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6 years after a stroke
It’s been six years since my dad had his stroke and it seems to be getting harder on me the older I get. At first it wasn’t bad because my mom was here but since her death, it’s been all on me. We have good and bad days but it’s still so hard. My sister lives out of state and my brother doesn’t have time to deal with this. He was recently in the hospital with pneumonia and his COPD acting up and to be honest it was a really good week. I had all the free time I’ve been craving. I felt guilty the other day for telling him that I didn’t want to do this anymore. A little taste of freedom and now that’s all I want. I’m so stressed out that I end up taking it out on my girlfriend who lives here with us. Pretty sure she’s going to end up leaving me. I don’t know how to deal with all the stress that I have. I have no outlet for it. Some days I don’t feel like I can take care of him anymore.
AHAASAKatie, January 24, 2020 10:33am EST
Please know that you are not along in facing the challenges of a caregiver. It is really hard! I love this article When Caregivers are Honest it Makes Folks very Uncomfortable. I think it speaks to so much of what you are experiencing.
Would it be possible to bring outside help in for even just a few hours a week? Creating a space for you to have free time is important, as important as your father's needs. I can also share the information we have on Help and Support for Stroke Caregivers.
Please know that you are not alone in this! We are here and understand.
JamesPL, January 24, 2020 3:36pm EST
Feeling guilty is common for anyone who has had to be a caregiver for a lengthy period of time. You just feel like you need a break. You do! Katie is right about the importance of you needing some of your own time for your own personal benefit. Being stressed is not good for you or your dad. Along with possibly seeking some outside help, talk to your brother. I know he has his own health problems but perhaps he good spend some time with you for nothimg else but to keep you company. He might also be able to provide you a couple of hour breaks on occasion so you can just brielfy separate yourself from that role. If there is something that occurs that he is unable to deal with, have him call you. Also see if you might have any friends that could join you just to provide you company and some support.
I wish you all the best!