Dog Daze

Mama's Baby BoyI am going to share my perspective of the caregivers process and effects that it has had on me as the primary caregiver and baby son of my mother. Before I became the one to take care of mom I was just getting to the end of a long and painful battle of my own regarding a colostomy which would finally end in the second year of my caregiver experience. Six major operations in four years had me pretty depressed and not quite ready for the journey I am now on.

Caregiving requires a person to dedicate all their time, energy and emotions to the person who is suffering, in this case my mother. The bond between a mother and her youngest child is strong in its own right and out of love & concern all thoughts of my self-satisfaction went straight out of the window when I heard her husband had died. I have taken care of her since February 14th 2011 and have gained a lot of knowledge in that time but it has come at an emotional cost that has about bankrupted my already altered mind. I moved to Alabama in 2000 and I would talk to mom over the phone when I could and we would share laughter along with many other emotions and well…life was good. Around 2006 [ ? ] or so I began noticing mom having trouble hearing me over the phone so she would hand it to pops and we would talk but he assured me it was just her hearing starting to go and at 83 years it made sense to me. Not long after, maybe six months or so mom wouldn’t know who I was when I called and I was again reassured that she was fine, just having a hard time hearing.

I moved back to Indiana in 2008 and the first time mom seen me she had no idea who I was. It took about 45 minutes of staring at me, listening to people she knew and was comfortable with [neighbors, my older brother and his wife] to remember who I was but then she lit up and burst through a bubble of confusion. After that I started taking her shopping as pop’s wasn’t in good health and at that time mom could still function normally. She had stopped driving and didn’t recognize people if they weren’t around fairly often but she still had fun. Dean passed on Valentines day 2011 and at that time I started staying with mom to look after her. First off I scheduled a doctor appointment and complete physical for her. After talking to the doctor I had him remove her medications as one was for anxiety and another was for depression which she got along so much better without! We started going out to eat and going shopping.  Mom was happy and we would joke around, dance, even have a couple of beers in the late afternoon. I took her visiting to see her brothers who live only about a 30 minute drive but she couldn’t make that trip very often [don’t know why] before. She also gained thirty-five pounds around this time.

Family emotions ran high the first year and conflict about destroyed our family over the proper care of mom and making sure she was comfortable. My older brother became POA and has done a fantastic job caring for the legal things that accompany this disease. We did have altercations over money and how it was used but have since worked that out which relieved great amounts of stress off my shoulders. It took me almost two years to realize how this job could have repercussions.

Concerns of Ability:

This is one thing that can destroy a person’s mind as it becomes painfully stressful to have to adjust the level of care needed as this disease progresses. In this time of everyone judging every minute thing you do a person starts to get anxious about making ANY mistake no matter the size as then not only do I worry about the wellness and health of mom but also about myself. I have lost friendships due to the fact that I don’t leave mom alone and have no time for friends. I also lost  [what I thought] to be a serious relationship with a very talented lady. Not having any time for myself also puts pressure on me as it feels like no matter how hard I try [and so far am succeeding] I am angry, confused, angry, and restless. I have tried to make time for myself by going out to the shed and getting exercise but it couldn’t pan out due to mom getting upset because she couldn’t help.

                                                                                                         Lack of Self Care:

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This one involves more than merely hygiene. Giving someone your undivided attention 24/7 can forbid you from taking care of yourself mentally. Breakdowns need to be avoided and taking proper care of myself is the only way to ensure this. I have had to learn how and when to make time for me. Previously I had to worry what mom would do when I was showering. I was always concerned about her going outside and wandering off. As time passed this worry became worrying about her falling when trying to get up and walk through the house. Showering is one thing that helps me relax, leaving the hot water sooth sore muscles from stress affords me peace. I tried to take them after she went to sleep but quickly found out that the noise woke her up or she didn’t go to sleep and would go wandering through the house. As she is now 91 and has lost weight, include the fact that she has no comprehension of what she wants and the need to walk with her holding my hand is mandatory now. I have to choose the right time to do things while keeping her happy and comfortable. Routine house chores become hectic as she wants to “help” and bless her heart for that but she isn’t physically able to do so without hurting herself. recently I was using the restroom and she got up and fell against the entertainment center resulting in a trip to the hospital for stitches. Emotional result for me? disastrous!

Exercise and meditation are hard to get started and when I do it seems that my interest is lost due to lack of enthusiasm so I have re-gained the weight I fought hard to lose last year. This puts another damper on happiness within and a person can only handle so many dampers at once before meltdown occurs. ie; overload a circuit breaker. It comes as no surprise anymore what all is involved in this situation. Putting my life on hold is and will always be worth this time I have spent with my mother and I will survive the mental scares I’ve received during this time. Staying on top of all the emotions involved is not easy and some things I have had to release from my life altogether. All of this will pass and somehow I will be a better person for it. I self medicate to lessen the stress!

I Accept the Solution

I Accept the Solution

copywrite2014 Beibe Jones

 

 

 

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~ by beibejones on October 1, 2014.

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