Re: just a bit overwhelmed
Good Evening, oldcarman. What did people in our situation do before Internet? I try to think of my ancestors doing what I do now, take care of my husband, only they did it in some log cabin out in the wilderness without benefit of doctors, drug stores, telephone, running water, television, and the Internet. It must be just awful for you when your wife's illness affects her brain. I had a neighbor in that situation when his wife's lung cancer spread there. He was very lucky in that a friend nearby used to go over every day for a while. Is there an organization specific to her illness that can provide some respite care? How about a church with kind volunteers? Has anybody offered to help (if they do, say yes!). Even if you don't belong to a church, some churches have groups that would be willing to send volunteers. And, are your neighbors any help? Do you have any family you can call on?
I think this is the main thing that people don't have a clue about: more than anything on earth, caregivers need somebody reliable to stay with the caregive-ee for a couple of hours so they can get out. I can still leave my husband alone for a short period of time, and my nightmare is that things will progress to where I can't. Paid help is very expensive and not always reliable and nowadays a lot of us don't have a huge family living nearby.
Being a caregiver is like being in a whirlpool of mixed emotions. We feel (as Misty says) honored to be caring for loved ones. We also feel terrified to see them change and shrink and look sicker and older and maybe turn into a different person. We feel panicky about how we will manage all that we need to do. We feel depressed because the situations seems endless and without relief. And, being human, sometimes we wish this would all just be over, then we feel guilty about feeling that way. Right now I am struggling to find the determination to do some regular exercise; it's more comforting to sit on the sofa and eat cookies.
I find it helps to realize that we caregivers are a community---we just don't see each other. At least, comparing notes on this board helps us unionize, or something like that....wrong word, but you know what I mean. Please stay in touch. We will all be looking for your posts.