Not for the Weak

Hello again!

Welcome to 2024!

The last few months have been rough. Waiting for the medical professionals to get my husband started on dialysis has been scary, to say the least. Toxins were taking over his body, he had shortness of breath, tired easily, severe anemia, and he was just off kilter. Meanwhile, I was trying to keep everything together while also keeping myself and him in positive, good spirits.

They did finally get an emergency temporary port in and start dialysis. But, the first week was unsettling. His blood pressure dropped to the 70’s over 40’s multiple times. At one point, the top number was actually in the 60’s! There was very little sleeping on my part. I just wasn’t comfortable unless we at least got his blood pressure up to the 100’s range.

I wasn’t eating much. I wasn’t sleeping much. Yet, I WAS working much! I was trying to keep our side hustles up and running. With a full-time job and side hustles, I rarely had time to do ANYTHING else. We weren’t eating properly. What we did eat was fast because I didn’t have time to cook.

I also had a non-functioning machine that prevented me from working on an outstanding order for Gentil Expressions at my normal location. I had to drive hours away to use another machine I had access to several times per week to finish it. What can I say? It was a BIG order! I had already spent money on the supplies. Canceling the order and refunding the money would mean I was out hundreds for supplies that would not be used.

With the travel back and forth, I just got a few hours of sleep here and there when I could. It was all just A LOT. I finally had to hire additional help for our other side hustle. That has relieved some of the strain. I have a little breathing room now. I’m able to work on things I want to work on (this includes talking to you), while still looking after him.

Let me tell ya, I will say this caregiving thing hits different when you have side hustles to maintain. We didn’t have side hustles the last time he went through this. We both just had full-time jobs and he was doing dialysis at home while he slept every night. This time he’s doing it in the dialysis center. But, with his blood pressure tanking after dialysis, that means he cannot drive himself. I have to take him and pick him up. It’s a bit of a struggle.

That said, it wasn’t exactly a warm cup of hot chocolate with a book by the fire last time, either. There were a lot of doctor’s appointments, several hospitalizations, a lot of travel back and forth out of town. But, I wasn’t worried his blood pressure was going to drop so low he would “sleep his way out of here.” Unfortunately, that has been a concern this time. I’ve had to remind myself to breathe, believe, and have faith (on several occasions). I’ve also had to step up, be his advocate, and let people at various medical facilities know, “I don’t play ’bout my husband!”

All these things have led me to realize my life, in general, is not for the weak. The caregiving. The full-time job (that has an ongoing years long project). The side hustles. Heck, me, period. None of it. I have a bit of a gentle side and a bit of a bodacious side. Probably more like quite a bit of a bodacious side. HA! (That is factual information, by the way). Having ANY kind of relationship with ME is not for the weak. My life is not for the weak. I am not for the weak.

Hence, the renaming of my blog site title. I sat for hours when I first decided to do this trying to figure out what to name my blog. Nothing felt right. Then, one day (a couple weeks ago) it hit me! And it stuck, and stuck, and stuck. It kept coming back to me, no matter how I tried to come up with something else. I took that as my sign. I know a blog post every few months is not ideal. I’m going to put in the work to make this a weekly blog and just check in more regularly. It may be possible now that I’ve hired additional help (wink).

The issues listed above are why I’m so passionate about gifts and greetings for caregivers. I know what they do on a daily basis (with or without side hustles). Not only am I there now, but I’ve been there before. I’ll basically be there the rest of my life. The organ transplant my husband hopes to get will not mean the caregiver aspect of my life will be over. Transplant patients have to be careful. They require a lot. I’m a caregiver for life. I know what that feels like (now). I didn’t know what it felt like when I first married. It’s the reason I know a little gift or greeting can be the thing that makes a caregiver’s day. We don’t do it for rewards. We do it because we love. It’s just nice to know it is appreciated. And I aim to help others let their caregivers or their loved one’s caregivers know they are recognized and appreciated.

I hope my random thoughts, musings, and more are able to give a caregiver out there the push they need to keep going. I know you have a lot of other things to do besides be a caregiver. It can be overwhelming. May the insight I provide give you the strength and comfort you haven’t found anywhere else. My goal is to be transparent so you can be assured you are not alone. There are a lot of us out here. We are tired. We want help. We want our patient to be well. We want some “ME” time. We don’t even remember what “ME” time looks like. Please know we are in this together. For we all know this caregiving life is NOT FOR THE WEAK.

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