Kim explains why it is significant for health advocates to make time to care for themselves.
As an advocate for someone else you really have to learn that you have to take care of yourself because you have to be present for them, and in doing that you can’t ignore yourself and it’s really hard.
You have to be really willing to accept help from other people. So when people say, “I’ll make dinner for you,” you say thank you. You don’t ask, you don’t say, “No, I’ve got it all under control.” This is not superwomen time, which is a fallacy anyway, but you have to be willing to take help.
I can remember coming home post transplant and walking into a room and looking in the mirror and saying, “Oh stand up straight.” I was so fatigued I couldn’t stand up straight and then it was, “Okay, you’ve got to stop,” because I was trying to work, trying to take care of the kids, trying to take care of John. It was, “You have to stop. It’s time for you to go take a nap – go take a nap.”
And you have to tell yourself things that you thought you could handle but you have to stop and take help and give yourself some help occasionally. Go out, when you’ve got someone preoccupying the kids, go out and take a ten-minute walk. It doesn’t take much but you’ve got to do it.
Conditions: Sudden Cardiac Death, Mitral Valve Prolapse, Heart Disease, Endocarditis, Atrial Fibrillation
Related Terms: Heart Health Advocate, Cardiology, Heart Survivor, EKG, Cardiac Problem, Women's Heart Center, Heart Valve Replacement, Heart Transplant