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Old 09-21-2005, 10:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Struggle to stay sober and care for elderly parent


Hello all,

I have been dealing with my elderly father and his terminal illness the past six weeks or so since he was diagnosed. My sister works part time and has been going to the Dr. visits and I have been doing food shopping and errands for him almost every night since I work full time. The other nights I have been going to meetings (maybe 2 a week since he was diagnosed). I have been trying to do what I can during my lunch hour and today went over to his house to call a ride service to set up a ride to a Dr. appointment next week.

My sister flew off the handle and screamed at me that he needs to eat lunch and I will have to wait to call for his appointment. She then began screaming at me that basically I am not doing enough for him. I am already going to just two meetings a week and spending all other evenings taking care of him. I work like a dog during the day. My sister expects me to take 4-8 hours off per week and my job won't allow that. The only thing I can think of is to quit my job and take care of my father, but what about supporting my family (I have a wife and daughter).

I am stretched to the limit and am amazed I haven't taken a drink yet. I have over 7 months sobriety now.

Anyone else struggling with a situation like this? How did you manage to stay sober when the family does not understand that you need meetings and have to support your own family?

A few prayers for my dad would be much appreciated too.

Jup.
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Old 09-21-2005, 11:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Jup,

That is a difficult situation to be in and I'm sorry about your father's illness. It seems to me that you'll have trouble carrying on the way you are. I hope you can understand that your sister is stressed as well and that's probably why she blew up at you. But, the bottom line is you can only do what you can do and if I were you, I would guard my sobriety above all. That might sound selfish, but it was doing for others and spreading myself thin that led to depression and drinking for me. If I knew then what I know now, I would have taken care of myself.

Is it possible to hire someone (maybe a nearby teen) to help out with some of the errands?

I wish you well.

Love, Anna
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Old 09-21-2005, 11:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Good to hear from you, Jup. Prayers to you and your family.

Taking care of your recovery is most important. Keep reaching out to your HP and others in recovery. We can get through anything sober.

hugs,

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Old 09-21-2005, 11:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I gave them the facts and it was up to them to accept them and deal with their own emotions... Not my problem.

...This is the time I have available....here to here.
...This is the sacrifice I am able to make.....
...Others may be able to give more then me...my life deals me these cards and this is all I am able to give at this time.

They can accept the facts as given or they can keep yelling. That is their problem.

The I give this and you only give this crapola, I would just reply with a positive remark... Yes you are right, you do so much for Dad and I am grateful and I know he is also that you are able to give so much.

My 4 children and their ages at the time give me a different set of family needs then others in the family. A sister that lived 120 miles away with 2 older children, was able to come down and do things... her life allowed her that option. My families needs and what I am able to do for others, balances out different today then it did a few years back. If others can't understand that... that is their issue not mine.
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Old 09-22-2005, 07:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks so much for the replies, you guys.

Anna, the idea if getting home care is a great one. I mentioned it to my sister and she hated the idea and just wanted me to take time off of work whenever my Dad needs something which is daily. I think we are headed in that direction whether she likes it or not.

Best, I can tell you have been exactly where I am. Wonderful input. I have a daughter and wife, and a full time job. My sister has no children, works part time and is wealthy on top of it (I am far from wealthy thanks to alcoholism). The point is that our situations are very different and what I am able to give vs. what she is able to give are different. I can and do spend many hours evenings and weekends (including last night) with my father.

I think I am going to look for counseling too. My wife is urging me to do this since I am constantly stressed about the situation. I am also going to keep going to AA and I am going to tell my father I need to go to AA meetings (I have not said anything about my going to meetings to him, but have told my sister).

I feel so much better. Maybe my HP is reaching out to me. You guys certainly did.

Jup.
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Old 09-22-2005, 11:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Lightbulb

As your Dad is terminal...check out Hospice in your area.

Excellent care and free.

Perhaps taking Dad to AA?

Prayers for peace....
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Old 09-22-2005, 12:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have to agree with Carol hospice is wonderfull the help the person ill but they can also help you they can send the nurse to your house instead of having to take them your self,they also can have meds deliverd to your house in a acuple hrs.my mother passed away form pancriotic cancer and they were wonderfull to me and my family.they can even bring in hospitol beds anything you need and again it is free they also help with greiving.sorry about your father.you wight want to go to the link in this sight"grief and loss" way be helpfull.
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Old 09-22-2005, 12:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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(((Jup)))
seems we get what we can handle
have faith in yourself, have faith in the process
pray for more faith
i like best's reply, set boundaries for yourself
how your sister handles your boundaries is her stuff not yours. Sorry to hear about your dad, i'll definitely say some prayers for him , you and your family.
What ever happens taking a drink will only add to your stress. you've come this far, congrats!!
Remember HALT
taking care of yourself will better able you to care for others, bottom line.
anything you put before recovery, sobriety will be lost
outside support will help i'm sure, coucilling and errand stuff. Do what you gotta do
moment by moment Daniel
stay strong
hugs, Wendy
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Old 09-22-2005, 08:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Jup,
I will send prayers for you and your family during this difficult time. You are doing the best you can. Don't feel bad about doing what is necessary for you too. You have to take care of yourself in this time.

Thinking of you.

Hugs,
Angel
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Old 09-22-2005, 11:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Call Hospice. When a friend of mine was sick they had great respite care, for his mother! She was doing so much she was burned out, they had someone trained in end-of-life care to watch my friend while his mother was able to get out and just have some time for herself.

Outside of hospice (have you left a message on their machine yet *hint hint* I recommend you look into getting some professional help in there. If you are burnt out and tired, you won't have the quality time with your dad that you wanted once he has passed on. This is from personal experience.
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Old 09-23-2005, 08:31 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks again for the ideas. I think that hospice care is going to be the answer in the longer run. My father has pancreatic cancer and will be undergoing a whipple operation and this could give him as much as two years of life, so we are not there yet, but it won't be long. If he doesn't have the operation it can be only 4 to 6 months.

Even the social worker at the hospital said we will need "respite" care which I think refers to a person that can provide my sister and I a break. My sister does not want to accept any of this and takes it out on me.

By the way, my father's physician said that it was his "heavy drinking" that most likely caused his cancer. Carol D's suggestion that I take Dad to an AA meeting is a good one. Only problem is that he is a militant atheist. I have learned I can't be one and stay sober.

I am doing better today and really appreciate the great input.

Good to hear from you Wendy!!!!! Hope you are doing ok.

Jup.
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Old 09-23-2005, 11:48 AM   #12 (permalink)
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My friend in hospice also had pancreatic cancer. And he was able to get respite care before the 6 month clock. Sometimes Hospice is also affiliated with other organizations like Visting Nurses that can give you the time off you need.

Good luck and thinking of you and your dad today.
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