I didn't know exactly where to place this but I thought since it was my first post the Introduction board would do. A little about me: I'm a career counselor for disabled adults, 30 years old, married. I'll get straight to the point with facts...
Dad has MS, diagnosed about 10 years ago
60 years old
Farmer (can't do much anymore but refuses to retire completely)
Married for 39 years
3 kids (we all live 5 hours away)
Dad also has Type 2 Diabetes and was just recently diagnosed with Dementia
Physically he's going downhill fast. If he doesn't start doing his PT, he'll be in a wheelchair next year for sure. Mentally he's okay, some days are better than others.
Most important stuff: He's a hilarious, stubborn, tough, loyal, family man.
This post is just as much about my Mom though. I want to say first that she's the most compassionate woman I've ever known. She can get teary over a 30 second Hallmark commercial. She's one of my best friends. I could go on and on about the amazing person she is. But the last year has taken something from her. My Dad can't be left alone for longer than a few hours since he can't walk more than 10 feet at a time and needs help showering and bath-rooming himself. She's missing work more and more and his insurance is through her work. There's a part of her that feels so broken because she hates seeing him this way but the other part of her doesn't want to take care of him anymore. He won't listen to her. She tries to get him to eat healthy, he's about 100 lbs overweight. She tries to get him to do his PT, he refuses or ignores her. She's in denial about his Dementia. She thinks he's fine mentally which is not true. Example: my brother just had a baby and the day after he was born my Dad completely forgot about it all. She's done. She wants to leave. This isn't the Mom I know. I can't say that I understand what she's going through because I don't. She's just trying to help him but nothing she does helps. She calls me crying several times per week. I try to just listen or give advice but that doesn't help either.
I know she just wants us to tell her to put him in a home so she doesn't have to deal with it all anymore. But I can't tell her that. Mainly because I don't think he's to that point yet. But also, I don't think she realizes that she's not our only parent. We need to look out for both of them. I honestly don't think she's looked at all of her resources yet and sometimes she likes to have a pity party for herself. I know that sounds harsh. Like I said, she isn't this person. She's better than this.
I know I'm sort of rambling. I love them both but I don't know how to be there for them both. Any advice you can offer would be so appreciated. Thank you.
Your post describes a very difficult situation and unfortunately describes some of what my mother went through with my dad. At a certain point my mom had to do what was best for her. Allow your mom to make her own choices about her future. And stand by her decisions even if you don't like or agree with them - she needs your support.
pursue optimal self care at least as actively as a diagnosis
ask for referrals to preventive health care specialists eg dietitians
don't let suboptimal self care muddy any underlying diagnostic picture!