Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Lost and hoping to be found

This is my blog, so I can write what I feel.  Lately, I have been feeling lost. 
When my dad passed away 3 years and 4 months ago I was not prepared to be a caregiver to my mom.  With me being the only child living near her, I was given the responsibility.....AND oh, what a responsibility it is.  Where are all these close friends who say they are here for you, anything you need?
My mom relied on my dad for almost everything in everyday life.  He paid the bills, went to the store, and took care of her needs.  My mom has been sick for a long time.  She suffers with Meniere's Disease and has only 25% hearing in the only ear she can hear out of, and wears a hearing aid.  She suffers with loud noises in that ear at times.  She has a lung issue and is on oxygen 24/7.  She has Gerd and very sensitive stomach, bad knees, hip & back. 
Before all of these issues, when my mom was well, she worked a very hard on the body job at General Mills as a packer.  She worked shift work.  My dad also worked at General Mills.  I remember my mom always looking her best, going to the gym and working out, keeping fit and watching her weight.  She loved going to the tanning beds and laying out in the sun.  She took pride in her appearance.  Her hair was always in place and sported the latest hairstyle.  She was the best cook.  We could always count on her to cook a big Sunday meal and have family over.  She was famous for her "Roast" dinners.  She was the church Christmas tree decorator, having every decoration on the tree in place and she crocheted white bells for each branch.  She was overseer of peanut brittle making at the church, giving of her time and her and my dad also selling hundreds of bags at work to donate to the Ladies Ministries.  I remember a time when she used her Birthday money to buy coats for my kids.  My mom was the most giving person.
She took care of my dad for years after he had a work related accident and developed Epilepsy.  She was by his side every time he would have a seizure.  Growing up, we witnessed a lot of episodes he would have and my mom was always there, being his nurse.  Thankfully my dad's seizures would taper off and with medication they got less and less.  When my mom got sick with the ear problem and had surgery, she had to take an early retirement.  It was then my dads turn to take care of her.  He remained working and finally decided to retire before he really wanted to.  He felt like he needed to be with her as much as possible.  Many times he would want to go to church but didn't want to leave her.  I would go sit with her so he could go.  With the Meniere's disease she would get dizzy and then sick to her stomach.  It wasn't a pleasant sight to see her in that shape.  You feel helpless.  People would ask "how is your mom"?  I got tired of always answering them "she's sick".  I wanted so badly for my mom to be better. 
So, now I am at a point of having to make some tough decisions on my moms behalf.  She recently got out of the hospital and is very weak.  I have been trying to find home care for her and it isn't an easy task.  I stop every morning on my way to work to make her breakfast and usually leave her something easy to grab for lunch.  I rush home after work to start dinner and usually take to her around 6:00 or 6:30.  I call myself "meals on wheels".  She did get approved for care with the VNA "visiting nurses association".  They supply her with nursing a few times per week, bath aid and physical therapy.  I am still trying to find someone to spend nights with her, to free me up.  I miss sleeping in my own bed.  Is that selfish of me?  Is it selfish of me to want my old life back?  I want a normal marriage again.  Thank God Mike is supportive and loves my mom.  He is our handy man around her house.  But, it is getting very tiring taking care of 2 houses.  We did hire a lawn service to free us up from having to mow.  She wants to stay in her home, so assisted living and nursing home is on the back burner for now.  Our hope and goal for now is for her to gain her strength back so she can travel to stay with my sister in Louisiana.  She really does need a change of scenery.  As for now, I will continue to be the daughter/caregiver and take one day at a time.  Thanks for reading and letting me share my feelings.  I don't feel as lost as when I started writing.