Being a caregiver to a loved one is one of the most gut-wrenching things a person has to do.
This is her story:
I’ve been contemplating blogging for quite sometime. I’ve been afraid to for several reasons, but to rattle off a few: anonymity, vulnerability, and pure avoidance. I have a fear that if I actually put the feelings/circumstances/questions out there, it means I actually have to deal with them. Thank you Aunt Becky for starting this blog…so I can get my toes wet.
From what I can tell of this space, many are dealing with loss, mostly stemming from the unfathomable experiences associated with childbearing/loss/postpartum/depression and the host of other issues those of us who are now “adults” face. I would like to add another sad layer to party – dealing with caring for someone whose mind and spirit are being slowly ripped away through Alzheimer’s Disease.
My mother, the beautiful, talented, smart, amazing hero of my world, is slipping away. I cannot say things like…she has had a full life, this is part of getting older etc. You see, she’s only 61 years old. We are at least 5 years into this battle (it took most of those 5 years just to get a diagnosis) and it feels like this freight train is traveling full force. Every day, for my mom, is the best it will ever be. Tomorrow, some different aspect of the person she is today will be gone. For now, she knows me, she knows my kids, she know she is my mom. She doesn’t remember where she lives, when the last time she talked to me was, whether or not she fed the dog (yes, at least 5 times now) or how old the kids are, let alone that she just told me the same story for the tenth time in a single conversation. It can be so frustrating, but I have to constantly remind myself…today is as good as it gets.
I need an outlet…and hope this can be one. Caregiving, whether its for an infant, child, spouse, sibling or parent, means giving more of ourselves than we ever thought we could give.
And that comes at a price. I look to you, fellow fighters, for insight, laughs and support. I promise to give it all back.
I am so sorry for what you are going through. I worked on an Alzheimer’s unit, and I got very close to some of my patients. They became like family to me. It was horrible to watch their world and their grasp on reality slip away a little more each day. I know this can’t compare to how it feels to have a parent going through this. I know you must feel a multitude of things that are very hard to deal with. Thank you for sharing. You are a strong person and your mom is lucky to have you. You are very wise to enjoy every moment you have with her!! Good luck.
My mother was also my hero/ best friend. I lost her to cancer three years ago. She was only 54. Prior to that, she lived with me and I was her caregiver. Thank you for this post. I can’t imagine exactly what you’re going through, only that it must be agonizing. I want to eventually try to write something about my mom and our story but its hard to put it down, out there, in black and white. I commend everyone for doing just that.
I am so sorry about your situation. Every day must be very difficult for you, and I hope that blogging (here, and anywhere else you choose) is something that helps. I know it helps me. Be as well as possible, and I hope that today’s best day was a day that you can treasure when the worse days come.
I’m entirely sympathetic and I want you to make sure to get some respite when you’re getting burnt out. Sending you and Mom lots of love.
I, too, am caring for a parent. My mother has memory problems along with anxieties from a lifetime ago only now surfacing. It is a challenge every day to pour myself into her (counseling experience) not just once but over the long haul. I am drained so often. Counseling is one thing, this is another. I have a longtime friend who has cared for a disabled (by surgery) son for 20 years so I cannot complain. Yet I hurt, I struggle. So I can say with some assurance that I understand a bit of your struggle, (anonymous), and can only encourage you to cherish each moment as your mom transitions to the next life. It’s what I am trying to do.