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It's Fine

(1) After my mom got sick, whenever I was dwelling on something I would write a post about it. I try to avoid seeming dramatic but I think we can all agree that sometimes there are things that weigh on us. For awhile I’ve been thinking about the impact that being a caregiver had on my life. I’ve made notes occasionally but couldn’t find a way to tie them together into a post that would make sense... but then I realized life doesn’t follow a specific or ideal timeline - mine clearly hasn’t - and it only makes sense that this page ebbs and flows with it. So, expect to see some of my reflections on the matter. They may seem out of order or misplaced but from what I’ve lived, observed and learned from others, that pretty accurately describes the life of a caregiver after their job is done. (To be clear, I’m referring to staying home, giving up all normalcy and taking care of a loved one.) It’s not a job anyone necessarily wants but one day you wake up and realize the weight of someone’s wellbeing is on you. I can’t complain. She had more good days than bad which allowed us to spend meaningful time together that i will be eternally grateful for. My caregiving chapter began the summer after my mom’s december 2016 diagnosis of Stage IV Peritoneal Carcinomatosis. She had been sick for at least a year and things escalated quickly. Three times she was given death sentences: 6 months, <24 hrs and 2 weeks. She ended up living two years. I hated calling out of work for all the emergencies and was intending to move forward anyway so I told my mom i was quitting to take care of her and work towards applying to grad school. The latter never happened (yet.) She was a fall risk, the medications were plentiful and needed tracking. Someone had to make sense of the communication with nurses & doctors. There was vomit and ostomy leaks. I became a professional stain remover. My most used phrase in response to her apologies, gratitude and occasional self-loathing (honestly, can you blame her?!) was a reassuring “you’re fine!” But it wasn’t always “fine” and it had a profound impact on the person I am today. 🖤

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