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Caregivers: Who Takes Care of You?

Caregivers: Who Takes Care of You?

 

Who takes care of you?

?????????????!

Begging to go to the bathroom at work was always a chore back in 2007.  No one wanted to relieve the executive assistant that ran the front desk of the company.  I began having pains in my side but ignored it because there was no time to take care of me. Then one day, I couldn’t take it no more and left the front desk to go to the bathroom!  Only to pass out in the hallway 2 minutes later on my way to the bathroom.  I woke up in the hospital.  The doctors asked why I haven’t been to the doctor sooner because my kidneys were severely infected.  I said I am always taking care of everyone and I find there is literally no time to take care of me.  One of the doctors told me “Well who will, if you don’t?”

My job entailed me taking care of executives by paying their bills, managing their staff and scheduling their meetings and other personal activities.  My home life was my second job that involved dropping off/picking up, cooking, checking homework, bathing, combing hair, paying bills and visits to the ER or doctor’s office.  So totally neglecting myself was normal to me.  My mom visited me in the hospital and told me if I don’t make sure I am at my best I can be then there will be no one to take care of my family.  Taking care of my health physically, emotionally and spiritually was as important as taking care of everyone else’s needs.  Being a good mother does not mean forsaking self for all others.  It, however, means mothers have to realize we are the most important part of our family unit.

Taking care of myself requires planning too:

·         Take care of your health- schedule my 6 month checkup ahead of time/eat right

·         Take a break daily no matter how long–enjoy something alone

·         Acknowledge you cannot accomplish it all alone–Delegate tasks to others when possible/ask for help

·         Journal to God – express gratitude

·         Pray or meditate daily– clear your mind

·         Encourage yourself, love yourself, be proud of yourself

·         Go have a massage – once or twice a month

·         Keep positive people around you

·         Once or twice a month take a day to hang with friends—spend time with other grownups

If I am not the best self then I cannot properly raise them.  I cannot run myself into the ground because they need me.  Kids don’t often understand that mommy needs a break but in time they will.  I have to love me enough not to forget that I am important too! I have to make my sanity and health a priority too.  I have to be the best form of support for my SCW and my other children who are just as important.  And at the end of the day, if you don’t take care of yourself, who will?

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About Author

Elle Jenae

Elle Jenae

My name is Louisetta Williams and I’m a proud single parent of a 4 beautiful girls ages 18, 13, 8, and 5. I love to refer to my daughters as my Z-babies because all their names start with a “Z” and online I often call them Z1, Z2, Z3 or Z4 in accordance of their birth order. My youngest Z-baby is 5 years old and she is my Sickle Cell Warrior.
I work as a research assistant at the American Academy of Pediatrics where we research diseases that affect children all over the world. I love my job because our research helps enhance children’s health worldwide. My passions outside of work are reading, doing family activities, going to church, writing and helping people in any way I can.
I wanted to write for Sickle Cell Warriors because I want to be the voice for parents who fight for their Sickle Cell Warriors daily. I believe by sharing my experiences, research and testimonies of how I cope with dealing with an ill child; I can help someone. I want to be an advocate for SCD parents who sacrifice so much and let them know that it’s okay to be perfectly imperfect.

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4 Comments

  1. Kerry
    Kerry February 12, 07:05

    Thanks Elle Jenae. Your articles are inspiring and right on time.

  2. Elle Jenae
    Elle Jenae Author April 06, 09:56

    @Kerry. Thank you for your support & encouragement!

  3. Darrance
    Darrance August 20, 00:11

    What a plreause to find someone who thinks through the issues

  4. Chelle
    Chelle September 25, 08:32

    I am here at work in my classroom, while my seniors research colleges and scholarships, almost in tears because your story is my story except I am a single mother with 3 babies of which 1 is my Sickle Cell Warrior. And the funny thing is, my babies are: my 98yr old Granny who is in our local nursing home and has 24hr care, but I still have to look out for the care that she’s being given; my 78yr old mother who is in my home and had a stroke 3yrs ago and cannot drive anymore due to the stroke(before the stroke, she was independent and driving for herself and others); and my 14yr old Sickle Cell Warrior. I do take time for myself but have in the past often felt guilty when I did. I have learned to take care of myself Spiritually, Physically, and Mentally. I have a GREAT support system with family and friends, but those who ARE SUPPOSE TO BE closest aren’t, and that’s when my Church Family and DIVA SisterFriends step in. You have really encouraged and inspired me to continue to realize that it’s okay to be perfectly imperfect.

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