The challenges of being a caregiver to my cousin with sickle cell

When I embarked on this journey as a caregiver for my cousin Ada, who has sickle cell disease, I soon realized that this path, brimming with love and dedication, also presented an unseen battle: caregiver burnout. Following are some of the frequent challenges I’ve faced — and triumphed over — as a caregiver to my cousin.

Since I started caregiving, sleepless nights have become my constant companion. There are days when all I want to do is sleep without any disturbances, but the unpredictable pain crises that torment my cousin make peaceful sleep a rare luxury. Each creak and whimper transforms into a symphony of worry echoing in my ears.

As time has passed, the lack of sleep has worn down my body and mind. However, I still have to summon the strength to comfort and support Ada, even when my own fatigue threatens to overwhelm me.