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Yesterday was a particularly crazy day! I was trying to cook, make a snack for my father, take care of my sick dog, doing laundry etc and all of a sudden, I felt light headed, the Ketchup bottle falls from my hand. Than I try to fix a light bulb, that falls out of my hand. I started to have some sort of a panic attack...I started to feel guilty that I was not strong enough...I felt like this is it, I do not deserve anything else. O, I have to mention that I have been looking for work since 2010. I sleep less and less, and am unable to 'enjoy' myself when I meet up with my new girlfriend.... :(

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Yes, I know what you mean about feeling guilty for not being strong enough. Very well put! I have also had that light-headed feeling you talked about....I call it "weightless".....I think it has to do with anxiety. We need to find ways to nurture ourselves....that is what my counselor told me. Make a list of all the things that nurture you and then do what you can to make a couple of them happen. You painted a great image there.....laundry, ketchup bottle, lightbulb! (-: Hang in there!
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Quakerite, you are spot on. Things don't have to be perfect, just manageable. I care for my 86-year-old father-in-law alone (my husband doesn't participate I think because it is too emotional). The one thing that I am thankful for each and every day is that my F-I-L may have dementia, but he is kind and loving and responds well to a hug and my telling him that I love him. Knowing that he is with family instead of strangers is all the reward.
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Somedays I think I am going to go crazy I am so stressed with this 24/7 job of my parents. my dad has been selfcentered and very demanding. My mother hounds me to do every little thing he wants. He broke his hip almost 4 years ago and I am totally a servent to him.I guess I just need to vent.I try looking at the clouds and raising a garden and everything else but this is getting to me to have the whole load on my shoulders. ask me what I want for Christmas I want nothing. I want and need help but no one is going to do that. I would be OK just going home for a few hours and sitting by myself. I loss my patience this is the part I hate the most but I can't even leave town because of my dad's needs this is someone who would not do it for anyone else.
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I pray more for strengh and patience morethan anything. I am a full time caregiver to my parents mostly my dad who broke his hip almost 4 years ago. 24/7 I am totaly burn out because my dad will not excerise to get stronger on his own I have to make him kick his legs before he gets up to really be able to stand and walk and sometimes that starts a fight. He is getting weaker and that is stressful. My mom is doing pretty good but also is getting weaker and a little more forgetful and the stress I live close and spend all my time just going back and forth. I spend the nights with them matter of fact I only get to go home a few hours a day off and on and I take a nap in the chair. My husband is being as supportive as he can be really more than usual as he has never been real supportive of me. I have one daughter who now has 3 kids but she is really no help my brother lives a few states away and comes in to give me a break every 6 months or so but he can't stand to do this 2 weeks. I have to be his backup. I have resendment but also at the same time I am glad I could do it. My parents would not make it in a nurseing home they would not last.Just seems like I am the servent to so many. I know we allow this to happen to ourselves but I really don't know when it is over if I will ever connect people again. I try to eat right and take care of myself as much as I can but I miss cleaning up most of all. this has been a strain on my mind body money and self . Even I am serving so many I still don't fell bad about myself I just feel that somewhere I made a wrong turn. I really don't know if I will ever smile again. When I look at the big picture the only way this will end is either my parents die or I put them both in the nurseing home. I am sort of jelious of people who have a supportive family. My cousins and I aren't close, I have thought that maybe it is me but I am a good person who many just decied to not seem to want. I don't have pity parties I am just writing what I see. I do have a garden in the summer and a few chickens at my house as I am trying to get more back to the earth. I live in the woods and watch the sky and the animals every day. I always did this but now I am really getting in tune with it as I can't go anywhere. I enjoy the internet and meeting many different so I know this chaper in my life is a very hard one I am learning everyday and if I make it out alive I will be a totally different person weither it be for better or worse. I will be lost after this is over for I do love my parents very much but they really don't relize what I am giving up to do this. Wishing everyone a very Good day and a Blessed Merry Christmas Season
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I am 58. My mom is 87. I have learned many things about nursing since July of 1991 when mom was in a coma from heatstroke & on a feeding tube, etc. After that recovery, I noticed her wearing sunglasses all day & in the evenings. Later was surprised to find out that her glaucoma was so severe that surgeries would not help much. And that was after several falls, a heart bypass & emergency hip replacement. I am an only child of a European immigrant. The father figure disappeared early in life. So, I risk everything to make sure the mom is cared for. There are many things I have never done & never had. But I realize that it gets real rough before things can get better. Medicare advantage 2012 is a big mountain that might collapse into Medicaid for us. I am glad for this website!
