I am learning, the hard way of course, that I must take time for myself. Not only take time, but MAKE time for myself. That is very difficult for me. Being a caregiver for so many years (14 years to be exact), I rarely thought of myself and what I needed especially while care giving for Keith and Nick during the last 6 years.
Well, that way of thinking (although I don't see it as having much choice in the matter) has come back and bitten me in the rear end. I am now in the position that I HAVE to MAKE time for myself and I don't have a whole lot of choice in the matter. It is overwhelming at times to realize that if I don't follow the instructions of MLC and MLD (there's also a new one in the mix) it will be more difficult to be the caregiver to my son and parent to both of the kids.
Yes, I now have two MLD's (My Lovely Doctor). Number One MLD is the original that has taken care of me and watched over my health from the very beginning of Keith's fight with cancer. He is the doctor who helped Keith on that dreadful afternoon in December 2003 when Keith was writhing in pain. MLD 1 has been in our lives for several years, even before Keith's illness. He has been a constant in our lives and has made sure that someone was watching over my health even if I wasn't paying attention.
The second MLD I mentioned I was recently referred to by MLD 1. Of course, MLD 1 scheduled the appointment for me instead of just saying, "Here's the name, give him a call". I think that means he knows me pretty well. :) MLD 1 referred me to this doctor because I owned up to the fact that I haven't been to a certain type of doctor in a while (ladies, you know who I'm talking about. I'm trying to be discerning about what I say and how I say it.). How long is not up for discussion, but it's been a while. MLD 1 got me in with MLD 2 within a week. Hmmm. See what I mean about the whole knowing me pretty well thing?
I really liked MLD 2, which says a lot because I have NEVER liked a doctor of this type in my entire life. I have always just endured these necessary doctor appointments. MLD 2 found some things that are going on with me that need to be addressed. If these issues are not addressed, it will just continue to get worse. The odd part for me is I didn't know that there were issues. MLC thinks it's because I have spent so much time focused on Nick, Keith, and even Kacie that I just didn't notice. So, I am having surgery on March 22 to hopefully get these issues under control.
I have not been dealing well with the emotional side of this. This news caused the black to circle a little bit during the last few days. Due to some in the doctor's office things, I haven't felt all that well. That certainly hasn't helped my emotions. I also had to take Nick to Birmingham on Thursday, while I wasn't feeling very well. I am missing Keith with a new level of grief. I need him and he isn't here. I'm having to depend on family and friend's to take care of me and my kids while I am having this procedure (which is outpatient, but will require me to be out of commission for at least a couple of days) and the days following.
I know that doesn't sound like that big of a deal, but for me it is! I am the caregiver. I am not a good patient, because I don't know how to be. I've never had to be. On top of everything, my husband isn't here to hold my hand and comfort me. I don't get to have my turn at him taking care of me in the "in sickness" part of our vows. I am uncertain and unsure about making decisions. I've always had Keith here to help me see things more clearly. Then there is the bottom line that I AM SCARED.
I'm not going into any more this time. I'm getting emotional and I need to deal with it.
So, I am taking time to take care of myself and owning up to the fact that, while I did the best I could to take care of Keith and the kids, I let myself fall between the cracks.