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“What’s a woman got to do to get a good pedicure?”

As part of the sandwich generation that has to take care of not only our spouses, but our children as well as our own parents, we are often being stretched beyond our limits.  Having a father who suffered a stroke and for the greater part of ten years survived with a severe case of memory loss and limited mobility as well as mother who had breast cancer, you’d think that this would be a task that I could be up to.

Well it finally caught up with me.  After taking my son to his soccer game on Saturday morning, I hit the wall with the sniffles, sore throat, cough and all over body aches.  My head was in a fog.  I had overdone it.  I needed rest or I wasn’t going to do anyone any good.  5 days of caring for a family of four both emotionally and physically was more than a drain.  I felt even a alight pang in my chest.  no time to have a heart attack!  Even with all the help with friends and family there is only so much you can do.

Make the lunches, pick up and drop off the kids from school, pour liquids for your spouse, wash her hair (if you really love her you’ll give her a pedicure), empty her drains, warm up pre-made dinners, do your own regular business work, do the laundry, do the dishes, go to school meetings, take the kids to gymnastics and soccer practices,…it is all too much to remember and then take care of yourself.

Is it worth it?  Getting sick? No.  Making sure your family feels normal and secure?  Yes.  I’d do it all over again if I had to, but wouldn’t wish this past week on anyone.  And I don’t even pretend to think I have it as bad as others. I am inspired and honor all those caregivers out there.   But this is a reminder for all those out there to take care of yourself as well and get lots of rest.

I slept in today (in another bed from my wife so as she wouldn’t get sick too) and it did me good.  I felt a 100% better although have a slight cough and scratchy throat (good enough to cheer our 49ers on to victory).

The good news is that the drains are emitting less fluids.  The first day we were at 70ccs and we are now down to around 45 ccs per day.  We’d like to get to 30 ccs. 5ccs is equal to about 1 teaspoon.  I gave her a second bath (kept the bandages/dressings dry though as we were told to keep them from getting too wet.  We also went for a walk around the block.  She said she felt okay except only for some tightness in the middle of her chest.  She is mostly down to taking Atavin and Keflix for now.  She has halved her dosage of Ibuprophen and is totally off of the Vicodin.

We had our family meeting tonight to confirm our arrangements for the week to make sure we are getting to and from school okay for the week and making sure the kids are mentally okay.  I’m going to need to check myself tomorrow.  Leaving her to herself worries me although I think she’ll be fine.  My mother will check with her during the day to make sure she is okay and a family friend ( who sometimes babysits) will be over to have dinner with us.

This week we have our first post-surgery appointments with the physicians to make sure all the healing is going well and maybe get our pathology report.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed it all comes back clear.

 If you want reading, check out an insert from today’s Parade Magazine Insert ( a bit of an advertisement, but relevant)