Queen Latifah Balances Career and Family

by - September 17, 2017

Queen Latifah is many stuff: Grammy Award-triumphing singer and hip-hop megastar. Oscar-nominated actor. famous talk show host. And executive manufacturer, too. however in case you ask this multitalented entertainer what she is first and foremost, she'll say "daughter." And a most dedicated one at that.

Born Dana Owens in Newark, N.J., Queen Latifah, forty four, has continually been close to her circle of relatives. She credit them with giving her the self assurance to succeed. however while her beloved mother, retired excessive school instructor Rita Owens, 65, become diagnosed in 2013 with scleroderma, a unprecedented autoimmune ailment that during her case is quite superior, Latifah knew it became time to tackle yet some other function: caregiver.

"We didn't understand what it changed into," Latifah says. "She just exceeded out bloodless, fainted at faculty sooner or later." With a host of reputedly unrelated signs appearing for the duration of the previous decade, "it took us years to diagnose it. mom didn't have all of the signs within the scleroderma container. The vital trouble for her is pulmonary high blood pressure, which scleroderma can cause, and which may be lifestyles threatening."

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As this circle of relatives crisis spread out, the singer/actor simultaneously released The Queen Latifah show. recently renewed for its 2d season, the sunlight hours tv chatfest showcases Latifah interviewing visitor celebrities, cooking up healthy recipes, riffing along with her comedic chops, imparting travel, splendor, and fashion pointers, and website hosting an array of musical guests. add a web website that works very just like an online magazine into the mixture, and what you get is a new move-channel, life-style logo.

It makes experience. Hollywood has long recognised "los angeles" -- as her buddies affectionately call her -- to be the uncommon superstar who has genre-busting skills coupled with business acumen.

but launching a brand new show is worrying. lengthy hours cross hand-in-hand with the innovative fulfillment that includes starting some thing from scratch. but, Latifah by no means wavered from her first priority: her in poor health mother.


known as to Care

Scleroderma, which impacts fewer than 500,000 americans each yr, is a connective tissue sickness that causes thickening of the pores and skin. The situation can harm the lungs, coronary heart, and kidneys, and the internal organs of the digestive machine. signs variety from moderate to excessive, and are grouped in  camps: localized and systemic. Rita's were in the latter, extra extreme class.

Her pulmonary hypertension -- a kind of high blood pressure that affects the arteries in the lungs and ends in heart failure of the proper aspect of the heart -- brought on the most dangerous and apparent facet effects, along with fatigue, shortness of breath, chest ache, and fainting spells.

As a result, Rita requires normal care and clinical help. "it's the cause we moved her to L.A.," says Latifah, who manages her mom's hospital treatment. regarding herself as "the factor man or woman," she enlisted close friends and own family contributors, consisting of her mother's husband, to assist with the continuing needs of caregiving. "we are a group," she says. "we're in this collectively."

despite a robust support gadget in area, Latifah discovered that meeting her own professional commitments whilst being concerned for her mother might be annoying. "To launch a talk show and go through that at the identical time become tough," she admits. "but it become additionally cool in a manner, because i would come domestic and there she became. That component turned into remarkable."

She laughs. "I did feel a bit jealous of The Queen Latifah show, due to the fact i might need to speak together with her, and she'd be like: 'Wait! The show is on!' And i'd say, 'i am right here in individual! You do realize i am Queen Latifah, proper, mother?' and he or she'd say, 'Wait till the display is over!'"

Latifah and her family join the almost forty% of yank families that offer some sort of caregiving, from good sized personal care to tackling obligations including invoice paying or grocery buying, in keeping with a 2013 Pew take a look at. Gail Hunt, president and CEO of the countrywide Alliance for Caregiving, says the quantity of families in a caregiving situation is sure to develop. "As toddler boomers -- a generation with fewer offspring to percentage the weight of caregiving -- age and expand fitness problems, we can count on this issue to become the front and middle in coming years."

"facts show 60% to 70% of caregivers work," Hunt continues, "and maximum need to make some sort of paintings accommodation which includes coming in overdue, leaving early, decreasing to part-time, or even quitting or taking early retirement to fulfill caregiving needs."

similarly to the pressure of balancing the personal and expert, "there may be caregiver burnout," Hunt says. "signs and symptoms of burnout include losing your temper a lot, displaying a lack of staying power, and neglecting your personal health. you could even face financial break if fitness care expenses are draining your financial savings."

Hunt suggests caregivers are seeking for alleviation in every manner feasible. "look on your church or synagogue, create a guide network who can assist, or look into respite care. make sure to get regular checkups, and don't forget about dental paintings. you'd be taken aback to study how many caregiving spouses die before the partners they're caring for, certainly because they've ignored their personal fitness for see you later."

