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Topic : When a Family Member Gets Sick

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Created on : Thursday, July 07, 2005, 09:07:23 am
Author : dataimport

Nothing makes one feel more helpless than watching a child, spouse, or parent suffering. We understand. How do you cope with illness in your family?


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July 22, 2005, 9:40 pm CDT

Thursdays For Dad ; Visiting

It's always easy for me to share fun, upbeat and encouring stories, but this is one that hits the heart.  Writing about it has helped me, and I'm willing to share it to help others who may be dealing with the same situation. Sorry if it's lengthly. 

Thursdays with Daddy

 

As I approach the nursing home doorway, I can’t help but wonder, is it me he can’t wait to see or is it just the food I bring that causes him to wait by the doorway for my arrival every Thursday?  Sometimes the workers say he’s been waiting since first thing in the morning.  Funny, he can’t seem to remember much, but he always knows when it’s Thursday. But Thursday’s are reserved for Daddy and despite the pain and hurt, I owe it to my father to visit him because he waits and after all he’s done for me, he deserves at the very least one day a week of my time.

 

 

 

My father is only 59 years old and yet he has the mind and body of a 90 year old.  What exactly is it that ravishes his body?  Well, there are so many things there is not one thing to blame in his situation.  Whether mental, physical, job or war related, this is our circumstance; this is our life and one that we trust God will get us through and I’m feeling the need to share it to help others, somehow. 

 

I don’t have horror stories about growing up; my father and I didn’t always get along. Mom says it was because we are so much alike, looking at him now, I hope we’re not so much alike that this someday will be my fate.  I hate the pain I go through just watching him and now I feel even guiltier when I think about my own pain, how selfish of me.  What about him? Somehow I think he knows he’s stuck in a body and mind he can’t control.  I know my father had a zest for life, he loved to do things and loved food, well, he still loves food, but everything else is somehow lost between a world of assumptions of what’s going on and his reality.   

 

Dad seemed to be sick ever since the late eighties.  It started out with mini strokes I believe and then some Army related health issues and eventually another diagnosis of a mental illness, bipolar.  With all of dad’s medical issues, it was such a shock to our family in 1998, when mom suddenly got sick and within 30 days she died of cancer that she never knew she had.  Mom was the glue that held our family together; she was my dad’s caretaker and life support. Now I had to step in, at 28 years old and raising my own family, I had to have dad come live with us.  I became the parent to my father while parenting my own kids.   A responsibility I didn’t realize at the time that I was unequipped to take on.  

 

 

The next couple of years are a blur to me.  Such mixed emotions, grieving a mother I loved, learning I didn’t have father anymore either, not in the sense that I needed one.  I was angry but couldn’t really blame one person. Life still has to go on.  I gained so much weight during this time.  Finally there came a time when dad had to go into assisted living.  To protect myself from my own guilt my husband and I decided to put him in one 3 hours away.  Out of sight out of mind, at least that’s what I tried to do at first, but in reality that just created more guilt on my part. And an even lonelier world on his.  What was I thinking? He already lost his wife.  After my mom died, I moved him to a brand new state and now, after living with us for 3 years, I moved him 3 hours away?    I was upset that it even had to come to that, but after those years of living with my father, I really got to see the decline that my mother tried so desperately to hide from us or she was in denial herself.  I didn’t want to deal with it anymore.  But people aren’t exposable and even when it hurts, you have to take the hurt and love the person.  It took me a couple of years to realize that but when I finally did, I had to take drastic measures to move him back closer and the one thing I promised myself I wouldn’t do, was actually the best thing for him; a nursing home.  (I remember writing late one night writing to the Dr. Phil show about the guilt I felt over that). 

 

 

