Always a Caregiver, Never a Caretaker for Myself

by Anonymous

I have just recently took a good hard look at what I can change, what I can't change, and giving up on my ideal hope my family should help me share the responsibility of our aging love one....I like many others have, have reached the point that I'm acknowledging that I just can't take on more than I can possible handle with care giving for my Grandma (no help, no suggestions, only "I don't know how you do it's" from everyone! Maybe I was ignorant to how hard this would be or how it would affect my mind,body and loal not to mention the weight and emotional burden on MY OWN family and life structure.


After GMA's stroke 2 yrs ago, I was there for her, My patient kind boyfriend was there for me without even knowing my gma, supporting me as I questioned doctors and I just assumed the roll and went the extra mile to make sure that she was getting the best treatment and I got the best understanding of what was happening to her. 2 yrs later, I have finally began to accept that my mom, my aunt and other members of the family just cannot or do not want to deal with it even though I have reached out so many times.

I really have to make a decision, on my own, and I'm dreading to have to say to my GMA that I have found you another place, I love her so much, my guilt tells me that I'm being selfish and just throwing her away.

However, I'm only human, I cant only put my patient family and myself through the stress or the stressing of a very demanding, bitter and negitive person in our home anymore. I have taken so much away from the family that I have started and I am exausted with anxiety and found myself bitter and almost just wanting to run away! That's not me, that's not who I want to be, never would I want my children to feel like that!

I can only handle so much, and they all rely on me, Its hard to say to myself "I just cant take care of her anymore, my health is also at risk" Reality is....I know I am not alone, I am a good person, I am a leader and my pride and guilt cannot prevent me from what ultimately needs to happen.

Bitter sweet and tough to even talk about however, I have to do whats right for everyone. But that moment I talk with my GMA is going to be one of the most devastating things I will ever have to do while looking into her eyes..sad...but she will know that I will be by her side always, still doing all I can possibly do for her..

Life has no guarentees, make the best of it. Good luck to all, this is not easy nore is there a book you learn in school.

Try to enjoy everday but keep in mind that you matter too!
PS: pardon my grammer!

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Postscript....
by: Anonymous

I just want to add this to my previous comment.
I just reread what this person posted and I wouldn't want her to feel that in any way, I was judging her decision in what she feels she has to do with her Grandma.

In spite of what I said about how hard it would be to place my own mom somewhere at this late stage of her life, I can't know if I too will have to come up against that decision someday myself.

After all we do for them, it seems cruel to put us in that place to have to make that decision because yes, it is usually put upon us to make it ourselves.

Family will say, well that's up to you, if you feel it's time, thinking they are doing us a favor. So generous of them. If there's one thing I've learned through all of this, it's that everyone's situation is different, and I will never judge anyone for what they do.

Most of us, perhaps all of us, are doing the best we can.

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It's Getting So Hard
by: Anonymous

I use to joke about the elderly being exactly like kids going backwards and sadly it's coming to fruition. Mom is now sleeping almost the entire day. Sometimes she gets up as late as dinner time, has a meal, sits in front of the TV, then it's back to bed.

At first I was worried that there was something wrong, but it's been gradual over time and now it's the new norm. So from toddler she's gone to infant. Well guess what comes with this? To be blunt, because what else is there now, she's pooping her pull-up pants.

If you don't want to hear the gory details, leave now.

I'm going to have to start monitoring her bathroom habits because she is standing up while still pooping and it's on the toilet seat, on the floor, then she steps in it, tracks it across the carpet, and sits her butt on the bed with whatever is left now in her pants, and on her body. 😳. It's everywhere.

Inevitably I'm walking toward her room and the stench hits me. I just want to puke. I put on a mask, tie back my hair, put gloves on up to my elbows, get a roll of paper towels, the garbage can, and every cleaning supply and spray in the house.

Open all the windows, turn on a fan, get her undressed, in the shower. Throw her clothes and bedding in the washer, grit my teeth and clean it all up. Yesterday, she did this twice. 😑
People say, you need to get some help.

Well I don't know of any agency that is on call 24-7 to come clean a haz-mat situation at a moments notice.

Is this the new norm? Is she going to just wake up everyday with soiled pants? And I'll spend an hour washing, cleaning, dressing? And then maybe again during the day?

Indeed do we look them in their eyes and say you have to go somewhere else? She may not be good at any train of thought anymore but believe me she would be well aware of what that meant. It would be abandonment, a broken heart, and deep sorrow.

I think she would curl up and die within a month.
I couldn't stand to see that look in her eyes. For all I've done for the last six years, it would mean nothing, she would only know this in her last days, and that look would haunt me.
We just keep going, don't we? We just take it as it comes.
What else is there?

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