Hello all. I was a caregiver of my mother and father for 20 years. The first 10 years I lived outside the US but took every vacation to come home and help out and was actually able to arrange to work from my hometown some so that I could stay and help look after my parents. That situation cost me my long-term relationship, led to taking a loss when selling my home and eventually moving back to the US. Two months after I arrived which I thought could be a temporary situation, my father fell and broke his hip. My mother was in a wheelchair from a massive stroke that she had had in 2000. I then with the help of a rotation of sitters became their full-time guardians, financial planner, yard person, health care advocate, and anything else you can possibly imagine.
My mother died in 2012 and my father was put on the hospice in December 2019. He passed peacefully in his sleep in January 2020. The last three months of his illness were emotionally draining. He was constantly calling out for help and trying to physically escape the evitabile by constantly trying to climb out of the bed. He was always made as comfortable as possible. I was able to maintain my promise and keep him at home until the end.
In the past and particular after a long business trip that took me to China, I started experiencing about every year some intestinal issues that were cleared up after some antibiotics and rest.
During that last three months of my father’s illness, I started to have some intestinal issues but I was so busy looking after his situation and maintaining a full time job, two households, a full time relationship so I pushed it aside. However once the funeral was over and the new normal set in I was able to finally focus on myself and realize that the intestinal issues hadn’t resolved themself.
I did go to the doctor and they started a treatment for IBS which has provided some relief but not all and I have a follow up appointment on Thursday.
After dedicating 20 years to my parents, my greatest fear was always to get to the end and then find myself with some life-threatening disease that would not leave give me any time to enjoy my own life. All the blood work that was taken during my physical and my other exams have all turned out fine but the uneasiness and fear continues.
So to my question...did anyone else start experiencing health issues after the passing of your loved one that you were caring for that you found were attributable to stress? Part of me honestly thinks that this is all due to the incredible stress that I have been under for so long. I’ve also experienced the loss of my brother (who was no help with my parents and created only anguish) in April of last year, the loss of a dear cousin in September of last year, the death of my father in January and 2 days later the death of his niece.
It’s been a long 20 years, my friends. Thanks for listening and I welcome any comments.