Do you drag your feet getting things done for yourself?

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My parents [90+] still live under their own roof, and I under my own. I am still Gopher and Driving Miss Daisy and it seems like I am always doing something to help them when I am not at work.

But I have noticed that when it comes to scheduling my own doctor appointments or having things done around the house, either by myself or calling in a professional, that I drag my feet big time. Years have gone by for some major items such as getting plumbing repaired, getting estimates for remodeling, or calling to get dead trees taken down.

Could be I am afraid if I schedule something like the plumbing that it will consume my time as I will need to be home and what if my parents needs medical attention. I know the old "what if" that may never happen. I never use to be like this :P

30 Comments

Maybe you are afraid to schedule, but maybe not. It's stressful having a stranger in one's home doing repair work or remodeling. The last thing we caregivers need is something that causes more stress in our lives!
I used to enjoy doing little projects around the house, but I don't anymore. Part of the fun of doing the projects in the past was doing the shopping for the project. It was fun going to the different hardware stores looking for a new faucet, or looking for bricks to build a flower bed etc. Now, my time is pressed. There is no time to wander around looking at items or getting new ideas. Mom is no longer physically able to wander around a store so she has to be left at home. I'm lucky if I get 4 hours a month to do grocery shopping. I think in the future after Mom is gone I'll get back to the way it was, but for now it is what it is.
As far as scheduling doctors appointments for yourself maybe you're like me, just plain tired of doctors. I take Mom to all her doctor appointments, but in all honesty I can't see that they've done much to improve her condition. I know they try, but the reality is there isn't much they can do. I often think that some of that fatalism has rubbed off on me regarding my own healthcare. And then again there's that added stress of what if I go and they find something wrong. Definitely not ready to deal with that.
Nojoy3, bingo... you could be right about doctors and related medical issues. Add up the number of doctors I would normally see myself with that of both my parents and the number could be as high as 25 in one year. That's a lot of waiting rooms! And of course the front desk needs all new information sheets filled out, that 4 to 7 pages depending on the doctor x two patients. I finally learned to write "same as last time".
Yes, I definitely drag my feet getting things done. It may be that I'm just getting older. It may be that I don't feel very inspired. It may be that I live life for two people, so don't do a very good job of living for either one. There is so much I need to do every day that I feel like it would be easier to pull the covers up over my head. I just don't have the energy I used to have. That is probably normal, since I'll be 63 next week and the things I need to do are all so mundane. I mean, like who can get excited about cooking, cleaning, and going to another doctor's appointment? Right now I am on Day 3 of a cold, so I am doing even less than normal. I feel awful. I have been staying isolated to keep from spreading my contagion throughout the world.

My lack of inspiration is not my mother's fault except that maybe her laziness is starting to rub off on me. I spent a lot of time the first years trying to put the house in order. It goes to chaos again in no time, so there doesn't seem to be much point in investing effort. Besides, it is hard to clean around someone who is sleeping and watching TV in the main part of the house all day long. Wouldn't it be nice if they went out to play sometime?
JessieBelle: You hit the nail on the head. But I don't think it's us getting older, I think it's just the situation we're in. Sorry you're sick. Get better soon.
Freqflyer, It's funny...I was just thinking of posting a question like this, but you have beat me to it! I know exactly what you are talking about! I do the same thing regarding taking care of my business. I used to be very organized and very on-time with my doctor's appointments. Now, I make the appointments, but I find that I will change them and push them forward and finally after months of doing this, I will force myself to go. It could be because I feel like I am always in a doctors office for my mom, so therefore I am sick of them. Or it could be because I am terrified that they will find something wrong. A rather new phobia of mine!
I also have a list a mile long of things I need to do just for ME. I just don't seem to ever get them done. It's very frustrating.
I understand how you feel, as I feel the same way. I think caregiving has similar symptoms of PTSD, feeling like anything unexpected could happen at any minute. I cannot even read in bed at night with total peace, as it is always in the back of my mind that there may be an unexpected trip to the ER, etc. Regarding your situation, maybe you could schedule one appointment a month for yourself (in order of importance), that way it won't seem overwhelming. Sometimes if I have to call a plumber, etc. I try to get the first appointment of the day, as that way there is less waiting, then for example later in the day when they usually give you a two hour time-frame.
Sally and Jessie, exactly! I haven't been to doctor or dentist in years yet i take mom to all her appointments. I have been staying with my mom for 6 1/2 years at her home, taking care of her 24/7 except when I'm at my full time job, and my clothes are in plastic drawers and on a rack. When I do something for me I feel a bit guilty. And I cancelled my eye appointment and need to go to doctor. Sometimes I just sit there thinking about everything I need to do, and do nothing, which leads to more stress. Sibs will not give me a break. I'm so thankful I stumbled on this site a few months ago. Now I see I'm not the only one.
No Dee, you are absolutely not the only one!! I am so glad that I found this site too! I guess we give our all to our loved ones and when it comes time to take care of ourselves, we are just too tired! I am going to try to make a big effort towards taking better care of myself. I literally have to force myself to go to the doctor for myself. Is there something called "Caregiver Syndrome?" Maybe some of us have that!!
Oh yes. I believe there is!
Sally, I found this on Wikipedia

"Caregiver syndrome or caregiver stress is a condition of exhaustion, anger, rage, or guilt that results from unrelieved caring for a chronically ill dependent."

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