Trying to be supportive and objective, here...

Shwallie Member Posts: 1

Back in February, my father suffered a brain bleed which also led to the diagnosis of metastatic brain cancer (he had been fighting bladder cancer for the previous two years). My father was given a prognosis of approximately six months to live. There's nothing that can be done to combat this progression given the size of one of his tumors and the quantities of the growths in general. Since this whole situation occurred, I have been the person everyone has looked up to for support, answers, decisions, and main help in caring for my father. I have to two sisters and an older brother who are all usesless and have never bothered to grow up and become responsible. So I took steps to become my father's power of attorney so that I can legally ensure my dad is being properly taken care of by the hospitals down here (Florida's healthcare system is a joke) and also ensure his finances are being handled appropriately. Three to four days per week (especially on weekends) I make the hour long drive over to my parents' house to care for my father who is bed ridden from the stroke, comfort my mother who is disabled and gets overwhelmed by our situation extremely easily, and give my second brother who is younger than me and is autistic a break. We enlisted the help of two different hospice agencies. But they very rarely come out to the house and are only interested in shoving Ativan and Morphine down my father's throat, even when it isn't necessary. I used to work two jobs (I had no choice but to quit one to help my family) and also strive to take college classes so that I can become a computer engineer one day. I'm also battling the Social Security office in an effort to get my younger brother benefits for his mental disability that he was born with but my parents never addressed because my dad has always supported him. Pardon my French, but my life has literally become a **** tornado since February 11th, but somehow, I'm surviving. And in just in the last month, my father has significantly declined cognitively. He has problems expressing what he needs because he can't keep thoughts in his head long enough to verbally express them, his short term memory is shot, and a lot of times what he says just makes absolutely no sense. It is completely heart wrenching to see my father like this. But somehow I know I can't let his current mental state get to me emotionally because he needs me. My family needs me. It's so hard. I feel like absolutely everything has been dumped onto my plate without me having an apetite for it. I feel like I need someone to talk to that can understand what I'm going through. A simple, "I'm sorry you're going through this," does nothing to alleviate my anxiety.


  • LindaK.
    LindaK. Member Posts: 506 Member

    It sure sounds like you are overwhelmed and for good reason.  I don't know how you are doing it all.  I cared for my husband for 2 years and most of that time was pretty good, the last few months were the hardest.  He was on home hospice for about 3 weeks and then I had to take him to a hospice facility the last 11 days of his life.  Is there a hospice facility your father could go to?  Hospice does not always mean the end, but if you can't get him up or he isn't eating or talking, it may be time for the pros to take care of him.  I found the home hospice people here (in NY) to be poor at best, but once he was at their facility, it was great.  All the people who work there were so kind and caring to him and all of us.  It took the caretaker role off my shoulders so I could just be his wife. 

    At the same time, my mother (turned 89 on the day my husband passed away) was deteriorating rapidly from Alzheimers and still in the home with my father.  We (my 3 sisters and I) helped out as much as we could, but I had to remove my self for a while since it was too hard for me to deal with losing my mother (her mind, not her body) so soon after losing my husband.  I had to tell my siblings that and they all stepped up and got her into a Memory Care Unit.  Maybe you have to have a difficult conversation with your siblings, time they grew up and helped out.  You could also use the hospice people to talk to your siblings.  Maybe you just don't show up one weekend, but tell them all ahead of time you aren't and see what happens.  You can't do it all, you need a break and it won't be good for you or anyone else if you have a breakdown or collapse from the stress one day. 

    Hang in there, but don't forget to take care of yourself as best you can.