We spent a little time the other day talking to a neighbor who is taking care of her Mother. My husband and I had no problem relating to her situation. Our conversation brought back many not so distant memories.
She was taking a break by walking her dog. I remember our walks, just getting out for 45 minutes or so kept us from going totally crazy. She made the statement that her Mother’s condition can change from minute to minute. How well do I remember that. Momma would know me and seemed somewhat aware of her surroundings and that she was in her own home. Then she would get that far-away blank stare in her eyes and she wasn’t there anymore. I always wondered where she was when she got that look in her eyes?
Her Mother was having some problems and she was struggling with the decision of how to deal with them. Making medical decisions on my Mother’s behalf was one of the things that bothered me the most. I did not want that much responsibility. In our case, I was very thankful that we had our hospice nurse to help guide us in her care.
I struggled with my Mother’s care. I would get impatient with her. At times you just had to laugh at some of the things my Mother would do. It shouldn’t have been funny but it was a case of laughing instead of crying.
I can’t help but believe that all caregivers experience at one time or another the same frustration, the feeling of helplessness, the fear and the exhaustion. You are torn between the love you have for the person you are providing care for with the desire to walk out the front door and run away. Caregivers have so much in common.