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It always seems one child becomes the main care taker. I am the middle child of 5 children. I work part time, so they all thought I was the one who should take the brunt of taking care of my dying father a couple of years ago. He had bone cancer and wanted to die at home. I along with my mom went through a lot emotionally and physically before he died. After he passed I was once again left with the brunt of helping my mom who doesn't drive and never had any friends. She has emphysema, is on oxygen 24/7 and gets worn out quickly. For two years I was driving 50 minutes twice a week to take mom shopping, doctor appts, banking and the pharmacy. The house next door to me went up for sale and my mom bought it. My older sister had been P.O.A. because she had lived the closest to mom. She was not happy with my mom moving here because it would be a 45 minute drive for her. She suggested my mom make me P.O.A. My mom did this and my sister got mad and hasn't talked to me or my mom since then. That was a month ago. My one sister is out of the picture all together, my brother lives 70 miles away and has his own issues and the last sister visits mom when she can, which is about once a month and all she does is take her out to dinner. She feels she has done her part doing that. These siblings don't realize how stressful things can be because they see the parent seldom and on their best behavior because they are happy to see them because they don't see them much. I see things getting worse with my mom's health in the near future and expect no help from the siblings. I have come to terms with this.
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Whoa, endofyourrope, you weren't kidding - your situation is complicated. But in another sense, it isn't. Trust me, I totally get the stuff with your sisters - even though I don't know what motivates them, I got exactly the same treatment from my 2 younger sisters. And I don't know what motivates them, either - but it sure is painful, isn't it? Just an observation: you seem very sensitive to everyone around you and adept at figuring out what they're feeling. Not that it's any of my business, but my suggestion to you is that you use some of that sensitivity on yourself. What do you need? What are you willing to do to get what you need? You may have to do it without your sisters' or dad's approval (which you don't seem to have anyway). Life is too short, girl. Get some support to make the changes you want -- if that's what you want. ok, end of sermon. Thanks for the hug! I'll use part of it and send the rest of it back to you!
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Hi Quakerite,
My situation is complicated. My dad was a wonderful father. My mother died at rhe age of 46, and she died on my 26th birthday. She was our family glue, and kept things with we three sisters my dad at "peace". My father lost the use of one of his legs when he was in his early 40's, and became very mean , taking out his loss on all of us especially my mother. He turned from being the sweetest most gentle man in the world to a miserable angry man we didn't recognize. He was angry because his loss of control due to his physical loss. My mother understood it, and always backed him when he'd go off on us (not physically) with his meaness explaining how hurt he was inside. However, my mother got the worst of his rage, and after years of it she just couldn't take it anymore. She was toying with the thought of leaving him. Then she got breast cancer at the age of 43. She needed him, and reconnected with him clinging to him out of fear and the need of emotional protection. He became much less angry feeling that he was serving a big purpose again, and was much kinder to all of us. After she passed a huge fift developed with my sisters and I. My youngest sister (10 yrs younger than me) instantly became a very very angry girl. My father was so grief stricken that he was not there emotionally for her. I tried to take her to live with me but she lashed out like a wild animal. What she needed was her father. She changed, and for some reason took the worst of her anger out on me (possibly because I was the elder sister). Prior to that we had been extremely close. My middle sister (2 yrs younger) was a miserable resentful person her whole life. She had poor relationships with both of my parents but they both loved her a lot. Most unfortunately my parents favored me, but never realized they showed it. After my mom died their shared anger brought them together, and they shoved me out of the sister loop. It hurt...a lot, and despite my attempts of trying to get close they kept me out. I was married though and had my own life, and own supports. 