I would welcome hearing your stories of how you find your courage to be the best caregiver for your loved one. I feel challenged to find my courage sometimes. Hoping I am not alone. Yesterday was tough. Mom's pain management doctor clinic closed, and so we are waiting for her appointment to establish her with a new pain doctor. Her pain patches ran out in the meantime. Old doctor wont write prescription. New doctor wont write prescription. So, I went to her general doctor for help before she starts going into withdraw. I was told to take her to the ER when the pain gets too bad! oh my what has pain management come to that we have to have a patient in dire situation before a solution can be found. I started to leave, but then the thought of mom suffering was just unacceptable. I argued with the staff and insisted that one of the doctors in this very large doctor group could write a pain prescription and I would not leave till that was done. A couple of hours later, I left with a prescription for 30 days, enough to get us to the first appointment with the new pain management doctor. I kept thinking of my dad, who was my mother's caregiver before passing away, and how he would never give up till he had the best for mom. I love you and miss you Dad! I found my courage... at least for today.

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Oh findthehumor, I so feel for you. What a distressing situation. Don't know what your Mom was taking, but there is a real problem today getting help for pain for those really need it. Pain clinics here are closing too and I know someone who is in dire straits over it. Drs are afraid to prescribe, terrified that their license will be pulled. I question what is really going on.
I know there is supposed to be an epidemic of opioid abuse but there seems to be a lot of hysteria too. IMO a lot of the abuse is more meth, herion, Fentanyl... The poor individuals who really do need medicines such as Vicodin, Oxycontin, Percocet... are suffering.
I know somebody who is trying to switch to Tramadol, a less powerful opioid. Might be something to ask about. So sorry for you and your Mom. Thinking of you and hoping you can get the help you need. Hugs.

Life with Dad these days is not easy. We brought him to live with us ten months ago after knocking on death's door countless times in 3 hospitals and 2 rehabs over a four month period. Since he has come to live with us, he's been hospitalized five times and I never know when the next "emergency" will occur as his health is steadily declining. He has epilepsy, congestive heart failure and a myriad of other annoying problems. His memory fails him at times, although sometimes he is very sharp. He leans heavily on me for just about everything. He is mobile, although somewhat limited; and he can dress and toilet himself. We prepare all of his meals and I set out his meds. Our two children (18 & 19) help out a great deal as needed. It is a 24/7 job that we have taken on. One never knows what kind of mood he will be in.

All of that said... I find my courage in knowing that I am honoring my father in taking care of him, no matter how difficult - emotionally, physically, mentally, financially, etc. I will fight for him until the day I die because I love him and because he can no longer fight for himself. When he has been in the hospital or at various doctor appointments, I have fought for him innumerable times. There have been times when he has been overwhelmed or confused and I know it has meant the world to him that I am his advocate. He was not a good father and he cannot make up for those years. He has, however, apologized for not being all that he should have, in recent years. That is huge for this 6'1" big guy. I have forgiven long ago.

Life is not fair. It's not always fun and it's usually not easy, but in the end, somehow God gives grace and strength. I am recovering from 3 major surgeries and cancer. Every day is filled with physical pain and I go to physical therapy twice a week (now going on 5 months). But, I rest in knowing that God's grace is sufficient for me and in my weakness, He is strong.

Blessings to you all as you provide care to those you love!

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE." ~ I Corinthians 13:13

Freqflyer and Grammyteacher: thank you for sharing. Pats on the back to you both. Not because you are looking for praise, but because you give and do your best for your loved one. Wishing you well!

My story of courage was when my mom, who has stage 7 Alzheimer's, had a seizure. I thought I had read everything about Alzheimer's ever written but never heard about seizures. I also am a teacher and have had students with seizure disorders and dealt with them fine. But when my mom went into a full body seizure, I panicked and called 911. I had to argue with the paramedics, they did listen a little. I have POA with her explicit instruction of DNR at this point in the disease...but I didn't know there was a separate form that had to be completed for DNR so they transported her to the ER. Then I had to argue with the ER doctor...he pumped her full of meds trying to calm her agitation so he could do a cat scan. He wanted to pump more meds...I told him wants to be at home and wants to die there. It was a 6 hour fight before I finally got them to release her...IF I put her on problem. The minute we got her in my car, which was an ordeal since she was so medicated, she calmed right down. That was 6 months ago. I now know how to handle the seizures, she has had one more about a month ago. And she has the DNR paper taped on her bedroom door. I will never call 911 for mom again. I do know the paramedics are amazing and I so appreciated all they do for us, citizens, but in this case, I will not call them. She wants to pass in peace at home with us.

You are so right, caregiving is not for the weak. But I also found out that not everyone is built for caregiving. I use to pride myself on finding solutions to any problem until it came time to help my parents.

Courage works if one has a cooperative elder. My Mom was like hitting a brick wall with my recommendations. It was like I was just a "kid" [in my 60's] and what did I know. Plus I am not one to challenge doctors. Bravo you had the courage to do so :)

With my Dad it was another story, I had inherited from him the curiosity to find a solution, and together we were able to work through it.

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