Ok, so go to the url above, which is sponsored by CVS, you know the pharmacy. The basic rules are to blog about a caregiver on their site, and it can be yourself even. In return, you are entered into a contest for a trip to New York, sponsored by CVS, as I understand it. I am entering a side contest from the larger CVS contest by blogging about this on my blog, which technically, I've already blogged about my hubby, so this was not a far stretch for me as my thoughts were already front and center and the man really does deserve a trophy, medal, or something.......
ALSO, PLEASE LEAVE ME COMMENTS AFTER THIS POSTING AS IT GIVES ME A CHANCE TO WIN A GIFT CARD IF I HAVE THE MOST COMMENTS, WHICH MAY BE A LONG SHOT SINCE I AM NEW TO BLOGGING AND NEW TO GETTING FOLLOWERS..........
So, yes, I'm a mom, and I went to grad. school, coached cheerleading, taught special education, all the while , pregnant, then nursing and raising a newborn, who is now 6 today. I finally graduated for the last time when he was 4.5 years old and at almost the same time of graduation, aka just weeks later, my injury happened and rather turned my life upside down. But, I don't want to blog about me for this entry. I want to blog about the person who stood behind me through all of the above and more - my husband.
My caregiver giving started many years ago when we were just neighbors. He became my boyfriend. I really had very few clothes and they were ones I had gotten either cutting grass, babysitting, or not using my lunch money at school. Kevin took me to the mall and bought me real clothes, something I had not had for many years. Then, when I would get sick, he took me to the doctor and then bought my medication and then made sure I took it. My senior year, I stayed at my father's, but they had 3 kids and expenses out the yin yang, so I had a place to sleep on the living room couch, but not much else. I was saving my money for a car as I had been working at a fastfood restaurant since 11th grade, but in the meantime I didn't have a lot of food as my meager income had to cover all my needs, whatever they were. So, Kevin would drive in from the country at midnight any given night to bring me dinner after I got off work - my system wouldn't allow me to eat much fried food from work or I would get really ill. After I graduated, I got my own apartment and was heck-bent to make it, so I worked at the restaurant, went to college full time, and all I would buy foodwise was greenbeans, spaghettios, teabags, sugar, and rice (rice by the multiple pounds) and I was completely and utterly happy paying my bills, driving my nine year old '83 Subaru, eating carefully, and working until the wee hours of any given night. My tips were fantastic and my customer following insured my success in keeping my apartment. However, my choice of food was not good enough to satisfy Kevin, so he decided that our dates would consist of going to my beloved Kroger and buying me groceries. I was determined to make it, he was determined I ate better than greenbeans, spaghettios, and rice - which I thought covered vegetables, breads, and meat with those options, lol.
We married 3 1/2 years after I got my apartment. We had many happy times there. :) I've had many health problems over the years before this year and he's taken care of me, time and time again. He still sees to it that I take my medicine.
So, 6 years ago our son was born and I was in the middle of grad school. I sat down with Kevin and asked him what he thought about me continuing graduate school as this was clearly a family decision as sacrifices would have to be made and I would probably be nonexistent outside of our nuclear family for a few years because of everything I would be doing. Kevin agreed and felt that God was calling me to get these degrees for a reason - a reason that hasn't been revealed yet, I might add. So, I taught high school special education and tutorial classes, coached cheerleading (some of my favorite teaching occurred while coaching :) ), nursed our newborn miracle child, and went to grad school. Now, who do you think kept me going, supported me, and made sure I ate, took my medicine, and took breaks - you know. :) The last degree near about broke me, literally. I slept about 4 nights a week, maybe, and there was Kevin taking care of me and taking of our son.
more to come, I have to go get J. from school...................
In the last 18 months or so since I fell ( I lose track of the exact months), Kevin has taken me to countless doctor visits as I couldn't manage it by myself. The medication was so horrific that I could barely remember my own name much less drive. I tried driving a few times, but every time I got more than 20 miles away from home, I would get lost in a city I had known my whole life................Kevin's been there for each surgery and there were 4 surgeries from Dec. '07 through Oct. '08. Imagine the waiting and worry that you go through when someone you love goes through one surgery. I can only imagine what this year has been like for him. I know it took me quite awhile to get over our son's simple surgery of having tubes put in his ears. Instead of focusing on himself, Kevin continues to focus on me. There have been many many days that it hurt too bad to even go to the restroom unless he was home to help me get there, so I definitely wasn't eating. So, Kevin figures this out and starts stockpiling me food and bottled drinks by the bed and the couch, so that wherever I managed to be, there would be something to drink and eat through the day while he worked. Once Kevin would get off of work, he would go get our son from his grandma's and would get home about 7, only to cook us dinner and wash our clothes. Some clothes changed colors and/or shrank, but he washed them nonetheless. This was not the year for us to go anywhere, we are a two income family and we've been on one income for quite awhile now. Somehow, Kevin would come up with a way for us to go somewhere as he knew what I could not see until now looking back - he had to take me somewhere, had to find a way to make me smile, had to find away to help me get through this horrible time in my life. Even the investment in me making jewelry to sell was viewed by Kevin as something I had to do, not something that was frivolous, but something that was necessary to get me through this time. I worry I still may need a wheelchair before this is over, but I can walk a bit now and I don't fall down quite as much and some days I go a whole day now without falling. If you met me on the street, you might not know anything was wrong now, which is cool.
Kevin is my hero. He's gone from having this woman who is so driven and so independent and so dominant to having this woman who he has to make sure she eats and sleeps as the insomnia from everything and the surgeries too is something to be reckoned with. Even now, with the injury issue STILL going on and I'm still waiting on a miracle in the form of a shot in my back to swap pain for numbness, there is yet another surgery looming for a painful tumor I have acquired this past fall, and yet, Kevin is still here, still standing by my side, still taking care of me, still coming home and fixing me dinner, still making sure I take my medicine, still finding ways to make me smile. I don't know your version of a hero nor do I know who will win this contest, but I can tell you who my hero is and that he was my hero long before I read about the requirements for this contest with CVS. See my 'Unsung Heroes' blog that is dated well before this contest started I would think.