Like many people in the last few weeks of December, I was burnt out, tired and found myself slogging through the days. The truth is that 2022 was an incredible year but it was downright exhausting! We officially launched FrannyCares after almost 9 months of product design and development and endless hours of working through all the challenges you can imagine a startup would face. It was a labor of love. And my awesome mother-in-law moved to California to be closer to our family and even though it was emotional for her to leave the home she lived in for 30 years, we all knew it was the best choice. All of this piled onto the naturally hectic pace of the holidays, I decided to take the last few weeks of December off. I wanted to take time to catch a breath and reflect on all the good that came from 2022 even though it was coupled with tears, sleepless nights and mistakes.
So where the hell have I been?! It’s now February 1 and FrannyCares has been mostly silent on social media and our newsletters. Don’t get me wrong, I love connecting with FrannyCares users and fans. And if you have contacted me in the past few weeks and didn’t get a response, I am so sorry! I promise you it was not on purpose. After years of coaching clients, friends and peers through the ups and downs of family caregiving and shouting from the rooftops that professional caregivers are real heroes, I found myself in the situation of actually being a family caregiver. My mother-in-law, after just finding her rhythm at her new home at a wonderful assisted living community, suffered a stroke on January 2nd. Our entire world was turned upside down as my husband and I scrambled to navigate the healthcare system and we had to adjust to seeing a once independent, albeit elderly, woman unable to use her left hand, arm and leg. Our days consisted of talking over next steps, why she wasn’t eating, wondering if she had stroke related dementia or if her swallowing was better today or worse. It’s been a hell of a January 2023 to say the least.
So that brings me to today. After weeks in the hospital and a skilled nursing facility, my mother-in-law is finally back home. Her physical and emotional progress has been lovingly looked after by caregivers: CNAs, nurses, professional caregivers and family caregivers. I never doubted for a second that people who work in the healthcare industry are built differently and care differently. I see it first hand every day when my mother-in-law’s caregivers transfer her to bed, or wipe her chin or soothe her when she’s crying. Being a caregiver is all about compassion, love and patience. I could not imagine a world without caregivers. I don’t want to think about a world where we think of caregiving as something to be “automated” or “streamlined”. These people have been and forever will be the backbone of our communities. We should pay them what they deserve and respect them.
Apologies for getting on my soapbox, but I have the ability to write this post only because I know my mother-in-law is being looked after by someone I deeply trust and respect, a professional caregiver. For all the caregivers out there, thank you so much for the work that you do and I am back in full force trying to build a better world out there for you through our work at FrannyCares.