How do you survive when your entire support system is gone? Read ElleJenae’s quest to rebuild her support system, and provide care for her family, and daughter with sickle cell.
Since the week I found out my baby had SCD my mom became my biggest supporter. Many thought it would have been my husband but it was my mom and her alone. Sometimes a couple won’t know how strong their marriage is until the trials and tribulations start. He couldn’t handle it. He couldn’t handle her crying. He couldn’t handle not being able to help her. He couldn’t handle staying at the hospital or taking her to the doctor for so many checkups. He couldn’t handle my mom helping me instead of him. His anger increased the more she was sick. He would curse at Z4 and tell her to be quiet and at that moment, I knew without a doubt my marriage was over.
Once separated my mom and I made plans to move in together with her section 8 voucher. I landed a job at a high school and enrolled back into college. Until we found a place, my mom decided to come stay with me during the week and allow me to go to school. When Z4 was sick, my mom would stay in the hospital while I was at work and then I would switch with her in the evenings. The days I had school, my mom would stay the all day and night. Regular days she would leave the hospital and go to my house to make sure the girls were okay. Unfortunately, in October 2012, my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and by November 2012 she passed away.
Today I am rebuilding my support system from ground up. For the most part I’ve been doing it alone but it started to take a toll on my new job. Near the end of October 2013 thru December 20, 2013– Z4 was constant in and out of the hospital consistently. So I decided to open my mouth, seek and hopefully find help by doing the following
- Send out a mass text to all my friends for help
· Send out a facebook.com message to all my family members who lived in Chicago or near
· Called the family members on her dad’s side what help could they offer, if any
· Called my oldest daughter and asked her for help when she is in town not working
· Call my daughter’s grown step sister and ask for help
My message was the same to all of them; I need physical help! I cannot do this alone and any amount of time you could give us during Z4’s crisis would help. I needed weekday coverage and someone to help with my girls all week the nights I would at the hospital. I was willing to adjust the schedule to fit with whatever they could give me. I didn’t get a mass response but I did get a positive response from 8 people. Out of the 8 people, only 7 could help me during the week days. My oldest daughter came to the hospital and stayed 2 whole days for me. Two cousins did one day each and a sister from my church did one day. And the gentleman I’ve been dating for 6 months volunteered to manage my children at home and cooking for them when I wasn’t home. Another cousin and my transportation lady both volunteered to keep Z2 and Z3 on the weekends while I stayed at the hospital.
I was overwhelmed with joy by the response and wasn’t focused on how many responded but focused on the help offered. In return, I did my best to offer abundant gratitude to let them know I am here to help them too with whatever. My support system is still not solid– but it is there. I am grateful that today someone is always there to lend a hand and for that I am forever grateful.