What keeps you awake at 2:00 a.m.?

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We all have overwhelming days as caregivers, but what's the pain-point that stirs around in your mind when you can't sleep? Hint: it's probably the one thing that, if solved, would turn around your day and outlook on life!

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Gershun . . . yes, the pain is nearly palpable, and you described it really well. In your mom's panicked, last lucid moment, you were there to tell her over and over again the only true thing that could bring her a measure of comfort. That's a painful parting to remember so vividly, but for myself, I'm pretty sure I'd feel worse if I hadn't been there for her in that moment. I hope time is a good friend to you and you begin to heal. Be good to yourself.
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What keeps me awake is thinking about those last moments in the hospital sitting by my Mom's bedside. Especially one particular evening when she started to moan and moan. Most of the time she had been so drugged that she wasn't even really there. But this one particular night she started to moan and I went over and said in her ear, it's me, I'm here. She opened her eyes and just started wailing and crying. I think she knew and I knew that this was probably our good-bye. She couldn't speak. She just kept crying and I kept saying to her I love you, I love you. I kind of knew that this was maybe the last time we would communicate in any way. Then they came and gave her more morphine. She lived for 3 more days after that but that was the last communication between us.

My mind goes there almost every night. It's like I relive the moment. It's like when you have a cut and you keep scratching it and the scab opens up and it has to keep healing over and over again.
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Thanks all for this initial set of responses. I, too, have had endless 2/am ruminations and all specifics mentioned so far have brought back sharp memories. However, with the passing of both parents and the decision to no longer be a part of the industry I once loved, those years are now moreorless behind me. Sunnygirl1, your comment "I learned about compassion and endurance like I never had before" pretty much says it all.

To cwillie, thank you for your honest reaction: above almost everything, I appreciate truthfulness. "Advice about rainbows and butterflies" is about as far from my intent as possible, but I understand how you got that interpretation. Interestingly, the most critical review of my book was that I never told readers what-to-do -- and that's purposeful. It's your journey. Can it be tweaked and made better? Maybe, but there aren't guarantees, and even going there was beyond answers I thought would come in. I'm actually working on a pilot course for caregivers of aging parents and want to tap into current needs rather than where I think is the place to start.

And cdnreader, the grief . . . how well I understand. I miss my mom & dad every day, even after 6 and 16 years respectively. Time does dull the pain, but I think it's because we learn to move through it (or around it). At 6 months, you're probably doing better than I was . . .

Thanks again to all for comments and reactions. Since this was my first post, I'm in debt to you all.
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Bless you. It's such a stressful time.

It's very stressful, when you are struggling to help LO's who aren't interested in the help. I recall it well. The only thing that got me through was faith that eventually things would work out. You just have to keep focused and not give up.

Now, I look at the nights of my darkest hours as a true learning and changing experience. I learned about compassion and endurance like I never had before. My experience changed me into a different person. I hope it was for the better. lol
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Dear cwillie,

I share many of your concerns. And right now what keeps me up is the grief. Six months after losing my dad its the one thing I do think about and there is no getting around it. I know I shouldn't let the what-ifs take a hold of me but they do. I know there are no easy answers. I keep hoping with more time I will come to terms with it.
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How perceptive to say that if we solved our problems they wouldn't keep us up at night, but somewhat simplistic. What about the things that can't be solved... thinking of my mom calling for me in the night and I can't be with her, grieving the loss of the woman she once was and my inability to continue to care for her at home, worry about having enough money set aside for my own old age etc. I know that mom's needs will be met in long term care, time will dull my grief and that I will age whether I have $1 or $1million and that it is pointless to ruminate about things I can't change, but sorry (oh god I'm trying so hard to be polite) I'd rather not read advice about rainbows and butterflies.
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