This is for all the people that are caring for their loved ones. Come here to share your triumphs, sorrows, happy stories, frustrations and greif. Being a caregiver under the best of circumstances can be a joy, under the worst circumstances, it can be unbearable. Come here when you have a fantastic day and share it with us. Also come here when you have a terrible day and tell us all about it. This is your place to laugh, cry, get angry and get over it. I'll start off. My mother was 89 in March. She had a stroke in March. Until she had a stroke, she lived alone, drove anywhere she wanted to and was on her computer daily. She wrote a weekly newsletter and sent it out to her school buddies, some of which she started kindergarden with. How cool is that? Then a stroke hit her. She was paralyzed for a few days on her right side. She couldn't walk, feed herself, or do anything by herself. Several days in the hospital, then she was sent to a nursing home for rehab and physical therapy. I took her to the nursing home and she blamed me and was angry at me for her being there. Sigh...... My DH told me to quit my job and take care of my mother. Thank the Dear Lord that we were in a position for me to be able to do that, although I miss working and I really miss making money to contribute to the household. Mom went through therapy and made rapid improvement. She went to therapy every day and usually beat the therapists to their office every morning. I went to the home 2-3 times a day. She couldn't go outside by herself, so I would take her out and if nothing else, just sit outside for an hour or two. Sometimes I pushed her around the building. It was a nice place, the staff was wonderful, but it was like a prison with velvet bars for her. She was independant, proud, EXTREMELY private, and it all was stripped from her. I desperately wanted her to have her life back. I always went at supper time because she wanted a salad that was provided, but placed on a buffet, and she couldn't get it for herself. Sometimes the staff asked the residents if they wanted soup or salad, most of the time they didn't. Some of the residents had a salad yesterday, but didn't know they could have one today. How sad. Finally she was allowed to go home, but only because I said I would stay with her. This was hard on me and my husband. I took Mom to my house every afternoon so I could cook supper for her, my DH and me. She complained every day when I told her it was time to go to my house. I had to grit my teeth to keep from tearing her little ungrateful head off. After supper, I got to spend maybe an hour with my husband before Mom got up and started for the door. I ordered her a Life Alert and when it came in, I could finally go home. She was using a walker, getting up and going to the bathroom by herself and I had installed grab bars in her shower so she could bathe. Within a week, she fell and fractured her pelvis. This time, I told her that she was going to have to stay with me. I just couldn't do another 6 weeks of staying with her. She didn't like it, but it just had to be that way. To this day, she denies ever falling and fracturing her pelvis, she gets all kinds of angry when I tell anyone about it. I was up and down all night taking her to the bathroom and never got much sleep for weeks. I was a zombie. And the really crappy part was both of our bathroom doors are 24" and a wheelchair wouldn't go through them. So I parked her walker in the bathroom, it has a seat in it, and I would wheel her up to the door, lift her up, spin her around and seat her in the walker. Then I took her off the walker and placed her on the toilet. When she was finished, we reversed the process to get her back in the wheel chair. Finally she was able to go home. I went and got her every afternoon so she could eat with us. I was NOT letting her drive! I also went to her house every morning to check on her and make sure that she ate breakfast and lunch. My DH kept telling her to move in with us and she decided she would do that. She listed her house on August 6, and it sold August 13. They wanted her out by August 31. I kicked it into high gear and with the help of my sister and SIL, we got it done. On August 18, the family came and carted off what they wanted and on August 25 we had a garage sale. I handed the keys to the buyers on August 27. At the same time, we had workmen in our house ripping apart the master bedroom and putting it back together. They tiled the bathroom and shower. They jackhammered the shower floor so it was a depression so Mom wouldn't have to step over the hump that had been there, they painted, textured, put in a 30" door (her walker would fit through) laid new flooring and trim. So now Mom lives with us. I still don't let her drive. She has dug the keys out of my purse several times and taken off to prove that she can drive, but even she admits she has slow reflexes. Her license renews in March and she is bound and determined that she will pass her exam and driving test so she can drive again. There are parts of her mind that just aren't there anymore. She cannot operate her computer anymore. her mind wanders and sometimes she doesn't know where she is. Then at other times she is sharper that a double pointed tack. She argues with me when I give her medicine at night and doesn't want to take it. She is just fine with her morning meds.....go figure. I am basically under house arrest. I leave to go feed my horses but I am only gone about 30 minutes. I have no time to ride them and it breaks my heart. She tells me I should get rid of them because I don't do anything with them. This is when I want to go beat my head on the wall......the reason I don't ride is because I can't leave her alone for that long. She thinks she is just fine and doesn't need anyone to watch her. I have gotten real busy in my garden and made a few more new beds. My garden is in the front yard because that is where I get sunshine. My chickens are in the backyard and I have been working on a hoop-coop run 12'x8' so I can.......... whatelse??? GET MORE CHICKENS!! I am trying to make the most of my situation by staying busy with what I have. I almost wish I could lay on the couch and watch daytime TV, so I wouldn't go nuts with inactativity. On the plus side, Mom loves the dogs. That is a good thing because we have 3, a Great Pyrenees named Paris (outside only) a big black Lab/Great Dane named Parker that adores her, and an Aussie named Polly. The Aussie and GP both "own" me, are insanely jealous of each other and will fight to the death if the Aussie goes in the back yard. So Polly is a house dog and gets to go in the front yard. All 3 dogs are very protective of her. Mom has made real progress, but will never live alone again. I had a laptop refurbished for her, but she clicks on everything that says click here and she doesn't understand. She also digs into the guts of the operational system and I have to try to get it back together. She was once a whiz on the computer and now just can't do it anymore. She is addicted to Fox News and can't hear even with her hearing aids and blasts the walls down. Thank you Lord that she has her own TV in her room! We go to church, WalMart, the doctors, the grocery store and now she is able to go walk the 1/2 mile trail (concreted like a sidewalk) in the city park, using her walker. (it's on 8" wheels and really scoots) She sits in the front yard and watches me work in the garden and is impressed by what I raise. She delights in taking Polly and Parker in the front yard and watching them play. We take it day by day. OK, there is my story, now what's yours?? Who are you caring for? What are your high days and low days? Are they living with you, you living with them, are you able to check in on them daily or are they in a home or hospital? Let's all be here for each other. Until it happens to you, you never realize just what it takes to take on the responsibility of caring for someone.