I don't know how to handle my parent's care anymore! I am exhausted!

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Hi Everyone. I feel like I'm complaining, but I honestly don't mean to. I'm the sole caregiver for my mom and s-father. Both are in very poor health, but my mom who was always the healthy one, is now in the worst shape. In the past 2 weeks, she's been in the cardiac unit of the hospital, had 2 cardiac cath's, a stent placement for peripheral artery disease, and had major complications including an aneurysm at the cath site. She looks awful. She refuses to stay in the hospital for even 1 minute longer than she has to. Now that the crisis part seems to be under control, she's home, but looks awful, has a lot of pain, can barely walk and sleeps a LOT. My s-dad helps her a lot, for which I thank God for! He needs help too though. I've had to stop doing so much around the house. I can no longer vacuum and I'm to the point of exhaustion physically and emotionally. I'm having bad bad panic attacks, severe depression, and can't eat b/c of the stress. I live in their home since I had to go on disability from my nursing career a few years ago. I spend most all of my time in my room, alone. I have no friends to call. I see a counselor once a week when I can afford to and when I'm able to get out of the house b/c of my own pain issues. I feel dreadfully alone. I've cried so much that I feel I'm becoming a bit numb. The panic attacks are the worse! I don't know where to turn. I'm feeling hopeless and lost. I pray a lot, am on antidepressant meds and meds for anxiety. Once again I'm crying...and have to hide my feelings from my mom and s-dad b/c they're so ill and I don't want to be a burden to anyone. I wish I had a friend! My best friend broke off contact with me in September 2010, just before my mom was to go into the hospital for more major cardiac surgery. I think my friend thought I might ask her to watch my puppy, or help me in some way, which I wouldn't have asked anything of her except for her emotional support and friendship. We were friends for 22+ years. I try to keep a positive attitude in front of others and try not to complain. Still, it seems that I find myself in a situation where all I do is care for others, put on a fake smile, and be the strong one for everyone else. It's hard to watch as my mom and s-dad decline and I get so afraid everytime I walk through the livingroom where they're both sleeping or napping, and I have to look closely to make sure they're still breathing. I need help now too, especially emotionally. I pray for a friend. I'm so thankful I can come here where I know all of you understand. I really need to connect with sane people...lol.
Bless you all!
With love,
Kathy K.


oh willow , i am so sorry . i wish i could just come over and give u a hug and moral support , i cant go anywhere . i have pa to care for .
all i can say is to keepcomin back and vent more . have u tried the thread gross out vent out ? bobbie had started that post , its a wonderful place to be at . as many would say the same thing , there is a bunch of us there are going thru the same thing u are .
come on over to gross out and vent out and u will be so glad that u did . it help me out a bunch , made several friends there and finding out where they live and exchange ph numbers and email address and findin eachother on facebook ,
this computer is a life safer and thank god for aging care . com !
i bet someone will help u and make u feel better once u get to know one of us at gross out , vent out . they prob could give u better advice than i could . half time my mind is just blank .
it s a shame that 22 plus years ur friend bailed out on u , that sucks ! thats a shame . so now u know who ur friends are ..
keep in touch my dear lady . xoxo big hugs to u ,,,
Dear kathy k,
My name is Rene. I first would like to tell you how wonderful of a person you are. I truly understand what your going through. Please try to stay strong. I am a 29 yr old mother trying to keep smiling. I have a 8 yr old with severe cp his name is jared. Basically all's jared can do is laugh,cry, or move his head side to side. I feel your pain. I alway's have my fake smile on. I do have a wonderful husband and two beautiful step children. Although alway's trying to hide my pain. I do everything alone, and never had counceling or any help. I try to beat my pain with my jogging. I never bring up jared to friend's not wanting to make them sad. Or fear of them truly knowing how i feel. My husband is wonderful and adopted jared. He is the only person who see's me cry, when I truly cannot hold it in. My guilt never leave's feeling this situation would have been prevented. I chose a doctor who would only get paid by deliverying my baby vaginally. He truly knew my son was in trouble, he chose not to call his partner to save my baby. I thought i was going to die during labor, finally jared was born he was blue and took his first breath over 5 minute's after he was born.
I will pray for both of us everyday. My heart ache's for people and familie's who have to go through these stressful, depressing situation's. You are a beautiful person. I will keep you in my thought's. Take care Kathy K.
