Feeling Alone

by Dejay

I took a leave of absence from my job to be with my elderly parents. My Dad is 93 and Mom is 91. My Dad has been diagnosed with cancer and not expected to live long. My mom has heart disease.

Both should be in a nursing home, but my Dad refuses to go. They still live at home and up until now, my brother and sister-in-law take care of them; preparing meals, Dr. appointments, etc.

They have someone doing the lawn care, and recently had home health, which provided laundry and cleaning services. They also have a Hospice nurse coming out for Dad's care. He can not have surgery or other treatments because of his age and other health issues.

I have been here approximately 2 weeks and already dreading each day when I get up in the morning. They need 24 hour assistance whether they believe it or not. My mother is blind in one eye and my father has hearing loss. It is hard to communicate with my father. My father is very stubborn and set in his ways.

I miss my husband, family, and friends and being here with my parents leaves me little time to socialize with anyone. I feel so isolated. I believe I will be here for about 2 months, unless my Dad passes sooner. The first week, I almost lost it, because my Dad was so cranky and Mom and him were fighting. I feel like I'm in the twilight zone!

My brother and sister-in-law have been very accommodating and offered whatever they can, to make this easier, but it is really hard being away from usual lifestyle!

What can I do?

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I Miss my Mom Every Day
by: Anonymous

It has been 6 months since my mom passed after a year long battle with various health issues and I would give anything to have her back and to take care of here again, to sleep next to her hospital bed in case she wakes up feeling scared or lonely.

I still worked my full time job (with very understanding employers) and did everything within my power to make her comfortable. It was a tough year but I would do it everyday if I had to just to hear voice and laugh, to see her smile, to share fun times with her grandchildren and to just have my Mom.

I have a husband, children, wonderful friends and coworkers but since I lost my mom I feel lonely all the time. They say it gets easier with time but for me it is getting harder and harder to believe that I will never be able to call her on the phone, she had the most awesome sense of humor and made us all laugh all the time.

No one loves you like your mom and after 6 months I can hardly bear the thought that she's gone. Tresaure every minute you get to spend with your mother for too soon she will be gone. I love and miss you mom, my heart breaks a little more every day.

Shut Up!
by: Anonymous

You say that up until now, "the past two WEEKS", your brother and sister in law have been doing everything. You have been there for two flipping weeks and you are already whining! You are going to put in two measly months while they have been doing this for who knows how long!

You are the typical sibling who does absolutely nothing while the other care giving sibling does everything and you go on your merry way living your life and have no regard for all that they are doing for your parents.

You miss your husband and family and friends and your normal social life. Well, imagine how it must be for them to ALWAYS have to accommodate your parents' needs and to adjust their needs and their family's needs to take care of your parents while you live your life. They live in the "twilight zone" while you are just on a two month visit. Don't fret, dearie. Your parents won't be around much longer and you will be able to get back to your normal life. It sure would be better for you if they were in a nursing home so you wouldn't have to be bothered to take care of them at all.

I feel sorry for your brother who has such a self-absorbed sister who can barely stand to do anything for her parents for two weeks, let alone two months.

Twilight Zone
by: Anonymous

Dear Dejay,
You are in the "twilight zone"!and you have lots of company out here.
You have my empathy for feeling lonely and isolated in your most generous caregiving.

Helping to take care of mom has been a roller coaster of emotions for me. I joined a caregivers support group (don't know if you'll be able to do this but you can certainly use this site to keep talking to those of us who understand).

Then, the other day I was wondering if the 'Chicken Soup for the Soul' authors have a soup for the caregiver...and I went on amazon and there was the book. I ordered two....(one for me, one for my brother who does more than me). I put his in a black velvet bag I had and I included Kleenex, a bag of dark chocolate caramels and left it on his porch.

I hope you signed up to receive the replies to your email "Feeling Alone" and that lots of people write back to you so you can feel a little less lonely, perhaps.

Today I was missing things about my sister who passed away and missing things about my mom that are not going to happen again and I had a mini light bulb moment...instead of my brain saying "I miss this about sissy" or "I miss the way my mom used to smell" I started saying, "I remember how yummy my mom smelled" somehow, it made my heart feel glad instead of sad.
I'll be thinking of you today.
Mary in Santa Rosa CA

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