My fiance and I have been caring for his mother post-cancer surgery for about 2 years. She never fully recovered afterwards. This year, she was also diagnosed with amyloidosis. It has no cure, and it is likely she will slowly decline for the next few years.
She's a wonderful person and it makes me so sad to watch her slowly lose function. Due to swelling, she can't walk more than a few steps alone and we take her to the bathroom, make her food, tend her home, cats, etc.
I am self-employed and do my work from home, so I am here caring for her alone Mon-Fri while I work. Between trying to keep up with my business and caring for the house and her, I am starting to feel hopeless and depressed. I've never felt so overwhelmed in my life and I'm unsure what to do.
She's not so bad that she needs to be hospitalized, and her daughter comes to take her to appointments for a few hours once a week. Aside from those few hours, I feel trapped in this endless cycle. And I hate myself for feeling trapped because she probably feels so much worse.
I'm a pretty socially awkward and introverted person, so I don't know how to help her much outside of just doing things either. I'm sure she's lonely, but I'm already so mentally drained and exhausted I just keep doing the usual with a smile and hoping that's enough.
What has worked for you as a caregiver? How do you cope with all the conflicting emotions of a situation like this? How do you stop from feeling like you're drowning?
I've tried to tell myself to just tough it out, but I get massive anxiety knowing things will only get harder with time. I need to find a better balance somehow because I'm breaking down.