Sick on the homestead: Who takes care of things when it’s just you?

Okay, so it’s not just me living here..  But I live with my grandmother who can’t do as much as she used to, and an Alzheimer grandfather who can’t even remember that I live here half the time, let alone how to feed the cats when I’m sick!

So how do I do it?  How do things get done when I can’t even get out of bed?  Do I suck it up and get out of bed when my whole body aches?  Or do I ask my grandmother to feed the cats and take care of the house for me?


I take a page out of my mother’s book.  Before we became a military family, my parents lived back in the woods with gardens, animals, the whole works.  When my mother was pregnant with my brother, she was lugging wood around my grandmothers old house and working like she was super woman with yard work.  And when she was pregnant with me, she was helping to build their house back in the woods, through winter!  If she can do all of that, never missing a beat, while pregnant, surely I can get up and feed the cats when I’ve got a bad cold!

I also tell myself that fresh air does me good (which is true).  Feeling stuffed up?  Nothing a trip to the mailbox can’t fix!  Body feels sore?  Better walk it off around the house as you feed the animals.  Feeling hungry (not likely if I’ve got a cold)?  You must be feeling better!  Go walk to the kitchen and make yourself something!  I only allow myself one day to be sick, after all, the cats could handle one day of grandma feeding them..

Now, I’m sure those of you with husbands, wives, kids, or even parents whom live with you, are thinking ‘I’ll just ask them for help or to get me something’.  And that’s great!  It’s always great if you’ve got someone who can take care of you!  But when I get sick, so do my grandparents, and I usually end up taking care of them more then vise versa.  Don’t feel bad for me though!  I like taking care of them, why do you think I’m here in the first place?  Personally, I like taking care of myself.  If I can sleep off a cold and get up when I feel restless, then I’m good!  Others, like people taking care of them..

Take my grandmother for example..  When she’s sick, she takes full advantage of the situation to ask for anything and everything without leaving her little ‘nest’ she makes in the living room.  And I get her everything she wants, and then some.  I’ll get her fresh flowers from my garden if they’re in bloom so that she has something pretty to look at.  I’ll get her more blankets if she looks cold.  And I’ll even catch one of the cats for her to snuggle with when she’s looking a little down (her cat doesn’t really like her snuggles, so she runs).  That’s just how she is when she’s sick.

Or take my dad for a second example..  He lays in the living room all day and plays his video games in between naps.  He likes absolute silence, and doesn’t mind being waited on, but is usually asleep for most of his colds.  He can sleep through any sickness and wake up a few days later back to normal!

Everyone is different when they are sick.  Some people can afford to have people wait on them hand and foot, others, have got to get stuff done!


Last week, I cut my big toe (on my right foot) open on a piece of glass.  After my grandmother patched me up, I had to stay in bed that first day with my foot propped up.  My grandmother fed the cats, got the mail, and asked me a few times of I needed anything.

On the second day, I had no choice but to get up, feed the cats, get the mail, cook meals for myself, and stop my grandmother from attempting to get heavy totes up from the basement by herself!  My foot hurt like crazy that day, but I had already used my one sick day I allow myself.

By the third day, my foot was feeling better, but I still had a limp when I walked (it would have felt a lot better if I hadn’t kept bumping my foot into everything on days one and two..).  My grandmother decided that I was well enough to help her bring totes and stuff up from the basement.  And since she had seen me get the mail the day before, there was no sympathy from her as I carefully put on my snow boots and braved the cold and the snow to get the mail and feed the outside cats.

By day four, I was able to  remove the bandage (which had been replaced once already) and clean the wound.  It was feeling better and looking better.

Everything was going good!  My foot was healing nicely, I was walking just fine, and then what happens yesterday..?  I injure my left foot by stepping on a piece of metal that left a shallow hole in my foot!  Now both feet hurt, and there are still plenty of Christmas decorations to be put up..  Maybe this is a sign that I’m working to hard.  Either way though, I’m back on my feet today, and determined to wear slippers around the house from now on so that my poor little feet have a chance to heal without getting injured again.


What do you do when you’re sick or injured?  Do you have families  that take care of you?  Or families to take care of?  Or maybe you have to do things on your own, like me?

See more everyday homesteading stuff like quotes, lifestyle, pictures, stories, etc, at my official Facebook page here.


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