EXTREME Caregiving Day 2: Trying to Take Care of Me


EXTREME Caregiving Day 2: Trying to Take Care of Me

elephant-303409_640As I'm stepping back a little,I'm realzsing everything I've been doing. I'm still here for my sister-in-law, but this weekend I'm support staff lol, not head caregiver while we try and forge ahead and try and find balance especially for me.

Hospice is a weird thing, for most it is a few weeks as you say goodbye to your loved one, hopefully at home. I was prepared for that with SIL but I really didn't think it would be that way in my heart. I knew it would be like my grandparents, just the stopping extraordinary measures but keeping up with day to day care needs. I didn't react like that though, I reacted like it would be a few weeks and was watching every move, meeting every whim, and babying her like crazy. While that would be great if her time was close, not great from continuing care standpoint. Thank God for my mom! We've seen SIL physically improve. As I said, hospice team is in shock. My mom put her foot down and said we have to get back to our normal lives. Mom never did baby us when we were sick, and she didn't baby my grandma. Just always made sure we did what we could do ourselves, in a loving way, but steel behind it! MY MOM IS A BADA** :)! Perfect mix of strict and patience.

My back was killing me because I was lifting SIL too much and not allowing her to do it herself. The other day I was helping her get to a seated position and finally got her up. After she was seated she says. "I was pulling back against you and you still pulled me up, you didn't notice and still did it with a smile, hahaha." omg...lol I thought it was kinda funny, but my mom didn't think so!

I try and roll with it. Yes, of course it's sad and depressing but there are funny moments. SIL is like a little kid and forever trying to get away with stuff. She had two big pieces of cake so we put it away only to catch her later eating it out of the box with her hands, cake all over her face. Decides she wants to go outside and puts on a bright coral shortie shorts romper in the middle of January in the rain no less! I was explaining to her she is seeing things that are not there during one of her lucid moments and she goes, "Oh! Like pink elephants!"

It's only been two months since the personality change but I can't remember her regular way right now. Like I know she was pretty easy going and didn't put up a fuss about much like she does now. But I can't remember normal conversation. Maybe it's a blessing, because my husband and kids get a little freaked out about the new "normal" while I'm just happy when she acts in any way normal.

It's hard emotionally because the doctors have said more than once without me she would not be here. Because of her liver issues you can't give certain medications on a schedule, you have to watch her reactions and how she IS and adjust accordingly. Too much of one and dehydrated, too little and hallucinations worsen. Pain stuff, too much and she goes comatose, too little in agony. Nothing can be scheduled because her liver doesn't function normally; for normal people it would be perfectly fine to schedule it. I was just doing it, didn't realize the pressure I was under trying every single day to maintain that balance for a year at the least.

She actually said last month, "I'm going to cry and yell to get what I want like Mom did." Mind you, this has never been how she is but at times it seems there is a little of that going on. Mostly at the hospital, people thought she was my mom. lol Too funny because not only is she only nine years older than me (although I kid you not, she looks 80) but she's got bright blue eyes and is very light with light hair and I'm Spanish/Mexican and have dark hair and eyes and we look nothing alike! They always think she's my mom because of the way I care for her. But isn't this what normal people do? If it wasn't for us, who?

Blogging like this has lifted tremendous weight from my shoulders. Thanks for the read. :)

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<a href='http://www.caregiving.com/members/lilmagill/' rel=\"nofollow\">@lilmagill</a> it's funny, I don't feel all that amazing :) I feel like making a face &gt;.&lt; haha. Yea, the medicines, at the hospital more than once dr. Just said they will take my lead on medications because I know better for her. One old guy upon finding out I&#039;m a college student says &quot;um....you don&#039;t have any guns in the house do you?&quot; And I&#039;m like &quot;no, why, is she dangerous&quot; and he&#039;s lauging saying &quot;oh no, for you, this is too much stress, you may go crazy&quot; he made sure they gave me a good home care plan afterwards!


<a href='http://www.caregiving.com/members/denise/' rel=\"nofollow\">@denise</a>, the blogging is helping so much, you don't even KNOW! I'm a writer at heart, my major in school is history....my plan is to be a HS history teacher and eventually college level. In school with my essays I've been told to write more. Not much down time thus far....yesterday I slept a lot but today I spent time with SIL. Rest of weekend moms doing it.....we did see with mom she's doing more and better behaved. I think this is good to get perspective. Talked to nurse and she thinks this is an excellent idea. So hard not hovering! If it wasn't for my mom I couldn't do it, but my mom is not going to let me go as I was.


Hi, HSG. I really enjoyed reading your post - thanks for sharing! It sounds like you are doing a pretty amazing job. They should confer honorary medical or pharmacy degrees!


Hi HSG--I'm so glad you are blogging! I love what you're sharing--I love reading your perspectives and hearing the stories. \r\n\r\nCaregiving is a huge responsibility--a family caregiver summed it up for me recently: A lot of stress with not a lot of training. Thinking of the meds you dispense--wow! That's pressure.\r\n\r\nI hope the weekend goes okay and the down time does you good. :)\r\n\r\nKeep us posted as you can.