It wasn’t easy getting him in, the stress nearly got me to the point of denying I was his daughter. I honestly don’t know how an elderly person can understand when it’s time to put their spouse in a nursing home. The Medicaid red tape and stipulations were so stressful, my husband eventually took on most of the battles.  But finally after hiring a paralegal, still not understanding the processes, he’s been in a nursing home since March.  He now is only 10 minutes away from my home and I made a promise to myself and to him that I will visit him at least once a week. We set aside Thursdays for Daddy. And although dad is on ground up foods because the medications he’s been on for the last 10 years have rotted all of his teeth and he has esophageal problems, the home lets me bring him a special lunch every Thursday because that brings a joy to his life. I wheel him outside to our own little area where he has lunch. The nursing home grounds people planted marigolds in our little area that we visit every Thursday, and they had no way of knowing that marigolds are what my dad planted at our home when I was growing up every spring.  I think it’s God’s way of reminding me of the past where Dad did so much for me growing up and reminding me of the joy of my childhood.  As for the joy of the food, yes he loves it, but the reality is he waits for me. It’s easier for me to think he loves the food more than me.  But my dad loves me so much and even though it’s tough watching him on his bad days when he puts the straw up to his forehead instead of his lips to drink, he remembers that I come to visit him every Thursday.  It’s amazing how a father’s love surpasses all understanding and even overrides an illness that causes him to forget simple daily living activities; he still remembers I’m his daughter.  He doesn’t know what year it is and at times thinks Jimmy Carter is president, but he knows I’m his daughter.  I’m not kidding myself, I know someday that may not last either, but for now I have Thursday’s with my dad and I thank God for showing me how much I mean to my father that I can fight through the hurt of seeing him in this condition to give him the most precious thing he holds onto, which I can’t believe is me. I’m not kidding myself, some mornings I cry before I go to visit him because it hurts so much, but it would hurt even more if I didn’t go.  I'm not saying it's always easy, sometimes my Thursday mornings are filled with crying so much before I have to go and I just pray for God to give me strength to do what's right. 

 

After all the mistakes I have made with him and the hurt in taking care of him and not wanting the responsibility, he loves me and I still bring joy to his life.  This is one of the most difficult challenges in my life but working through this and seeing how much my father loves me despite an illness and despite myself is one of the greatest gifts my father can give me, I only wish he understood how much it meant and how much he means to me. 

 

 

If your in a situation too, look for your marigolds.  If your trying to take care of your loved one by yourself, sometimes the best care is lettign someone else take care of them so you can just enjoy your love one.  I visit with Daddy now, not be his caretaker, I was too emotionally involved if that makes sense to anyone. I hope my story can help, it's helped to put it on "paper."

 

 

 

"Romans 8:28"

 
July 24, 2005, 9:58 am CDT

Missing my son....

 I lost my 3 year old son to neuroblastoma, which is cancer.  He passed away in 1994.  The one major thing that has got me through missing my son so bad and got us through all the chemo, radiation, surgeries and bone marrow transplant is God.  The next thing is family.  We are supposed to outlive our children.  But it doesn't go that way for many families.  I miss my son terribly.  I have dealt with depression and the only thing that gets me through it is SUNSHINE!  Yes, Sunshine!  I have taken antidepressants, all they did was repress my feelings, I could not even cry when on them which is not good at all.  Sunshine is truly the best medicine in my opinion.  It's Gods medicine, it shines down on you and absorbs through your skin and replenishes your spirit.  There is medical proof I have read that it raises your serotonin.  My heart will always ache for my son, but life is all about finding ways to get through each day when you lose a child.  Sometimes its about getting through each hour...but with the grace of God anyone can do it! 
I am living proof that God works.  If you are struggling from any situation that life can through at you, give Him a chance.  It could be the difference between life and death...your own.  I stumble sometimes, I get so sad and miss my son so bad that I think I cannot go on, then I pick myself back up and later realize, I had help, I was too weak to do it alone...God had his arms around me the whole time.
I wish whomever is reading this the blessing of our Lord and Saviour.  May you reach out to Him and allow Him to wrap his arms around you and heal you. 
God bless,
Christy
 
August 4, 2005, 12:46 am CDT

One With Parkinsons; The Other with Altzheimer's

My Mom, bless her, has been diagnosed with Parkinsons. My Dad is afflicted with altzheimers. Mom and Dad are 79 and 80, respectively. They have lived in the same house for nearly 30 years, and have had a marriage for nearly 60 years. Up to this point, they struggled with the common things couples struggle with, but remained committed to one another. My Mom, the stronger of the two now, has a number of tasks to shoulder, many of which she has no experience with, or is physically unable to complete. They have a woman clean the house twice a week, and a neighbor man comes around to mow the lawn and do handyman tasks.

