On Friday, I took the day off. No chores. No laundry. No cooking. None of my usual duties. Things have been so intense and there is still more to go- I knew if I didn’t stop and refuel the next leg was going to be even more difficult. My brain has been so fried, more so than I’ve ever been used to. I mean, I’m a mother of six. I’m used to thinking on multiple tracks and noting things all the time. But this medical stuff? It’s for the birds. I have pages and pages of notes from talking with this insurance, that doctor, this test, that billing supervisor– and all of our appointments are logged automatically into our Google calendar so that our phones will yell and ding and buzz at us in plenty of time to get wherever we need to go– but even so, details keep slipping. It’s pretty overwhelming. I really needed to ‘get out of my head’ for the day.
I was able to read part of a book I’d really been wanting to get into. I sipped all the hot coffee I wanted. (Most of the time it cools before I drink it because of this or that.) And I scrapped. I blasted the Fiddler on the Roof Pandora mix, which has a pleasant mix of show tunes and sang along at the top of my lungs. It was exactly what I needed.
I am not going to deny how very hard self-care has been for me the last few years. It is a bit ironic that the caregivers in medical situations who often need a refuel the most almost always don’t get what they need for the very uncertainty and rapid schedule changes that happen with medical needs. It also doesn’t help that the primary caregiver has become the ‘expert’ on the patient(s), either, which makes it hard to translate for someone else to step in so that we can step back and rest. But it has to happen. I am determined to get creative about meeting my needs so that I can pour out better. No one can give on an empty tank and running on fumes helps no one. I deserve more; my family deserves more. It feels so good to look at these pages. Telling the story is so important to me, and it fills me up in so many ways.