The Caregiver








The spider glides across the window pane
The beetle traverses the cold tile
The moth returns to the light
And the mama releases a sigh,
Weary after consoling her child

She exhales the attempts
To extinguish the flames
That rage within
The neurotic chaos soothed
By anti-psychotic meds
Or Barney’s songs
Or maybe there is no solution
On this particular day.

No solution for what
The blast stole from him
The stroke that occurred
Many, many years ago
And pained those
Who love him.

And the screams rattle the walls
And the windows
And the beetle cowers behind the urn
Which illuminates a translucent prism
Of relaxed bodies
that lean into the silky softness
or slowly cascade from the glow
and drift to lie
upon the patio.

She stretches her tired limbs
The mama who loved him from the start
Her terminal boy who defied every odd
And lived
But in living
Her dreams died a little bit
And she became frantic –
Fighting against the web
And against the light that beckoned
Desperate for an escape
Desperate to find a crack in the floor
Or maybe in the windowpane
Desperate to avoid the patio graveyard
And reject the silken suffocation
And she retreated
to the mat
upon the floor

The spider, the beetle, the moth –
Her friends in isolation
They wait
All three – they wait
And ponder
And shrug.

They consider their Job
Lying still and silent before them
Prostrate upon the cold tile
Seeking the light within
and not the one flickering
beyond the window pane.

The spider eyes her suspiciously
The beetle hurries past her motionless body
The moth flaps mightily
Her friends in quiet contemplation
Living a life not chosen
But yet, it was.
In childlike surrender
The light glimmers within
and beyond.

The spider, the beetle, the moth
They surround her
And peer intently into her dismal eyes
Her hallowed gaze
And they wait
All four, they wait
For escape.

An eerie silence fills the room
Except for the occasional screams
From the child
She sighs,

And then –

A sound –

She untangles her weary body
Her foot swipes the web
as she rises from the sunken mat
and scuttles to the door
flinging it wide
in welcome relief
The light rushes in
And becomes one with the day
has arrived!

Hallelujah and Amen!

The fresh air
Ebbs and flows
Like a steady tango
And brings hope
That brushes away
The spider, the beetle,
and the moth.

A burden lifted
Her soul is light and free
A meal, a drink, a gift
Life-giving sustenance
for the weary and famished.

She exhales
Slow and steady
Not caught
Nor trapped
By light nor silk nor walls
There is grace
Through giving hands
And sacrifice.

She is renewed.
She is seen.


The Side Effects of Being a Caregiver – Hair Loss

The majority of special needs caregivers I’ve met or talked to throughout the years have mentioned negative side effects related to being a caregiver. Some are mild such as headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, or weight fluctuations, and other symptoms are not so mild and can land a caregiver on the road to rehabilitation for months, if not years. This was the story for Vance Goforth, a caregiver I recently interviewed on my podcast Coffee with Caregivers.–Vance-and-Kristy-Goforth-ejfd4t He suffered from a heart attack due to the stress associated with caring for his son Joshua who has profound special needs and autism.

Statistically, 30% of special needs caregivers admit that being a caregiver has worsened their health. 43% report experiencing high stress and 26% say that their health is fair to poor (compared to 15% of the general public) source – National Alliance for Caregiving.
I’ve personally experienced numerous side effects from being a caregiver – not only to Luke but to 7 other children as well. I don’t believe that every symptom is directly related to the stress of care giving, but I do believe that most can be attributed to the stress of life which involves caring for 8 children; including one with profound special needs which has resulted in a much more difficult reality over the past couple of years.

I’ve had IBS, weight loss, weight gain, panic attacks, brain fog, insomnia, cystic acne, a sty that wouldn’t go away for months, facial twitching, achy joints, candida overgrowth, leaky gut, eczema, wrinkles (lots!) mental health struggles, depression, racing heart, jitters, and the most recently, hair loss. Yep, for a few months during Covid my hair was falling out in chunks and leaving bald spots behind. Not good.

I believe it began when Luke ended up in ER in December 2019 due to a shunt malfunction. He finally returned to school mid February and then was released from school indefinitely in March due to a worldwide pandemic. He and his 7 siblings all released and now home 24/7. This was one of the most difficult times of my life – even more so on many levels than my late husband’s 3 year battle with cancer. It was around the end of April that I noticed the large chunks of hair falling out every time I brushed. Or took a shower. Or even simply shook my head, and I freaked out. I seriously thought, “This is it. I’m going bald.”

Of course I did what anyone would do and immediately headed to Google which confirmed my worst fears. Yes, high amounts of stress over a prolonged period of life can cause hair loss BUT – within 6-9 months of the stress being remedied the hair loss should diminish and growth should return. I gave myself about 6 months to total baldness because I had no idea how I was going to relieve my stress levels in my current reality.

However – I did start to research and put a plan in place.

My plan included:

A good pre–natal vitamin. Heck, this supplement gave me lush, beautiful locks when I was pregnant. Maybe it could help now too. Get yours 



Biotin Serum. I used this twice a week after I washed my hair (which I only did twice a week to maintain the natural oils that I desperately needed at this point). Buy now


Biotin vitamins. Took these daily. Purchase here



A new biotin, vitamin infused anti -thinning shampoo and conditioner. These are a bit pricey but a tiny bit goes a long ways.  I still have more than half remaining after a few months of usage. These are worth every penny if I do say so myself. Get yours. 



I started this plan in May, and by the beginning of September, my hair had greatly improved to the point where felt I could comfortably get a few highlights again – something I had been avoiding due to the hair loss. I no longer have chucks falling out, and in fact, the sparse areas on my head are beginning to grow back. All the hallelujahs.

Maybe this information can help someone else – caregiver or not. No one enjoys hair loss! Right?!

Just keep livin!

(This post does contain affiliate links)