 

I just came home, to where I live in California, from where Mom and Dad live, in Pennsylvania, after the annual trip I make to visit them Things have changed in the house this time, though. I found myself getting sad that my Dad was unable to drive, let alone ride a lawn tractor, which was once his favorite outdoor activity. He is mostly lucid, and can read a newspaper and talk intelligently about the articles he read. My Mom is unable to fold linens or to cook, though she's able to drive a short distance to see the doctor, or to take herself and my Dad to a neighborhood buffet restaurant, to eat one meal a day.

 

I guess my love for my parents and my compassion are real, but I'm concerned that they will both need a helper, in order to continue living in their house, and maintain health themselves. My Mom is worried and cried many times on my shoulder. She's scared. I found myself sobbing with her, but I kept my composure despite my sadness.

 

I hope that someone on this list can help me understand what Parkinsons is, and what Altzheimer's is--these are two diseases that I'm aware of (my Dad's mother and sister died with Altzheimer's), but need some education about how to deal with two parents and these illnesses.

 
August 5, 2005, 10:08 pm CDT

Never a Dull Moment

I am a faithful follower of Dr.Phil Show, I never thought I would ever, ever have to write to someone to help me with my own illness, which to this point I thought I was managing fairly well, until tonight....a quick history, became quite ill at the age of 43, after extensive diagnostic tests, I learned I have Muscular Dystrophy, I was working full time and loved it, I could drive anywhere and loved it, now 10 yrs. later at the age of 53, Muscular Dystrophy has taken over my life, I can't walk very far, although I am still able to shuffle about, heaven forbid I should trip...I can't get out of regular chair, without assistance, I can't get out of any low riding vehicles, without assistance, food doesn't impress me anymore, could take it or leave it, after all these years of coping with this disease, I have been having seizures for the last couple of months, I don't know I am having or had them until I can't remember something, it is getting more and more frequent..I am scared to death...I cry at a drop of a hat, don't even need the hat, I cry all the time, it seems for no reason, I get confused, my whole body has sensations that I have never felt before, burning up and down my arms into my fingers, not even really a burning sensation, just alot of pain, I am on alot of medication to try to control the seizures now....but for the life of me I can't seem to deal with this new part of my illness...I thought I handled my illness very well in the beginning, people have said they never knew I was ill, I hid it well...but as the disease progresses, I am getting more and more paranoid, of what's to come, God willing i will be around alot more years, if I can just get a grip on what life is handing me now. I have a wonderful husband, we just celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary, we have a wonderful son Danny who is 32 yrs. old...and two adorable cats, the comedy relief team...my husband has been unwavering, he has been through it all with me, through think and thin, I knew I made the right choice when I married him and we said it would be forever, cause it has and will be, my son has been another rock in my life, as his mother I can do no wrong, according to him, he is my precious gem....I'm so sorry if i have rambled on, but it seems I have found my niche, I guess I just needed to vent, i really, really appreciate anyone who reads this. Hopefully life won't throw anything more my way for a while, however a grandchild would be nice..Thanks so much for taking the time to read my mail I feel a little better  warmest regards from Windsor, Ontario, Canada  Dale   aka  bdbarry
 
August 11, 2005, 9:38 pm CDT

parkinsons & altzheimers

Quote From: mohabee96

My Mom, bless her, has been diagnosed with Parkinsons. My Dad is afflicted with altzheimers. Mom and Dad are 79 and 80, respectively. They have lived in the same house for nearly 30 years, and have had a marriage for nearly 60 years. Up to this point, they struggled with the common things couples struggle with, but remained committed to one another. My Mom, the stronger of the two now, has a number of tasks to shoulder, many of which she has no experience with, or is physically unable to complete. They have a woman clean the house twice a week, and a neighbor man comes around to mow the lawn and do handyman tasks.

 

I just came home, to where I live in California, from where Mom and Dad live, in Pennsylvania, after the annual trip I make to visit them Things have changed in the house this time, though. I found myself getting sad that my Dad was unable to drive, let alone ride a lawn tractor, which was once his favorite outdoor activity. He is mostly lucid, and can read a newspaper and talk intelligently about the articles he read. My Mom is unable to fold linens or to cook, though she's able to drive a short distance to see the doctor, or to take herself and my Dad to a neighborhood buffet restaurant, to eat one meal a day.

 

I guess my love for my parents and my compassion are real, but I'm concerned that they will both need a helper, in order to continue living in their house, and maintain health themselves. My Mom is worried and cried many times on my shoulder. She's scared. I found myself sobbing with her, but I kept my composure despite my sadness.

