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A Week in the Life of a Caregiver: Thursday

Mom's Become Adept at Pushing My Buttons
By: CaregiverZone

7:15 p.m.

Dear Diary,

This has been a very crazy week, but it seems like every week is crazy lately. I still have not heard from the physical therapist or the home health aide with regard to their next appointment. My mom believes they will come again tomorrow, but I can't count on her memory anymore. I will have to change all of my plans for tomorrow morning so I can be home in case they show up. Mom is very nervous about anyone coming to the house and has become very adept at pushing all my buttons to make me nervous as well.

I've invited a friend to come to dinner tomorrow. Even though the house looks like a mess, I feel so lonely sometimes I don't care what the house looks like as long as I have some company. The house can be so quiet during the day that I feel the walls crowding in on me. Now that my dog, TJ, is gone, I feel like the little spark of life we had in the house is gone. TJ was diagnosed with bone cancer two months ago, and when I took him to an oncologist to see what could be done for him, I learned it had spread into his lungs. After that, it just became a waiting game. He was only 5 years old!

The first year we got him I thought for sure we would have to sell him. He was the most unruly puppy you could see. He ate right through the arm of my mom's old sofa bed. He calmed down quite a bit two years ago and was the guardian of the house. I used to say if anyone were stupid enough to want to break into a house with a rottweiler, they would be welcome to whatever they got.

Mom hardly noticed him at first but grew to love him. Over time she grew obsessed about him. If we tried to invite anyone to the house, she would complain we couldn't do that because the person would be scared of TJ, and he would have to be locked up in his kennel. She felt he shouldn't be confined like that.

Sal misses TJ the most. As lonely and boring as our household has become, TJ would always greet Sal at the door when he got home from work with his little nub of a tail wagging and a lot of kisses. Once Sal found out TJ had cancer, he got into the habit of sitting on the front porch with him after walking him. The two of them made quite a pair. Sal wants another dog, but I would prefer to wait a while. Our grief is too raw and I feel we need more time.

Good night for now. Tomorrow is another day.

© CaregiverZone