I am not sure how much more of this I can handle. So far (I guess) I have been stronger than I thought I could be, but this is really hard. The stress level of caring for a parent can be high just in general, but add dementia to it and it becomes so much harder to handle. Last night was a fair night, but the night before was bad. He thought I was his brother (come on… I know they hacked half of my breast off with the cancer but I am not THAT flat chested and I swear the whiskers are plucked daily!) and he was sure he had to work when he has been retired for 15 years.
I think the hardest part of the dementia is him not seeing me as his daughter. I have been his brother, my sister, my mom (who has been gone 8 1/2 years now) and just another one of the caregivers. He sees things and hears things. At least a dozen times now he has talked about others in the room when it was just the two of us.
What I am beginning to worry about is what this is doing to me. Just how detrimental is all this stress on my fibro, depression and anxiety. I know the fatigue levels have been off the charts (maybe some of that was the holiday stress added in too) but I am more achy and have not been able to shake the sciatica pain. Anxiety meds both day and night, where I used to only take them at night. And an intense feeling of wanting to just sit and cry (doctor says the antidepressants keep me from crying when I need to…it is a really weird feeling).
I just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Rely on my past record of making it through tough days as a sign I will get through the next one. And hope I am doing something good for Dad. I am doing what I can to help him stay in his home. There may come a point in time though when it is too much for me and we will have no choice. In the meantime I rest when I am home and trudge through the mire of dementia to try to find my Dad every night.
Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – detrimental