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The Delta Burke and Gerald McRaney Interview (Page 2 of 3)
Interview with Delta Burke and Gerald McRaney
Like anybody else, I get depressed over
stuff that happens, but itís not the
same problem Delta has. Everybody
gets depressed and, yes, this situation
caused me to get into a blue funk from
time-to-time, just like any other thing
would cause itóa death, a loss of job or
something like that.
He would show it differently, though,
because he was very stoic. Iíve noticed
in the last couple of years as Iíve
gotten much stronger and was making sure
I was seeing my therapist regularly that
Mac started going through a depression,
but I donít think he realized he was. I
noticed it because there were a lot of
the symptoms I had, like sleeping a lot
or in bed a lot. I still go back and do
that, and each of us might fall into
what the partner is doing. I thought,
Iíve got to keep going to my therapist.
I canít fall into this with him. I
needed to do what I could do and talk
with him about it, and then he came out
of it. Recently, I had a bad couple of
months and I was getting very down on
myself, or negative about things. He
realized he had to keep doing what was
right for him, which was to get out and
still do certain things for himself and
not get sucked into this with me. We do
have to watch that because thatís easy
to have happen.
I know you were a caregiver for your mom
as she fought breast cancer.
In í97, my mother was diagnosed with
breast cancer and the next month, I was
diagnosed with diabetes. So it was very
overwhelming, but I didnít take care of
me. I took the pills the doctor gave me,
but I didnít read anything about
diabetes and I didnít change my diet.
The whole family was wrapped up in
breast cancer. We knew nothing about it;
we hadnít dealt with it in the family
before. We were trying to learn what to
do and where was the best place for mom;
everything was focused on that. A year
later, she had gone through the
lumpectomy and all the treatments and
the doctor told me that Iím going to end
up on insulin if I donít do something.
Then I got scared enough to start to
tend to what was going on with me.
Thatís generally a prime caregiver trait
we have. We forget weíre human too.
Yeah, you donít take care of yourself
because you feel guilty if you do; you
should be there all the time and
sympathetic and loving and nurturing all
the time. Thatís kind of impossible.
Nobody is that good and you canít be
that perfect. I remember saying to my
mother when she was taking care of my
grandmother, ďYou need to take time for
yourself, too,Ē which she was not able
to do very well, either. But when it
happened to me, I, of course didnít even
think of that. Youíre always better at
What advice would you give to a
caregiver of someone living with