This is a part of the Hot Topic podcast series from the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center on Exercise After Burn Injury. Judy Catuogno, Caregiver, discusses A Caregiver’s Perspective.

Judy Catuogno

Twin Sister of Joy Greene, Who Sustained a Burn Injury in 2011

I would say with my sister’s accident the helplessness was consuming. I was absolutely drowning in the fear of the unknown for the future and feeling like my hands were tied. But I did not allow that to happen. I would research. I read everything I could on different types of exercise, nutrition. I was going to fix this as well as I possibly could.

Joy would tell me I didn’t know what she was going through and she was clearly right, I didn’t know. And I would get frustrated and very sad, but I would not let it go. I was relentless. I was going to get her moving again. And I buried feeling hurt, I had some resentment, and maybe that’s all natural with someone you love and seeing them hurt; but I was not going to get — let it get the best of me.

I was going to help and push something I knew she loved and knew something that would be good for her. And it was exercise, whether it was a walk, whether it was a fun yoga class, we were going to do it. We were going to get out of the situation we were in.

Running with Joy now is — has been, it’s a great experience. It’s something we always loved to do. I probably push her too much. I, I still get a little frustrated, and I don’t want to be that way. I, I just want so much for her. I want, I want her to be everything she can be, and maybe I’m, I’m too much, too aggressive with it at times. But I’m grateful. I’m grateful. We still laugh. We still stop for a snack. We still enjoy being outdoors together. And it’s something I hope we do for the rest of our lives.

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