Caring for my mother-in-law with Alzheimer’s has made my husband realize how much I actually do.
I have been married to her son for almost 15 years. Yet somehow I decided that because her son owed it to her to care for her, I to owed it to him to do what ever I was needed to do. She came after me physically, verbally, she said very nasty things about me to my children and Husband, I was in tears everyday. I didn't think my family was going to survive this. The people we hired for physical therapy and bathing quit over and over. No one wanted to work with her. As I started researching the disease and taking control of everything things started to change. I found that structure even tho she couldn't remember it, calmed her. I also had everyone in the house walk off when she became aggressive, telling her they would talk about it later, my stress level dropped because I didn't have to listen to her badmouth me, when I was the only one doing anything for her. We have tried hiring people to help since and she is too aggressive for them. Which I do not understand because she follows instructions, she just talks about me which I am sure makes them uncomfortable, but they were warned that she would and to ignore it. My family has given up everything to care for her. We lost our home and two cars because she was so aggressive my husband could not work and I am disabled and cannot lift or catch her if she falls. the worst part of losing everything is that because of the disease she will never know how much I have given up to be here with her. I was sitting watching tv with my son in March and we saw an add for Hawaii, my son said I would so love to be there right now, I decided he was right, we were sitting on the beach the next afternoon, even tho I will be paying for that trip for the next 10 years I have never felt so good, and when it gets stressful, my sons and I close our eyes and let the waves wash the stress away. It was a long over due vacation, the first one I had taken since my honeymoon 15 years before. It also made my husband realize how much I do, and how grateful he is that I have given up so much on his behalf. It was not her I really needed to hear a thank you from, it was my Husband all along.