this caregiving rollercoaster

A day of intelligent, thoughtful, funny, silly, intimate, non-confrontational discussion and conversation with close women friends, and now I’m back in hell on earth.
Argumentative and malcontented for decades, he thinks being such is normal, and so he doesn’t understand the symptomatic convergence of depression and dementia. And she has both. He insists on getting her off her depression medication. I disagree. She is not on medication for dementia for other health reasons.
I no longer have the energy to keep arguing with him over her care. And so I just have to deal with watching her again slip into feeling constantly sad and fearful. At least the anti-depression meds alleviated that a little.
She is becoming increasingly afraid to be alone. She follows me everywhere, keeps asking me whether I’m going out anywhere. “Where are you going? Where are you going? Where are you going? Don’t leave me.”
I try to dance with her every night, since it’s the one thing that seems to relax her anxious mind. She follows intuitively, seems to get into some kind of “zone.”
She gets very agitated when he and I argue, and so I’ve decided to become a rope. “You can’t push a rope.”
I let him go on criticizing me and just ignore the criticism. I just nod my head when he tries to bait me into a row. If he starts shouting, I leave. Go into my room and close the door. I leave him to deal with the my mother’s upset.
This is not how it has to be. But this is how he makes it.
This post is not only my venting. It is documentation.

3 thoughts on “this caregiving rollercoaster

  1. I was my grandfather’s caregiver for the last 10 years of his life, the last 2 were hard, the very last 6 months seemed interminable. He has been gone for over 2 years now and i hear him in my head everday and i miss him so much. I know it is so difficult but someday you will miss him, i hear how much you miss her now, your longing comes through this screen…sending you sunshine on the wings of butterflies….namaste

  2. It sounds like a horrible situation for you Elaine and I’m sorry you have to go through it. I feel guilty every time I read you because my brother is stuck in Vancouver helping to look after Mom and that’s a cross I couldn’t bear for a lifetime of reasons. Nevertheless I feel the guilt.

    btw – the problem I had with comments earlier as my own idiocy – clicked on the wrong link

  3. I was my grandfather’s caregiver for the last 10 years of his life, the last 2 were hard, the very last 6 months seemed interminable. He has been gone for over 2 years now and i hear him in my head everday and i miss him so much. I know it is so difficult but someday you will miss him, i hear how much you miss her now, your longing comes through this screen…sending you sunshine on the wings of butterflies….namaste

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