It’s Good To Remind Myself, I’m Only 26

I’m 26. I’m freaking 26! This just dawned on me tonight, ha! I seriously feel so old right now taking care of my spouse and baby. How many 26 year old’s take care of their spouse who has major health problems?

I’m pretty sure this is where I pat myself on the back and cut me some slack!

Yeah, I’m having a hard time with life–I’m a little depressed, lonely, sad, frustrated, and guilt ridden. But I’m doing it–I’m hanging in there! I’m not having a nervous breakdown. I haven’t run out and found myself a lover since life is tough, even if an alternative life sounds nice every once and a while. I’m not drinking away my pain or drugging myself into numbness. I’m surviving! I’ve got my big girl panties on. I’m doing it.

 

So here is my pat on the back for today:

I’m 26.

In the last 6 years we have moved 9 times, had 13 different jobs (not including being parents) between the two of us, spent about a third of our married lives unemployed, lived with family 3 times, lived far far away from family, lived apart for 4 months. Ricardo had a fairly significant stomach surgery, a you-might-have-cancer scare (thankfully he didn’t), a tooth infection that nearly started closing off his airway, severe back pain, and…oh yeah, that’s right, discovery of an AVM, followed by a brain procedure, followed by a freaking hemorrhagic stroke at 31. We lost 2 babies to first trimester miscarriages and had other chemical pregnancies. Ricardo lost his faith and his religion. I lost my faith and nearly lost my mind right along with it.

On top of that we have had many wonderful things, that have also been stressful but are still wonderful. We got jobs. had a beautiful baby boy, got dogs, bought and sold our first home, and have made and subsequently moved away from lots of great friends.

But I’m 26, and you know what my day currently looks like?

I take care of my son. I bathe him, feed him, change his diapers, and dry his tears.

I care for my husband. I am his alarm clock, calendar, and post-it-note. I tell him what all his passwords are when he needs to log into his e-mail account, Facebook, or Skype. I remind him to take his pills twice a day. I remind him to do his therapies 40 times until he finally gets them done, and I help him when he needs it. I tell him how to get himself lunch and remind him that he needs to consume liquids or his body will shrivel up like a raisin. I drive him to his appointments, which I scheduled for him. I have filled out a stack of paperwork the size of an Ann Rice novel and spent nearly 6 months and hundreds of hours trying to communicate with Ricardo’s insurance, get us the help we need, and solve our financial problems during this crazy time. Now I am giving up my dream of being a stay at home mom (at least for now) and going to look for job #14 for us.

It’s rough (and I know it’s so much harder for Ricardo). I need to cut myself some slack and take a deep breath.It’s okay that I’m not always just grateful. It’s okay that lots of the time I’m just sad and frustrated.Life hasn’t exactly been easy.

I’m 26. And for 26, I’m doing alright.

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