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Parenting With Health Issues - An inside look

Updated: Aug 3

So, what is it like parenting a child with chronic health issues when you have chronic health issues of your own? Well the first thing I'll say is that It's not easy. It doesn't matter whether the health issues are mental or physical, it's just plain hard when you can't take care of yourself because you are too busy taking care of others.

With uncontrolled depression and anxiety plus PTLS and Fibromyalgia and Low Iron... Well let's just say that my doctor said she was surprised I was still walking around let alone taking care of my children. You see, I'm the one who is around my children the most so no matter how depressed or anxious I was, and no matter how fatigued or in pain I was, I always had to be at their appointments. I was the only one who could clue the doctors and therapists in on what had gone on in my child's life in the previous weeks or months. But you see, this nasty crap I deal with daily had me to where I couldn't drive. Thank goodness the hubby had that covered so all I had to do is worry about leaving the house to go to the appointments.

So, what is it like to feel like shit but have to take care of someone else? I'm not gonna lie, it really really sucks but you know, it's something that just has to be done. When my son's CGM sensor gives out and I'm sleeping off an extremely fatigue filled day I have to be the one to wake up in the middle of the night with him and change it out. When my daughter's mental health reaches a breaking point and we end up in the ER, I'm the one who has to be there with her even if the chairs at the hospital make my hips hurt, even if I am in a fibro flare up, even if I'm exhausted and cold from the low iron. When my daughter breaks her arm at school and needs surgery I'm the one who has to be there no matter how bad my pain or how depressed I am or how much sleeping in the makeshift chair/bed in her room will knock my back out of place. Don't get me wrong, my husband helps where he can, but he can't be around them as much as I am. He isn't the one who knows their medication dosages, or what the doctor said to do about this ailment or that problem. He has to sleep to be able to function in his job so he can't be the one staying up or making midnight checks on sick kids. And of course I would never ask him to take over all my jobs. That wouldn't be fair to him as long as I'm breathing and able to force myself to leave the house. And then, of course, none of the kids want anyone but their mama if they are sick or in pain or depressed or anxious.

I'm often asked how I do it, how I've done it for five kids. Truthfully, I have no idea. There are times when I'm about ready to give up. There are times when I'm pretty sure I can't handle one more illness or one more bout of depression. But I keep trudging on. I guess I do it because I love my kids but as time goes on and the kids get older, I've realized that I absolutely have to take time for myself or I truly will burn out and be of no help to anybody. With the help of a therapist I'm learning to say no, I'm learning to distribute tasks to other people on my bad days, I'm learning to do the stuff I want to do and to do it by myself and not include anyone that I take care of - self care. If I hadn't been able to be a housewife all these years, I would probably be writing this blog from a mental hospital. So maybe that's how I was able to handle it - because I was able to stay home with the kids. If Id had to work through all of this...

So, what comes next? I'm not sure. I'm trying to learn how not to over do it now that I'm feeling a bit better. A part of me wants to take it all over again and be like I used to be. But in reality, I need to keep delegating tasks and taking time for myself because in the end, the stress I used to live under only made my health issues worse. You see, Depression, Anxiety, Autism, ADHD, Diabetes, TMJ, Hypothyroidism, Low Iron, Heart issues, and day to day illnesses are no match for a mom who has to get tings done. That is, as long as that mom eventually learns how to initiate self care. If you are feeling overwhelmed, look into respite care or look to loved ones to help out and give you a break sometimes.

Until Next Time... *Copy from*

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