5 yrs ago I was divorced with no children and was the obvious choice to move in with him. I wanted to anyway as I had always been close to my dad in a unique way. I was born with bad hip dysplasia, and in braces at 3yrs old for 2 yrs, then a wheelchair for another two. He was my rock. Now that he is so ill and dying his anger has returned. Once again he feels out of control, and knows he's leaving this world. He worry's about all of us, and wants to still protect but he can't. He is dying!!! Because I live with him I am getting pummeled with his verbal abuse, and being treated like a 12 yr old child! I am 52!!!!!!! He tries to control every aspect of my life, and arguments happen. I understand his pain and feelings of helplessness but his mean rants are horrible. Over the last three yrs since he's gotten much worse the two nasty sisters have also gotten much meaner and are now able to do it under the radar. He does not have to deal with them every, and his feelings of not having good past relationships with them is manifesting in his siding with them on everything. They have not helped at all since he's been sick even when I've asked on occasion. They also have rarely visited him. I understand that they are also in deep pain, but again it comes my way. The stress of living in this toxic environment with no emotional support from my family has been living in a hellish prison. I never once considered leaving him until recently when he viciously told me to get out and never come back. I am now considering doing just that, and force my sisters to now do the the care I've been providing these past years. My fear though is that they won't move in, and he cannot be alone. So my friend I hope this rambling diatribe will shed some clarity. He is mean because he has no control over leaving us, and it is hurtung him badly inside. It's just how my dad handles helplessness. Still it's not right, and has really taken it's toll on me. I am completely exhausted...an exhaustion I could never imagine could be. Any constructive suggestions would be helpful. Thank you for caring!!! LOVE TO ALL
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Note: my answer was for "endofmyrope." I didn't make that clear, sorry.
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You say "this mean old man" is not who your father used to be, and describe how he lashes out at you unfairly. Sure sounds like some kind of dementia - has he been given any kind of mental evaluation by his GP? I would push for that - if you get some kind of diagnosis along those lines, it will make a lot of things more clear to you. Meanwhile, it's not clear to me why you would allow your father to "suck the life out" of you and you certainly don't need to explain yourself to me or anybody. But it might be worth thinking about for you. It sounds like a bleak existence, the way you describe it. Taking care of someone you love is hard enough - I can't imagine what it would be like to care for someone who sounds so unpleasant. Please take care of yourself.
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I totally understand, and really feel for you. My father is sucking the life out of me emotionally. He has no dementia, and he is able to get around. The nature of his illnesses are complicated, and how he is feeling changes from day to day...minute to minute really! I have no spouse, no children and two vicious sisters who give me zero help and only critize. My father has of recent begun to lash out at me with outrageous anger. He screams at me for stupid things, and has gotten very close to Broomhilda, and Satania! It is so weird because I'm the one that has lived with him, and taken care of him. I have to call 911 at least once every month either for uncontrollable bleeding, congestive heart or arrhythmia! I do all the cleaning, cooking, laundry, shopping, taking him to dialysis and all other Dr.'s appts and dressing wounds etc, and here he is treating me like absolute crap??? He got so angry at me the other day that he told me to get out, and never come back! At least I've educated myself to know this is normal for them to do when they get closer to death. Still, it has taken a huge emotional, physical and spiritual toll on me. People who have never done what we are doing have absolutely no idea of what it's like which doesn't help. My father is not in a feeble state to require a nursing facility, and even if he was I wouldn't do it. He has been a very good dad to all three of us always. I have to remind myself that this mean old man is not who my father has always been. I am very spiritual in my own way, and believe this is what the Universe feels I need in order to grow to be a higher self. Yes, it is exhausting and depressing, but I try to look at it as a gift; an opportunity to be a better spirit. We will all be rewarded in some wonderful way after this. Just hang in there, and reach out to us when you need support. We all understand, and are right here for you. If you feel it is better to put him in a nursing facility do not feel quilty for doing so. Let your heart guide you, but do what you need to do to stay sane and healthy. Sending you LOVE and LIGHT!