 

I hope that someone on this list can help me understand what Parkinsons is, and what Altzheimer's is--these are two diseases that I'm aware of (my Dad's mother and sister died with Altzheimer's), but need some education about how to deal with two parents and these illnesses.

my grandma had parkinsons and she also had altzheimers later on. when she was living at home she did really great.  they just need to keep on moving and excercise.  and the medication  that is out there.  Don't let her give up either.and please don't put her in a nursing home as thatn will make her give up easily.  once my grandma was in a nursing home it didn't take long at all.  its the activity and keeping her mind active around family memebers that will help.  as for your father,  time will only make him lose his memeory.  my grandma lost her memeory but 1 thing,my dad chewing his tobacco. and then she wander about why her husband wasn't coming to see her and he has been dead for years but with altzheimers setting in she didn't remember it.  she thought he left her.  we visited her and kepted up talking about everything as normal.  up to the day she died.  your mom will shake some yes with parkinsons but don't let it bother her, have her keep doing her normal routine around the house.  maybe take a short a walk if she is able or get a tread mill also.  have her stay active.  your parents will do just fine .  turn to God as the altzheimers gets bad, and you need help and may many Blessings come to you and yours.   2nephi
 
August 11, 2005, 9:59 pm CDT

When a Family Member Gets Sick

Quote From: bdbarry

I am a faithful follower of Dr.Phil Show, I never thought I would ever, ever have to write to someone to help me with my own illness, which to this point I thought I was managing fairly well, until tonight....a quick history, became quite ill at the age of 43, after extensive diagnostic tests, I learned I have Muscular Dystrophy, I was working full time and loved it, I could drive anywhere and loved it, now 10 yrs. later at the age of 53, Muscular Dystrophy has taken over my life, I can't walk very far, although I am still able to shuffle about, heaven forbid I should trip...I can't get out of regular chair, without assistance, I can't get out of any low riding vehicles, without assistance, food doesn't impress me anymore, could take it or leave it, after all these years of coping with this disease, I have been having seizures for the last couple of months, I don't know I am having or had them until I can't remember something, it is getting more and more frequent..I am scared to death...I cry at a drop of a hat, don't even need the hat, I cry all the time, it seems for no reason, I get confused, my whole body has sensations that I have never felt before, burning up and down my arms into my fingers, not even really a burning sensation, just alot of pain, I am on alot of medication to try to control the seizures now....but for the life of me I can't seem to deal with this new part of my illness...I thought I handled my illness very well in the beginning, people have said they never knew I was ill, I hid it well...but as the disease progresses, I am getting more and more paranoid, of what's to come, God willing i will be around alot more years, if I can just get a grip on what life is handing me now. I have a wonderful husband, we just celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary, we have a wonderful son Danny who is 32 yrs. old...and two adorable cats, the comedy relief team...my husband has been unwavering, he has been through it all with me, through think and thin, I knew I made the right choice when I married him and we said it would be forever, cause it has and will be, my son has been another rock in my life, as his mother I can do no wrong, according to him, he is my precious gem....I'm so sorry if i have rambled on, but it seems I have found my niche, I guess I just needed to vent, i really, really appreciate anyone who reads this. Hopefully life won't throw anything more my way for a while, however a grandchild would be nice..Thanks so much for taking the time to read my mail I feel a little better  warmest regards from Windsor, Ontario, Canada  Dale   aka  bdbarry
I know what you are going thru.  i am losing my sight and my hearing and I have a heart condition.  my husband is my tower of strenghth and gives me so much support also.  we are so lucky to have them.   when i first started losing everything as I had worked for 25 yrs in restaurants I went for counsiling to deal with it all.  it helped me and also praying to God.  You know he listens also and answers our prayers if we just learn to listens.  Now with everything else I have deal with i have headaches that are worse than migraines that I have have everyday and the dr. is trying to find the right medication and dosage to control them.  I make it day by day.  I still do just about everything but work my job as I need my eyes and ears to do that.  But I know you can get thru this also.  you have a greeat support system there with your husband.  you can do it. I have plenty of faith in you and i know that you can get thru this as it is just a shock right now.  once you decide you its ok and you are going to live your life to the fullest and like you want and like you always do, don't let it beat you. some days might be a bad sure. I have them everyday with my headaches but i keep going.  I don't let it get me down.  I have things to do.  I know you will come thru this just fine and be able to handle it as God will be with you. ask god to be with you and guide you during all these tough times and trials.  Many blessings to you and yours,  have faith, I know you can do it.  I have faith in you and i know you can get thru it.  2nephi
 
