Giving it All
(Rochester NY USA)
I'm an only child caring for a sweet father in his 90s. He has dementia and a host of other difficulties that make it impossible for him to make decisions for himself, to drive, cook, clean, or pay bills. He can watch t.v., and hold a good conversation, but, a few minutes later he may not remember anything about it.
I have an in-home business, but have had to give up most of it because keeping my dad on schedule, taking care of all the housework, bills, doctor appointments, and his medications keeps me too busy to focus on my own career. I get upset over this, because I'm not paying into Social Security what I should be, and I'm approaching retirement age myself.
There are no siblings, family members to help, and I am not married, and have no children myself. Most of my close friends are in another state. We have a woman who comes in 3 hours a week so I can run errands, but, that's usually all the help I get.
For me, my stress is that I'm alone with all this. I see the deterioration and have no one except the doctors to talk to. When I do get a few hours to myself, I have no one to spend it with.
I miss working. I miss my life. My dad, however, is a stellar individual, and we have a great relationship. But, I feel guilty missing my life. He has given so much to me over the years, I'm happy to give to him, but, it is so hard to do it alone.
I do try to walk regularly, and I meditate every day. I try to talk to friends on the phone and Facebook is a Godsend. I read and try to do things for myself, but, I'm usually interrupted.
Things that would take just an hour or 2 before now can take a few days - since everything I do is interrupted and I have to wait. Waiting takes up most of my day it seems.
Thanks for listening. I sure needed to talk!
All the best to everyone out there --