Who cares for the caregivers?

Tiny - Posted on 05 December 2019

Who cares for the caregivers?


By: KRB4Real


I got the call while helping a friend in San Francisco that my parents both 80 years old, were in a horrific car accident in June this year. They were driving on 580 and rear-ended a van, which left them with major injuries from compression fractures in their spines, broken ribs and other injuries. The accident left them unable to care for themselves on a daily basis. I traveled by UBER to the hospital in Castro Valley to hear of the news that would change my life. My daily life was busy volunteering for various organizations, traveling,  working in the garden at my church, attending classes, dating and living what I thought was my best life. 


Fear and doubt kicked in and sent me into shock. I became responsible for those who cared for me, without any warning or preparation. It felt like I went back to being a mom again. This time I have 2 adult children (not birthed by me), but placed in my care for safe keeping, nurturing, care and love. Now my 2 parents (children) were placed in 2 different hospitals, so the saga begins. I leave home to make it to the hospital by 8 am to meet with the doctors checking on their progress. 


From one hospital to the next every day, that was my routine for almost 3 weeks. Then the big day my mom is being released to come home with just 2 days advance notice. So now I am hustling to get life set-up for them and my dad is to be released in the next 4 days. Reality just hit hard, how am I going to do this by myself? I called a family meeting with by bumm brother and my daughter to express the need for everyone's support. Well, my brother needs a $90 bus pass to get to the house and my daughter works every day and has a school age child to care for, so that leaves just me to do the daily grind. I get breakfast, lunch and dinner, wash clothes, pay bills, clean-up, provide medication, make all medical appointments, attend medical appointments and did I mention I have to shop for food.


What happened to my best life?  Who cares for me?


Stay tuned for part two.


Beginning of Part two: 




During this time I was diagnosed with caregiver depression. The Family Caregiver Alliance says “ caregiver depression is more common than you may think, it’s a normal response to a difficult situation”. Depression is “normal” for me I fight depression daily. Prior to my parents accident I’ve dealt with depressive disorder for the last 10 years. 


Caregiver depression has added a double whammy to my life. I am saddened by having to give so much and attempting to be so much for everyone that I lost myself.  In losing myself, I’ve lost my motivation to live freely. You may say how did I lose motivation, I should want to get out? 


 I rarely desire to go out and live. My motivation is to maintain my status quo continue being a caregiver, because I feel that there’s no one else that can do what I do for my parents. Now, I struggle with life, it feels like I lost so much, well to be truthful it feels like I’ve lost my life. 


One of the challenges is that I don’t have a life. The basics of all of my activities are in the house, providing services period! I enjoyed going to church, having dinner with friends  as I mentioned before, I love traveling and just “hanging out”.


 Not only has the caregiving stifled me the depression causes me to feel less than, I cry at the drop of a dime, my perspective on life is null to none I have no desire to do anything, but, to be depressed. Depression is debilitating. I have found with experience of depression is that I need therapy twice a month. 


Therapy allows me to be able to express myself openly and freely. My expression is mainly to cry and voice my “problems” of being a caregiver. I am never judged or condemned. The depression is slowly easing up, I continue to fight and allow space for the intervention of Spirit to help ease my pain and my heart.  


Beginning of Part three: 


Thank God my parents are on the mend and not as demanding, but, I still do everything.  I’m out of touch and sync, my question is how do I rebuild me?


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