For the last three and half years I have been the sole caretaker for my 90 year old grandparents. They have done so much for me in my life, that I enjoyed spending time with them and taking care of them. I have no regrets for the decision I made to live and be responsible for them. In March of this year we lost grandma, and it devastated grandpa. They were married for over 72 years so it was like he lost part of his body. Over the next several months he was depressed because he lost the love of his life. Many a night I would come home after work and find him crying in bed. I kept reassuring him that it was normal for him to be so emotionally distraught that he might never get over loosing the love of his life. Throughout this whole process I have been asking for help from my mother, his daughter to help out. It was difficult to balance a full load of classes, work and care taking. Grandpa has always been independent and his mind is sharp as a tack, he was driving up until 2 years ago. As with everything in life, time marches on, and when she died, his spirit did as well. He has numerous health issues, diabetes, poor circulation in his feet and legs, and from may to july we were in and out of the hospitals trying to alleviate the pain from gangrenous toes. The podiatrist at the V.A. said as long as we kept the toes dry and uninfected he could keep them. IN September as I am about to start taking my pre-requisites for nursing, I get a call from the caretaker that he is being admitted to the hospital because they need to perform an partial amputation of his left foot, because the toes on that foot were severely infected
After a seven day hospital stay he went into a skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation, I balanced spending time with him daily with full time hard science classes. I lost my job as a result of this because my mom did not want him to feel alone in the nursing home, because he always had someone with him,in life, grandma. My mom has not been there to help in this situation as she has her own life. I have always been the one to do the hard stuff, as grandma became incontinent six months before she passed. This doesn't bother me, which is why I am pursing a nursing degree. I have repeatedly asked fro help from her, and I know she made two promises to both grandpa and me. Grandpa made her promise that she would never put him in a nursing home, and that when he left the nursing home that he would have 24/7 care to help me out. We are not a rich family so you know how expensive caretakers can be, so I know that I am going to be left to pick up the pieces. I am emotionally burnt out and fell like the love and compassion I once held for him is souring. He is coming home tomorrow and I am freaking out about this. I can physically handle the demands of taking him to the bathroom, which is what he ultimately is going to need. Emotionally I am wreck, I am crying and trying to prepare myself for the inevitable. We are going to bring him home, mom is going to clean and try and set a caretaker schedule, then leave. Leaving me alone with him. It's extremely hard to tell a love one that they can no longer live independently and require someone to be with them all the time for their safety. I know that his prognosis is not good, as we may have to go through more amputation in the future because his feet are bad, and the pain is extreme. He is going back on hospice so that we can make him comfortable. I really needed to express my story as it is not a unique situation. Taking care of a love one is hard and I hope that I can find the strength to continue doing it.
Any advice, prayers are greatly appreciated and thanks for listening to my story.