Caregiving: I am taking care of my husband and my Mother.

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My husband has dementia level 5 and he also had a kidney removed because of a cancerous tumor 4 months ago. My husband also has prostate cancer rated a 8 on the Gleason scale. My husband was very forgetful before the kidney removal but never like since the operation his dementia has really advanced since then. I had also been taking care of my 86 yr old mother who had broken some ribs and back 4 yrs ago. she recovered pretty well and was doing good but would not use her walker no matter what I told her. Well a month and a half ago she fell again and broke her hip. I live one block from her. After a month in the hospital I brought her home for she is able to walk slowly with a walker and I got her a medical alert pendant. I had to take care of her full time for the first week she was out along with my husband until my sister arrived to help with Mom. My sister will be here for a month. My husband takes a lot of caring for and must have constant supervision by me or he get's all upset and frightened and disoriented. 2012 has been such a bad year, My close childhood friend died of pancreatic cancer on Jan 3rd I had been visiting her several times a day from November 2011 in the hospital, bathing her bringing her food and just holding her hand and crying and laughing what ever was appropriate. I was also visiting my mother several times a day for she needed attention too. In Jan my husband was diagnose with cancer and with the dementia. I'm 61 yrs old and in pretty good physical health. I need to tell someone, I'm tired, I'm scared, I feel lost, I feel guilty all the time cause I think I'm not making the right decisions for my loved ones. When my children married and left home, both myself and my husband were in good health, so we decided to adopt two children siblings. Amanda 6 and Chuck 13months old. Chuck is now 16 and living at home and I feel so bad for him for it looks like he will have lost two fathers now. Amanda is now married and has a baby. As you can tell by this post I am all scattered and my thoughts are running all over the place. I can not tell those close to me all I am feeling for they are all carrying their own burden and the last thing they need is to be worrying about Mom. Since we moved this this new community 3 yrs ago and brought Mom with us and got her an apt close to me, my childhood friend was the only person I knew here and now she is gone. I need someone to talk to and to tell what is going on in my life but I can not afford a counselor. I love my husband so much we have been married for 36yrs now and I am slowly losing him each day. He is very gentle and each time he remembers to tell me he loves me I cling to this like a life raft because I know that soon I will not hear it no more. The other day, I was lying on my bed crying and my husband came in and layed down beside me and asked, why are you crying? I said, because I'm so sad, he put his arms around me and he started crying too. I asked him, Why are you crying, and he said, because I feel so lost all the time. So we just layed there and cried our-self out. Then when we were finished I said, I'll go make us a cup of tea. He said oh that sounds good, he said to me "You know" we should get married. I laughed all the time I was making the tea. I thought he was joking but that night when we were ready to go to sleep the last thing he mumble to me was, " we really should get married". I don't know what will happen but maybe just being able to write down these things will help me.



HUGS to YOU Emillie. You have a very full load and reading your post made me cry. Your husband's response to your crying brought even more tears. I just want to tell you that you are not alone. I have my 85 year old Mother living with us for 6 years now and although my husband is not as ill as your hubby....he has had 3 heart operations and has serious congestive heart failure. To me every day is a gift with my hubby and yet between his and my mom's needs I also feel overwhelmed . Just writing that I feel overwhelmed makes me feel guilty is all such a vicious cycle and I DO THINK IT HELPS to talk . You can e mail me anytime you feel the need to "talk" and maybe we can help each other. I understand many of the things that others not facing this level of care-giving can possibly even fathom. LIKE not even getting enough time to read a book or have any me time. I wake up around 5 am so I can have a LITTLE ME time. YOU must try to find some or it will overwhelm you and cause you to possibly get ill...and they need us. Good Luck and write me anytime and maybe we can share a few things !
Dear EMilie - please keep writing, if it helps you. We can't be with you in person, but we can be witnesses to what you are going through. There is a supportive and caring community here -- all strangers, but connected in very real ways. And many of us have been through various kinds of hell as we struggle to tend to those we love.
I read your post and cried. Bless your heart, I wish I could hug you in person and help you out some how. We are all here to help and support each other. Please keep writing and know you are not alone. Writing your feelings out, does help...but laughter does also, so try and find something to laugh about daily. It sounds like your husband really loves you. My dad in law had dementis (my mom in law does now)..but he was the sweetest man....he had no clue who I was at the end, but I always got a kiss and hug....and he would tell me he loved me..(I helped with his care a lot). These moments are so special to me now that he is gone......wish my mom in law was this way, but she is just the opposite. Praying for you and please let us know how you are doing ....consider yourself hugged
I too got a laugh and some tears from reading your post..."we really should get married"...that is priceless and worth holding on to. I hope that there is some way to find help for your mom so you can concentrate on your beloved husband. I understand the crushing grief you feel for your seem to be an natural born caregiver and right now, your emotions are spread very thin. I always tell my daughters or friends who are going through difficult times..."you have to go THROUGH it, you cannot go around or over will get through just takes time and decision making. Do come back here for support and seek some counseling if you need guidance. Love and hugs from me.
Bless you for all that you are doing! Please contact one of their doctor's about home health care. You really must have some assistance day to day. There is alot of help out there and most of it is just a phone call away.God bless!
EMillie: I agree with all these lovely people, especially littletonway. You may be healthy and strong now. It doesn't take much of this kind of caregiving to break a person down. I can't tell you how empowering it is to take control of the situation rather than the situation controlling you. You can see that your mom is taken care of by others while you tend to the last days of your wonderful marriage.

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