I'm Tim and new here, been caregiving full time for 1.5 yrs for my wife after her stroke. We had worked, planned and saved for most of our lives for a healthy and active retirement. She had her stroke from (I found out later) not taking her diabetes/BP meds for a long period of time. Shortly thereafter I had to retire early from a career I loved with a software firm to go into this full-time.
Going over these posts are helping but I look at my wife and our marriage and my heart breaks. We built a home on acreage in truly what is called 'God's Country' as one of my retirement goals, as was a RV because she was so into road trips and camping.
Now, the days are filled with arguments when I ask her to take meds, or to simply try getting her off the couch and trying some of her 'home PT routines'. And me doing household chores and cooking and cleaning after her 'bladder accidents', and everything that has to do with country living, which at times is my only salvation.
I just watched my Mom pass after 5 years in a expensive Nursing Home. Even though the woman I married is no longer with me mentally, I could never do this to her, and live with myself. After what my sis and I went through with Mom I refuse to do this to my Son so simply manage until I can't take any more frustration.
Someone posted- "when folks get married they forget one of the two will live to be a caregiver". That is so true and overlooked. Wondering what's next, or is this is it? When I do go into public spaces I find myself now spending more time conversing with someone simply to savor a slice of intelligent conversation. I normally catch myself so I don't end up seen as some sort of dude folks need to run away from. Maybe some sort of secure electronic pen-pal system consisting of like minded folks in similar situations? Maybe someone going through this with the person they still love?
Time to get back to work and make today's Dr. apt. - Tim
Hi, Tim -
I'm Nichole and I am the Program Coordinator with Caregiver Action Network. I wanted to thank you for taking the time to post and share your story. Your experience is unique but also shares so much with what others are going through.
Thank you again for sharing and letting others know they aren't alone.
Your post resonated with me. Especially the "When I do go into public spaces I find myself now spending more time conversing with someone simply to savor a slice of intelligent conversation" part.
It is so easy to forget we were individuals before we were care givers. I miss conversations that do not revolve around illness, limitations or just what is on TV. My spouse has degenerative disease disorder and lives with chronic pain. This has lead to depression and a very narrowed focus in day to day life.
I still work, that leaves very little time for conversations that dont revolve around work or home. I too find myself in random convos at the grocery store or picking up coffee. Just to get a glimpse of "normal" life.
I wish I could be more help, but please know there are others that get it.