After 30 years of being wife /carer, I’m tired. My husband was diabetic before we met. Didn’t take any of it seriously, drank heavily, smoked. My role as wife has always been the carer. He’s now reg, blind, has copd, heart disease, some fluid on brain, poor mobility, dementia. I do all care, assist with wash, dress, shower etc. I do all blood tests, injections / insulin. Count carbs in food accordingly. We did have a little care help, but government have now moved financial goal post, so we can’t afford help. I’m doing job of nurse, but I’m NOT A NURSE. No time for me. I can’t be ill, no time for friends, family. I just feel what about ME? After 30 years, I’m thinking of nursing home permanently, but the guilt holds me back... why?
It's very important to realise that your key duty as a wife is to do what is best for your husband. And while there are certain people who will bang on about "in sickness and in health", and make you feel there is some kind of perverse virtue in continuing to suffer as you are, these people are overlooking the practical fact that several highly trained people working as a team can provide *infinitely* *better* care for a man in your husband's physical condition than one exhausted, untrained, heartbroken woman.
Be a good wife to your husband and find the right nursing home. Then you can also get back to being a wife who loves him rather than dreads him.
Even wedding vows..in sickness and in health..until death.....
But when it gets to a point when your own health is at risk, when the person you have loved and cared for, took those vows with does nothing to care for you back (and taking care of his own health in a way show disrespect to you as well as himself) you need to put yourself first.
(Isn't that what they tell you on an airplane?)
Placing him in a Nursing Home, Assisted Living or Memory Care if his dementia is to that point, will allow you to become his wife again not his nurse, caregiver. He will have care 24/7, you can not do that. He will have trained professional people to care for him, almost no one can afford that at home!
And unless you have a house that will accommodate his continued decline you may have to do that if he remains at home.
Do not feel guilty....he should feel guilty being the cause of many of these problems.
Do not feel like you have failed...he is the one that has failed in caring for himself, he could have made his life better.
I promised my husband that I would never abandon him, that I would always be his advocate, I would always be with him often, I would always see that he had the best care available. If it ever came about that the best care was in a care center, I would continue to love him and be with him often.
Sonia and T, if I had made that promise to either of your husbands they would be in nursing homes by now. Doing your best for someone has to include acknowledging when your best isn't the best available under the circumstances.
Don't ever abandon your husbands. Don't ever drop them off somewhere, wave goodbye and never look back. If you do, you deserve to feel guilty. Act honestly in love and there should be no room for guilt.
You can do this, you have been a good and faithful wife and now he needs a village to care for him. You can see him as you choose, when and if you choose. Be kind and gentle to yourself, this is a big change for both of you. God bless you for all you do for your husband.
Please come back and let us know how you are doing. We love to help and hear success stories, rants, vents...whatever you need to do. You will get support for your decision and the rough spots that are bound to come. Hugs and love to you in this hard trial.
I cared for my wife with advanced MS, and her now 105 year old mom. Wife for decades and gma for 16 years. Couldn’t continue with it physically, and didn’t want to emotionally. They desperately didn’t want to go in a home. My wife was depressed and quiet, gma asked why I couldn’t continue and cried. My heart hurt, yet had no choice really. It’s now been 3.5 years after. They see it as their home now. They smile, they’re happy, and it’s special for all of us when I get there to spend time. I try to visit daily if I can. But sometimes I play hookey and like it!
After caregiving for so long, something happens to your mind set. I think, for me, I had to justify why I had to continue. I had to find a reason that compelled me to do things I had never done and never wanted to. The thought of putting them in a home went against the reasons that made me ok with what I was doing. I don’t regret those years but, I felt like a traitor of sorts. Our daughter helped immeasurably with her compassion for us all. But sometimes, you find situations that don’t have the answers you want, to make you feel okay. Some things, like caregiving, leave you with unfixable upset and guilt. It was part of the process for me. It’s been really tough, but much better then it was. I needed to take that step, and not second guess myself as I did. You’ll hurt before you feel relieved, but you will feel relief. I can’t tell you what to do, I can only offer up my experiences gained after 35 years of MS.
All of us on this site have pain and experiences we didn’t want. So here we all are, on a helpful site of caregiving people, who share their pain and offer up, in hopes it will help someone.
My heart truly goes out to you. It will work out, and you need to believe that.
Didn’t mean for this to be so long...sorry.
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