I’m Susan and I am mama to Alex and Emma and wife to long-suffering Michael. We are Irish expats living in Cyprus for the last 7 years.
I am a nurse, an (extended) breastfeeder, a cosleeper, beach lover, book reader, an oversharer, chronic pain sufferer, lover of food. The two single best things to ever happen to me are Alex and Emma and they make me look at life completely differently. They make me want to spend my days reading children’s books, playing with play-doh and splashing in water. The encourage me to be even more empathetic in my work and motivate me to want to learn even more about health and wellbeing. This has resulted in me giving advice to the world and their mother, however some days I do wish I would take my own advice!
When we moved to Cyprus, I had decided that I wouldn’t work initially as less than 12 months before leaving Ireland, I had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I was weak and tired and hope up on a lot of medication and I felt that I just needed a break to try to get healthy again. We weren’t here very long when I started missing caring for people. I missed helping people in their day-to-day life and I missed the stories of their lives. I decided that I would set up a home care agency here in Larnaca.
For many reasons (mainly Alex and Emma) the business stopped and started over the years. It never really stopped as I was always on hand to give information to those who needed it. However the concept was new to Cyprus and I was trying to introduce a service of hiring people to care for your loved one into a culture of family caring for family. In the summer of 2015, business began to boom. Over the next 12 months, I met many people in many situations and I had my eyes opened to just how difficult it was for an expat to be unwell in a country that was not their own.
My mind is constantly flooded with ideas of how to help those who need it without them having a huge financial outlay as money can very often be a big barrier to being able to afford health care. It is common for couples to retire abroad without giving huge thought to the “what ifs” – and don’t get me wrong, this is perfectly normal, but Murphy’s law dictates that it will be during this time that an issue will arise. I don’t want to (and won’t) be providing medical advise, but providing practical advise such as how to maintain your mental health and questions to ask when you are looking for a nursing home are relevant to many situations, regardless of where you live.
You Are My Sunshine is a culmination of all the things that make me happy. My family, Cyprus and care giving. You will find posts about parenting and which beach we visited today, but you will also find posts that will provide support and advice, be it in the form of safety in the home or how to prevent caregiver burnout.