The Treadmill: From work to caregiving and back to work.
My mother is 102, and I made a committment 9 years ago when I moved back home to keep her out of the nursing home. It's never been easy, but I did OK until a caregiver came between my family and me. I won't go into all that-it was just too bizarre that an outsider could turn one's family against them. Now, I am consumed with resentment because I communte to a stressful full time job, commute home, and care for Mom. I get a weekend off about every 4 or 5 months, and a few hours now and then. Most of the time, I am so completely depleted that I have to use the few hours to catch up on must do house work. Mom is falling a lot now, and having what her doctor refers to as delerium; she will sometimes stay awake as 48 hours or more , talking non stop. She can not be left alone; I can't even shampoo my hair until given one of these little mini breaks . You would think I am the only child- but I'm not. I used to garden and take long walks, but these things are no longer an option. Mom whines endlessly, she is legally blind, and deaf as a post. Of course, when my sister in law or nieces visit, whom I used to love without end, they know so much better than me what I should be doing and Mom is suddenly doing very well, too. She can pull this off for a while, often making me look like the whiner. I am so tired, and so sad, and worst of all, I say unkind things more and more often. It's true that Mom pushes my buttons, but I should be able to be kind. I am trying meditation, but it is not helping much. I am extremely blessed to have several friends, cousins and nieces who have been in my position, or who know me so well that they can see the situation with more clarity than the family who lives right in the backdoor , practically. They can't do a lot, but they let me vent and do what they can. I have to say my brother does everything he can, and would do a lot more-but he has to keep peace with his family who are more selfish than I ever dreamed. I need a break so desperately, and don't think you can get it in VA . You get a set amount of hours, and a little respite. I am steadily using my respite hours to cover the time it takes to get to and from work plus cover a few nights so that I won't fall asleep at the wheel from being awakened throughout the night. All these agencies advertise keeping your loved ones at home; they mean loved ones who sleep through the night and don't fall down!!!! Just wondering if anyone out there is working and doing the lions' share of caregiving.