Caring for yourself

Transcript

Having been a caregiver for so many years, I’ve learned that you got to learn to have some fun. But sometimes it’s hard, because when everybody else is having fun, you’ve got to go to the nursing home, you’ve got to take care of mom, or when [my mother and I] were living together I couldn’t just leave her alone. So, it wasn’t easy to just get up and go have some fun like everybody else. My life isn’t what everybody else has. My life is a hospital 6 times a week. I go in the morning and in the afternoon. It’s nursing homes. It’s constant hospitals because of the crises. Sometimes it feels like all that surrounds me is illness. Sometimes I feel like I just go, go, go, go because of my mother. It almost feels like the day she goes, I’m not going to be far behind her. I always joke with her and say, “Don’t worry mom.” She’s going to be burying me long before I bury her. That’s how sometimes it feels.

People always say, “You need to go to the gym. You need to take time for yourself.” You know what my first answer is? “At what time? At 2 in the morning?” Because I have a husband. My husband, he works shift work. […]He does so much himself. He works 4 days on, 4 days off. So on 4 days off, he really takes care of everything, but on the days that he’s working—and he works 12-hour shifts—I’ve also got to come home and take care of him. Somebody’s got to come home and take care of the dogs. So, it feels like we just go, go, go. Is there time for friends? Is there time to go to movies? Maybe once every 3 months. There’s just no time because when there is time, I am so tired. So tired that all I want to do is pass out. I just want to go to sleep all the time.

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