August 13, 2005, 8:59 pm CDT

Never a Dull Moment

Quote From: 2nephi

I know what you are going thru.  i am losing my sight and my hearing and I have a heart condition.  my husband is my tower of strenghth and gives me so much support also.  we are so lucky to have them.   when i first started losing everything as I had worked for 25 yrs in restaurants I went for counsiling to deal with it all.  it helped me and also praying to God.  You know he listens also and answers our prayers if we just learn to listens.  Now with everything else I have deal with i have headaches that are worse than migraines that I have have everyday and the dr. is trying to find the right medication and dosage to control them.  I make it day by day.  I still do just about everything but work my job as I need my eyes and ears to do that.  But I know you can get thru this also.  you have a greeat support system there with your husband.  you can do it. I have plenty of faith in you and i know that you can get thru this as it is just a shock right now.  once you decide you its ok and you are going to live your life to the fullest and like you want and like you always do, don't let it beat you. some days might be a bad sure. I have them everyday with my headaches but i keep going.  I don't let it get me down.  I have things to do.  I know you will come thru this just fine and be able to handle it as God will be with you. ask god to be with you and guide you during all these tough times and trials.  Many blessings to you and yours,  have faith, I know you can do it.  I have faith in you and i know you can get thru it.  2nephi
Well, thankyou very much for the words of encouragement..the day i wrote that letter, Never a Dull Moment, was a particularily hard day for me...normally I am pretty upbeat, I have been reading to many newspaper obituaries, all the deaths of people so young, it just made me very sad that day..How life is too short...and your right i do have more things to do in this life, alot more, I have a mum and brother who need and love me, I have a wonderful son and hubby who love and need me and I have to adorable kitties, who wouldn't know what to do without me....and i'm still waiting to be a gramma, hopefully someday...Once again thankyou, your words of encouragement have helped an ailing heart, so to speak....warmest regards from Windsor, Ontario, Canada  bdbarry
 
August 15, 2005, 10:37 pm CDT

Alzheimers

Quote From: mohabee96

My Mom, bless her, has been diagnosed with Parkinsons. My Dad is afflicted with altzheimers. Mom and Dad are 79 and 80, respectively. They have lived in the same house for nearly 30 years, and have had a marriage for nearly 60 years. Up to this point, they struggled with the common things couples struggle with, but remained committed to one another. My Mom, the stronger of the two now, has a number of tasks to shoulder, many of which she has no experience with, or is physically unable to complete. They have a woman clean the house twice a week, and a neighbor man comes around to mow the lawn and do handyman tasks.

 

I just came home, to where I live in California, from where Mom and Dad live, in Pennsylvania, after the annual trip I make to visit them Things have changed in the house this time, though. I found myself getting sad that my Dad was unable to drive, let alone ride a lawn tractor, which was once his favorite outdoor activity. He is mostly lucid, and can read a newspaper and talk intelligently about the articles he read. My Mom is unable to fold linens or to cook, though she's able to drive a short distance to see the doctor, or to take herself and my Dad to a neighborhood buffet restaurant, to eat one meal a day.

 

I guess my love for my parents and my compassion are real, but I'm concerned that they will both need a helper, in order to continue living in their house, and maintain health themselves. My Mom is worried and cried many times on my shoulder. She's scared. I found myself sobbing with her, but I kept my composure despite my sadness.

 

I hope that someone on this list can help me understand what Parkinsons is, and what Altzheimer's is--these are two diseases that I'm aware of (my Dad's mother and sister died with Altzheimer's), but need some education about how to deal with two parents and these illnesses.

This is such a sad disease.  I have tried to educate myself about it, but I have found nothing much that really makes me understand the difference between this and dimensia, maybe it is all the same only dimensia is the beginning stages of Alzheimer's.   

  

My 90 year old aunt is suffering with this.  It was one of her worst fears and it has hit her.  She has no children, is the last one living of her siblings, her husband died many years ago.  She has only nieces and nephews to help her.  I have been helping her for the past 12 years, paying her bills, driving her to the store, doctors appt, everything she needs.   

