I'm an only child but am married to a wonderful guy who always does anything I ask for my parents. Dad is in a nursing home, mom is in an independent living apartment. Ever since my dad went into the NH, my days have been the same-pick up my mom since she no longer drives, go to NH where we spend about 4-5 hours with him. He's on hospice care so we both felt the need to be with him. A few days ago my mom was rushed to the hospital with high blood pressure. Yesterday I brought her home, spent the afternoon and most of the evening with her. Husband picked up dinner and we ate together. Today should calls, saying her blood pressure was high again, could we take her back to hospital. Long story short, when I get to her apartment, she's settling in for another long day with me and my husband, ordering extra lunches. I blew up, telling her I can't be there anymore, ran out, slammed the door probably like I'd done as a teenager. Not pretty. But why did it have to come to this before I could carve out some time for myself and my family? We've talked since then but I know this will happen again. She even gets jealous of the two days per week that I watch my grandson. This can't go on. Thanks for letting me vent.

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Ok, so you've been spending 4-5 hours every day with both of your parents. And now you'd like to cut back, yes?

I understand how these creeps up on you. There's a crisis, and you go into crisis mode. You go the extra mile and suddenly, it becomes your everyday routine.

First, there is probably scheduled transportation at the IL; they can get mom too and from dad. If not, there are taxis.

If mom's blood pressure is high, she needs to call her doctor, not you. I had the same problem with my mom. "Mom, I can't do anything about your bp, call the doctor and do as he says". This eventually led to us switching her to a doctor who was more available by phone.

Take it week by week. You'll find a happy balance of "you" time and "them" time.
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I know the feeling Marciad,

I've been taking care of my dementia affected mother for the last five years in her own home... it's self sacrifice, no question. Mom is at stage two (alz), she no longer recalls names, not my name, nor the names of my six older brothers and sisters. Her ramblings contain only gibberish these days... I wear wireless headphones and listen to music and self improvement recordings. Out of all of the care that my mother requires, I handle about 95% of it while my six brothers and sisters take up the other 5%. I haven't had a full day off since I volunteered for this task... yep, five years straight, not a day off. Of the help I do get from my brothers and sisters, it usually provides me with about two hours relief of which I typically use to go grocery shopping. Mom usually goes to bed at about 8 pm, this is my 'free time', I typically finish up the days dishes, vacuum the floors (& mop) and rugs, clean the oven, refer, countertops, do household laundry, i.e. clothing, bedsheets, blankets etc.

Most nights I'll get to bed around 1-2am. I'm grateful that mom only has a bad night two nights a week... what I mean by a bad night is, mom will get up out of bed and call down from the balcony, ''is anybody home?'' about 3x on the same night (early morning)... If after 1am, I'll have to get up out of bed and direct her to go back to bed... sometimes my demands are successful.... other times not.
Mom usually gets up at the crack of dawn waking me up in the process, that equates to myself getting about four to five hours of sleep a night... for the last 3-4 years!

This is a time when you will learn more about yourself than any other time in your life. You'll also learn a great deal about your spouse.
I tell you, you're very lucky to have someone to come home to at days end, I have nobody. ... nobody! You see, after getting laid off from a career that paid slightly above 100k annual, I brought it upon myself to assume the care of mom. I used to have tons of friends and business associates calling inviting me out to various activities of which I couldn't accept... because of the routine I'd chosen.

I didn't intend on this reply to be about me, I just wanted to offer you some insight on how bad things COULD be. Hang in there and try to take things in stride and/or with a grain of salt. All of the drama you experience today will likely dissipate by sunrise tomorrow. Conduct only the amount of duties you feel are reasonable. Regularly inform your spouse that he is your number one and have him forgive you in advance for the moods you're bound to bring home with you at days end.

I wish you the best of outcomes in these challenging times
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Oh, I forgot...if your parents aren't diabetic, let me tell you a little secret... the single thing that can turn grim moments into happy moments is to serve your mom or pa an ice cream come. It works like magic!

-out here
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Marciad, I understand you want to see your Dad, but would it be possible for you to leave your Mum for a while when she is visiting. Even if it is too far from shops etc, is there a quiet place you could sit and read or just let your mind wander.
I used to escape to my car years ago when it all got too much.
You are lucky to have a supportive husband , mine is as well.
Babalou, you are so right about "one off" behavior becoming the norm. It is very easy to slip into and I felt as though I was made out to look mean if I wanted to have some time to myself.
Busybee, I laughed about the ice cream. We have one a couple of times a week, Mum just beams like a child with a treat.
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Thank you all for the kind responses and now I feel very foolish because the situation could be so much worse. I tell myself it's only for a very short time and at the end of the day I'll be glad that I chose to do what needed to be done. Thank you all. Marcia
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