I find it difficult being a caregiver to my mother on most days. She has chronic health problems that limit her access to the outer world. She has to follow a strict health regimen every day, from the moment she wakes up to the time she goes to bed. On any given day, she spends at least three hours in taking care of her health, either through meds or breathing treatments.
As she's taking her breath treatments, she really doesn't have much to take her mind off of it. She watches TV. She also has constant reminders throughout the day. When she wakes up, she's wheezy and her chest feels tight. When she's talking on the phone, she may get into a coughing jag and will have to hang up. If it's too cold, she's restricted to the house. If it's too humid or rainy, she's restricted to the house. If the pollen count is too high, she's restricted to the house.
She has the patience of a saint, and, if I were in her shoes, it would drive me crazy. It makes me appreciate the ability to breathe freely -- to not be tied to an oxgygen tube -- and to go out and about in the world.
But, I feel guilty for not knowing how to respond to her constant commentary on how she feels. Does she want advice? Or, does she just want someone to listen to her? And sometimes she seems to forget to go through the routines she needs to quit coughing (i.e., drink something hot, or take some cough syrup). It's really funny, because she always used to complain about having to listen to old folks complain about their illnesses and ailments, but now she does it, also.
I also feel overwhelmed in being responsible for her mental health, because she doesn't get to go out and socialize very much