My day as a caregiver

No caregiver this morning. The daytime person has been sick this week. Dad and Elaine covered on Monday. Had a substitute caregiver Tuesday. She also worked yesterday morning. And this afternoon. But she couldn’t work this morning. So I went over around 7:30 to back up dad. He went to the ALS support group at 11:30 after which he planned to see Elaine at the maternity ward, so I was alone with mom from then until 2:30 when the caregiver arrived.

Being a caregiver freaks me out. Particularly because mom loses it sometimes when things don’t go right. And since I don’t have any practice things have a good chance of not going right. On the other hand, I’m not too bad at it. I’m very attentive, and I talk her through everything. Additionally, I DO NOT want to be taking my mom to the bathroom or dressing her. a) it’s seeing my mom at her most vulnerable. b) bodily fluids. Also, not so much with the bathroom thing, but I hate suctioning her. I hate jamming a tube down her throat so far she should gag. The fact that she hasn’t had a glass of water or a really thorough mouth cleaning in a few months means her mouth smells and it makes me want to gag. She’s had her teeth and throat and tongue swabbed, but her jaw can’t be pried open to really go in there.

Mom mostly slept in the morning, so I actually finished a book. I set her up with the tablet PC in her chair with the trackball (she uses her feet) and she played games most of the time I was with her. I got a fair amount read then too, but I had to pay attention since we don’t have voice software on the tablet. Her signal for me was to take her foot off the trackball and lay her leg down. That worked pretty well.

6 thoughts on “My day as a caregiver”

  1. Not every person is meant to be a caregiver. Some can’t handle the fluids, some aren’t attentive or intuitive. I’m sure you did a good job, even if things didn’t go exactly how Mom wants it. It’s safe to say, Mom doesn’t want you to be taking her to the bathroom either. Don’t beat yourself up, you have been just amazing for her!!

  2. When I was *9* my mom and dad had me change my brother’s diapers. Somehow he rolled off the bathroom counter into the garbage. I don’t remember this so I can’t say exactly how it happened. Anyhoo, I’ve never been asked to change diapers again.

    My mom really seems to like the job I do when I caregive for her. On the one hand, I want her to have the best caregiving. On the other, if I do a bad job, she won’t ask me again.

  3. Somehow he rolled off the bathroom counter into the garbage.

    *snicker* Wow, that’s epic.

  4. For whatever it is worth, I feel the exact same way for pretty much the exact same reasons. It is terrifying and at times a bit much to handle. With that said, thank you. Additionally, thank you for putting into words my own experiences. It makes me feel better….

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