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I am my 95 year old dad's sole caregiver, 24/7. He's got dementia and cancer. I see all these commercials on television about Christmas sales, Christmas shows, concerts, etc., and it just sounds so foreign to me right now. It's just my dad, and me. My son lives out on the west coast. My siblings either have their own families, or the single ones aren't interested in celebrating here with dad. Mostly, I'm just so worn out. Seems like the only way I know what day it is - is when to take the garbage cans to the curb! I've always been so happy to celebrate Christmas. Now, I just wish it would hurry up and go by without having to celebrate it.

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Kizna, you've hit the nail on the head with this: "Im glad Im not alone."

We're not alone. I propose we all drink a toast - even if it's in cold coffee or Diet Coke - on the day to our "friends on the Forum." Merry Christmas, every one!
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I understand completely how you feel. I have for whatever reason for these past several years have suffered awful losses, everyone is smiling, toasting, eating, and me I am trying to make it through another loss, trying to make sense out of it all, trying to pick up my shattered self. I just hold on to the true reason for the season and that to me is hope and peace and perhaps somewhere down the road, I'll find that old feeling again about Christmas. I understand when you say, you only know what day it is when it is time to bring out the garbage, LOL. Okay so, I'll make a deal with you, if you find a way to make yourself an exquisite meal for yourself, out or in, and buy something you really really want for yourself, something that will make you smile, doesn't have to be big, a new book, a cool cd, new runners, new boots, something just for you! Or just make a commitment to yourself to take better care of yourself, if that is by exercising, laughing, whatever, just do it. Happy Holidays, there is a reason for the season somewhere in all of it.
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My sweet husband died 3 1/2 years ago and Christmas will never be the same for me. I miss him in every corner. I also resent "perfect happy" couples etc etc. But since my husband's death, I have learned to "fake it" pretty well. No one expects me to still be grieving so it's just easier to pretend.
However I am grateful to the Lord for any and every small blessing. And thanks to God....I look forward to being with my husband once again when it's my time.
I've learned that big losses bring me closer to God. And there I have found peace. That's Christmas after all.
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I did most of the usual decorating and I still enjoy the warm light from the Christmas tree; I don't know to what degree hubby gains any peace or remembrance from things but I set him in the room, put on some soft Christmas music and what will be will be. One thing I did different this year, and I liked this, was to NOT spend the season in crowded shops wondering what to buy for this one and that one, it was all gift cards. I did, however, buy hubby a Homedics Shiatzu massage cushion for the chair, and guess what, he likes it! It massages whole back, upper or lower back, and heats up; it goes for 15 minutes and then shuts off. I set him there a couple times a day and it's obvious he likes it, yay!
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It is hard to feel joy when we are feeling like the joy has been sucked out of us. Society and advertisers in particular put all these expectations in us of what the holidays should be. Try not to fall in that trap. You didn't say if you feel anything spiritual, and since I don't know, I hesitate to suggest that you get in touch with that side of yourself. Perhaps put your dad in the care of someone for a day. Do only thing that nourish you. Once I was so upset with my dad that I decided I needed a day off. I put on music that was truly relaxing and meditative that spoke to me. I had a hot bath. Did a facial mask. Lit a candle. Did some spiritual reading, meditated and just recharged my batteries. It's hard to be a part of the holiday spirit when our own spirits are depleted. It's ok to feel this way. If your disinterest in life continues, please see your doctor. You might be depressed and need help. Know that the spirit of Christmas is with us always. One of the best movies to rent is A Charlie Brown Christmas. It says it all. Peace be with you dear one.
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I've lost so many people I love so dearly, lost my husband last year at age 53, it crushed me. Now I have Dad in my home, he's 77, disabled and has moderate dementia. Along with taking care of dad, my only sibling threatens me for it, thinks I'm getting paid for it or taking dads money. So I take care of a 6'1" 200 lb man who cannot walk, has dementia, I get nothing for this except that I know it's the right thing to do, and I have another man harassing me for it who has no intention of helping his dad at all.

