Hello. I'm in my 30's and have become the live-in caretaker for my grandmother. I have lived with her for the last couple years while working, going to school part-time and singing in a band. Up until earlier last year, my grandmother was an extremely independent woman for someone her age, and if she still felt the way she did a year ago, she might have been out trying to remove the snow from her car in the last couple of days. ..and then insisting on taking a drive to the mall despite the ice on the road.
Her overall health has been on a steady, then more and more rapid decline over the last 9 months and she was already becoming more dependent on me. I have been through a lot this year even without that, as I was laid off from a job of 5 years last spring, and started more classes soon after that. A lovely twist of fate brought me to a job that I was ready to turn down, but I am so glad I did not because it has saved me in so many ways. It has been a long time since I enjoyed a job this much. So the job has been going great, things have been going great with the band, and I will be a full-time college student as of Monday.
But... my grandmother's health really took a dive over the holidays, and now she is back home under hospice care, my care, and the care of my mom and uncle - her son and daughter. They are helping a lot, but they have their own limitations with their time, health, and need for income.
I feel silly and whiny at times (and probably truly can be) because I am SO not the only one having to adjust their life and even putting it on hold to some extent in order to take care of someone else. I also realize that this is not the most extreme situation.. I've already read some other stories on here and it feels wrong to complain about my own situation.
But I get stuck. I get resentful. I want to live the life of a single, 30-something year old who is finally taking hold of her education and future, and I want to return to the confident person I had been over most of the last half of last year. I don't want to be stuck at home taking very personal care of someone else. And then I feel like an ungrateful, selfish twit because this woman helped raise me and did many of the same things for me and has done so many more things for me over the years. She is and has been such an amazing and strong person and it is tragic to see her limited to the confines of a hospital bed. Her mind is still sharp, but her body is failing her and I try to consider what that must be like. I try... but then I still wish I could go hang out with my coworkers or do whatever else I want when I want to.
Forgive me for writing a short novel. That is my habit. Like most of you, I am trying to cope as best I can. Lately, I've been failing. And so here I am.