I am so depressed and irritable I could cry.

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This is about me, needing care, and the stark realization anything more serious and I will definitely need to hire someone. Its day 10 into my broken ankle disability. I'm 68, have a bad back and suffering vertigo on top of it. I'm not strong and dragging myself from the chair to the wheelie, pumping it around with my good leg, leaning on my hands and shoulders, I'm exhausted just going to the bathroom. I can't spend much time in that position before I have to sit down and elevate my leg. I simply don't feel well, and the more I try to move around, the worse my ankle hurts. And I have to go through 6 weeks of this? I will never survive. My spouse brings me coffee, takes the dogs out (if he's in the room, otherwise I do it, hopping on one foot, hanging out the door with the flexi leash, etc. He makes meals (sort of) but he is getting grouchier and grouchier. He doesn't anticipate what I want or need, I have to tell him, and he can't multi-task at all and he is slow to do anything. I have reached the point I want to cry out of frustration. I'm trying to do too much and he is letting me, no sympathy at all. I am so irritable I could scream. If I say anything, I get snapped at. Worst of all, I now know if I had anything more serious I could not count on him for more than cursory care with little compassion and a lot of silent irritation on my part. God forbid I get dementia or am bedridden. He's a wonderful man otherwise, will do anything for me, but he is 8 years older, and he cannot be a caregiver. What am I going to do?


Amy, there are two wuestions here, one about now and one abou the future. For right now, hire some help. Get someone to come on and do the laundrt, heavy cleaning, some cooking. Can you order readymade meals from somewhere? Can you board the dogs for a week? Are you eligible for homecare through medicare or ltc insurance?
Hi Babalou. I'm not eligible for homecare (I had to fight to get the knee walker, and I got it only because I have osteoporosis and the risk of falling on crutches could mean more broken bones) We have no LTC, can't afford it. Hubby has no problem doing the physical stuff like vacuuming, washing kitchen floor, cleaning garage, laundry so I don't need that. He's done the cooking, or takeout. Its the personal little needs he doesn't see and the tension I feel from knowing it is keeping him from his other projects. He's a great guy, but he is not touchy-feely and sensitive. A lot of people are like that, and those people don't make good caregivers and when one realizes that in a partner, one must accept it and figure out something. I guess I would just have to make sure my savings are put aside for AL or homecare when/if the time comes. Since he is older, I might be the caregiver, which is ok with me as long as I can physically and emotionally do it. I wouldn't dream of boarding the dogs, one is a puppy we got only 2 months ago and I am training her. This is a crucial age and my breaking my ankle couldn't have come at a worse time. Both dogs are champion bloodline, velcro attached to me and would die of heartbreak if put in a cage. The only family I have is my sister, niece and mother, so obviously they are dealing with their own serious issues. I'll get through this. I feel this is a heads up and I have to figure out what I would do for any future health issues (my grandfather had Alzheimers, so it is always in my mind I could be in line for it)
I think a lot of the frustration is about trying to do things the way you want them done, rather than facing the reality of how things really ARE. I had a great aunt who couldn't fit her walker through the space between her side table and the living room wall, but refused to move that table because that was where she wanted it to be... not worth having to move over you would have thought! Your hubby may not be the coziest guy or get things done as efficiently as you could, but it seems he can get the job done if you let him do it his way. Just relax and let it be. (I know, we caregiver types are always planning and worrying, it's hard to give up control to someone else!)
First of all, have a good cry. Trying to hold it in takes more strength and energy than letting go. Through your doctor or a friend, find a licensed home health care agency. They fax your doctor for permission for a variety of services, he faxes them back, they call you and make appointments. You can get in-home PT/OT. Call Medicare at 1-800-633-4227 to get the current free book, "Medicare and You 2015." Look up Senior Services for your local city and county. Perhaps meals can be delivered or a shuttle sent to take you and your husband to a senior center for meals and company. Some agencies can provide personal hygiene help so you can bathe, etc. Cut back on your expectations of cleanliness and tidiness. What's important is that you rest and get well. Pain will slow the healing process. These can all be difficult if you are in a rural area. Most fair-sized cities have some kind of senior help. Meanwhile, grab a box of tissues, hug the puppy and let go of some of the pressure. Wishing you a teary afternoon.
AmyGrace, I know exactly how you feel... been there, done that, still wearing the t-shirt. During my recoup time from a surgery years ago, I really think I would have been better off by myself, especially emotionally, than have to constantly get after my sig other to please please please help me. He thought he was all that and more just by bringing me toast for breakfast. And if he did something extra like vacuuming, I had a feeling he wanted a parade so the community could see what a swell guy he was :P

Nothing worse than having an able bodied person in the same household who rather glue himself to sports than help you with anything. But it sounds like your hubby will do some of the household chores, so that is a plus.... but you'd think after being together for many years that they would be able to second guess what you need... sigh, I guess not :(

Yet, if these guys get a paper cut, I feel I need to dial 911 and have a police escort. And that, too, scares me for the future, because I eventually bounced back from surgery, but as we age something like dementia there is no bouncing back... then what? A continuing care facility would look pretty darn good :)
freqflyer. Basically Mars and Venus is what I'm thinking. You can't make someone intuitive or compassionate when it is not their nature. I should take a page out of my own book. My daughter used to complain about her boyfriend didn't do this, didn't do that, not the romantic gesture she wanted, etc - I would always say "did you tell him specifically what you wanted and didn't want". Truth is, unless you do, most of them are incapable of reading your mind and go by whatever you do or don't say. I guess I just have to ignore the grouchiness and say what I want. Oh, I can't wait to get well. Being laid up is awful. I can't check on my mother - I think she turned the ringer off on her phone and I know she turned the answer machine off (for about the 10,000th time, but she doesn't know how to use it anyway - hasn't been able to figure out how to push the d_ _ _ lighted button to listen to messages for the past 15 years!) My puppy is behaving badly, teething, figuring out I am helpless and she can get away with things............I have a headache half the time from struggling and the physical effort of moving on one leg. I think I am just on a pity trip from frustration! Sorry everyone~
AmyGrace, we are all here for your party and can relate. By the way, if I ask my sig other to vacuum he would say "I will do that tomorrow".... tomorrow will come and go and no vacuuming... a week goes by no vacuuming.... I will ask him again to vacuum [pets do shed] and he will say "later"... a second week goes by. Sigh... I gather up the energy and I finally vacuum. Stalling must be an acceptable excuse.

Or if they do help they mess it up so badly that we never will ask them to that again. Hmmmm, I should try that.... maybe get out of cooking by burning all the meals !!! :)
With a lot of these guys, its a ploy that worked in childhood. And darn all those mothers and fathers who didn't make their sons do the same chores as their sisters. Nowadays, both men and women need to be able to do each other's jobs if need be! When both work, both share.
Maybe you are depressed. (and with good reason)...talk with you PCP, perhaps some medication adjustment would help...maybe for a little while you may need an antidepressant. Take care of yourself and get the help you need.
About the dogs, maybe the breeder could help with the puppy for now or another owner that you trust just for a short time...two or three weeks...your mobility will be better and you will heal faster if you can find solutions for the stress. Your dogs are stressed because you are...they could benefit from "day care" at a friends or specific other place one or two days a week? several hours each day? Some do the training part too.

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