I have been taking care of my husband for over 10 years now. He has multiple medical problems. He is 84 and I am 63. I am a retired LVN, so I do have some medical knowledge and experience.
My husband has a seizure disorder which is under good control right now. He had a quadruple heart bypass some years ago and also a repair for an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) about years ago. Recently, he fell and hurt his back. X-rays happened to show either another AAA or the repaired one, we don't know which. We are still waiting to hear from the doctor who is supposed to talk to the radiologist about it. At this time, my husband is probably not a good surgical risk because of his age and his overall condition. I am very well aware that the risk with AAA's is that they can burst and the person can bleed to death within a matter of minutes. I also know that it would be hard to convince my husband to have the surgery again. He didn't want it the first time.
Right now, other than that and the remaining pain for his fall, which is getting better, he is feeling ok. His quality of life isn't bad. I make sure to keep him comfortable and happy, the best I can.
My problem is that I have some health problems too (IBS) and I am really tired most of the time. I have no help and we can't afford to hire anyone. Luckily, I am not working out side the home right now. I drive my granddaughter to school 3 days a week ,which is hard on me, 30 miles round trip and lots of early morning heavy traffic. My family is giving me the money to make the car payments, so they feel that the least I can do is to drive my granddaughter. They are not interested in helping us out otherwise, but that is a different story.
My need is to just talk to people that understand my issues, so hence I am posting on this board. I am at a point where I know that my husband probably won't live a whole lot longer and I feel really guilty because I think I will feel a sense of relief along with mourning his death.
I am sorry for the long post, but I wanted to talk about my situation with people who are in a similar situation. Judith
I think sometimes we need to take the ques from our loved ones. I know I've seen alot of the elderly I've taken care of just get tired of it all. You are so right Phoenix, it is a mixture of feelings. The selfish side of us doesn't want to let go, but the other side of that is the relief, moreso for the one going home. There are just tons of emotions going on when we are losing someone we love. Judith, it sounds like your focus is right on...quality of life. Hang in there and try not to worry. I also think that a small part of the relief (if we are honest with ourselves) is that we can rest. Doesn't mean that we don't love that person, but God bless you, 10 years is a very long time. Just make sure you get as much rest as you can and do something nice just for you every once in awhile.
Hey Judith....I can certainly understand your feelings at this time. I have been caring for my mom for almost the past 10 years as her primary caregiver.
She has lived with me and my family now for just over five years. To say the least, it has been very difficult.....especially the past 14 months. She was diagnosed with extensive small cell lung cancer. She's been on hospice since March, 2007, thinking she was getting worse and dying according to the doctors. As it turns out, she went off hospice services for a day this week to get CT scans and it seems as though all her tumors have shrunk unbelieveably from the chemo from a year ago. Doctors were saying she had 6-12 months at best. They are now telling me it could be years. This has been quite a roller coaster ride. At the risk of sounding cold and unappreciative of this news, a part of me is saddened because I remain basically "trapped" being her primary caregiver. I have had NO LIFE for the past 10 years. My marriage has suffered enormously because my mother just drains me of every ounce of energy I have. I guess what I am trying to say is that I feel terrible for even thinking like this...but I am really just tired of all this nonsence. I feel like I just need to move on and start living again. However, it doesn't look like that is going to happen any time soon. I LOVE my mother dearly and would never wish anything bad for her....I am just exhaused after 10 years (she is also an amputee of the right leg and just to make matters worse she is now at a very high risk of losing the other leg) while I sit here LOSING MY MIND! I am such a lost soul at this time.
My thoughts and prayers are with all of you for peace.
I am sorry that it has taken so long to post a return message. I haven't been to the site in a while.
Is there any way you can get a weekend away? Sometimes there are respite programs that you can take your Mother to for a couple of days.
It is understandable about the feelings you have. It isn't as if you are trying to hasten your mother's death, so don't feel guilty. It is normal to feel as if you wish it was over.
Take each day at a time, or each hour if you have to. Take care. Much love. Nerfmom