This time of year can be very hard on caregivers, even more so if you're the one who always planned the family holiday for everyone else, which is also common, it's another caregiver attribute. Being a full time care giver is draining. I like the idea one person had of somehow getting a day to yourself, even just one as a treat. What I did this year to try to keep myself from getting too depressed, I didn't put up a tree, there was no reason to, but I got a few poinsettia's to put around the house, and some battery operated candles (they're safer when you're distracted by so many other things). It gives the place as much a Christmas feel as a tree and presents and a lot easier, even made dad happy. I cut back drastically on gifts, I just flat out told everyone (adult children), I just can't do it and that's it, that helped, things to keep in mind for next year. To be a good caregiver, you have to take care of yourself, you just do, you have to find time for yourself, treat yourself in some way and you have to be able to get a break which is a must, any way you can. And sometimes you'll probably have to be very creative to find a way to get that break, but like I said, it's a must.

Overall we as caregivers are going to have moments of sadness, good memories but they make us sad, sadness from simply not being able to move on with our own lives, which only those who have lost and caregivers can understand. I often ask myself why? Why have things turned out like this? There is a reason for everything, and some day we'll know why, so do the best you can with what's placed at your feet, whether good or bad, hardship or not. Do not be heavy hearted, for those who have taken on this responsibility carry this heaviest burden for a reason, carry it well. But do not forget to love yourself, there is nothing wrong with that, take care of yourselves. Hugs and a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all.
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I so relate to each of you caregivers, but allow me to make a comment. This time last year, my mother suffered a brain bleed, was in intensive care for a week and then I place her in an assisted living facility because she could no longer walk and I didn't think I could care for her anymore. She had already been living with us for over a year. She was miserablein the ALF, calling out my name, being confused and at one point they did not want me to see her, because they were afraid I would get her riled up. They gave her more meds and she got increasingly worse. Christmas Day came and I told my husband and son that we were going to the ALF for their Christmas party. My sweet son then says, "Mom, this is probably Grandma's last Christmas, and I think she deserves to be with her family and not a bunch of strangers, so let's go get her and bring her home." With tears in my eyes I called the ALF and told them I was coming to get her and we did. All that day, she kept thinking it was her birthday and she had a great time. When the ALF said they couldn't keep her because she was so disruptive, we brought her home. She declined over the months and passed away in August of this year. I miss her so much and I have no desire to celebrate Christmas, since this is my first Christmas without her. Your role as a caregiver won't last forever although it seems like it may. It is a very difficult role to perform, but you will never be sorry. You will have sadness but also a joy that you were able to see your loved one through. I am praying for each of you and myself to get through the holidays with the peace that surpasses all understanding that comes from God! Please just realize that for a time, you have taken on the role of caregiver and your life will never be the same. You will be forever changed by your love and selflessness. May God be with you!
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What helped me is doing some basic decorating, without going all Griswold, just simple candle lights in the windows, lit 24/7, help brighten the day.
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that sounded like something the pope mighta read off a teleprompter.
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photo ((((((((((((hugs))))))))))) it must be terribly difficult having a beloved spouse go down hill with that disease.. You would be in a continual state of grief I would think. I hope you get some help here. There are others who are looking after spouses. My heart goes out to you. Life has no guarantees for happiness.

ashlynne - what a crazy circus. I have a Christmas Day ER story too from a few years ago. I swore never again. It was not an emergency either. She ate rich food after a gal bladder operation and got threw up. What did she expect? But we had to go through all the drama, at 7 am and I hadn't even had a cup of coffee. My tongue was hanging out. Also being Christmas day the street people had come into the ER to get out of the cold - it was insane...

A skinned finger is not an emergency. You could send her some big girl panties but I doubt she will put them on.

You know what they say about a narcissist - How many of them does it take to put in a light bulb? Only one -they hold it and the world revolves around them.
A narcissist is someone who after taking the trash out, gives the impression he just cleaned the whole house
There's nothing wrong with narcissists that reasoning with them won't aggravate."
My husband and I divorced for religious reasons. He thought he was God and I didn't
What's a narcissist's idea of being a "slave"? Not being able to boss everyone else about.
What is a narcissist's idea of equality? Being equally bossy to everyone else
What is a narcissist's idea of being abused? Occasionally having to go along with someone else's preferences

and the last one which isn't funny

What's a sure-fire way of getting daily verbal abuse?
Be the child of a narcissist.

It is a ride, isn't it? (((((hugs))))) to you and let the phone ring and go to voice mail..
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