Lately I’ve been having weird symptoms in the back of my throat. It feels like I have a golf ball back there. No irritation. No redness. Just a lump. I hear it’s called a “globus” and it’s a reaction to stress.
In a few months we will be hitting our 5 year mark of pretty much 24/7 care. In those years I’ve gained 60 pounds, I have deep black circles under my eyes and I don’t recognize myself anymore. I’m sure others don’t either. I look rough because it is my current physical state.
Caregiver health is almost always compromised. They say you should “take care of yourself,” “do things you enjoy,” etc… When I hear those things I think that the people who say them must not be caregivers. Or maybe they’re rich and can afford extra help or they have a strong family support system where multiple people are involved.
But for caregivers you are not only trying to juggle the care of your loved one but trying to figure out how to stay afloat financially. It would be wonderful to “do things for myself.” But it’s not a reality for me right now. Every moment I’m not with mom I’m trying to figure out how to make it financially.
But at the end of the day I would do it all over again. My mother is worth it all. And when I arrive in heaven I don’t want to get there looking fabulous. I want to have scars all over and come limping into the arms of Jesus, having given it my all.
There’s a price to pay being a caregiver. It would be easier to drop someone off in a nursing home and walk away. But it’s not what I want. It’s not what my mom wants.
My health has not held together. It’s struggling. Just one day at a time.
I’m exhausted. My health is broken.
And it is still worth it all.