My sweet Granddad (89) had a stroke several months ago, and being the only single family member, I became his full-time caretaker in his home. I volunteered with the knowledge that I would have support from other family members (18 in total, 14 in town). "Support" was actually meant mainly in the figurative sense, instead of the literal sense that I took it under, as I was told a few weeks ago after I pleaded for help and suggested starting a rotating schedule of 3-4hrs every other month from each person to give me a break, and them valuable time with him.
My mom and Aunt (his only children) help with most dinners and clean up (thankfully, because I apparently can't cook...), and on occasion, a cousin also brings dinner... as well as their very energetic children.
I'm with my granddad 24/7, helping with anything from transfers, bathing, home therapy, taking him to appointments, outpatient therapy, and putting up with a friend he adores, but annoys me to no end.
My granddad is the sweetest person you could ever hope to meet or take care of, served in WWII and loves to tell about it, and I've never heard him say anything bad about anyone (knowingly, until the stroke).
What I'm having a hard time with is the fact that I (27) put my life on hold thinking I would have breaks given by family, but that didn't happen. We finally started a respite care, but now he wants to get rid of it because it either is too much money to spend, or he doesn't like having a new person each time and thinks it's pointless to have someone "baby sit" him, as he puts it.
I feel like, yes, I'm here for him and his needs are what matter, but what about ME? I feel selfish for even saying it, but I want someone to care about my needs and my sanity! I'm not one to stay grounded in one place for long, and I don't like being around people all the time, even if it's my sweet granddad. I feel stuck. And I want out, but the alternative, a home, is not in our price range.
I have good days where I feel like I can keep going just a little bit longer, and then the really bad days where everything and everyone annoys me and I want to pack up my stuff and leave.
I'm thankful that I have a creative job that I run from home, but I can't get everything done in a timely manner like I need to because I'm constantly answering questions or getting up for something that he "needs" and won't get himself. And I'm quickly getting burnt out on everything, including my art...
I feel like I should just suck it up and take it and appreciate what help I DO get, but if I do just suck it up, I'm going to go insane and I want to do what is best for BOTH of us.
Apologies for the rant. I'm glad I found this site for caregivers to help me realize that I'm not alone. No one can truly understand what we go through, unless they have been through it themselves.