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A Week in the Life of a Caregiver: Tuesday

Do I Feel Stressed? You Better Believe It!
By: CaregiverZone

11:02 a.m.

Dear Diary,

It seems like the summer is flying by and my life is following suit. Every morning I find myself rushing through all of my duties to set up Mom's breakfast and get her settled into her recliner for her morning rest. I tried to make some sense of why I feel I have to do everything right away and then I noticed how if I don't, my mom asks me for a million things and she wants them all as of yesterday. Do I feel stressed, diary? YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT!

I went to the ophthalmologist yesterday because I have been experiencing some clouding of my vision, and he told me I have the beginning of a cataract in my right eye. When I mentioned to him everything going on in my life right now, he said the stress obviously isn't helping matters any. Just thinking about having an operation stresses me out more. With the way hospitals are these days, I would not be surprised if they did the operation in their circular driveway and sent me home right away. The doctor also mentioned I should give up one of the things I enjoy the most - caffeine. Is there anything left to enjoy in my life?

It is amazing how impatient I am these days. Deep inside of me, I know my mom cannot help the way she acts. She constantly calls herself stupid for not remembering things like she used to. Sometimes I have trouble accepting the way she acts. I still expect her to act like she used to when I was growing up. She can still walk and feed herself, but she is always very nervous and fearful of falling. I try to give her some encouragement, but most of the time it falls on deaf ears.

When things are at their worst, I do a little exercise I invented to help me cope. I find a quiet spot in the house, close my eyes and try to find the center of my being and pull the rest of me inward. That "centering," as I call it, gives me the energy of spirit to tackle the rest of the day. Praying for to pray for patience and strength until I realized they were there already, and all I had to do was tap into those talents when the need arose.

It is almost lunchtime, and I have to run out for some last-minute items. See you later, alligator.

10:40 p.m.

Dear Diary,

Here I am at the end of another day. I did a very silly thing a little while ago. I was bringing my son his clean laundry when I broke into an impromptu chorus of "God Bless America" and we both had a good laugh! It is amazing to me I can still be so funny sometimes even after having such a hectic day as I did today.

As far as my mom is concerned, every day is the same and she gets no enjoyment out of life. I get so impatient with her negative attitude I find myself ignoring her if only for the sake of my husband and kids. They deserve to have some fun and so do I. Most of the time Sal tolerates the craziness in the house as long as he doesn't see me losing my mind. When I lose my patience, he reminds me I really should consider putting Mom in a nursing home. I try not to act like a martyr, but I really would prefer not to put her in a nursing home because I know she would not adapt well to living anywhere but home.

I read in the local newspaper yesterday that a woman with Alzheimer's disease who had recently been put in an assisted living facility walked away and was missing for two hours. She was found safe and sound at least seven miles away. What scared me the most was that we almost put my mom in the same facility for a respite stay of one week. We left a deposit with them, but because TJ was so sick with cancer, we had to cancel our vacation plans. Our last real vacation was 10 years ago. We are long overdue for another one and I really feel sorry for the kids.

By the time I was 6 years old, I had traveled to Argentina twice, and my daughter at age 9 still hasn't flown anywhere. It would have been nice to take everyone to Disney World, but everything worked against our plans this time.

In the past my mom would reject all talk of getting a home health aide to come in to be with her. She used to complain that TJ would have to be locked up while they were there, but now that TJ has passed away, there is no longer that excuse. The Visiting Nurse Service has a therapist and a home health aide coming tomorrow to see Mom. I have numerous errands to run in the morning so Charlie will have to let them both in. Thank God for Charlie. He has a good heart and is such a companion to me. I know he would rather be with his friends, but he often tries to set some time at home to help me out.

That magic time is here again, diary. I have some bills to pay and then I am off to bed.

© CaregiverZone