Monday, February 23, 2009

Sometimes Caregiving Blows

I am exhausted! I am feeling physically drained. Sometimes, I just get overwhelmed with everything I have on my plate but this week, my mom has really done a number on me.

She has had the flu for 2 weeks. She just sounds awful but I am just sick of going to the doctor with her. I had an appointment-free week planned for her which is rare. Seriously, she has a general practioner, a cardiologist, a diabeties doctor, a gynocologist, a dentist, an eye doctor, a retina specialist, defibulator doctor, a cancer doctor and now, she is going to have a respitory doctor too! Therefore, if each doctor wants to see her just once a year (it's more like 2 or 3 times a year) that's one appointment every month for 10 months! Really, it is more like once a week.

In addition to her health, she just got turned down for some government funding. So now, I have to figure out how to fund the rest of her life, her future care and her final arrangements. She spends half of her money on her medication and copays for all those doctors ($30 a pop) and the rest on food and shelter. I have bill collectors calling the house all the time for her. As her power of attourney I basically tell them, they can have $5 a month and that's it. It's ridiculous!!

On top of everything else, she has to get a breathing machine to deal with her recently diagnosed sleep apnea. I have no idea how she is going to pay for that either.

This isn't new. She has been a physical, emotional and financial mess her whole life. Imagine growing up as her daughter. I can't believe that I am not in a straight jacket shaking in the corner. It's a miracle that I am as together as I am. I guess I can take solice in that. But sometimes, the whole thing just makes me tired:-(


  1. Oh man, I so so feel for you. I was my mom's only caregiver (she had Parkinson's and Alzheimer's) and moved her in with my family and me for the last 2 plus years of her life.

    I so relate to the endless doctor visits, and a hospital visit set us back months. I finally started saying no--no rechecks, no hospitalizations for things they can't fix (they wanted to do exploratory surgery on her when she was 92--I refused).

    My heart ached, and I questioned my decisions left and right. I did the best I could--and it never felt like enough--for me, my husband, my kids, my mom...

    but my mom's passed now, and looking back, I see that we did the best we could. I loved her--and as imperfect as life is, I did my best to give her a good send off.

    Don't lose heart--I had to learn to just let the exhaustion, frustration, guilt and doubt wash over me and trust that the good would remain.

    ~Carol O'Dell
    Author of Mothering Mother: A Daughter's Humorous and Heartbreaking Memoir

  2. Sue you sound discouraged. You know that I have no idea what it must be like, but, I can imagine. I hope you know you are a super woman and you have incredible strength. If I can help in any way let me know.