Brother Where Art Thou?

Questions Caregivers Would Ask  Family Members If They Dared

Why aren’t you here more often? What gives you the right to question and demand answers about how diminished he’s become when you only come by once or twice a year?

Why don’t you call once week or even once a month if you’re concerned?

What? You’re leaving on vacation and will be gone for three weeks? I haven’t had a vacation, or even a day off, in five years. Hell, an hour to myself would be a treat.

How is he? What do you mean, how is he? He’s sick. He has dementia and Parkinson’s disease. He can’t swallow anything but pureed food. He forgets where he is. He forgets who we are. He’s failing fast. You should stop by and see him before you go away. Will you?

You have too much to do to get ready for your trip? You’ll call when you get back? If he needs anything while you’re gone give you  want me to a call on your cell phone?”

And if I call what will you do? Will you interrupt your trip? Will you come home early to care for him? We both know the answer to that. You already paid for the hotel. There will be a big fee for changing your airline tickets. It doesn’t make sense to rush back when there is nothing you can do for him.

There’s nothing you can do for him or nothing you choose to do for him? Where are you when he misses you? Where are you when he’s in the hospital again? Where are you when he’s tired of dealing with me and we both need a break?

Where are you when the sun goes down and he gets combative?

Where are you in the middle of the night when he sets off the bed alarm every few minutes from dusk to dawn?

Where are you when the doctor asks is there is anyone else to help care for him because it’s clear the stress is taking a huge toll my health?

Where are you when refuses food and drink? Where are you when he takes his last breath?

Brother Where Art Thou?

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Brother where art thou and where will you be when I can’t do this anymore?

 

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Deborah Carroll
    Dec 09, 2014 @ 18:08:38

    Bobbie,

    I LOVE this post! You are so spot on and could be speaking exactly for me!

    Thanks for your wonderful blogs and your insight. You make it better if only to laugh out loud.

    I still have your link on my website as one of my favorite resources.

    Take care, Debbie

    Debbie Carroll 702-526-3945 http://www.TheSeniorSage.com

    From: The Imperfect Caregiver Reply-To: The Imperfect Caregiver Date: Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 12:02 PM To: Deborah Carroll Subject: [New post] Brother Where Art Thou?

    WordPress.com Bobbi Carducci posted: “Questions Caregivers Would Ask Family Members If They Dared Why aren¹t you here more often? What gives you the right to question and demand answers about how diminished he¹s become when you only come by once or twice a year? Why don¹t you call once”

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    • Bobbi Carducci
      Dec 09, 2014 @ 18:15:49

      Deborah,
      Im thrilled you have my blog as a favorite ressource and that it helps you in some small way. If you are on Facebook and Twitter will you support my Thunderclap program to bring attention to Confessions of an Imperfect Careigver?It takes only seconds and every supporter is needed. here is hte link. http://thndr.it/1ug3Npt

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  2. patti wade
    Dec 09, 2014 @ 18:47:57

    Wow, said it all perfectly! As I took my mother in law to the doctor today I wondered many things of her daughters and how her son and myself take care of her. They can go on vacations and trips, how we have full responsiblity yet they want to know everything. Sometimes I feel displaced with things and taking care of parents. Its all about choices. But I have learned that I do what I can and don’t sweat the rest. It will get done. I have to take care of myself too! I feel for my husband for he tries so hard. yet my mother in law still thinks her two daughters do no harm. I will never have another holiday again with my own family without having to include her and care for her during that time. Its the right thing to do, but I can’t say I don’t feel angry with them.

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    • Bobbi Carducci
      Dec 09, 2014 @ 18:55:26

      Patti,
      Anger is normal and well deserved. I know caregivers can’t say these things while living it. Nor could I when Rodger was alive and still wanted contact with family members too busy or too selfserving to be there for him. Now I speak the truth for all of us. Thank you for your comment. It keeps me going. Some days reliving it is very hard. If you are on Facebook and Twitter will you support my Thunderclap program to bring attention to Confessions of an Imperfect Careigver?It takes only seconds and every supporter is needed. here is hte link. http://thndr.it/1ug3Npt

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  3. Karen Alberding
    Dec 09, 2014 @ 23:33:46

    Boy this hit the nail on the head for me for sure. I Love it when they say the want to help or care but then never come over and see him which is all he wants. they all have time for their friends and other family members but not us. It hurts. I will support your Thunderclap program for sure. 🙂

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    • Bobbi Carducci
      Dec 10, 2014 @ 08:23:32

      Karen,
      So many caregivers face the same situation. I wonder why we are expected to do it all and everyone else carries on as if nothing is wrong. Putting it out there for others to see what is happeing is why I write this. Thank you for commenting and for supporting my Thunderclap. Pass the information on if you see fit to do so. I hope to hear from you again.

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  4. bethelprescott
    Dec 11, 2014 @ 16:17:09

    For (some) friends and family:
    If you ask how my husband is doing, and I tell you he’s had a step-down, and is forgetting important things, and you answer with “Oh, he’s always been like that!” are you really trying to tell me that you’ve always considered my husband to be stupid? Or are you saying that you know about him than me, his wife of 35 years? Because those are the only two options that make sense.

    For the guys in his band: Do you have ANY idea how much your friendship has meant? Sticking with my husband even when it’s more and more obvious that he’s slipping. I know that sometimes we haven’t seen eye to eye, but I wish I could buy you all a big bunch of flowers and hug you and cry. Music has been my husband’s life, and your continuing to share weekly “rehearsals” with him when you know the gigs aren’t a reality anymore, is just pure gold. Thank you!

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    • Bobbi Carducci
      Dec 11, 2014 @ 16:28:37

      Bethel,
      From the wife of a musician I am deeply touched by your husband’s band members and their loyalty to one of their own. Too bad the family and friends you mention here aren’t as comapassionate. Thank you for sharing your questions here.

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  5. Lisa
    Dec 11, 2014 @ 21:41:02

    This really struck me and at a time when I’m feeling so overwhelmed as the only caregiver. We stuff our feelings so often that just reading these words which mirror my thoughts, forces the feelings from within. It’s such a relief to know I’m not alone in these thoughts. However, I am asking these of my son’s father.

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    • Bobbi Carducci
      Dec 12, 2014 @ 08:12:31

      Lisa,
      Yes, these questions can be asked of so many family members. Siblings, parents, spouses, in-laws, you name it. Even some of our friends. I write this blog to be a voice for you and other caregivers. I am determined to speak the truth about what it’s like, for you, for me, for all who care. Bless you.

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