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Why didn't your Dad want to be cared for by other people so you could get on with your life. Sacrifice is awesome and everything but when you feel like your spiriling into a pit enough is enough. I don't care what anyone else says like its so great your hanging on and you'll be rewarded someday. Others in your immediate family such as husband and kids suffer greatly more than you know !!! Can't get those years back either. Selfishness on a parents part plays a BIG role believe me !!!! Some will suck all your life out of you IF you'll let them. Thats why they make facilities for when you start needing to take care of yourself before you end up in a facilitiy yourself before your time.
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Thanks Eddie! I will keep that in mind :) I have started to jog in the morning and early evening, and that helps a great deal. I am back at my cabin (sits on my parents' property behind their house), and I am beginning to feel a bit more restful. I DO believe that once the financial situation is better, that I can at least feel more productive outside the house and in a different environment to replenish. My faith has helped me so far, though sometimes I feel 'weak,' but at times like that I feel that He is carying me.

Hugs
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VITA:

Baby you're exhausted! Money is tight right now, but one way or another you'll have to develop a support network in which everybody helps each other out. I grew up in western Brazil, not far from you. So I understand how hard it is to eke out a living, avoid burnout, and keep everyone satisfied.

Once the system in place, you'll get some beauty sleep and prevent the embarrassment of nodding off in your partner's arms.
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I've been caring for my 92 year old mother for over 7 years, when she had a stroke....for me,I've had to face that it's just me, as I am her only child. It's not an easy job, but I wouldn't have it any other way, as I feel that I'll have no regrets and as long as she is having a decent quality of life, I feel that I can cope. I do believe it's harder for those who have siblings who don't help, because it would be so easy to feel resentment. When you are the only one, you know what you have to do that there's just no question as to who will take care of it all. When my mother had her stroke, I knew that the only chance she had for survival was to bring her home...she would not have survived in a nursing home, as her independence was always such a big part of her life. While she does depend on me, she still has her own space....and she seems to be content. My heart goes out to all other caregivers, as it's not an easy job, but it's one that fulfills a desperate need and it builds character. Yes, we all get overwhelmed at times...I think that's part of being human. My method for 'escape' is that I began writing, and have since had a book of poetry published. Had I been allowed to go on with my life as I knew it, this probably would not have come to pass. I do believe that we 'grow' from these experiences that we go through in this caregiving process. Even though I tell myself that this will not always be my life...I want her here. I'm not ready to let go and I pray that when her time comes, that it is peaceful and that she has no fear. All of you are truly selfless to put your loved ones ahead of your own wants and desires, and I pray that you all realize that what you are doing is a true blessing to your loved ones.
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The stress and emotions of taking care of an elder person are so draining and traumatic that it IS overwhelming most of the time. The lightheaded feeling, dizzy, tremblingly feeling comes over me often. I attribute it to stress and HBP or blood sugars too low. Many people here are saying to exercise, which is excellent. If you have the energy to exercise great! If you don't here's what you can do. Get your loved one into a adult day health care program. Get public bus transporation (for special needs) to pick up and drop them off. Have a breather for at least 1 day a week. I've just enrolled my mother into a 4 hour program, 3 days a week. Her first day will be tomorrow after her 1 day trial. I'm giddy thinking of what I can accomplish with her gone for those 3 days. Initially, I'm going to catch up on sleep, housework, and the outdoors. I've applied for school and will attend a tech college for pre-nursing in the spring 2012. My mom loved her trial day because she had great socialization with other seniors and activities to do. She loves getting out of the house. She also gets to flirt a little. ;) I loose out of some cash in doing this, but ultimately its the best thing for my sanity and hers. I don't know if this will work for you, but I'm sure happy to have found a solution other than full-time nursing home for my Mom.
