Fiancee's mother diagnosed with Alzheimer's....Stressing Out!
I am not even sure what I am writing about, I just feel the need to get some stuff off my chest that has been weighing on me. My fiancee's mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease last year--she is only 64. Right now, she is in the mild stages. Often times, she seems completely normal and she does not require any sort of extensive care. My fiancee and I work online and our lifestyle involves living our dreams of living abroad--we jokingly call ourselves ''citizens of the world'', because we love to hop from one country to the other. His mother was first diagnosed when we were living in Asia. At the time, we did not think to come home as it was not like she was in a serious accident or diagnosed with advanced cancer and expected to die within a month--in those cases, we of course would have been on the next plane. Also, our financial situation was a bit tight at that time, and we could not afford to live in New Jersey.Things are better now but if we had to settle there permanently, it would put a bit of a strain on us,which would just make everything worse.
We came home about a year after the diagnosis and his one sister totally went postal on him (naturally since she held these feelings in for over a year), saying he was this horrible, selfish person for not coming home. We were in the States for about two months, and recently left to take a short 2-month trip out of the country. Again, his sister is going nuts on him, thinking he is abandoning his dying mother. I understand she has a serious condition, but she may be afflicted with this disease for another 5, 10 or even 20 years. The thought of settling back in NJ for an indefinite amount of time to participate in her care is not something I think I could handle; it would require us to totally give up our lives, lives we worked so hard to create; if we were settled there with jobs and a house, that would be totally different, but that is not our home anymore. I know there are lots of people who live a distance from their sick parents ,and many of them simply cannot just leave and move back home, and with good reason. I think I am reasonable in my apprehension about creating total upheaval in my life.
If she had something like cancer, where she was only expected to live another six months or something like that, I would totally be okay with staying there awhile and doing anything I could to help her. I do care about her, and I have compassion, but the idea of totally giving up my life possibly a decade or more because certain members of his family feel like he should be home during this whole time is just too much, and I fear it would put a horrible strain on our relationship. He loves his mother dearly, but totally abandoning his current life for god knows how many years is not something he thinks he could handle either--we are only in our 30s and never anticipated having to deal with something like this at this point in our lives. . His father is alive and in good health and he has a sister that has lives right around the corner so it is not like we are the only people who are available to care for her. I do try to help in other ways, such as doing extensive research on the internet about supplements and other complementary treatments that may help but so far, I do not think they have tried to experiment with any of it--which frustrates me because I think they should at least give something a shot to see if it makes any difference, but that is really not relevant nor is it my place to say anything.. Giving up the life we have now would no doubt make both of us miserable and I know my mental health would take a huge hit.
On one hand, I understand the point of view that people think we are obligated to care for our parents when they age and get sick; but, when that care requires us to totally give up our own lives and tend to them every second, that is a different story. Yes, our parents took care of us and made sacrifices, but raising a child , which is hard, but comes with many joys, is not the same as being a caregiver to seriously ill adults. i have chosen not to have children because my life goals and ,more importantly, my temperament and personality, really do not gel well with parenthood; I think it would put a serious strain on my mental health and I think it would compromise my ability to be a good parent. Everything that I fear, and know is not good for me would come to pass with this situation in one form or another, and I just know it would be a disaster.
I know to a lot of people I sound selfish and evil, but from reading this forum the last couple of days, I also know there are a lot of people on here who can understand how I feel and I guess I am just looking for other people's thoughts on the situation. We cannot control feelings and these are mine and I am just being honest about them.