Caregiving from a distance.
My parents and I are separated by 150 miles. When the time came for them to downsize 12 years ago, they moved further away from all of us. Their little community is a great one. Dad is now in a care home and Mom in an independent living apartment. So far in the past two months, I have missed two weeks of work to be with my mom. She had a complete hysterectomy the first time. And the second week was because fluid accumulated (a seroma) in close proximity to the surgical incision. I struggle with trying to understand exactly how Mom is doing to help her know which way to turn and who to call - her doctor, the tax man, a friend, her pastor, or me. We talk often. If we go more than two days without talking, I get nervous. Until she moved into her independent living apartment, I was a wreck. I think she was, too. She is 80 and in good condition mentally. I can't get an accurate read on her physical condition. We seem to go from one crisis to the next. Believe me, the friends in her community are as helpful as they can be. Sometimes I wonder what I would do if Mom wasn't surrounded by such caring people.
My one remaining brother (there used to be five of us & now there are two) lives nine hours from our parents, so I'm working to accept that I am there "go to" person. I work part-time, am married to a very understanding husband, have a 19 year old daughter who is a junior in college, and find myself wishing I could have my life back.
I went from helping my oldest sister through her battle with cancer to helping the folks. Things are mostly stable right now. Knowing that another crisis will come is creating some excess anxiety. I feel ashamed for complaining. I try so hard to be patient and kind because, having lost two sisters and one brother, I know that when my parents pass away I will miss them horribly.
Tonight I'm just tired...