Caregiving with a chronic illness. How do you handle it?

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I am a live in caregiver to my mom...i have fibromyalgia and worked 8 hours yesterday and without a narcotic would have been bedridden all day.

We hire an agency to help out and that gives me time to rest. If we couldn't afford it, mom would be in a facility by now.

So what is your story and how do you find time to take care of yourself?


I don't think my parents would expect me, with my health issues, to take care of them. There is no way I could be a live-in caregiver for my parents, they would outlive me.

Even with that said, I am not taking care of myself the way I should. Running my parents back and forth from their doctors appointments is so draining, I don't even want to schedule appointments for myself :P
I live with my alcoholic feeble 80 yr old mother. I battle anemia of chronic kidney disease, gout, back pain (DISH), osteo & rheumatoid arthritis, and depression. I'm on SSD. We've had home healthcare from time to time but none of them have worked out-they usually quit from mom's heavy smoking habit. I wear masks and spend as little time as possible around her. I've learned the hard way to grow tough skin and that I'm more important & worthy of taking care of me first. Mom is pretty demanding. It's taken a while to tell her what I'm able to do for her and when, whether she likes it or not. I've made it clear to her I will hire help if she pushes me too far. Last year was really tough. Since the New Year things have been a lot easier around the house. Care giving loved ones is a tough pretty thankless job for a healthy active individual-even more challenging and exhausting for those of us juggling health issues of our own.
I have fibrobmyalgia also and live in chronic pain. My 86 year old mother with dementia lives here and I am her 24/7 caregiver.

It is the hardest thing I have ever done and it definitely makes battling the fibro pain much harder than it would be if I was not in the role of caregiver. Taking care of myself has become next to impossible.

When it gets to the point where she needs physical assistance (in terms of lifting her) I will HAVE to the mean time I struggle to get by.

Best of luck to everyone with chronic health conditions of their own playing the role of caregiver.
I can relate, although not to the Fibro. in 2007, after two years of caring for wife at home (paralyzed on one side, unable to get out of bed or chair on her own) I "solved" this problem by having my heart give out, and the next day was the "owner" of three bypasses to my heart and a dandy vertical scar in the center of my chest to attest for it...Thing is, I was in the hospital and all of a sudden, family jumped in and got her into a nursing home and she has been there ever since....We went broke from paying the high fees, and then she was approved for Medicaid...Now I go see her twice daily.

Necessity is the mother of invention.

You are not doing anyone any favors by caregiving when you need help yourself. so don't do as Bob did and wait for the emergency before you make the necessary changes.
I take one day at a time and once I make it through one day, I hope and pray I make it through another. There is no "secret" formula. Each of us has to find their own answer, and thank you for doing your part!
I also suffer from chronic illness and live with/caretaker for both of my parents. There is no money for extra help and barely enough rescources for food etc. It is just horrible and my worst fear is something happening to me! I am an only child, we have no family and help, I just have no choice. All i can do is take it one hour at a time
I am 63 yo taking care of mom alone now 2 years no husband or any family. Mom has no assets and only 1000 month. I use half of that to pay caregivers for break on weekends. My dilemma is I do not want to place her in nursing home. I have visited all of them and all understaffed. Can anyone out there tell me if they have kept loved at home till death with limited help? I have heart disease and chronic back pain from 31 years as nurse. Please someone respond who has kept loved one at home
As a caregiver you must care for yourself first or you won't be able to caregive to someone. Contact your local Area Agency on Aging or Bureau of Senior Services, they have in home programs that your mom may be eligible for. they should also have a caregiver support program that you can take advantage of. We do what we can as caregivers, but it's not always easy. Utilize the programs in your area to assist you in caring for your mom.
Nice nurse 10 hats off to you remember u can do it I have my mother and my mother in law at home with me I care for them intensively also have heart condition (working at 40%)
I also have asthma and a 14 year old to chase after and plan to keep them both at home until death do us part which we have recently found out that the occulatzer implant inside my heart is faulty but we can pull thru this have and keep the faith UR in my heart and thoughts

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