Severe pain diagnosis and caring for a rapidly failing parent.

Started by

I care for my 87 yo very hard-headed, stubborn mom. She has a laundry list of chronic issues...CHF, COPD, High BP, Thyroid issues, just recovering from a torn Achilles tendon, and cognitive impairment--OCD tendencies, Paranoid and increasing panic episodes. Last week I was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, CRPS for short. Basically, this has caused me to be pulled out of work indefinitely. I'm in severe pain 24/7 with a list of other symptoms that has overwhelmed me. I'm at the place of not being able to care for Mom when the next episode hits....we've already had 2 major ones since last July. She is brewing another--based on the pattern she's been having for several years. I'm wondering how to reconcile this new reality that I have no choice but to focus on ME and the pain. I can no longer take care of her. I have been very careful whom I'm sharing this information with...a need to know basis---highly unlike me, but given the major issues still unresolved I'm needing to be careful. There is no cure for this disease, it could very well spread, I am looking at years before it could go into remission...if it ever does. All of this is tearing me up inside and I'm finding it hard to focus (also part of the disease) on my ever growing to do list. Any support, ideas, advice, hugs or anything anyone else has to share....I'd be grateful.


Chrisblair, sorry to read about your medical issues. Unfortunately our parent(s) tend to forget that we, ourselves, are now experiencing age decline issues along with other chronic health issues. Our parent still see us as young adults who could do everything.

One suggestion given on this forum is to learn to say "Sorry, I just can't do that" whenever our parent ask us for something we can no longer do. I had that issue with my parents regarding landscaping their yard... that ship had sailed for me as I had aged myself. Dad just couldn't understand even when I had mentioned I had to hire someone to do my own yard work. Eventually he hired someone.

I know there will be guilt because you can no longer help... guilt got to me, too... and it's not fair.
Thanks freqflyer, this advice is very helpful. I appreciate your response! :o)

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support