Hi Willow- I am changing my career due to my Mom needing help. This is after me recovering from 2 injuries. She ended up in the hospital quite a few times last year, but, finally got her stable. I have always been one to offer other people help. Now, I realize how much help I need & am beginning to ask for help(or accept help if offered). There are usually website's for volunteers that want to help people. Also, don't feel bad about calling the local churches to see if they know of any volunteers that can help you. Maybe you could ask one of your neighbor's to be there for your parents, so you can get out. There are also support groups for this(ask your counselor about this too). Help also comes in the form of allowing someone to do some cleaning for you, cooking, fixing your hair or you just getting out into the public & sunshine, so you don't feel so alone. "Meals on wheels" we have where I live. They are there to deliver free meals where needed. You do not have to donate, if money is tight. Hopefully, they have something like this where you are. Remember, take one positive step per day. I know this is hard when depressed, but, do it by rote if you can.......things can turn around. Hang in there Willow! I wish I could give you a hug too!!!
Thank you all for your support and encouragement. It feels so good to know that there are others who care about you and your situation. I'm still feeling very depressed. It's overbearing. I feel guilty about feeling so bad about myself, when others have so much more on their plate than I do, and much more serious and heartbreaking life situations. My heart and prayer's go out to Jared! What happened is awful, but it's not your fault! There's no way you could have known that his birth would be difficult when you went to that particular doctor for delivery. It seems that bad things happen to good people way to often. I pray and beg and pray more for better health physically and emotionally for myself and my family and other's I know, and for those I don't know. This life is so hard. I get into my head and start thinking that I must have done something awful to be stuck in such a dark situation with no light in sight. I know that's not how God works! It would be wonderful to have one thing to look forward to. I'm terrified of the time when something does happen to my mom. I'm an only child and have no siblings, no other family at all. Unfortunately, old friends are gone and have their own issues and problems. I don't blame them for bailing. Still, I'll always be there for them in a New York Minute if needed, no matter how bad my own situation is. I love people and don't understand it when others don't seem to want someone who cares about them in their lives. But it is their choice and I respect that. I'm SO glad to have found you all here. I know you all understand and it helps so much to keep in touch with you all! I wish I could help all of you in some way. I'm a good listener. I hope to keep in touch more closely... I'm so lonely and alone where I live.
I do have someone coming into the house next week to evaluate and set up "Meal's on Wheel's" for my mom and s-dad. I've also called the Office of Aging, and need to speak with someone there next week about services that might be available for my mom and s-dad. They're to the point where they REALLY cannot take care of the house, cleaning, cooking, getting groceries, laundry, etc... I've been doing these things but my own body is rebelling right now. I pray hard for help to come. I know that God is good and He has a Plan. I need to try and strengthen my faith. I used to have such a strong faith... I think we all just get worn out...
Bless you all and thank you for replying to my post for strength and hope.
Kathy K.
Kath- you are NOT the "savior of the world"........don't mean to be harsh, but, if the ones that have no time for you asked for help, I would ONLY give it, IF you had the time & energy & WANTED to!!! I am NOT a negative person, but, there are soooo many people that need help & these "friends" are NOT there for you(in which case I WOULD question their friendship!). I had a friend of 20 yrs that bailed when I showed I was human & not perfect.........how sad! It hurt a LOT, not kidding you, but, I would rather have one true friend than one that pretends to be!!!
Guilty? We all are NOT in a competition about who has it better, who has it worse.......that does NOT matter........what matters is that YOU are in pain & WE are here to give you a leg up, if we can........the rest is up to you.
..Yes, give support to others that need support or a hug.......I also feel for them, however, these are two different situations..........what's the old adage? "You can't help others til you help yourself".........HOW TRUE!!!
WHAT would happen IF something happened to YOU?!!! You should not feel "guilty", you should feel BLESSED & be thanked(if only by God, that's ok), to be able to be there for your parents!!!
Your parents will NOT have you to DEPEND on, UNLESS you take care of yourself!!! YOUR happiness, psyche, emotional stability is just a much apart of this, as is your physically being there!!! God bless you for your strength for BEING YOU!!!
