Life interrupted. How did we get here?

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Just did your role as a day to day caregiver start? Were you able to see it coming and plan ahead, or was it a sudden thing? Did you choose to do it, or was the responsibility more or less forced upon you? Was it a career choice, or a personal one?

For me, the every-day stuff started very suddenly - one day my MIL could walk, the next day she couldn't. In that single moment EVERYTHING changed. She needed help and hubs and I were the only ones living close enough to provide it. In the beginning it felt like the proverbial rug had been yanked out from under us and we'd fallen down some crazy, dismal, bewildering rabbit hole. (I still keep looking for that dam caterpillar with the hookah...been thinking lately that I could really use a hit off that thing...;))))) We pressed on though. Days passed. We coped, and learned, and now here we are, nearly six years later.....wiser for sure. Better? Maybe, Idk. Definitely a lot more confident in what we're doing, but a lot more tired too. A LOT more tired....

What's your story?


Wow, your story caught my eye. That is exactly how I feel, exactly! Just did not see it coming. I truly can say this strongly because I am 64 and my husband is 89. What was I thinking. But here I am, dutifully daily 24/7 caring, providing and accepting all that is to be done pertaining to his care. It is quite tiring to stay on top of doctor appointments, medications, meals, shopping, social life for him and myself which is always together. Not like that years ago. I miss my space and time to myself. I truly do. I know this is why I have the anxiety and the pressure build up in the back of my head on some days, it is the stress of it all. I am in it for the long haul, but I continue to question can I keep up?
I should be hangin with grandkids right now but my oldest had to move off to gary IN with them. since the day he was born you could tell he'd wear a badge or something pertaining to a car with sirens. hes a paramedic on the streets of a dying city. way to go cubehead . he don't care if grandpa has no grandkids. his wife divorced him and moved to st pete with the kids. wonder if he understands loss and heartache by now? yes im bitter. the plick don't comprehend empathy .
hanging with my elders is the closest I can come to nurturing someone for now..
kept getting calls at the office in NYC back in the 80s and 90s, 'drop everything, fly to Pittsburgh, Grandma's dying, Grandpa's dying'...whatever. mom and dad were down in florida, too busy getting drunk every afternoon and sobering up every morning at the Burger King all you can drink coffee pot. i was young and stupid, what can i say. eventually that cost me a job, almost cost me my apartment and career. fast forward to 2003, i got a call at my office in Fort Lauderdale, new job, new career, new apartment, new life. darned if they didn't blow it up again. like an idiot i dropped everything, babysat my brother's two kids, while the ex-wife ran off with an ex-con she met in rehab detox. that was the end of that job, needless to say. and that was my last paycheck. i'm basically in jail here, waiting for mom to get sprung from the mental hospital. believe me i'm not complaining. when she gets out it'll be back to living hell on earth. i'd much rather be in jail, the past few days have been the first chance i've had to take care of myself in years.
Kaycee - I know what you mean about staying on top of dr. appts., etc! Just yesterday we brought MIL to her PCP for her annual check-up only to find out we were two hours early because I'd written the wrong time down on my calendar. Nnnggrrrr! Poor MIL had gotten carsick on the way there too :(( Fortunately she has an awesome doctor who took pity and offered to do a home visit in a couple of weeks instead.
Shaking - (((hugs)))! Do take care of yourself while you can. If nothing else, try to bask in whatever peace you can find.
Cap'n - all I can say is I feel sorry for those grandkids; they're missing out on a whole wealth of grandpa wisdom and rich, memorable life experiences without you. I drove thru Gary once many years ago on my way to Phoenix to visit my mom. It looked like a dismal place then...I gather it hasn't improved much. Paramedic is a tough and honorable profession though....I understand the bitterness, but you must be proud of him too...?
Completely accidental. Hey, brings to mind a book I read once. Accidental Caregiver could be a title too.

Mom's hubby had to go in for a hip revision, first time was 17 years ago. He was going to need rehab following the hip of an undetermined period of time. Sis called, said we need to find a place to "put" mom as well. You see, her hubby had been her sole caregiver for five years previous. The family knew mom had become more and more forgetful, but until I was here none of us had any idea. Her hubby, was in complete denial, and thought she was trying to be funny with her repetitive questions. I had been laid off from my job three weeks before the hip and the call. That was almost three years ago now. And talk about family dysfunction coming out throughout all of this!
Wham, it caught me totally by surprise. I never even heard the word *caregiver* until a couple of years ago. I never even knew anyone who cared for their parents. I had no reference. My parents never took care of their parents. So I was thrown into this unknown foreign world.

If *caregiving* was like a job interview, I would have failed the test. I am not caregiver material. I never had siblings to practice on, nor was I blessed with any children. I was totally clueless. Thinking of future and how my parents will be scares me to death. I am such a bundle of nerves, I really believe my parents will out live me..... [sigh]

My Mom took care of my father, didn;t let us know how bad he was, and he hid it pretty well when we visited. Then last summer I went for a visit, noticed things not done, property looked awful, dad not doing well memory wise, mon getting frailer. Hired some help with the property... then mom ended up in hospital with pneumonia.. dad didn;t know she had not gotten out of bed for a day. long/short.. moved her to rehab here in MD, moved dad in Hired him a companion so I could get back to my job. They have been here ever since. Luckily when we bought this house we planned on some set of parents moving in someday... Really I'm just glad it's mine!! Sold their house, and after 8 months it's almost all done!! Mom helps with Dad with the part time CG, and they are pretty easy to get along with. She gets a bug up her butt sometimes, and dad has some episodes... but that's life! It was NOT easy, I don;t mean to make it sound like it was, but after all my reading here and another site I seem to have it better than some. Mom is still pretty active and she and the CG do most of the house keeping. And they help with bills. I guess I am pretty lucky.. But I do miss the privacy sometimes

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