whatever is on my mind….

warts and all….

Over the last few weeks, seems more like years to me, I have written concerning my difficulties with finding myself as caretaker to my Mom.  Many of you have given me your advise and support and it has really been a source of strength for me.

Being faced with the sole responsibility of making life changing decisions for Mom has got me in a constant state of doubt and at times has made me sound and feel totally self-centered.  My purpose in writing of my experiences was to vent my own frustrations and maybe to find that some of the ‘feelings’ I have had along the way are shared by others who have been jerked out of their own life to find themselves in charge of someone else’s.  Suddenly little things like taking a shower is next to impossible.

The good news is that all Mom’s treatments are behind her and the cancer, at least for now, is less threatening, although not gone.  The bad news is the toll it has taken on her.  She took a fall on Friday of last week.   Although, not injured, she suddenly became frightened to be alone.  Right after that she got markedly weaker and refused to eat or drink enough to keep her body functioning.  Last Sunday I came to stay with her 24/7 because she cannot walk alone or take care of her personal necessities by herself.  She told us that she is ready to go someplace where they take care of old people.  Understandably, she can’t bring herself to say the dreaded words, nursing home.  She told us to sell her car and make arrangements for her care.

We had no idea what that would entail but believe me it is not simple.  Turns out Mom’s small pension along with her social security has placed her income slightly above the maximum allowable for Medicaid assistance but below what is needed to pay privately for care at the nursing home.  What we thought would take only a couple of days has turned into possibly months.  There is an option for getting her qualified for Medicaid through something called a Miller Trust.  Basically it allows all of her income save $60/month to go toward her care with Medicaid picking up the remainder.  We had to retain an attorney, not cheap, to guide us though the process.  If we are successful Mom will be at the nursing home by the 31st.  If not, it will be another 30 days before it can happen.  It is possible that we would become responsible for the nursing home bill for the first month in addition to the attorney fee.  Since we are dealing with a government agency the likely hood of this happening without a glitch is slim to none.  We are getting a fast and expensive education in the process.

One should never get to this point in life with less than a million dollars or else be totally destitute.  If you fall in the middle somewhere, the options aren’t fun and they sure aren’t easy.

If we get this all done there is no turning back.  If Mom gets stronger and changes her mind we could be in a lot of hot water because she will have nothing left and no home to go back to.   If we don’t do it, I could be a full-time caregiver for who knows how long.  Neither option is good and committing to one or the other is scary.

Thankfully, I have my DH who is taking care of all the legal and financial issues while I am consumed with feeding, bathing, clothing and taking Mom to the bathroom.  It feels like all the joy has been sucked out of our lives and we are both exhausted.

Grace and Mercy to all who find themselves dealing with hard decisions to ‘let go and let God’….



  1. Beth

    Love you so much Meme! You are the strongest woman i know. I don’t see how you get everything done! I bet you dont see either. Love you to the moon and back! We are all here for you! Say the word and whatever you need is done.

    • Thank you sweetie! I love you too! I still haven’t hemmed your slacks….. 🙂

      • Beth

        Your funny meme. Dont worry about my slacks. 🙂 Maybe someday i’ll be as domesticated as you and learn to do it myself. Although you may teach me how to sew that button again… jk

      • LOL, I’m just a barrel of monkeys! Love you baby!

  2. Wow … kind of between a rock and a hard place aren’t you, FOH? Indeed there will be no turning back. That said, you can only do the best you can with the information and choices available at the time. None of us can undo our actions. I know this may not help. Just remember there are a whole boatload of us out here praying and that includes entreating the Lord for wisdom on you and your family’s behalf.

    Oh, when are you going to get to that hemming (attempt at humor alert)?

    • Thanks Mrs AL…… hopefully I will get to that hemming real soon!

  3. FOH,

    Sadly; I have no words of wisdom that may help you in such a difficult time. I will say one can never go wrong turning to our Lord and asking him to guide us. My dad is 81 and mom is 76, so I may very well be faced with the same horrible circumstances you are before I know it. I will pray to our Lord to give me wisdom, trust that he has and make a decision. Be it a good or bad decision; all we can is ask our Lord for wisdom and pray we’ve made a good decision. No one can predict the future and no one can change the past. God bless you and your family continue to be in my prayer’s.

    • Again thanks for the kind words. I believe that I have made the best decision but I feel sorry for Mom right now. She wants to go but really has no idea of how different her life will be without all her familiar surroundings. We will do our best to see that she has plenty of reminders of family around and a few comforts from home.

  4. FOH

  5. FOH,

    Somehow I did it again. Please excuse. Hit the send button, Geesh, my fingers are not working right these days.

    Indeed I have been in your position and yes, I can empathize with your feelings which I would describe as being overwhelmed with many emotions at one time. If you have not been through this it is hard to describe. But when you said you are finding it difficult to even take a shower I sure can identify with that and it sums up your exhaustion and the grief you are in even though your Mom has not died. You have to make all of these decisions and you know very well your Mom may not be pleased with some of them.

    And it is pitiful when we are faced with having to put our parents in a nursing home. I was faced with that decision for awhile with my mother and I was in a lot of misery over it.

    You are doing the best you can. Just think about that over each decision you make. That is all anyone can do at any given time. These are hard and complicated issues. And of course there is that hole some fall into with the government and how they judge you to be eligible for assistance or not.

    I am so sorry you are having to suffer through all of this and I will continue my prayers for you as usual. Just remember you are doing what you can, it is exhausting and allow yourself to get as much “me time” as possible so you can recharge your batteries to go on to the next steps.

    God keep you strong FOH.

    • Thanks again pepp…Mom seems a bit excited right now but I know when reality sets in and she begins missing her home things will be harder for her. One day at a time and I am trying to leave it in God’s hands and just follow what he provides as guidance.

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