We talk a good bit about the emotional things in caregiving. I wanted to say a little about the physical things. I'm 60 years old and strong enough for my age, but my physique is often pushed to the limit. In the good ole days, grocery shopping was a family affair, with everyone helping to bring things in. Now there is just me. Carrying all those heavy things up the steps is hard! I try to make several trips during the week, so it's not so much at one time. But still it's heavy.
And then there's the wheelchair. That thing is heavy. And we have a mountain of garbage and recycling each week. I swear I must live with pigs or something. Sometimes I feel like stopping and braying, because I feel like a mule. My hands always look awful, with broken fingernails, scuffs, and cuts. I have bruises here and there. And forget about polishing my nails! That would only last a few hours.
Since I've moved here, I have become everything. Cook, maid, shopper, chauffeur, handywoman, and clutter organizer. I drew a line when my mother mentioned mowing the grass. I don't do that. I just do all the other yard work.
I often wonder wouldn't it have been easier on everyone if they had moved into a senior apartment. This is lighthearted, so doesn't need support. I get physically tired doing all the lifting and pulling around here. And I am tired of seeing my hands looking like I just plowed the lower forty.