I have never recovered from caregiver burnout, even with medical help.

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if you are still caregiving, then that is possibly why.

What sort of medical help have you had?

How long has it been doing this?

Did the doctors give you any idea how long this might take to recover from?

Did they recommend any environmental changes in your life to help you recover?
Welcome to my world! I took care of my parents for fifteen years. My father passed in 2006 and my mother moved in with me and I left my top sales job to care give for her full time until she was killed in a rehab facility in September of 2009. I lost my will to live, my meaning and purpose in life, my drive, my focus in life, just what did I have or what was I going to do? By January my head was hurting so bad I could no longer sleep and my arms and legs were tingling. Food was no longer staying down and I was a total mess, my family took me to the ER, after a CT scan and a MRI as well as a Spinal Tap it was discovered I have Sleep Depravation, PTSD. My organs were starting to shut down. See, I dedicated my life and lost myself in taking care of my mother, I did not take care of myself at all. I do not regret taking care of my mother and father, I regret HOW I did it. However; I did the best I could with what I knew at the time. I am still recovering as well. I gained 30 pounds from no sleep, which seems strange, but study after study says no sleep says weight gain; however, I am on the down stream of that as well now. I have a CPAP machine coming this week to help with sleep and my headaches are under control for the most part. I have a "talk" councilor as well as support from a few close friends who know the truth. I have a large circle of friends but chose not to share my "illness" with, it changed my whole personality. I am a new person after intense caregiving; I am just trying to discovering who I am and what my new purpose in life is.
I currently have accepted a new job in the Health Care field as a Community Relations Liaison and working on my Masters in Gerontology. I am taking baby steps daily, but also take a lot of steps backwards as well. I still must deal with the anger of my mother being killed in the facility and the wrongful death lawsuit that is being pursued. I am also working with a State Senator to make some Nursing Home Reform for the State of Indiana. My words to you are YOU are not ALONE!!! There are a lot of us out here and caregiving affects us all differently, we all choose to caregive differently and we all recover differently, I just wish I would feel better mentally soon. My heart just hurt some days for my mother so bad I can’t get out of bed.
I wish you the best, and just deep breathe and take things one day at a time.
Blessings, Bridget
BridgetW, your experience is exactly why I'm glad to be working through my own family of origin issues because until my mother's rapid and steep decline I was not free to deal with how much my identity has been wrapped up in her due to how she raised me. Thus, now at 53 I'm beginning to discover who I am apart from her. Both the good and the bad news is that I'm dealing with this, but the best news is how much closer my wife and I feel which is great timing because our youngest leaves for college next fall. I'm sorry to read that your mother was killed in rehab and hope the legal matters get resolved as well as bring a sense of closure to all of this I've never been all that great at taking care of myself due to how I was raised and thus 7 years ago, 2 years after completing my life long dream of getting a doctorate, my mental and physical health crumbled and I've been on disability ever sense, but unlike yourself a comeback for me is not really possible.
I do not know if I can recover because I am still doing it and I am my husband's caregiver at the young age of 33. I also have two children I am raising. It's challenge because I am also looking for a second job so they can send in a respite person to keep hubby company so i can fulfill family obligations. I have 2 cysts and allergies and stress migraines and constant back pain. I love my husband but this is not the quality of life I envisioned for us.
I can honestly say...I know how you feel. Myself and two siblings helped care for my mother and I was the go to person. Countless doctor and hospital visits took its toll on me. I don't regret the part I played in helping my mother but I too can say I would have done things differently. My mother passed this life 3 years ago and it seems like yesterday. I am still struggling to regain my balance. I feel as though my compass is broken. There are days when I am overwhelmed with tiredness and it is difficult to function. Few people know what I am going through unless they have actually-in the trenches gone through it. I am trying to rebuild my life but have lost 9 years I can't get back. I too have returned to school to complete a Master's in Social Gerontology. I have to say in all honesty that my journey with my mother helped me discover my passion for being a senior advocate. As such I went to Jefferson City to implore representatives to increase funding for Alzheimer's research. I choose to believe that out of these experiences my life is stronger and my purpose clearer. My mother was the most awesome person in my life a true fighter. She had to be coming from the deep south. I know her spirit of, "never give up!" lives on in me.
Honey, you must change things around if you have finished the caregiving. Get rid of things that remind you of it all. I had a tremendous amount of recovery to go thru after I cared for my MNL. To this day (a year later) I can get depressed and I still feel she is here at times..I think it may be similar to PTSD..cause I sure have flashbacks at times after a yr...Plus There are times I still will not let my microwave "ding" when food is done because the sound reminds me of how hard it was...Go figure...It sounds crazy...but it is MUCH better..so get rid of things and don't feel crazy...you are normal to feel this way...HUGS to you...And if you R still in it...get out by just allowing yourself to let others take care of her...I had to and it is not a terrible thing to do..it may be hard at first, but if you are this bad now..there are alternatives and that does not make you a terrible person to let go...It makes you ok in my eyes because what good r u if you are getting sick..you need to be healthy to help others. God Bless and God Speed to a healthier you!! I truly sympathize....Time does make it easier and knowing she is being taken care of makes it even better once all has settled back down in your home...Take Care!!
15 yrs...You deserve a caregiver for you for life!! I too wish there were better health care in Indiana. I may join in with u as an advocate because if you have to put anyone in the NH it is either short staffed OR your parent has to give up everything they ever had to even get in one...How crazy is that, but I want better care for the elderly...I will be talking to the Senator soon. God Bless all who want to see our elderly having better, safer, and compassionate care!!

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