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My mom was placed in a room yesterday and will be getting a roommate today. She was not happy, in rehab she had a private room. Her health is really failing. The rehab was wonderful to get her somewhat mobile again. The nurse called me yesterday and they are testing my mom today for congestive heart failure which she has been in before. She has anemia that they have yet to be able to explain. Renal failure having chest pains on occasion and I was asked yesterday if she had another breathing chest pain episode did I want her taken to the ER I said no. The ER is a very stressful situation for her and abosolutely nothing can be done for her there that cannot be done at the nursing home. She asked if she could be given morphine to help ease her breathing problems. I could go on on. I have to say my stress level was better when she was first admitted I have been taking care of her for 15 years. Now I am just sad and some days absolutely guilt ridden because now she is in the tiny little part of a room ( I did decorate). I really just wish it would just be over soon for her and I both. Only child, this is hard and exhausting. My mind will not stop thinking of ways to make a situtaion better that just cannot be made better. She did tell me yesterday she was going to come home with me because they nursing home was taking all her money. I in turn had to tell her again that she requires more care than I can give...I do realize this is a rambling letter without a question, just some much needed therapy from the ones that understand. I am tired and my brain is tired..

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I am new to this forum, but glad to have found it. 2tsnana, I cannot imagine caring for my folks for 15 YEARS. So far my sisters and I have been doing it for around two years, though our parents could reasonably live another 5 - 7 years if their parents and sibs are any indication. We are dealing with dementia in both parents, and severe incontinence (combined with severe mobility issues) with our mother. Dad is a fall risk, but otherwise pretty independent. We care for them in their home.

A couple of things that are very challenging for me include seeing my mother, who used to be an intelligent, successful woman, reduced to an old, crotchety, nasty, person who lives largely in the past and cannot control her bowels. I don't mind changing wet diapers, but the other is pretty disgusting, and amazingly frequent. She doesn't even try to get to the toilet. She pretends that there is nothing wrong with her and yells at us if we are not fast enough in responding to her bell that summons us - no matter the hour, day or night. We take turns caring for them so whoever is on duty is there 24/7 without relief.

Another challenge is feeling as though I am watching them die, inch by inch. We used to have great conversations about politics, current events, economics, business, music, you name it. Now my dad can't hear, and even on the rare occasions when he wears his hearing aids, he can't follow a conversation. My mother can start out talking about something current, but very quickly she reverts to talking about events and people from 60 - 70 YEARS ago, most of whom I never knew and do not care about. Or she makes stuff up that she swears happened to me and here is no point arguing with her about it not being true.

Sorry to go on and on, but it is nice to read the comments of people who may understand what we're going through. My husband's parents both died very suddenly of heart attacks when they were relatively young. This was tragic because we loved both of them very much, but he doesn't understand what it's like to watch your parent die slowly.
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2tsnana - I too am an only child caregiver - it's just that much harder. My mom went into nursing a little over a year ago after 2 years in assisted living. Mom has had a very hard time since my father died 7 years ago - can't say it's been a joyride for me either. Countless doctor appts, ER visits, tests, recurring depression, psych ward visits (4 in 6 years), falls - and then - double hip fracture followed by a Parkinson's diagnosis. Yeah, it's been quite the journey.
It's very hard to watch. I do not have children and in some ways I am very thankful that I won't have to worry anyone when I get old and sickly. It's heartbreaking to see the shell of my mother - who can hardly feed herself anymore - sit in her room all day and watch tv - waiting to die. It's unbearable.
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2tsnana...sending tons of hugs. You've done an amazing job taking care of your Mom for 15 years. Your Mother must be so proud of you. Love the idea of putting pictures of your parents when they were younger for the staff to see.

I also feel anxious if I don't visit Mom every day. There is no reason to be there every day and nothing for me to do. My sister is taking very good care of our Mother now and wants no help. While I am still trying to get "me" back again after just 2 years of 24/7 caregiving; part of me still feels I should be doing more. It must just be something that attaches itself to us once we start caregiving.

I send you both peace and comfort.
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I took pictures of family up there and put them on her wall, some gone some still around. I put a pictures of her and my dad when they were young over her bed. I wanted folks to see that the old woman in the bed was once young and very pretty.My husband tells me to stop worrying about things i cannot fix, it sounds so easy to do. My mood affects work, home everywhere....everyday is an adventure ;-) When I was taking care of her most days I didn't like her much, now she is just pitiful..
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2tsnana, probably most of the people on the group know how you feel. There is always one more thing to do. And we are always looking to fix something that can't be. It does sound you are doing the best you can do for your mother. My heart is always sad when I read of someone on the final journey, because I think of the vibrant person they once were.

There is a picture I see sometimes of an old, bent woman walking on a road with her shadow cast on the wall. The shadow is a graceful ballerina. And I think, yes, that is the way it is. On the inside we stay the same unless there is serious dementia. But the body just doesn't see it that way.

I hope that you will feel more comfortable soon. We don't know when the future will arrive, but until then, we just do what we feel right at the moment. After 15 years, I know this is very hard on you.
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I also go see my mom everyday except Sundays..this weekend I am taking Saturday and Sunday off..When I don't go I feel anxious. Am I just crazy ?
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