For our second series of caregiver features, our theme is a "A Day in the Life of a Caregiver". Our goal is to capture the life of a caregiver in one single day. Caregivers share what they do, think, and feel as they go through their day. We hope you enjoy reading these articles and can resonate with the lives of these caregivers.
Allison is from Saint Paul, Minnesota and has been a full time caregiver for 10 years to her husband. She runs a website, thenegativespace.life, where she writes about being a caregiver and her approach to caring.
COFFEE TIME My favorite times of the day are the first and last hours. As soon as I get up, I head for the coffee. I have an enormous collection of coffee mugs and I choose my mug carefully to set the tone for the day. Once I get my daughter off to school, I enjoy the quiet before my husband wakes up and my work day begins. I sip my coffee, the cat curls in my lap, I stare out the window, I breathe. It may just be 10 mins some days, but it makes a huge difference.
LUNCH AND TV I work from home so that I can be right here with my husband when he needs things. At lunch, I come out of my home office, check on him, make lunch and if the day allows he and I will sometimes watch a bit of TV while we eat. We love The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. This is also the time that I return phone calls from doctors and the medical supply people, etc.
My husband has multiple medical appointments each week in addition to a visit from his home health nurse. I accompany him to every appointment, often answering work emails from the waiting room while we wait to go in or texting our 13 year old daughter to let her know, she may get home before we do.
WIND DOWN We try to have dinner as a family as many nights as we can. My favorite thing is to get into bed as early as I can with a good book and a cat and to read for an hour or more before bed. That doesn't always happen, but I love it when it does
INHALE EXHALE Things change on a dime with my husband's health and I never know when I wake up how the day will go. So when we make it through the day in one piece, without crises, I always feel like I can exhale at least a little, though never fully.
You can follow Allison on Instagram and Facebook at @negspacelife.