For those who don't know me, my husband and I live with my mom who is 91 and has Alzheimer's and a weak heart. I take medication for depression but it still gets a hold of me. We rarely get out together as my mom can't be alone. My brother and sister live far away...brother gives us breaks maybe once or twice a year. Sister doesn't lift a finger. I've been doing this for almost 5 years and making other arrangements is not an option for me. My husband says I'll feel better in the spring. I don't know... Guilt goes along with the depression. If I don't do anything I feel guilty, but I some days don't feel up to doing a thing.
I have been there as well, and know what your journey could be like---it is up to you to make a stand before you let your own health slip away.
I hope this does not sound harsh---it is reality, and reality can bite at times. I am sure that this group of caring people will stand behind you.
Good wishes to you.
and ya you could find someone for $5 an hour but they wouldnt speak any english
Smile, those are very good suggestions. Unfortunately I don't have any kids and neither does my husband. I am so grateful for everyone's support and help on here. I know I will get through this. I have to. I won't put her in a nursing home unless I absolutely have to. It would be so hard for her and she would be so fearful I think.
I couldn't have found a better thread to read today than the one you started. Your story is my story, as I am sure it is so many others' as well. We have good hearts. We love our family members. We want to do the best for them and probably for everyone else, too. BUT and there is a big BUT attached to this.
BUT along with our caring for them and sharing our lives and often our homes with them, comes a great price that we alone as caregivers pay. Depression, anxiety, loss of sleep, loss of friends, loss of life, not just theirs, but ours, feeling fatigued, feeling alone, and on and on and on. We want to do our best. We try. But there are days and there are weeks when we feel like we're drowning, like we are the ones who are ill.
I do so appreciate everyone's advice. It is exactly what we need to hear, but as I said, there are days and there are weeks, when we can't absorb the wise words spoken here. I want to appreciate the few minutes I have when my parents nap or the hour or two I have when someone else is watching them, but it is so hard. It seems like I can't disconnect from them, in order to relax.
Someone says, "Take a bath. Take a walk. Read." Their words are the right words, but how do I get my mind off the responsibilities I am constantly facing? I don't know how to disconnect. I never feel free. And I want to feel at peace. I desperately want to.
So what advice do I have for you. KEEP COMING BACK HERE. Years ago, I went to OA to lose weight. They said two things that still stay with me. Keep coming back, so you have support, even when things seem the darkest. And "Act as if" things are OK. If you wait to "feel better" you may be waiting a long, long time, but if you start acting as if they are, even if they're not, the behavior may encourage the mind to follow.
This is my refuge, right here. You all share my life; you share my story. I don't have to feel bad telling the same story over and over again. Here it is all OK.
Good luck to you, Miz. Good luck to us all.
pamela, thank you!! You're a dear!!
As for your mom--if she sleeps alot---is it do to her condition, her meds--or is she in a state of depression? I think if her sleep situation was explained to a day care supervisor, they in turn would advise you.
I really do think, before you are in a crisis situation-you need to consider taking care of you. Should you get burned out or even take ill from stress...then what? I have personally been in your shoes, and know how stress can creep up on you.
To be effective wih your caregiving, it becomes necessary that you take care of yourself-This theory is very true, and has been supported by the people in the Alzheimer's Associaition support meetings...they even have a 24/7 hotline.
Hospice is also another excellent means of support...and they are very supportive, and may even come to you should you not be able to get out.
Once again, good luck!
Dad had spinal fusion surgery March 3, returned home March 25...the next day Mom fell and broke her back also. OMG
She had surgery eventually. Both have smaller situations going on...incontinence, tremors, dementia..dadada.
What I thought would be maybe a month stay for me has turned into a forever situation.
They dress and shower themselves now...but the rest is up to me. I feel like Cinderella.
They will live longer here with their Shrine activities/friends, familiar doctors and in their condo...so I am now living in the second bedroom. If I take them back to Atlanta they will just sit there and die. I want to make their last years as good as I can. They are 81 + 83.
I have one younger brother...in Ohio. He doesn't call...says he has nothing to say! Oh, I heard he's going to Ireland this month...stopped vacationing in Florida suddenly this year. Why was I surprised about that?!
