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The Naomi Judd Interview (Page 1 of 2)

An Interview with Naomi Judd

Gary Barg:   Iíve noticed over the past couple of years a marked increase in the amount of emails or calls we receive regarding hepatitis C.  Is hepatitis C really that prevalent in America?

Naomi Judd:   It will kill four times as many Americans as AIDS will over the next decade. I feel that whatever kind of ability God has given me, as an entertainer and as a public figure, it is so I can be a representative for others.

GB:   I think your book, Naomiís Breakthrough Guide: 20 Choices to Transform Your Life, really speaks to the issue of how important it is for caregivers to take charge of their situation.  I agree with that wholeheartedly, and think we also become more aware of our own strength. What other advice would you have for family caregivers?

NJ:   When youíre a caregiver, you need to realize that youíve got to take care of yourself. Not only are you going to have to rise to the occasion and help someone else, but you have to model for the next generation. Iíve had women tell me that when their daughters see them taking care of themselves, and being defined from within, and thinking for themselves instead of thinking about that silly culture out there, itís powerful modeling. I talk to people about being who they really are, because our culture is ADHD, and the media is not healthy or good for us. Theyíre trying to tell us that weíre not right, so we have to buy their products. The number one cause of mental illness is not knowing who you are, and you canít know who you are if you donít spend time honoring yourself and living in the present.

GB:   For several years you have championed the cause of rural caregivers, particularly in regards to end-of-life and hospice issues.        
 
NJ:   I helped to start a hospice in the small town of Ashland, Kentucky, because the Appalachian people where I come from have no idea of how to talk about this with their loved ones or friends. I am just such a fan of hospice because my sister-in-law used to run the hospice of Kentucky; sheís also an RN. I used to work primarily in the Intensive Care Unit, so I saw a clinical study for the need for hospice. Iíd get really saddened and burdened by what I saw in the hospital. But the good thing is when you say the word rural, it connotes more of a natural environment. I donít know what Iíd do without my connection to this farm and any time Iím feeling burdened, I get outside. I have to go to LA tomorrow for the week; so yesterday, Larry and I spent several hours in the woods where I can literally take these mental snapshots. Before I had to go to the Mayo Clinic and get up onto an operating table to have a liver biopsy, I did the same thing.

GB:   It helps you balance things out.  I think any caregiver should take advantage of that in their own lives.

NJ:   There are certain times when Iím at home that Iíll come upstairs for 20 or 30 minutes and lie down in the dark.

GB:   But you take that time for yourself.

NJ:   Oh yeah.

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