Trying to find my new normal...

Discussion in 'Life After Caregiving' started by Cyndi69, May 8, 2023.

  1. Cyndi69

    Cyndi69 New Member

    I've spent the last six years watching my husband disappear a piece at a time. Dementia is so cruel. Sometimes there were subtle changes, other times it seemed like a big piece of him vanished overnight. I had to change from wife to caregiver. Keep him safe and try to keep things familiar as possible for him. We celebrated our 43rd anniversary in February and he was surprised to learn we were married. Said wow, that's a long time. He passed away peacefully at home a month later. I feel like I've been grieving the loss of him for several years already. I don't really have regrets. I kept him home and took care of him until his last breath. Just wondering what normal will be now.
  2. Jeffry

    Jeffry Well-Known Member

    I was the sole caregiver to my wife, who died of lung cancer after a year of intense chemo treatments and chest and brain radiation. I watched her unending pain and suffering, the destruction of her dignity, her loss of bodily functions, her eventual physical incapacitation, and mercifully her last day. It has taken a huge physical and emotional toll on my life, but that pales in comparison to what she went through. While that last year of her life was the worst year of her life, it was ironically the most meaningful year of my life.

    Brevity did not allow you to expand upon all you had to do as your husband's caregiver, but having been a caregiver, I can imagine what your commitment to him had to have been, including having to deal with his dementia. You deserve all the credit in the world for the loving treatment that you provided for your husband. I know the sacrifice and stress you went through as his caregiver, especially during those times when you were exhausted and discouraged and had to dig deep to not let that show. Also, think just how comforting it had to have been for him to look up and see your familiar face, in spite of his irregular dementia, looking back down at him and not the unknown face of some, no matter how well-meaning, other person. You wonder what normal will be now. I don't know what normal will be for you, but what you did for him will always be part of your legacy.
  3. Nsandre

    Nsandre Member

    I was a caregiver for my beloved mom- we were together my whole life and I'm not a spring chicken! I loved her so, we were soul mates. I'm sorry for your losses. While my mom was not a spouse, it feels like I've lost a spouse since we were together for so long. My mom had congestive heart failure and other health issues. She had a toe amputated in 2022 and got into a wheelchair and never got out. I know she was miserable taking diuretics and not being mobile as she once was. Old age is cruel. If there is truly someone who watches over us, why does he/they allow us to suffer?

    I am sorry for your losses again.
    Jeffry likes this.
  4. Jeffry

    Jeffry Well-Known Member

    I don't know the answer to your question as to why your mother went through her suffering, but I do know that her suffering had to be lessened by your care. Realize just how much it had to have meant to her to have you there with her throughout her ordeal. Every time she needed help, you were there. Not just some unfamiliar health care worker, but you, her loving daughter. It's sad that she had to suffer with the cruel consequences of old age, but you provided the treatment that no expert could provide, the love of her daughter. I'm sorry for your loss, but always remember how much your care meant to her.
    Nsandre likes this.
  5. Nsandre

    Nsandre Member

    Thank you Jeffry. I know sometimes she thought I didn't like taking care of her, of course who wants to see any loved one get old and infirm- I was happy I was able to keep her at home as long as possible (she went downhill quickly) and look after her. I think her being fussy with me was just her being miserable and upset at not being able to see after her own needs. She was miserable for several months before but at least she was at home with me.
    Jeffry likes this.