Reply To: Being a caregiver when you live with pain

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I have been taking care of of my mother for 5 years. During this time I also took care of my father for 2 and 1/2 years until he passed. This has been very challenging for me, I am disabled from a crash, I use to be a flight paramedic until 2006. After surgeries and a quarter million dollars of titanium, they put me back together.
They said I would never walk again, after 3 years of daily pt and swimming everyday I started walking with a walker. Six months of more swimming and a lot mileage on that walker I now use a cane.
I have horrible chronic pain in almost all major joints, pain from scar tissue. My back is the worst I did fracture altogether 10 vertebrae’s. I have good pain medicine so I am very Blessed that helps me keep moving slowly, but keeps me going.
Five years ago when I started helping my parents, I moved in with them to help full time. It was going Ok, I just had to take things slow and take breaks. I also could not do lifting so this complicated things. My dad could help most of the time. He was having problems with is short term memory and fibrosis of the lungs.
Then I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer and Uterine Cancer, I was 46 years old. I had to have another major surgery, had to travel two states away. It was complicated because of my prior surgeries. I came back to my parents home after 2 weeks and started taking care of them and started triple dose chemotherapy. During my year of chemo I still did all the shopping ,cooking, cleaning and everything else my parents needed.
During that year I ended up in the hospital for a couple of weeks, three times due to kidney and liver failure and pneumonia. After a year I was able to stop chemo, I have been free of both cancers for 4 years. I still have to be easy on the meds cause my kidneys did get some permanent damage. The chemo made my chronic pain even worse. I had no idea your bones can hurt. Now I have a lot of muscle, joint, bone pain. I also have nerve pain in my fingers and toes.
I am still taking care of my mother full time. She is 76 years old and has arthritis badly. She is in her lift chair 23 hours per day. She can move, she does not want to. I have tried everything to get her moving, but she fights me on everything. She tells me she is retired and just wants to sit and watch tv and read. Her muscles have gotten so weak when she needs to leave the house I have to hire aides to lift her out and in the car. She can walk with a walker.
I talked to her doctor, he has her on home health now pt, and aides to help her shower. She needs to do these exercises everyday. But she is only doing a few compared to what she is to do daily to increase her strength.
She will not go into a nursing home, yet she is not working to stay strong enough to be in her own home. Everyday I push myself past my limits to help her and she does not even notice how much this effects me. I have discussed it with her, her mind is sharp.
How do I help someone who will not help themselves? I do not know how much longer I will be able to help her unless she works with me.
I have two brothers, both think she should be in a nursing home. One comes around for a couple of hours every few months. My other brother will come if I call him but he works two full time jobs and has a family. So everything falls on my shoulders.
I am a chronic pain advocate, I help people all over the country with emotional support, guide them with disability paperwork, insurance problems, worked with case workers and help people find the right doctor, yet I cannot help my own mother.
Does anyone have any advice for me?