My dear Willow, so sorry to hear you're having such a tough time! Jump on my plate and together we'll start cleaning it off one pea at a time! :) I also hope you take lhardbeck's advice and join us (the crew) on grossed out/need to vent thread... I can't tell you how much all these friends mean to me! Just by being there when I cry, laugh, vent, scream or want to tell a story. I know someone will always be there to give me a hug. Don't know if you've visited the thread yet, it can be a little overwehlming at first but once you begin to follow each of our situations you'll start to feel like it's you home too! Just like we're doing here for you now! I too can relate somewhat; mother has alzheimer's, dad, 86 and in poor health helps with what he can. I moved back home from Atlanta, and yes, into their home. I had to leave my friends ,close my business , sell my home, etc. and move to a backwards state, Alabama, ugh... I too feel like an only child; oldest of three. Brother that lives five minutes away offers absolutely no help, no calls, no visits, except to ask for money. An estranged little sister who had tried to move me out of their home (boy, that is a long story that I'm willing to share with you someday, if you want to hear it.) Didn't work, ha.. She only lives two and a half hours away and has come to visit them only twice since 2008! A little advice, get a POA, medical and estate; look for an estate attorney in your town. Do your parents have their wills, etc. in order? I'm glad you've begun taking action, that first step is always the hardest! Friends here have said it all, you have to care for yourself first but you already know that, huh? You said that your parents are ok with their finances, set up a maid service to help with the chores, ok? Me? I do all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, yard work, shopping etc. Please dear, keep in touch and give your little baby a huge hug for me... Love dogs, I'm a canine behaviorist and that helps me get thru the days, that is when I can work and leave the house!!! Also, you talked about your faith, I always tell people that our faith is only as strong as our last test! Sounds like GOD's smiling down at you because each test you face, you seem to be passing them all with flying colors!!!!! Much love to you, dear, new friend... :) I'm really looking forward to your visits with us really soon, like today.... :) :) :)
Thank you all for your replies! It helps a lot and I need to hear your words of wisdom and it helps me to feel stronger...at least for a little while. I've been having problems with panic attacks today and depression. Nothing new really. It's just been 'not a great day'... I need all of you here. I don't mean to sound desperate, but I'm feeling desperate. I feel like I'm losing touch with the "normal" or "real" world sometimes, by rarely going out and living in such negativity. I love my mom and s-dad. But I just can't take much more. Hopefully I'm stronger than I feel. I know that God has a Plan and I've been on my knees praying. I just feel so alone and heartbroken. I need the tears to stop and I want to reclaim the strong person I used to be. I can't believe how life has changed. I'm sure none of us knew years ago that we'd be in the situations we're in now. I just thank God that I've found everyone here!!!
Trying to keep the Faith,
Kathy K.
Dear Willow, we have many things in common: both nurses, we have had panic attacks, couldn't eat, and felt physically exhausted; and have the feeling that all you do is care for others. Been there. Done that. Got the T-shirt to prove it! I am not trying to make light of it. It is not easy, but things will not remain static. They will change. I like what someone said above here---you are not the savior of the world. Good advice.
I think one thing is that you are a nurse, and nurses like to keep things tightly under control... which is not a bad thing unless it is becoming an obsession. I am glad you are seeking God and praying in this. He will reward you, whether or not you "feel" like it right now or not. You are honoring your parents, and it won't go un-noticed by Him. He will give you the strength you need for the task at hand---He already has! I would tell you this: get out when you can, even if you just go to the local library, the grocery store (stay a little longer and walk around to relieve stress), a mall---anywhere that there are people and strangers, so that you can see the world goes on. You do need a physical friend to confide in, to go out to lunch with, to cry with. That you are missing and that you need. We here can only do so much. Find the humor in everything and in the situation. I don't mean to take things lightly or not be serious, but when humor occurs, take it internally. My mother in the nursing home is practically an invalid and can't walk and has Parkinson's. She is paranoid and tells me such crazy stuff that it has an element of humor to it. Also if you can, start keeping a journal... just of what is going on and what you feel and thing. Attach one of the Psalms to it. Read the Psalms. I think you are doing everything right and nothing wrong. Remain strong---you ARE stronger than you think you are. Above all try to remain persevering and refuse to let depression overtake you. Get some rest---sleep as often as possible. Ask God to intervene and to send you some relief. And right now I am going to pause and say a prayer for you.
Done! Now keep that assurance of what you just said above: God has a plan. Indeed He does. You are doing His will, Kathy. Keep the faith! God bless. Debrah Ann

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