Poll: Is Caregiving a Negative or a Positive Experience?

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Poll: Is Caregiving a Negative or a Positive Experience?

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Ladyleo

I am totally worn out. I have lost family, friends, a life! I spend days covered in poop, pee and having to answer the same questions over and over and over again until I think I am going out of my mind. Had my Mom been able to see herself 3 or more years ago - how she is today - she most certainly would not have allowed herself to sink into this deep, dark fog where she lives now. She always said that if she would feel that she was going the same way her own mother went, a few of her sisters and brothers - she would not allow herself to go into 'that world.' But it all just kind of sneaked up on her. I could see the changes in her. The doctor could see that dementia was setting in but unfortunately when people start down that journey into the world of AD - they are no longer cognitively aware of their own steady decline into that one place which was their worst nightmare and one place they would choose to *never* go to.\nWhat is the worst hell of all of this? That I am torn, day and night with rapid mood swings from feeling incredibly sorry for her - wanting to do anything and everything I can to make her life as comfortable as possible to feelings of such incredible sadness, hopelessness and feeling totally abandoned that I am merely taking care of a 'body' but seldom being able to find the soul in there somewhere. A soul who I can no longer connect with. \nI have times that I simply function in 'robotic fashion' going through the steps because I can feel myself sliding also into this huge, deep, dark vacuum because I am facing something I cannot make better. Not being able to come up with any answers or any solutions for a mother who I PROMISED years ago when she added in her will that she wanted to be returned to her country of birth where euthanasia past a certain point of this gut wrenching illness IS allowed. \nI have not lived up to my promise to do that for her and I feel guilty daily for not having done that for her because it was her living wish to be allowed to exit while her mind was still intact.\nIs there such a thing as 'bearing' this carer nightmare? I have no idea anymore just what that means. Is it reduced to hosing down a teeny, tiny, withered up lady several times a day? Rubbing ointment onto her paper thin skin even though it hurts her when I do that only she does not know that I am not trying to hurt her - but trying to keep her feeling as 'good' as it can get in this nightmare. I see her cry because her son does not come to visit her. (How can I tell her that he has passed away 30 years ago.) I deflect the question and within seconds that hurt expression leaves her face. And sometimes when i do that I can see how she stares at me as if there is some kind of 'knowingness' inside of her that her much loved son is no longer here and that it's only me who is left. And I was never her favourite. I was just there.\nAnd yet I love her so incredibly much and I have NO way of knowing how to deal with all these feelings inside of me because there simply are NO answers. \n