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A unique position?

debrajo's picture
Posts: 888
Joined: Sep 2011

I find myself being on both sides of the fence. I have cancer(I'm on the Uterine board) and have had open heart surgery to correct a birth defect(replacement of aortic heart valve) so the last three years have been rough. Now I find myself the sole care giver for my step-dad who has Alzheimers and for my mother who just broke her hip. It has been a night mare with both of them..infections,paperwork, doctors appointment,trips to the ER.They are 86 and next month 87 and I am very blessed to have them,but....I am beginning to be very selfish and resentful. I feel my life slipping away(even though I am doing well now)because we all know that monster cancer can rear it's ugly head at any time. There is no one else...just me. Everyone else "has a life".Since I don't work outside the home,"I don't have anything else to do". How do you do what you'all do and still not get bitter? My Mama has always been my best friend and my step-dad has been good to me and I feel just terrible I even have these thoughts! Would appreciate some thoughts. Thanks for letting me vent! Best, Debra

grandmafay's picture
Posts: 1639
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi, boy do you a lot on your plate! I am so sorry. My mother has dementia, and my sister cares for her. I feel so blessed that she can because I decided that I could not do her caregiving after my husband died. You do need to find help. Check with senior services and your mother's doctor to see what might be available. At the very least, you should be able to get a visiting nurse to help with your mom. Also, let people know that you do have a life, and you are entitled to live it. You need days off, too. You have been through a lot. Just being a cancer survivor is tough. You do worry about that next test. You know that life changes, and often throws us for a curve. And yes i think most of us will admit that at times we resented the people we were caregiving. It is exhausting and we grieve the life we had before we were called upon to be the caregiver. You want to be there for your mother and step dad, but you also need to be there for you. Be strong and take care of yourself. If you don't, you can't help take care of others. Fay

Posts: 296
Joined: Jan 2010

Being able to shout into the wind, virtually, on this site helped me to support my wife. But it was not all sugar and sunshine. And I've seen how taking care of Alzheimers patients wears you down. Don't be too hard on yourself, you're doing the best you can.


debrajo's picture
Posts: 888
Joined: Sep 2011

THANKS YOU'ALL! Guess I just needed to blow off steam! It has been a very long summer. Mama and I had tried to keep step-dad home for a year and a half, but he began to have visions, and took to wondering off. Mama didn't take it well and she is some what crippled so the two of them were shut up day after day! We finally got him in an Alzheimers assisted living. I brought Mama out here to live with my family to keep her from getting hurt, when she fell and broke that hip! Wound care has been the issue with her. I did take the day off today! I stayed home all day, didn;t cook or clean or do laundry and I feel great! Thanks,again, it's back to double duty tomorrow, but I feel so much better I think I might just make it!! Best, Debra

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