Latifah feels grateful due to the fact her economic and emotional desires are blanketed. "I sense blessed to have such a lot of individuals who love and care approximately my mom to be there for her," she says. "it's really critical. I sincerely experience for folks that do not have that support, due to the fact it could be so tough occasionally."

l.  a.'s Land

Queen Latifah's schedule has been tough. She spent the summer filming her upcoming HBO biopic, Bessie, based at the lifestyles and track of mythical blues singer Bessie Smith, with weekends shuttered inside the studio recording Smith's conventional songs for the movie's soundtrack. She's executive producer on the project, too.

As for Bessie, the task stimulated a deep appreciation for the artist and legend she portrays. "i have fallen in love with the electricity of her voice. Bessie Smith inspired Janis Joplin, The Rolling Stones. no person feels like this girl -- which include me. i am doing the high-quality i can to convey her story and sound to the display screen, so people will discover what a treasure she was."

Latifah is aware of retaining her busy life balanced is fundamental to retaining her very own top health -- being concerned for herself so she can preserve to attend to her mother. "i have located if I take a moment for myself in peace and quiet to collect my mind, i'm prepared to go," she says. "awaken and don't talk to every person, simply take five mins to respire and stretch and breathe some more. Then i'm able to go into the day and tackle whatever that comes my way."

As for exercising, "i'm nowhere on the recurring i might like to be on right now, being so busy. maintenance is a mission," she admits. "The treadmill is attempted and authentic. Or i might bounce on a motorcycle for half-hour. currently it's bike driving and taking walks. i really like to be out of doors, visit the park, hike. i really like yoga -- if i'm able to stand in opposition to the wall and connect my lower back in opposition to it, or if i am sitting down, i will right myself and align my spine. The cool thing approximately yoga is you do not have to be in elegance. you can observe its strategies for your life at some point of the day. Which I do."

A healthy eater who never "diets" -- "food plan is what you consume ordinary, not what you do not!" she says -- Latifah does keep away from fried foods and salt, but occasionally indulges in favorites like mac and cheese. long a main face of CoverGirl cosmetics, she's conscious she's helped to redefine requirements of splendor to encompass ladies of colour and, simply as essential, ladies with curvy physiques. The big name says her overall self-acceptance, which has caused such possibilities, comes from her family's enduring love for her. and she's satisfied to go back it.

"My parents always instructed me i used to be beautiful. They helped me through those awkward levels. They sat me down, defined things. They trusted me. They said: 'go out there and attempt it, do it!' once I fell flat on my face, they dusted me off. and that i went on."

Now that roles have reversed and it's her mother who desires support, Queen Latifah says, "I constantly keep that during thoughts."

The Queen's Jewels

Queen Latifah lives with the aid of her own set of rules. here, the celebrity of the musical movie Chicago, the comedy movie beauty keep, and extra these days the Lifetime tv movie metal Magnolias, stocks her philosophy for a healthy and happy lifestyles.

confidence is earned. "it is not something you are born with," Latifah says of true 310eaa1671f8cdca56bbfcd482325088. "every body feels insecure sometimes. Do things that encourage you and make you sense like, 'good enough, i am now not so awful.' appreciate who you are, and what you've got."

To thine very own self be true. the previous Jenny Craig spokesperson is properly aware how her weight has fluctuated over time -- and she's good enough with that. "I realize what to consume and what now not to consume," she stated in 2012. "but I similar to doing what I want, ? i'm rebellious like that!"

Be resilient. In 1992, Latifah's older brother, Lance, died at age 24 in a motorcycle crash -- using a bike she had given him as a gift. "i have battled self-doubt, like when my brother surpassed away," she says now. "Then I don't forget i'm doing this for my own family. track, appearing, being innovative is my joy. that is what alternatives me up."

Climb extra mountains -- literally. "There are continually greater mountains to climb," she says. "In fact, I keep assembly folks who say they have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. So i will climb Mount Kilimanjaro! Why no longer?"

what is Scleroderma?

Fredrick Wigley, MD, director of the Johns Hopkins Scleroderma middle, explains the uncommon connective tissue disorder, which "commonly appears in sufferers round age 50," he says.

confusing fact. Scleroderma impacts African-people and local individuals at higher fees. nobody knows why.

tough analysis. The maximum not unusual initial symptom is called Raynaud's, when arms and feet feel very bloodless. "The skin appears to be white or blue," says Wigley," or, when it warms, vibrant crimson. It starts offevolved with swelling, itching, and burning, and progresses till the pores and skin turns into wooden-like. A doctor will diagnose it while he can't pinch the skin among his arms."

life-threatening. Wigley estimates 80% of people with scleroderma have some lung involvement, from moderate to severe. The final 20% have intense lung involvement. "on account that many sicknesses have an effect on the lungs, together with bronchial asthma, it could easily be misdiagnosed."

Early treatment. "inside the first stages you could restore the damage. the sooner the diagnosis, the higher. but, modern treatment plans can arrest the harm, even if half of the lung has been lost to the disease."

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