After spending four months in the hospital, becoming temporarily blind and unable to walk, eat, dress or use the toilet on his own, he was given his discharge papers. A doctor told Ms. Washington that her husband would need 24-hour care and “could not be left alone for even a moment.” When she explained that she had two children who also had needs, he said, “Well, usually family steps in, and it works out fine.”
Ms. Washington felt the burden of responsibility, but also the sting: The U.S. health care system relies on and takes for granted the “invisible army” of people — mostly women — who keep the system functioning by performing home care for the many people who are “too well for the hospital” but “too sick for home,” as well as for those on end-of-life care.
Being disabled is my future
People call me codependent. If you combined and then divided me and my partner in half, you might believe we are two normal bodies. But we’re not....
I am burned out and filled with anger. Husband has stage 4 COPD, chose to have.lung surgery to slow down lung damage. He made this decision without talking it over with me, his wife. One surgery ended up being 3 surgeries and a stroke in one month. The hospital sent him home on Hospice with me (wife) is only caregiver. Of course, Hospice nurses check on him and provide his medication but it’s left up to me 24/7 to take care of him. He had extensive brain damage and can’t be left alone much at all. This was 10 months ago, his children don’t even come to see him. I feel like my life has ended – I just take care of him. I am depressed and self-destructive. He is a stranger…. I am broken and just want to die. My health is deteriorating, I’ve lost all motivation and I’ve quit taking care of myself. I just don’t care anymore.