Sunday, March 27, 2011


Guilt. Ugh. I don't like this emotion. Because you feel it right away, and it kind of gnaws at you (I am picturing a mouse gnawing on a piece of rope). Then suddenly you're in tears and you finally realize the reason is... Guilt.

I am sticking my tongue out at that word right now.

Ever since my Dad has been having 'normal days' at Whittier Place, Megan and I have been cutting back on our visits. It can be as long at 7-10 days before one of us goes to see him, and that alone makes me feel guilty. When you compare that to how often we were seeing him in Fallbrook, then we would look like Saints!... but, in this situation, 7-10 days is long time.

I feel like we're being judged for not being there as often as we were in the beginning (and I'm sure they're not judging us... but who knows), and I feel guilty that it takes so long to get his prescriptions and doctor's appointments, but most of all, we feel guilty about trying to get our lives back. We were both lucky enough to be in a position to drop everything and go running when there was an emergency, but with both of us concentrating on our futures, we feel a little selfish. (And I hate that word! But that's how I feel.) Now that there's only concern, but no emergencies, we're more reluctant to cancel our personal time to go running to Whittier.

Part of me thinks that it's only normal to feel selfish, another part of me thinks... GET OVER IT! and do what you have to do! But, how long will we have to do what we have to do? This revelation led me to another thought -- I am FINALLY realizing the longevity and commitment to this disease. We handled the emergencies and thought that was the hardest part, but now it's the maintenance that is feeling really heavy. . . . .

And heavy is the only word I can think of at the moment. Who knows how long this is going to last? Phone calls need to me made, appointments need to be kept, and we need to stay on top of his financial situation for as many years as it takes. It's difficult to balance out his medical needs, his finances, his needs at the home, and personal visitations. I'm feeling overwhelmed by future days of Dad. And I love my Dad, but he's a child and as much as his home will handle the day to day things, he needs us for everything else. We're the only ones.

As selfish as we may want to be, we won't let that get in the way because I don't ever want to feel that we have neglected Dad for our own personal reasons. Elder neglect is unacceptable, and I think that would be the worst thing that could happen. Dad is relying on us because there is no one else, so we just have to find the perfect balance between our own personal time, and Dad's needs. We also have to assess what is urgent, and what isn't, and take one thing at a time. I guess that's the only way.

HOORAY! As I was finishing this blog... Dad's prescriptions just arrived in the mail. Megan is currently with Dad at the Doctor's right now, but now I can go meet her and deliver the prescriptions to Whittier Place! One thing down... next up... Dad's dental concerns.

1 comment:

  1. DO NOT feel guilty! You have to take care of yourself first, otherwise you simply won't have the strength or stamina to help your father. From what I've read, you are a great caregiver and should not feel guilty or ashamed. You've got nothing to to feel bad about, and don't give a second thought to what other people think!