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This is like war my friend, and we are the medics! All we can do is try our best to care for them the best we can, and dodge the bullets and bombs. All wars eventually come to an end, and we need to try to come out of ours healthy, in one peice, without PTSD and victorious!! Hang in there no matter how dark it gets. It will end, and you will get the "purple heart"! LOVE and LIGHT
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Dear Notlike mom, your post was a very good one. There are many days when I can't wait to get into bed at night and say to myself, thank goodness this day is over, but we got through it, and that's enough for the moment.
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When I started having severe dizzy spells and sky-high blood pressure soon after taking on the care of my 94-year-old aunt, who has vascular dementia, I panicked. Especially the day I tried to stand up, and fell down instead. Massages helped, but temporarily. That's when I made some major changes. One is I take total care of myself - not just because my aunt has no one else but me to depend on, but because one day she will be gone and I will be left with nothing but all these physical problems. So I do zumba, general exercise, walk my dogs, yoga, pray. But most importantly, I choose my battles with her. She doesn't want to bathe? Ok, I got wet washcloths. Wants to wear the same clothes for a week? Fine. Doesn't want to go to day care? No speeches about how she needs it, or I need to be someplace. I lie and tell her she's going to bingo (sometimes it's true). It's a tough job, what we do. People who don't know what it's like say oh, you're a saint. We're saints with wings missing a few feathers and who can't remember where we left our halos. Try not to sweat it. What you're doing is huge.
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You can always ask your doctor for Ativan or Vallium. Believe me it does work. You just have to make sure you don't abuse them.
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I try and remember that I am the one doing this, and I do my best, so whatever happens, it's okay. Your best doesn't have to be someone else's idea of best, or what you've read in books or seen on tv. If you are in the middle of it, and everyone makes it to the end of the day safely, you have done your best for that day. Maybe tomorrow you'll do it differently, and that will be the best you can do for that day. I'm pretty sure when the heroes break down, drop things, and cry, that's when the tv show goes to a commercial. I'm being light hearted, but truly sending you hugs and support.
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I wish I had the support of a sister. I pay somebody to watch my parent while I'm at work. I had a job interview and Dad had a docs appointment. I rescheduled his ENT appointment since sister couldn't take dad to the docs because her cat had surgery that week.
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Dear Lily ~Oh my goodness... I almost cried when I read your post because I know how difficult it was for me and I cannot even imagine how it must be for you after all these years. You sound like a real with it woman though and I am sure you will meet all the challenges...just remember to reach out and let others get close. I always enjoyed getting on the internet and participating in the forums, etc. I admire you Lilly! You are an inspiration!
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Ohhhhh..... I really feel for you Lily. You are such an angel for doing this. Do your children help you? I hope so. You have an excellent attitude about it all, and are taking care of yourself. Brava! I've been doing it for 4 years, and cannot even imagine 17! I promise you will be greatly rewarded for this. Karma is a funny old thing, and your sacrifice will bring you something wonderful! Keep the faith, and keep walking!! XOXO
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I have been caring for my 101-year-old dad for 17 years now. (That's not a typo. He's been living with us since he was 84.) I am his sole caregiver. I have just started getting help at home for three days a week, 2 hours a day. I have two teenage children (my dad was in his 50s when I was born so I'm kind of young to have such an old dad). My once strong faith has waned to a mere flicker. The only thing that helps me at this moment is to take a vigorous walk every day before my dad gets up. I walk about 3 miles, in under an hour. It's the only time of day I have exclusively to myself, and I love it. In the winter months I use a SAD light every morning for about 30 minutes too. It's hard to pack all this into the morning hours but I think of it as medicine: I'd take my pills religiously every day if I had to, so if these strategies are like "pills" for me, I'd better do them. Exercise helps us to release stress and it generates endorphins, which helps us to calm down and elevate our mood. Even with my dad being 101, I cannot see the end of this tunnel. But I take a walk every day anyway. Winters are terrible because I can't always get out for a walk. This may not go on forever, but after 17 years it sure feels like it. Just keep on keepin on. The biggest challenge is to remain hopeful . . . .