  

She first started being confused, but was still eating and taking care of her appearance, etc.  But as time went on she would panic because she was confused about things, she forgot to take her meds, didn't eat, didn't know what time of day it was, and even started wandering outside and couldn't find her way home.  It is progressive.   

  

It became more than I could handle and I was afraid she would hurt herself, so I made the decision to move her to assisted living.  It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.  She cried, didn't understand why she had to move and didn't want to.  Leaving her apartment that she was used to seemed to confuse her more.  She has lived in assisted living for over 2 years now and still can not find her way to her room.  She doesn't really understand where she is or why she is there. 

  

In my area there are community programs such as Meals on Wheels to help the elderly.  It is low cost and at least they get one good meal a day.  That helped temporarily but she was still losing weight.  Assisted living also helped in the beginning.  She was more stimulated by all the people, on a good schedule, and got her meds on time.  But the disease takes control and it is a slow process of forgetting how to do everything.  She is now 94 pounds, has had several falls and now uses a walker, has no idea where she is, asks about her mother and others who have died, doesn't remember anything you tell her, etc.  Her level of care goes up every month and is now on Hospice.  It's a sad thing to see.  

 
August 17, 2005, 1:32 pm CDT

Thank you

Quote From: k2lnd2

It's always easy for me to share fun, upbeat and encouring stories, but this is one that hits the heart.  Writing about it has helped me, and I'm willing to share it to help others who may be dealing with the same situation. Sorry if it's lengthly. 

Thursdays with Daddy

 

As I approach the nursing home doorway, I can’t help but wonder, is it me he can’t wait to see or is it just the food I bring that causes him to wait by the doorway for my arrival every Thursday?  Sometimes the workers say he’s been waiting since first thing in the morning.  Funny, he can’t seem to remember much, but he always knows when it’s Thursday. But Thursday’s are reserved for Daddy and despite the pain and hurt, I owe it to my father to visit him because he waits and after all he’s done for me, he deserves at the very least one day a week of my time.

 

 

 

My father is only 59 years old and yet he has the mind and body of a 90 year old.  What exactly is it that ravishes his body?  Well, there are so many things there is not one thing to blame in his situation.  Whether mental, physical, job or war related, this is our circumstance; this is our life and one that we trust God will get us through and I’m feeling the need to share it to help others, somehow. 

 

I don’t have horror stories about growing up; my father and I didn’t always get along. Mom says it was because we are so much alike, looking at him now, I hope we’re not so much alike that this someday will be my fate.  I hate the pain I go through just watching him and now I feel even guiltier when I think about my own pain, how selfish of me.  What about him? Somehow I think he knows he’s stuck in a body and mind he can’t control.  I know my father had a zest for life, he loved to do things and loved food, well, he still loves food, but everything else is somehow lost between a world of assumptions of what’s going on and his reality.   

 

Dad seemed to be sick ever since the late eighties.  It started out with mini strokes I believe and then some Army related health issues and eventually another diagnosis of a mental illness, bipolar.  With all of dad’s medical issues, it was such a shock to our family in 1998, when mom suddenly got sick and within 30 days she died of cancer that she never knew she had.  Mom was the glue that held our family together; she was my dad’s caretaker and life support. Now I had to step in, at 28 years old and raising my own family, I had to have dad come live with us.  I became the parent to my father while parenting my own kids.   A responsibility I didn’t realize at the time that I was unequipped to take on.  

 

 

The next couple of years are a blur to me.  Such mixed emotions, grieving a mother I loved, learning I didn’t have father anymore either, not in the sense that I needed one.  I was angry but couldn’t really blame one person. Life still has to go on.  I gained so much weight during this time.  Finally there came a time when dad had to go into assisted living.  To protect myself from my own guilt my husband and I decided to put him in one 3 hours away.  Out of sight out of mind, at least that’s what I tried to do at first, but in reality that just created more guilt on my part. And an even lonelier world on his.  What was I thinking? He already lost his wife.  After my mom died, I moved him to a brand new state and now, after living with us for 3 years, I moved him 3 hours away?    I was upset that it even had to come to that, but after those years of living with my father, I really got to see the decline that my mother tried so desperately to hide from us or she was in denial herself.  I didn’t want to deal with it anymore.  But people aren’t exposable and even when it hurts, you have to take the hurt and love the person.  It took me a couple of years to realize that but when I finally did, I had to take drastic measures to move him back closer and the one thing I promised myself I wouldn’t do, was actually the best thing for him; a nursing home.  (I remember writing late one night writing to the Dr. Phil show about the guilt I felt over that). 

