The worst part is that it never ends.
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Often times I feel like a hamster on a treadmill, going at full speed but never getting anywhere. I think for most of us it's the fact that there is no 'light at the end of the tunnel.' Others go through a hard or challenging time, but know that eventually, the situation will change. We don't know when it will until death (our parents or ourselves) finally steps in. It's the never ending routine and being so tired all the time from care giving, but feeling no progress despite all our efforts. Each day is a reset. Starting over from Square One. BUT I have joined several special interest groups and I am determined to put emotional distance between myself and my situation with my mother. I've also started listening to classic rock stations in the house, music that blasts the blues out of me with its hard driving sounds. And the good part is my mother is also hard of hearing, so no complaints from her. Hang in there, everyone.
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Mar 4, 2013
Each day is a reset and I really would like to know how this story ends. Today was not a good day...I am tired, cranky and worried. My mom's breathing was horrible today Congestive Heart Failure/COPD just sucks !! This whole thing just sucks ;-( I am 57 my kids are grown and you think life would slow down but it doesn't and I am a fixer and I can't fix any of this. It is like watching a bad movie that you can't leave.
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And this is how it is so very, very different from raising a child. Children progress. They get more mature. More capable. Yes, there may be some rough spots ahead, but we can look forward to a rewarding adult relationship with them.
With a chronic condition that is only going to get worse until death, the rewards are very different, and harder to come by.
This whole thing just sucks.
I compare it to be what it might be like to be stuck in quicksand. The more you struggle, the more you sink. Friends can not pull you out. You have to work at it slowly and progressively and figure a solution or you might drown when the tide comes in.
If Satan were to create the perfect disease to torture mankind, it would be Alzheimer's, or any form of dementia, for that matter. This stuff doesn't just kill, it first tortures, and not just the victim, but the victim's family, It's the Saddam Hussein of pathology. Terrific, through advances in medicine, smarter lifestyle choices and better nutrition, folks are living longer than ever. Well, actually, their bodies are. Unfortunately, the minds are not. So what's the point of a long life if your mind is gone and the only purpose it serves is to torture your family? God, I need a drink!
Boy oh boy! Do I ever agree after 5 years of this with Mom and she is still in excellent health considering PD and late stage dementia! I got the "Now it's your turn to take care of her like she did you when you were a child" from an acquaintance, while shopping in Walmart one day. I wanted to scream at her that it's not the same at all, but made some inane remark and moved on before I exploded! I had a nurse say that to me in the ER just before X-mas when Mom had a raging UTI and was a complete mess! I did give her a what for, because she should have known better! That was after she left me to undress Mom and get her onto the gurney by myself. It was not a very pleasant 5 hours in the ER that day!You are so right Leanne and Dunwoody, reset is a good description. Same routine over and over every day for who knows how long! I'll be 62 in August and am definitely going to start collecting Social Security! Mom is 85 and both her parents lived to 92! So I could be in it for another 6-7 years! Yikes!!!!
I'm sorry, and I'm usually a pretty compassionate person, but people who compare taking care of someone with dementia to taking care of a child should be whomped upside the head. Or better yet, take on the 24/7/365 care of such a person for a month.
Or a week, Jeanne.
Don't worry, Jeanne, I hear that all the time. Then one day, an important client said it to me across my desk, and I straight out told him - NOT SO! Then I compared the 2 and he sheepishly acknowledged that I was right. I'm very shy but this time I spoke up. He had real admiration (and sympathy) in his eyes after that. Sigh...Definitely NOT the same (raising children and caring for elderly)...
Dunwoody101 I am going to say "Thank You!" to you!!!! You defiantly deserve a Gold star. Sharing your input and not being afraid to express your negative emotions here is good for us all. You don't seem to feel guilt, you seem to feel anger, that's what it seems to me, from this post. This is because you are facing it full force, not running. Your reward will someday come to you when are comforted by the feeling of knowing you did everything you could, and that is all any of us can do!!! You are using your experience to help others so they can learn how to cope, you should be proud of yourself. I have witnessed family throwing their own relatives under the bus for doing what is right. Just a tidbit of something you might find amusing...My Mom used to yell when I was a teen for blasting Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Bad Co. Ozzy Etc. "Shut that crap off your going to drive me crazy!!!" She can still hear a pin drop now. When she was living with me (dementia) I would play the same type of classic rock music "I'd say is it too loud, Mom, I'll turn it down or change the music?" She'd say "Oh no I like that music turn it up!!!" I'd say "OK COOL" she's ask "who is this?" I'd tell her "the same band you used to hate and you'd say it gave you a head ache!" ....Mom said "I don't have a head ache now." I'd laugh inside, and say to myself... maybe not you.... but I felt like I am going crazy, and I have a head ache every day.
My mom did not take good care of me she was an absent mom...so when people tell me that I am giving back what I got as a child it makes me furious....I was in therapy to get through this. I have done a much better job of taking care of her..why ? Because I am all she has and no matter what she did or didn't do I could not abandon her and believe me in the past 15 years I have wanted to many times, but I knew it was not right..the therapy was to help me get over being angry so she would not die and me still be mad. I am not mad, but I am tired...
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What is your relationship to your loved one with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia?
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