Cindy from Virginia

My "high school sweetheart", also my husband for 43 years, was diagnosed with Parkinson's at the age of 40. We were devastated, but vowed to fight it together. Today, twenty six years later, we are still fighting, but Parkinson's is a strong adversary and is beginning to take away his ability to speak, walk without assistance, and even dress himself. In the midst of dealing with his Parkinson's we received a phone call from the hospital informing us that our 35 year old daughter had fallen down her townhome steps! Not knowing what to expect, we arrived to find that she was knocked unconscious and when she came to she realized she couldn't move her legs. She laid at the base of her stairs for over 8 hours before help arrived. After extensive tests it was determined that she had knicked her spine and was paralyzed from her waist down. I have been her primary caregiver, which involved taking my husband with me to care for her. It requires changing her catheter several times a day, helping with her showers and dressing her, and grocery shopping for her, taking her to doctor appointments, etc. What has made this so difficult is the difficult we've faced in getting her assistance, both financial and in caring for her. EVERYTHING has been a struggle, and all of the running back and forth to her and late hours are just too much on my husband, in addition to stress! In all honesty, there are days I want to hop in my car and just DRIVE!!! ANYWHERE!!! Being a caregiver is the toughest job I've ever had... and add to that, my 90 year old Mom still lives in her own home and I spend what time I can with her! I would LOVE to have more time to spend with her too! Too bad I didn't have a twin...maybe even triplet!!!

Share Your Caregiving Story Here


+ Tips for sharing your story

This is an update to my family caregiving story that I have already shared.

Only one story submission per person and/or per household will be accepted.

I also agree that, only when necessary, AARP or its representative may call me with requests for information, as needed to verify my story.

By clicking “Share Your Story”, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to the terms and conditions of AARP’s Release Agreement and agree to receive emails about AARP activities, events, and membership benefits.