Caregiver with issues….

I have been a Caregiver to my Momma now for almost 2 years.  My Momma is a Stage 5 Parkinson’s patient.

This would be my Momma, although this picture is 17 years old, and Momma might be a bit “glammed up”.    This is her.

She is truly a beautiful woman, that I cannot describe, other than always full of laughter, and giggles.  Her sense of humor is amazing.

This was probably about 10 years ago.  Momma decided it was high time we had a family picture of just the 3 of us.

This is Momma with the Farmer about 1 1/2 years ago.    This is when Momma could still do a bunch of things  for herself, and also be able to eat, without a tube.

This is Momma and the Farmer after we had a wheelchair ramp installed so we could take Momma outside without having to struggle, this was about 3 months ago….

Like I said, I have been a Caregiver for almost 2 years now.  First and foremost, let me just tell y’all, I am not a CNA, Nurse or anything else, other than a daughter, and a Mother, and a Grandma.

I have no formal training.  I have done tons of research, and tried to figure out things, to make things easier for Momma.  My daughter The “Nursing Student” has taught me a bunch.  When Momma lived in the Nursing Home, all of those CNA’s there and the Nurses did their best to teach me what they could.

I have done things, I never imagined I would do.  I have faced situations, I never thought I would.  But I have to confess, today was the first time I have ever lost it and become physically sick over something I had to do.  Now, to be honest, I may be wuss.  Simply because I am known to have a few things that will seriously make me gag every time.

I can not handle snot, which is silly in a way, because I can wipe the Grankids nose and clean up his snot no problem, I’ve handled Momma’s snot, no problem.  I can clean up $hit, no problem.  I may have to clothes pin my nose, but I can clean that up.  I can wipe butts with the best of them.

But then we come to my problem.  With PD, Momma has trouble swallowing.  She starts to cough and then to choke.  This has happened a bunch TO ME lately.  I know she is not saving it up just for me, but it always seems to happen when her and I are alone together.

It happened to me today, as soon as the Farmer left to go get his monthly haircut.  It was a good thing I was there by 7:30 and gave Momma her 8 am meds, while the Farmer got to sleep in.  I made the requested batch of Oatmeal/raison cookies (which is part of his payment for the haircut).  The Farmer had been gone for about 10 minutes, when I heard it.

Momma was choking, so I rushed in there.   I pulled her into a sitting position, and then I remembered some advice given to me by a really good friend, so I turned her onto her left side, and it did not stop.  So, then I remembered some other advice, and I went and got a glass of water and a mouth swab, and told Momma to open her mouth.  I swabbed her mouth and almost tossed cookies at what I pulled out.  I did it a couple of more times, and then Momma breathed  easier, and calmed down and did her breathing exercises with me.  Unfortunately for me, I had to run to the bathroom and I did toss my cookies.

I lost my breakfast and then sat with my head in the toilet bowl crying.  I’m not sure what happened.  I felt a little stupid.  Jimmy Christmas, I was in the Air Force and handled some situations worse than this what the heck?  That’s when I came to the conclusion, there was a reason I was never interested in being a Caregiver, or a Nurse or anything to do with the medical field.

I got myself together and checked on Momma, who was now fast asleep and snoring.    The Farmer returned, looking all “spiffy” having his ears lowered.  I told him what happened, but I’m not sure he understood what I said.

It was time to get Momma up, and she had no recollection of the previous hours events.   When I asked her how she felt, she replied with pretty good for an old lady.  When the Farmer came in to help me get her to do her “walkabout”, (that’s what we call her journey into the front room), we did the one, two, three….that’s when she told both of us, we would miss her when she was gone.   I’m used to this line of conversation, but I think today was the First time the Farmer heard it.  Simply because he looked at her and asked her “Where are you going?”.  Momma did not reply, and the Farmer stated to her, we would not let her go, anywhere without us.

Momma was sitting all comfortable in her chair, when I was yelling from the kitchen about the Farmer’s dinner tomorrow night and about how I would be there to help him.  That’s when I guess momma looked at the Farmer and said ‘What?”  We told her Beth would be there to get her up tomorrow and I would be there tomorrow night to put her in bed.  Momma didn’t say another word, until I was ready to go.

I finished everything up, and went to give them both kisses Goodbye, when Momma hugged me and kissed me and told me ‘I Love you Jo, Thank you for everything you do to make me comfortable.”.

I will admit I cried on the way home, I’m not sure if it was because I tossed my cookies, or because I know something is coming and I’m not going to like it.  Some people say I am looking into tomorrow, when I don’t know what it holds.  The funny thing about that is, I do know what’s coming, and while I don’t really like it.  We all have to face it.  I truly am not being negative, but maybe I am trying to get the courage to go through it.

I do know I have the UTMOST respect for anyone in the medical field.  Be it a CNA, Nurse, Doctor, EMT, Caregiver or whatever.  Simply because while I can do this for my Momma, I don’t think I could do it for anybody.  My heart would break too much.


4 responses

  1. This broke my heart. Oh Jo xxx

  2. this really squeezed my heart in half, and i wish i was there to help you. i am so thankful that you are there for her, and she is not in some foreign nursing home. love ya so much

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