I had not planned to run my own post during this epilepsy blog relay. But that’s the thing about the stories we receive at Living Well With Epilepsy, they are surprising and inspiring. Lauren’s Fake It Til You Make It story resonated so much with me that I wanted, no, I needed to take a moment to get a little real about what life is like for me trying to manage epilepsy while also being in what Kelly Corrigan termed, “The Middle Place.”
My Middle Place
First off, if you haven’t read Kelly Corrigan’s, “The Middle Place” I would encourage you to go out and read it now. Because if you are not already facing issues of caring for aging family members while still caring for yourself (and maybe even caring for your own kids) chances are pretty good you will at some point. It’s a great read filled with love and humor that addresses chronic illness and dealing raising children, having your own illness, and managing aging parents, all at the same time.
I mention this because I’m 48, and at the moment I’m deep in the trenches dealing with two very ill and aging parents. My dad is hospitalized with a variety of issues. Let’s just say they’ve been rebuilding his heart since 1982, so he’s surviving on the force of his own will at this point. Meanwhile, my mom has early onset Alzheimer’s, can’t be left alone and her disease is progressing faster than we would like. So, my sisters and I have descended on my parent’s house in Cape Cod, MA to fill in the gaps here.
Like most people, I do better managing my chronic illness when I get enough sleep, eat well, get enough exercise and have a regular routine. Let’s just be honest, enough sleep is out the effing window right now. My sisters and I are taking shifts with Mom to ensure someone gets a bit of sleep since her days and nights are flipped. I have to say I am pretty grateful to have such amazing siblings.
And as far as a regular routine goes, well I’ve been separated from my husband and daughter to help manage this craziness. So regular routine’s out the window too.
I can be honest with myself and with you guys. I can be grateful for the side-splitting laughs I’m having with my sisters. I can be thankful for this time with my mom and dad. I can be grateful for the flexibility my husband and daughter have given to allow this time to care for my parents.
This amount of gratitude would normally make me want to roll my eyes. But with so many things out of my control, I feel like it is an important and positive thing for me to concentrate on.
A Word of Thanks
To that end, I might as well close this piece with a few words of thanks. Thank you Lauren for inspiring me to share what is happening in my world. Thank you to everyone sharing their stories during this epilepsy blog relay. Thank you to our sponsors and media partners who make the epilepsy blog relay possible. Thank you to everyone sharing and commenting on social media. Thank you to everyone who is being so patient with me right now. Thank you to my sisters for everything they are doing. Thank you to my cousins for everything they have done to get us to this point. And thank you to my husband and daughter for their patience, love and support.
Keep those inspiring stories coming. I need them right now!