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Daddy was 52 on 2/22/1992

My father suffered from Mental Illness his entire life. When he was a teen, Doctor’s told my grandmother he was hyperactive and gave her tranquilizers. I doubt he took one pill. Estranged since I was thirteen years old, I could not look my abuser in the eye. Daddy started calling when I was 28 years old. He was delusional, talking in sentences that made no sense. I picked up he needed money, I started paying his bills. He said he was going to kill himself and kept rambling. I could not get through to him. I did not tell anyone in my family either.  He was so far gone, he could not process what I was saying. February 22, 1992 my father took his life. I felt overwhelming guilt. Unsure how my grandmother would react for me not telling her. It’s a guilt I’ll carry to my grave. At 28 years old it was hard to feel pain and remember the past. In the note he asked me to handle arrangements. I did what I’d done for years, stuff my emotions down, act strong and get it done. There are many who inherit Mental Illness, have a relative who suffers or experienced suicide in the family who suffer in silence. Healing from child abuse is difficult, it can feel impossible when the abuser is a parent. I never told my grandparents about my father sexually abusing me. Everyday is one step […]

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Caregiver to Grieving in Four Days

Each day was a roller coaster by how he felt and how exhausted I was. I learned so much being a caregiver to my grandmother and grandfather. As the population ages many of you will take on the responsibility. One of the most difficult changes was going from granddaughter to caregiver. Even at 92 my grandfather had a strong mind and felt he didn’t need help. I prayer for strength everyday. My grandfather died in 2010 at the young age of 92 years old. I spent more time with him 2010 year than I spent at home. I cherish the time we had together, no matter how painful. They are my memories and my life changed forever with his death. His health declined so fast that for two days I did not realize that he was dying now, not in a couple of weeks. He was at home under hospice care and would not get in the hospital bed until two days before he passed. He fell out of bed that morning, he was so weak it was difficult for me to get him back in bed. I don’t think we would have been able to talk him into moving to the hospital bed if he had not fallen. For him the bed meant death and he was still fighting. My grandfather had End Stage Kidney Disease. An emergency trip to the hospital for his AFIB is how we learned he had about two months to live. We knew his kidneys were losing function but I was not ready for […]

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Caregiver 101 Tips I Missed

Reblogged from 2009 I care for my 92-year-old gramps and have been here five weeks. He had three surgeries in seven days. Without Caregiving 101 training, I learned the hard way. *Ask the doctor what happens if the  procedure does not work. *If a second procedure does not work, is there a third option. *What is the recovery time and type of […]

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Lost in Caregiver Twilight Zone

Written on 12/21/2009 I’m caring for my 92-year-old grandfather following three surgeries in seven days. I’m so tired it’s numbing, it’s impossible to think about doing it again tomorrow.  My grandfather is a man of habits driven by the time of day, maybe from his military background. One morning he was upset when the hospital had not brought his coffee and could not see he was the problem. We’re in a hospital not the Hilton. At home it was far worse. It does not matter that I have changed the sheets again this morning, changed his soiled underpants more than once and got him dressed for the day. If the coffee is not ready when he expects or I don’t have the newspaper yet, I hear about it. My grandparents raised me and I love my grandfather dearly but it’s hard to bite my tongue. I want to ask doesn’t he realize or care that I’ve been moving since 5:00 a.m. to take care of him. At 92 he lives at home alone, still drives (very limited), buys groceries and goes to the local Senior Center several times a week to play dominos. He amazes me with each year. He is the healthiest dying person I know and in his mind he is much younger and more capable. This makes it impossible for him to understand recovery will take several more weeks at least. I catch him doing things he […]

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I’m Mourning and She’s Still Alive

My grandmother passed away from Dementia from two strokes in 2005. I’m reposting for the caregivers dealing with a loved one with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. For those who have not been a caregiver, these post may help you down the road. For the caregivers who give every ounce of energy, just one piece of advice if I may. Take time to clear your head, 10 or 30 minutes whatever you can for yourself each week. I did not have any one to offer suggestions and had brain drain after both of their deaths. My body was physically broken down. Due to the nature of the illness it’s hard to take an eye off them, 24/7. I was fortunate we had hospice care for both of my grandparents. My grandfather was healthy enough to help with my grandmother. I don’t know how to turn my brain off. I’m Morning and She’s Still Alive As the caregiver for my grandparents my hands are full yet my mind runs at a high level by switching to what I call “caregiver mode”. I can manage tons of information about what drugs they take, schedule appointments, discuss test results or anything else needed to take care of two people who are dying and “switch back” when at home. Before the fall and broken hip my grandmother knew me. Our conversations limited yet sharing memories with her made my day. She really enjoyed a photo book I put […]

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