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This is Tougher Than I Thought!
Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2019 8:32 PM
Joined: 7/6/2016
Posts: 29

After 6 years of almost constant care, my Dad passed away -- not from the dementia, but from undiagnosed brain cancer.  In 12 days he went from walking, talking, living a good life (with moderate dementia) to bedridden, delusional, and in agonizing pain.  He was diagnosed on a Thursday morning at the ER after a fall.  I got 24 hour nurses to stay with him.  He could walk, with a walker, but just barely.   The next day, Friday, I had to put him in a wheelchair.  I called in hospice.  He immediately qualified.  The next day, he was bedridden.    Seven days later, he went into a coma and was moved to the hospice house.  Less than 30 hours after getting there, he passed.  

I'm a teacher.  The same day he passed was the last workday for teachers (I had taken off a week earlier to spend more time with Dad.)  If you don't know many teachers, you don't know this, but teachers take off for summer vacations and trips right after the end of the  school year.  

So Dad has passed.  I don't have any work to go to until August.  I have nothing to do all day.  All my colleagues are out of town.  My dearest friend is out of the country for the summer.  My social circle has been seriously limited because of 6 years of caring for dad in my every waking hour.  I live in a very remote area.  I looked into volunteering, but the only two that still have openings both require week-long training sessions first, and the next ones are at the end of July.  I go back to work the first week of August, so that wouldn't really help.

I have one brother.  He came for 2 days after Dad passed, and helped me empty out his apartment.  Then he went home.  I love him, but he isn't terribly supportive.  I don't have any other family.  

Out of desperation,  I planned a trip for July.  It isn't all that much fun to travel alone, but I haven't got a choice.  I looked around for group travel, but those fill months in advance.  So I signed up to go on my own.   I signed up for lots of things to do, sights to see, restaurants to try-out, shows to go to -- all in an attempt to stay busy.  But I also know that eating alone, going to shows alone, going to restaurants alone, isn't all that exciting.  I did manage to find one day trip and book it -- so there will be 15 other people going.  That should be fun.  I plan to hang around the pool a lot -- usually there are lots of people around the pool, so maybe I'll find some conversation there.

I am so lost!

For 6 years, I've worked full-time, gotten off work and gone straight to Dad's, took him to dinner, spent the evening with him,  then went  home and went to bed.  On weekends, I went over and took him grocery shopping, ran errands with him, and spent more time with him.  Once a month, I went to my book club, but other than that, I did nothing social.

If I could just stay busy...

but that just puts things off for a while. 



Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2019 9:33 PM
Joined: 4/10/2017
Posts: 132

I am a teacher as well. It is barely a year I lost my precious momma. We buried momma on June 7, 2018, her birthday. Hardest day of my life. As you, summer months away from work were so difficult. In honor of my beautiful momma I worked on her garden and sewed on the family tree blanket we had been working on before it was too much for her. There are still days that are unbearable.  I have my sweet sisters that are always available. I lived with momma. Worked full-time and came home and took care of my precious momma. My older sister was with momma while I was at work. Once my day was over, my time was with momma. I would do it all over again. The good and the bad days. I know it was so hard for momma. I  simply just miss her. She was my everything. Not because she was my momma, but whoever was touched by her, including myself, was so blessed to have known her. Loving someone as I do my momma, just hurts. I hold on to my faith that I will be in  her arms again. I will see that angelic smile   It’s just the now that’s so difficult.


I will continue to pray for you  I completely understand  



Posted: Friday, June 28, 2019 8:37 AM
Joined: 5/19/2019
Posts: 12

I am a teacher ,as well.My husband(58) passed 7 months ago.I took a month off but went back to work to keep busy and occupy my mind. Summer vacation started yesterday so I know how you must feel.I still have a child at home and a house to maintain so I know I will be occupied but the friend thing?We lost all our friends during his illness and even family.My colleagues have been great.For me ,being busy helps but it is not the same for all.Good luck and enjoy your vacation.
Posted: Friday, June 28, 2019 7:12 PM
Joined: 1/17/2016
Posts: 909

RainStorm, I feel for you and I totally get it.  My mom passed the day before Mother's Day last year.  I had a routine of visiting her twice a week.  I would take her out to lunch and to get a mani/pedi every month.  In fact, I just finished her last tax return and was looking at all the sushi restaurants we would go to.  We both loved sushi and this was a special lunch.  My mom couldn't recall what day it was or keep track of time, but she always knew when it was Friday and she knew we were going out.

Caring for someone that you love as part of your daily and weekly schedule leaves a void when they are gone.  My kids are 17 and 21 now and they both drive, work and go to school so they also don't need me the same way they used to.  I would suggest you look at the website Meetup.  There are so many activities such as board games, tennis, hiking, etc.  Some of the groups are separated into age.  It doesn't cost to sign up and you may find a group to do an activity with.  My son did this and joined a board game group and was able to lighten up on his introverted self and have a good time.  Things do get easier.

Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2019 7:36 PM
Joined: 7/6/2016
Posts: 29

Thanks everyone.  I appreciate all the support.

Rockym, I did check out Meetup, but where I live is remote.  The nearest Meetup activity is over an hour away.  I don't think that will help.  I'm sure it is a great suggestion for people who are more centrally located.

I think I'm going to sell my house and move.  I haven't decided where yet, but I know staying here is not the right choice for me.  It is too remote and isolated here.  In the ten years I've been here, I've only made two actual friends, and both are quite busy with their own family, and rarely have time for me.  I see each one about once a month.  

I think an area with more "things to do" would be a great thing for me.  Starting over will be hard, but at least it will be an adventure.

I came here 10 years ago after my Mom died, because I realized my Dad  was in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's and couldn't be alone.  I don't regret my decision.  But that job ended two weeks ago, when he died.  I did my best for him when he needed me, and now, I've made all the final arrangements and my job is done.  There really is nothing else here for me.  

I've got some heavy decisions to make these next few weeks --where to move, when to move, making it all happen, selling my house, moving my stuff, buying a new house and moving in, getting a new job. Well, at least it will keep me busy.

Wish me luck!



Posted: Wednesday, July 3, 2019 10:15 AM
Joined: 1/17/2016
Posts: 909

Rainstorm, wow, your plans for the future are big.  It sounds like getting out to an active city may be just what you need.  I wish I could just pick up and go.  I was my mom's advocate for years while balancing life with my kids.  It seemed like someone always had some sort of crisis that needed attention.  I was in constant fix it mode.  When I wasn't making sure mom's needs were met, I was running around making sure the kid's needs were met.

So you would think that now that it's been a year since my mom passed and the kids are more grown up and doing well, I would be off having some adventures of my own.  Nope.  One of my cats became ill with kidney disease and needs physical care from me that I have to do 3x a week.  He's the sweetest, loving pet I have ever had, but if this was 10 or 20 years ago, he would have been put down when he became ill.  Now there are so many treatments to keep animals (and people) living that some of us are basically stuck playing god.

If I don't continue his treatment, he will probably die.  If I continue his treatment, I am forced to plan my life around him.  A couple of weeks ago, I had to go back to my mom's house to bring home any items I wanted to keep before I sell the place.  Well, I had to do the kitty's treatment the morning before I left and arrange to be back before he needed the next.

Anyway, I have sort of digressed from the topic, but in as much as you have these decisions, it sounds like you have a good plan for your future.  The things you talk about doing are all considered very stressful in a typical situation so please make sure you are taking care of yourself.  Eating properly, exercising/walking and doing anything else that keeps you emotionally balanced is important.  I do wish you luck with all your choices.  I hope you find a great place to move to that will offer you what you are looking for.