My late grandmother got sick in 2003. My mother and grandfather lived with her and so were her main caregivers. I also helped with her to take some of the load off them. For a while I worked until she kept having recurrent health problems and had to go in the hospital one time after another. At Christmas 2003 she had to be transferred to a hospital an hour away. I needed to be more available to stay with her so I called my supervisor and told her I needed to take some time off to be with my family.
“You’ll have to get a doctor’s excuse.”
“I have to get a doctor’s excuse for my grandmother being sick?”
“She’s in the hospital. I don’t know when she’s getting out.”
So I quit.
We decided to try and get personal care. She didn’t want strangers coming in so it was decided I would take the PCA classes and be her aide. I needed a job and she needed the help. So I became her aide, even though I felt sleazy at the time for being paid for taking care of my grandmother. But it worked out.
A few years later I decided to go back to school and finish my social work degree. She always wanted me to finish; in fact she was still ticked off nearly 10 years after I quit college just a few credits shy of getting my degree. But that meant I would quit being her PCA. She wasn’t happy about that but agreed to a new aide.
While in school part time I went back to work. But my husband got sick.
o I quit–work, not school.
See a pattern forming here?
I finished my degree and in the meantime other family members started having health problems. I got a part-time job that was quickly turning into a full-time job and also the long drive started to get to me.
So I quit.
I like the way I really stick to things.
I’ve been looking for part-time jobs closer to home but have had no luck. The area I live in has been economically depressed before the economy ever went in the crapper.
But… I’m also torn. I need to work, I like to work. But I feel guilty for wanting to work and lazy for not working. We need the money.
But to me family is more important than a job and we’ve cut back on a lot of things. And guess what? We don’t miss them.
It works out. It always does.
(I’m submitting this post to Caring Across Generations’ #Blog4Care blog carnival. Go here to check it out.)
- Podcast: The Caregivers (caregiving.com)
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- Story-Telling Sunday: February 16 (caregiving.com)