I don't take anything for depression or anger. I go to Petland and hold their puppies. If one doesn't do it, then I hold another and another. No better place to get lots of kisses!!
I can walk in there fighting back tears, but always walk out comforted and calm again.
I live with depression quite often with my bipolar II disorder which is the depressive kind. My elderly mother's declining health and financial mess that I'm dealing with an an only child in the context of a step-father who is unrealistic and step-siblings, has served to trigger my depression more often to the point that I'm back on wellbutrin. The thing about anti-depresents is not so much masking the depression as controlling it so if their are deeper issues to deal with, then you have more mental health freedom to deal with it like in cognitive therapy. Part of my situation is dealing with some unresolved family of origin issues in relation to my mother who emotionally absorbed me into herself to meet her own needs as a single parent mom and continued even after she got married again. My dad is a non issue for she successfully iced him out of my life and now he's under the complete domination of my step-mother.
It sounds like from your husband's observation that you have some seasonal affective disorder (which is depression at the same time each year).
I read a lot of what you and your brother does with sister doing nothing, but nothing is said about how your husband helps you in getting a break. I hear what this is doing to you, but what is it also doing to your marriage?
However, your depression and burnout sounds over the top. You sound like a person who is screeming to have their life back. It also sounds like there's some F.O.G. (Fear, Obligation, and Guilt) that's blinding you from feeling ok about going to work or taking some time off with your husband like you're going to do this weekend because frankly we can't be responsible for dealing with anyone's emotions but our own.
There is not any reason for feeling guilty for taking care of yourself and if you don't who is going to take care of your mother? Unless you really trust your primary care physician, I recommend you see a psychiatrist for an anti-depressent like wellbutrin which is not known for causing weight gain and has the least amount of possible side effects.
When someone is having days where they don't feel like doing anything, hardly move and are barely able to speak, they are in very deep depression and it's not healthy to try to just gut it through because suicidal thoughts and feelings could come in and just totally take over or on the other hand so could the anger you are carrying about having to do this all by yourself plus the added agrivation of your sister not helping and your brother's unrealistic idea of paying for a certified caretaker to spend a few hours every day with your mother. When this amount of anger goes the opposite direction of suicidal ideation, it can become violent anger and the nearest human being, old or young, becomes the person all the anger gets violently put on without any realization of who they are.
Other than chemical induced depression as seen in people with clinical depression or bipolar II, situational depression is often anger turned inward because one does not want to really feel their anger, as well as talk about their anger and depression.
Although you don't say so directly, I get the impression that your brother must be the one with the durable and medical POA which is sad if he does because he is not there, but you are. You three siblings might need a third party to help come up with a more reasonable budget than what your brother has put together.
I'll be praying for you.
I just read this entire thread and it's inspiring and heartbreaking too.
Nutz, you're amazing. Nins and verybody here.
Hap, everybody on this thread (site) has my deepest respect. no outsiders will ever know what this is.
Miz you know we totally get each other and timmy... I used to have a job I loved but moved to nj to care for mom. Love you and the puppies.
I have been back in Cali with mom for a few months and am placing her this weekend. Been crying off and on all day.
I got so depressed about 4 months into this ordeal 5 years ago that I thought I would die. Tried to deal with it without pills but ended up on the ol Prozac and Xanax. Works for me. At least i can get up and take good care of mom and dream about BOATS. Other than that I'm mainly useless.
Thanks, everybody for the inspiration,
You have been an inspiration. Where in Cali if I can ask?
CroMag, that was so well worded. You have really worked hard to have that kind of understanding. Man, you could teach. on this site you ARE teaching....nice.
thanks again nins,
A better question might be: Are there any primary caregivers out here who are not in denial and are not fighting off depression most of the time?
Well are there???
just a shot in the dark here for an answer to your query:
P.S. It is my honor, my glory , my pain and my story.
I am honored to honor my mother with my pain. But it still HURTS LIKE HELL!!!!
Most of the time, to "get away", I just go in my room, watch Netflix AND SLEEP.......A LOT!!!!!! lol
It will cost about $150 to get Durable POA and another $150 to get Medical POA. Tell the lawyer that she can't sign her name, but that she is mentally competent to make this decision and can make a mark.
Your brother is a real jerk. I wonder what he is using the pain med for? A legal way to take drugs? I hope not.