I replied that I could both sympathize and empathize with her because my dad suffered the same. Instantly my heart softened, and I forgot my frozen toes. She shared how she changed Dr’s because of their horrible bedside manner. And I got sad because I thought of what my dad endured (I was only 22 and didn’t know how to better care/advocate for him). I told her I’m so glad she’s a fighter and she smiled- as I nudged her toes. She then replied, “Well u know what makes a difference?” I asked, “What?”

Then she pointed at me and said CAREGIVERS like you. I touched my chest as my heart jumped.

I’m humbled by your appreciation and your gratitude means so much. Then I went to the side room to wipe away the tears brimming in my eyes. It’s on those days we just ain’t there…mentally drained and maybe just burned out…then something much bigger than us reminds us that WE at PHOENIX make significant differences in our clients’ lives but every now and again, they do something small and say thank you and that gives you that extra incentive to push through.”

Caregiving is a true partnership. “I cannot think I am doing the client a favor,” Telisha explains. “I am in a partnership with the client to make each day count.” “I serve all my clients. But I truly cater to those who appreciate me and work with me to make life better. I want to work with my clients, not for them.”

This day, as Telisha prepares to leave her client’s home, she finishes a few tasks and bids farewell. Usually, a small utterance escapes the client’s lips but not today. Today she said, “Telisha…. I hate going to dialysis but now I can look forward to tomorrow when I get to see you again.”

And the 8 to Elevate Principle comes to life. “Believe in YOU.” You make a difference.

Telisha Caldwell lives in Independence. She has been married 17 years and shares life with 4 kids and 4 cats. She joined our team in 2019. She was raised in a military family, traveling to a new adventure every year. That duty pulled Telisha to the military serving in the Army in Saudi Arabia for two years. We are honored Telisha chooses Team Phoenix every day!

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