donna | Caregiver Action Network


donna bersin
long beach
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I was the primary caregiver for my mother, Molly. My name is Donna, I am her youngest daughter, my age is 58 and I am divorced. My mother lived with me when her body started to break down at age 86 1/2. She had (a long time ago) been diagnosed with diabetes, and high blood pressure. Now, she had an infected gall bladder (that needed to be removed surgically), congestive heart failure, polyctemia, and the need for a pacemaker to be inserted surgically immediately. After two hospital stays, she came home. the responsibility for caring for this frail woman fell to me. Fortunately, a dear friend had the time to help caring for my mother, and I was able to obtain a personal care assistant through her Medicaid insurance 7 days a week, 10 hours a day. The daily routine of preparing her bed, preparing her medications, checking her blood sugar level, injection her with the insulin she needed, washing her clothes and bed sheets, cleaning and disinfecting the commode she used, washing her hair, washing her body, either through sponge-bathing or actually in the shower itself (with the help of her walker), shopping and preparing her food, visitng the doctors she needed when necessary, etc., didn't leave much time to make the most out of whatever time was let to my mother's life. I was always trying to get the situation under control, which never seemed to happen. Every day there seemed to be another problem; her declining health, the problem with her skin,(itching constantly), the food she wanted to eat or not eat, and just hoping that eventually this situation would all make some sense. She died June 24, 2003 in the hospital. Her suffering has finally ended. She was not the same woman I had known, not the same person. There was no where else to go.

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