This the 1st in the series of #FeelingFridays. In these posts, I will share what I'm feeling in my caregiving journey (good, bad and ugly) . Either you’re going thru it or you know someone who is. Dementia is a horrible disease. It's like losing someone but their physically still here.
Sitting in the spare bedroom of my parents’ house in North Carolina I find myself just thinking of how it used to be. My mom would be cooking dinner and asking me to come and watch her make her peach cobbler. Aww the smells coming from the oven would be amazing. So, glad I listened and made it together. We would be watching TV and laughing and she would constantly give me guidance while I go thru life. She would say you better listen to me girl, and I did even though she didn't think so. Now the kitchen is silent and she no longer cooks. It's the constant reminder of how things would never be again. She walks into the spare bedroom and asks if I'm okay and I say yes mom I'm good and she'll say good and then walk to see her husband while he watches the game. She always cared about others, even though she's going thru the disease.
I feel sometimes as a caregiver I don't feel like I do enough and I feel a sense of guilt. I mean I can do more right? Her husband is 83 years old and still drives and loves my mother like crazy. He cleans, feeds, dresses her daily. I find that love like that in this day in age is hard to find GOD BLESS HIM. I don't know what I would do without him. He gives her care everyday 365 days a year 24/7. Can you imagine. I live in Virginia and his daughter lives in Massachusetts and we take turns going down there to give him a break. But weekends are not enough he need more than that. and wait before you say why don't you get a nursing assistant. Well we tried that. Ask her brother and sisters to come down and check in on her? Yes, I will go into that in another post.
This weekend was particularly harder than others. He had mentioned that she is getting harder to take care of and of course as an 83-year-old man the drain from daily care is depleting him of all his energy. I can see how much it hurts him to tell me this. I can hardly complain I mean he's nearly twice my age and long weekends with my mom is both emotionally and physically draining. We don't want to place her in a nursing home. My mom deserves better than that but what can I do??? I can't quit my job. That won't help anything because this disease is costly.
I will explain that and other topics from my point of view in a video and/or another blog post that I will do soon.