 

 

It wasn’t easy getting him in, the stress nearly got me to the point of denying I was his daughter. I honestly don’t know how an elderly person can understand when it’s time to put their spouse in a nursing home. The Medicaid red tape and stipulations were so stressful, my husband eventually took on most of the battles.  But finally after hiring a paralegal, still not understanding the processes, he’s been in a nursing home since March.  He now is only 10 minutes away from my home and I made a promise to myself and to him that I will visit him at least once a week. We set aside Thursdays for Daddy. And although dad is on ground up foods because the medications he’s been on for the last 10 years have rotted all of his teeth and he has esophageal problems, the home lets me bring him a special lunch every Thursday because that brings a joy to his life. I wheel him outside to our own little area where he has lunch. The nursing home grounds people planted marigolds in our little area that we visit every Thursday, and they had no way of knowing that marigolds are what my dad planted at our home when I was growing up every spring.  I think it’s God’s way of reminding me of the past where Dad did so much for me growing up and reminding me of the joy of my childhood.  As for the joy of the food, yes he loves it, but the reality is he waits for me. It’s easier for me to think he loves the food more than me.  But my dad loves me so much and even though it’s tough watching him on his bad days when he puts the straw up to his forehead instead of his lips to drink, he remembers that I come to visit him every Thursday.  It’s amazing how a father’s love surpasses all understanding and even overrides an illness that causes him to forget simple daily living activities; he still remembers I’m his daughter.  He doesn’t know what year it is and at times thinks Jimmy Carter is president, but he knows I’m his daughter.  I’m not kidding myself, I know someday that may not last either, but for now I have Thursday’s with my dad and I thank God for showing me how much I mean to my father that I can fight through the hurt of seeing him in this condition to give him the most precious thing he holds onto, which I can’t believe is me. I’m not kidding myself, some mornings I cry before I go to visit him because it hurts so much, but it would hurt even more if I didn’t go.  I'm not saying it's always easy, sometimes my Thursday mornings are filled with crying so much before I have to go and I just pray for God to give me strength to do what's right. 

 

After all the mistakes I have made with him and the hurt in taking care of him and not wanting the responsibility, he loves me and I still bring joy to his life.  This is one of the most difficult challenges in my life but working through this and seeing how much my father loves me despite an illness and despite myself is one of the greatest gifts my father can give me, I only wish he understood how much it meant and how much he means to me. 

 

 

If your in a situation too, look for your marigolds.  If your trying to take care of your loved one by yourself, sometimes the best care is lettign someone else take care of them so you can just enjoy your love one.  I visit with Daddy now, not be his caretaker, I was too emotionally involved if that makes sense to anyone. I hope my story can help, it's helped to put it on "paper."

 

 

 

"Romans 8:28"

Your story hits on all the same emotions I have about being the care taker.  I didn't realize how difficult it would be.  And I don't think others know the sacrifices we make with our families to have the time to do this.  Somedays I feel like nobody really knows how much time I spend doing laundry, banking, personal things.  Even though their basic needs of food, meds, supervision are being met, there are still other needs than only the family can provide.  Most people don't even bother to stop by and say hello cause they think she doesn't remember any way, but she knows for that moment in time. 
 
August 17, 2005, 9:37 pm CDT

Small Cell lung cancer

My hubby was dx with SCLC in june of this year,he has recieved 9 chemo tx's and 35 radiation tx's the Dr is giving him a two week "vacation" from all tx's and they he will do a complete body scan on the 25th of this month to see if the cancer has spread.   

My hubby seemed to tolerate all the tx's well with minimal side effects. now a week after his tx he is very sick with radiation burns to his esophogus,he is not eating and barely taking fluids ,he says it hurts too much to swallow!!   

I sit here day after day and watch my once vibrant hubby detoriate to skin and bones and with bearly enough energy to make it to the bathroom,I don't know how much longer I can be strong,but I know I have to be strong for him or he'll give up and die!!   

Please pray for me to stay strong and that the scans show no signs of spreading.  

   

    

 
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