Warning! Caregiving can be dangerous to your health.

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At what point do we draw the line in caregiving? I went to a doctor recently, and discovered that I have a bleeding ulcer, ostearthritis ( severe in my spine ) and stress. I do not blame my FIL for any of this, but rather ask myself, when is enough, enough?
I am also a recovering addict ( morphine ) and feel blessed that I received help and support from NA meetings.
Just about everyone tells me that I am doing a wonderful thing, but it never feels like that. Most days, I feel resentful and stressed.
I have been his primary caregiver going on four years. I am a devout believer in God and Christ, but many times feel like it is all a test or punishment ( although I do believe that God is a loving God).
Please, if you are new to caregiving, consider all the options. You have to take care of yourself first, communicate, and use all the help available. I now take full advantage of the Hospice volunteers, so that I can do things for myself. My FIL does not like it, but now, I have no problem in that department.
My husband has just now realized ( his dad is an alcoholic ), that his father mainly just cares about himself. Comming from a dysfunctional family myself, I know how that can be a serious wake-up call.
There are so many issues in dealing with caregiving and it is never just about the illness, but encompasses all problems, past and present.
God bless all.

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greynite - you must have fatigue also, as most caregivers do. Do you feel tired a lot, as I think most caregivers suffer from extreme fatigue? Thanks for the good advice you've given us, and take good care of your health too!
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Hi all a wife here in wisconsin.. my hubby has been on morphine for 5 years now. we have been thro so much.. his health was never good. but we matched so well when we were younger.. Iam 64 now to his 59. his anger to me has hit all time high's and his travels in fancy have gotten worse.. have done all I can.. sometimes the Good Lord just askes to much of one Caregiver..prayers to all. in hopes that your tomorrow and mine are just a tiny bit better... I miss his laughter so much.. for you see Iam a Lady Clown...
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You're very right. Caregiving IS dangerous to your health. Physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Old wounds open up. Old resentments get hauled out. Old unhealthy patterns of behavior can begin again. When I see those ads for home healthcare or items for sale for elderly people with the little old lady with the white hair and twinkling blue eyes and a younger woman standing behind her with her hand on the older woman's shoulder I have to laugh. That's not how caregiving looks.
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