How do I keep going on? - AgingCare.com

How do I keep going on?

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I have been living and breathing hospitals non-stop for 2 1/2 years being with my mother during her recovery from heart surgery. She is now at my home since October 27th. I am worn out. I still work full-time and I am growning very resentful of my mother. She wakes me several times a night to go the bathroom and tonight she woke me twice as she is hallucinating. I feel like giving up. I am 61 years old soon and now have come down with a cold which I know in part is due to the fact that I never get 6 or so hours of nonstop sleep as she always wakes me 2-3 times every night. When I am not working I care for her during the evenings. I run errands. Get groceries. Pick up prescriptions. Take her to medical appointments. I am depressed and angry. I love her and have always been there for her. But when she was my age she was not caring for a sick parent. I was taking her on trips and doting on her. I don't have a life. I don't feel like socializing this season. I am tired and want to just run away. A nursing home is out of the question. I have no trust in the care at such facilities. I have a nurse come in daily while I am working. This is no life. Despite all of the things that one can do to "manage stress" and take a break, reality is the situation is always there. There is no escape. I am sick with a cold. She has been hallucinating tonight and I have no clue why. I feel like a dog in a kennel being poked out with a stick. This is all about her. She doesn't seem to care that now I am sick and have a full-time job. No, my life is supposed to be given over to her. I am not in a good place tonight. Who would be?

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I understand about not being in a good place sometimes. You are ill, dealing with an incredible amount of stress, and you are exhausted. Is there anyway you could have a caregiver come in at night at least one or two nights a week? Is your Mother well enough to go to an adult daycare center for several days a week? This might free up the funds for a caregiver at night. Christine has some very wise practical advice if my suggestions are not of any use. Sleep is the big key as well as knowing you can always vent with us.
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Dear Bonnie,
First, we all know what you are going through, and while it is your life at the moment, things change, it is inevitable. Time has seemed to slow down, right? Time always flies until you are a caregiver, then you are not yourself anymore. You become a different entity, almost separate from the earth and life as you knew it.
Secondly, your Mother may have a UTI: urinary tract infection. Get a cup from your doctor and get a morning sample, take it in on your way to work. They-- the UTI-- make the elderly crazier than usual, and it subtly creeps, and your Moyher is transformed into Mr. Hyde. There is anti-biotic that can be taken daily called Nitrofurantoin, common name Macrodanton. Maybe her Dr will prescribe. Make sure she is being wiped front to back. If she cannot do it anymore, you and the nurse/caregiver need to do it. Get some overnight Depends and give her something to help her sleep, natural supplement or herbal tea, or sleep aid-- whatever your mindset is. Once you start getting sleep, you will be better. It will not seem quite as hellish. I said 'seem'.
I also recommend looking into and visiting care homes and memory care units. I went through the same feelings and attitudes about the quality of care, but as long as they are safe, clean, fed, interacting on some level, then YOU can better live your life. If you really want to, that is. One thing, you will never be the same, and in some regards it is good. Some mornings I wake up and I wonder what have I learned from this, and I know it has tempered me. I feel like I can handle anything. I do, and not much phases me anymore. I have a deeper, broader perspective, and a lighter approach to many things. My Mother has changed a lot from a year ago when she was exactly like your Mom, and I was doing what you are doing: not sleeping, thinking I was going to lose my mind, yet becoming more grounded every day.
Hugs and blessings, Bonnie. Take a moment to consider yourself in all of this. We are here for you.
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