I just found out about this from a post on Facebook. I'm so glad to see that there are forums for people to talk about this but it still needs to be more exposed. I am 37 years old and from the age of 18 until 36, i took care of my mother who had Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. I was the only caregiver even though I had a brother and a few family members. My brother struggled with depression and was raising his own family so was not able to contribute his time like i did. Other family could not be bothered and quite honestly, it's probably good that it happened that way. There were a few who helped here and there during the last years but I bore the brunt of it. My mom required 24 hour care . She did not "live" with me but I spent the majority of my time with her at her home and in hospitals. Only caregivers who are there day in and day out know what we go through - driving to appointments, fixing meals, cleaning up meals that have spilled on the floor, bathing, changing diapers,cleaning two houses, laundry, arguing with doctors, arguing with our loved ones, depravation of sleep, being called at 2 am and 5 am and 9 am, and noon and 3 pm and so on,etc.. Ironically, the health care system is seriously lacking when it comes to patients and their caregivers. They think that if someone is being looked after, they don't have to find the answer when the stress is consuming the caregiver. I also raised four children during this time and buried my only brother / only sibling, who committed suicide. I really became the "parent" to my parent. My mom died 1 1/2 years ago and I am nowhere near over it. I look back now and don't know how I did it. I don't regret it one bit. I am honored to have had this "gift".
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