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Hi All~ I had my mother with me for almost four years. (Alzheimer's) We lost her in 2009. And I want to acknowledge all of you for the wonderful job you are doing. Caregiving is a difficult job and usually you do not get much credit for all your selfless giving and love....but You really need to take care of you, too! This I know is dfficult because there just never seems to be enough hours in the day. A couple of things that helped me was...I started an herb garden right outside the kitchen window and involved my mother, meditated and prayed a lot, I journaled my experience and wrote a book about it. These are all things that are pretty easy to do. What are you interests?...perhaps you will want to consider spending those precious free moments doing something that makes your own heart sing...that energizes you and gives you hope for your own future. There is a life after caregiving!! But when we are going through it is hard see your future. God bless you and I wish you all the very best!!!

Learn to meditate and you will sleep like a baby....I promise!!!
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That is wonderful you have some relief. When dementia comes into the picture it's time to make a decision. It sounds like a good move to have found a good place for your mom. That is not an option here. My dad is quite sharp of mind, and can get around and do things. It sounds like your mother is enjoying herself too which is so important. Best of luck to you both! LOVE
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My mother is now in a wonderful nursing home. It is a family run faith based home. It is so unique and I am so grateful.I could not even handle having my mom in assisted living. She recently had a couple of falls and now has dementia. She is peaceful where she is. There is nothing wrong with having your parent in an excellent facility. I can feel myself coming out of the pit of dispair and depression I was in trying to take care of her needs and she really needs more care than I or asst. living can give her. She has many health issues and is in a wheel chair now.I see her as much as I can and she has many compassionate people around her. In fact, when I go to this home,the residents tell me how long they have been there and how much they love being there!
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You are so lucky to have the support of your sister! You were alone for a bit while she was away and just got overloaded. My two sisters not only hate and criticize me, but they rarely even visit my father. If I ask for a simple thing, which is almost never, I am met with a resounding "No I can't". I am doing ALL of it on my own. I am also disabled, and in constant pain. There have been times when I actually feel so sick that I've convinced myself I have a disease or something! Stress can really do a number on you. Take time for yourself, and do NOT feel guilty for doing so. If you aren't well there's no way you can do this unbearable job. Talk and laugh with your sister, and know how lucky you are to not be alone. Even dad has turned on me many times making it a tousand times worse. I have learned to put my blinders on, and my earplugs in. All I can do is the best I can do. I am now taking a lot more time for myself, and not holding myself to an unreasonable high quality of life. If I don't feel like cleaning some days, I don't! If I don't feel like cooking, I'll heat a can of soup; it won't kill him. Giving myself permission to live my life along with caring for him has freed me a lot. Luckily he does not have any dementia, and is able to get around. I know how to tell the times he is really bad, and I am always there at those times. I've been at this for 4 yrs now all lone, and am absolutely EXHAUSTED! I never knew a person could be this tired. I also get very depressed, and extremely lonely a lot. That goes with the territory unfortunately. I have no husband, children or boyfriend. Thank God for my wonderful friends because my family has completely screwed me. You will feel very rewarded when it's over. My therapist always says "You need to remember that this is not forever", something I forget!!!! It seems like it will never end, but it will. There are times I just want him to go and be out of his world of pain. He is 82, and very sick with total kidney failure (dialysis 3x a week), congestive heart and vascular disease and arrhythmia. He could go at any time. When I see him sleeping on his bed my heart just breaks, and I fear losing him. Then, there are those days that I just want it over. Torn, and guilty but it's normal and we're all feeling the same way. Be proud of yourself for being there for them. You are an angel, and do not forget it! Hang in there, we're all here together. LOVE and LIGHT!
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Shamrock, so sorry with the passing of your mom. My mom has been diagnosed with moderate Alzheimers and somedays it's a struggle. Luckily I also have brothers that help with her.
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