A caregiver’s world is a very sad, depressing one. We never know what the next day will bring.
We carry feelings of isolation and loneliness on a daily basis.
And as for this disease of Alzheimer’s that my mother is battling, I pray over and over again, wondering why this wonderful lady as I knew her has gone away.
She was my best friend.
This loving person who has nurtured me my whole life has disappeared. People always say “cherish the moment,” but the moments are only memories of her the way she used to be.
To her, I am a caregiver not a daughter. She has slipped away. Her memories of me have been erased by this dreaded disease. You grieve as you would in the death of a loved one, but there is no closure, for she is there by sight but not by mind.
Everything in the life of a person with Alzheimer’s has to be routine, for the slightest change can cause them to go off and become unbalanced.
As for me, I have to accept it as it comes.
Caregiving is sad and not a lot of room for laughter. You keep your emotions bottled up deep inside.
You cry tears in the deep darkness of the night. Feelings of guilt overwhelm you as you feel so helpless.
And what is sound sleep? You always keep alert at any sound. I take this upon myself for I will not place my precious mother in a nursing facility, for she deserves the best care possible. And love. That is in my arms.
My mother took care of me, and I, in return, shall take care of her. I would never be able to do this on my own without Jesus holding my hand. Jesus is the only one I can count on through the hard times.
You look in the mirror, and you lose yourself. You don’t even know who you are anymore. I use to be so full of life; then the life is totally sucked out of you. The things that you loved in life disappear, for your focus is on providing the best care possible for your loved one.
You put your own life on the back burner. Life will never be the same as you know it. There is a heaviness that hangs over you that sometimes overwhelms you. But you continue to march on, pushing yourself without much-needed rest.
Under a normal situation, a person can sit down and rest. But caregivers have no rest.
We haven’t any peace, waking up early to have some time to yourself or to spend with God.
It doesn’t happen; we are always on call. So when you lie down at night, this is your time with God; your mind constantly racing on what tomorrow may bring. I place all my trust in God as God shall never leave me, nor forsake me.
You try to keep your sense of humor to hide your pain. You always hope your prayer of healing will get answered. You cry out to God to “please give me back my mother.”
There is part of you on the inside that just wants to scream. But you can’t. Our world by no means is an easy world. There is no job on the outside that could ever compare to what we give up and do.
The sacrifice we take upon ourselves is all in the name of love. There are many of us out there; we feel lost and abandoned by the outside world.
A lot of us haven’t any family or friends to support us; many of us have no one. People disappear or simply don’t care. People need to wake up and realize it could hit anyone at any time, for it is not just a disease that just strikes our elderly.
We live in an isolated world. But I know with God and God alone, I will be fine, for God is my rock. He is my anchor in this horrific storm.
There is a reason for everything. I may not see it now, but in God’s time, he will reveal it. God has led me to write this, maybe for one person, maybe for many. Letting you know you are not alone in this tough fight.
I pray there will soon be a cure so others will not have to go through this dreaded disease called Alzheimer’s.
Pamela Lowe of Walterboro is a full-time caregiver of her 84-year-old mother, who has Alzheimer’s. An ex-rock-’n’-roll singer who is now a praise and worship singer, Lowe writes this column as a voice for all caregivers.