It's been two and a half months since my husband had a stroke after heart valve repair surgery. I'm just now beginning to focus on the fact that husband is disabled. He might get close of normal eventually. But that's a long way off. I feel a little strange. I'm not exactly missing some of our life. The B26 bomber reunion in Ohio( husband is 66 we just got involved with WW two stuff), Halloween party we have every year. Worrying about husband leaving car lights on when far from home. Having a less busy life. But I feel something and I'm not sure what it is. Just unsettled feeling.

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I also mourn the loss of our normal life since bringing my mother to live with us. And to add to that, my husband lays a guilt trip on me about what I have done to our family - especially seeing as how unappreciative my mother is about the fact that we have given up so much.

We used to have so much freedom and now, we are nearly housebound. And even when there is possibility of escape, there is no spontaneity to it. We went from flying off to somewhere for the day or weekend twice a month - with no pre-planning, to "well, we would have to find/pay someone to stay home with Mom." Even attending my son's football games become a logistical event.

Dinners out? Well, let's see...Mom stinks so would need a shower, will probably take an hour to get out of the house even if she doesn't stink. She isn't going to thank us for the night out anyway. Do we make someone stay behind? Not fair to them.

Everything has to be planned around her and she just sits there, like royalty, waiting for food to appear before her and for everyone to be at her beck and call.

I miss normal.

Hadnuff, lost of normal life is very common no matter what the illness or who has it. I had to find a new normal life after I had cancer, and it wasn't easy. And all during that dealing with parents in their 90's who refused caregivers or moving to a safer home [something without stairs].

I've been reading your journey with hubby and I know it is a challenge, but honestly you need to see your family doctor to give you something to take the edge off.... it really can help... really. I was in denial for 7 years that I needed something, I thought I could deal with it on my own until I crashed and burned. Now I can kick myself for not listening to my primary doctor. If only I could turn back time !!

I am not in your position but my inlaws are. Specifically, my FIL is. My MIL has a progressive neurodegenerative illness. Years ago when her symptoms first started, my MIL tried to keep up with her husband, which caused her to fall. As more and more symptoms started, my FIL became more anxious and depressed.

My inlaws were losing their normal life. FIL's expectations about what his golden years were going to look like - exotic cruises with friends, visiting far flung family - were shattered. And he did not know what to do with himself. As he fixated on his wife's illness, his anxiety and depression went into overdrive. He was driving himself and those around him crazy.

Since my inlaws moved to independent living, MIL has the help she needs and FIL participates in a few activities that get him out of the house for an hour or two on most days. And he is a much more pleasant person to be around.

All that to say that your husband has deficits that you do not. Please do not lose yourself like my FIL did. As your husband focuses on his recovery, I hope you will find something new for yourself. It is okay to make time for yourself.

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