Sandwich Generation

I’m currently age 54. I have a 31-year-old daughter, as well as an 88-year-old mother. I frequently feel very stressed about my daughter’s health, as well as my own. Two years ago, she received a pancreatic transplant. She had been diagnosed with insulin-dependent diabetes when she was only age six.

I watch her struggle with how diabetes has affected her body, even though she no longer technically has the disease. She suffers from severe neuropathy, especially in her feet. This would be difficult for anyone, but especially for a charge nurse, who works extremely long hours.

I deeply admire her strong work ethic. I know that the side effects of her anti-rejection medications, which she needs to take indefinitely, have been brutal. My heart aches for the burdens that she has faced, for so very long.

Similarly, my heart feels very heavy as I watch my mother’s health decline. I do feel stressed by her ongoing health challenges, including her reduced mobility. I see her struggle, on a daily basis, with increased osteoarthritic pain. She now uses a rolling walker to ambulate. I fear that she will fall without the use of it. She has an exceptionally intact long-term memory. It surpasses that of many individuals who are decades younger.

However, her short-term memory has significantly declined, especially in the past few months. I try to be very patient as she repeats herself, knowing that one day, when she is no longer here, I’d give anything to listen to her repeat the very same stories.

I’m happy that I currently have the flexibility to take my mother to all of her medical appointments, and to do her shopping. I have been truly blessed with an amazing, inspirational, and remarkable mother.

She sews adorable dresses for little girls; they have been distributed around the world, by church groups on mission trips. To date, she has made more than 600! She wants to make 1,000 of them while she’s still here. I have zero doubt that she will accomplish this goal.

I’m thankful that she has developed this focus. It’s especially been a blessing since my father passed away, in February, 2017. Yes, I am sandwiched between my daughter’s, and my mother’s health concerns, even as I face my own persistent health problems.

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