Elfje01 Asked December 2011

How can I calm myself down when I am in the midst of taking care of my dad?

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Yesterday was a particularly crazy day! I was trying to cook, make a snack for my father, take care of my sick dog, doing laundry etc and all of a sudden, I felt light headed, the Ketchup bottle falls from my hand. Than I try to fix a light bulb, that falls out of my hand. I started to have some sort of a panic attack...I started to feel guilty that I was not strong enough...I felt like this is it, I do not deserve anything else. O, I have to mention that I have been looking for work since 2010. I sleep less and less, and am unable to 'enjoy' myself when I meet up with my new girlfriend.... :(

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anne123 Dec 2011
Yes, I know what you mean about feeling guilty for not being strong enough. Very well put! I have also had that light-headed feeling you talked about....I call it "weightless".....I think it has to do with anxiety. We need to find ways to nurture ourselves....that is what my counselor told me. Make a list of all the things that nurture you and then do what you can to make a couple of them happen. You painted a great image there.....laundry, ketchup bottle, lightbulb! (-: Hang in there!
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babebruin Dec 2011
Quakerite, you are spot on. Things don't have to be perfect, just manageable. I care for my 86-year-old father-in-law alone (my husband doesn't participate I think because it is too emotional). The one thing that I am thankful for each and every day is that my F-I-L may have dementia, but he is kind and loving and responds well to a hug and my telling him that I love him. Knowing that he is with family instead of strangers is all the reward.
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hoping Dec 2011
Somedays I think I am going to go crazy I am so stressed with this 24/7 job of my parents. my dad has been selfcentered and very demanding. My mother hounds me to do every little thing he wants. He broke his hip almost 4 years ago and I am totally a servent to him.I guess I just need to vent.I try looking at the clouds and raising a garden and everything else but this is getting to me to have the whole load on my shoulders. ask me what I want for Christmas I want nothing. I want and need help but no one is going to do that. I would be OK just going home for a few hours and sitting by myself. I loss my patience this is the part I hate the most but I can't even leave town because of my dad's needs this is someone who would not do it for anyone else.
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hoping Dec 2011
I pray more for strengh and patience morethan anything. I am a full time caregiver to my parents mostly my dad who broke his hip almost 4 years ago. 24/7 I am totaly burn out because my dad will not excerise to get stronger on his own I have to make him kick his legs before he gets up to really be able to stand and walk and sometimes that starts a fight. He is getting weaker and that is stressful. My mom is doing pretty good but also is getting weaker and a little more forgetful and the stress I live close and spend all my time just going back and forth. I spend the nights with them matter of fact I only get to go home a few hours a day off and on and I take a nap in the chair. My husband is being as supportive as he can be really more than usual as he has never been real supportive of me. I have one daughter who now has 3 kids but she is really no help my brother lives a few states away and comes in to give me a break every 6 months or so but he can't stand to do this 2 weeks. I have to be his backup. I have resendment but also at the same time I am glad I could do it. My parents would not make it in a nurseing home they would not last.Just seems like I am the servent to so many. I know we allow this to happen to ourselves but I really don't know when it is over if I will ever connect people again. I try to eat right and take care of myself as much as I can but I miss cleaning up most of all. this has been a strain on my mind body money and self . Even I am serving so many I still don't fell bad about myself I just feel that somewhere I made a wrong turn. I really don't know if I will ever smile again. When I look at the big picture the only way this will end is either my parents die or I put them both in the nurseing home. I am sort of jelious of people who have a supportive family. My cousins and I aren't close, I have thought that maybe it is me but I am a good person who many just decied to not seem to want. I don't have pity parties I am just writing what I see. I do have a garden in the summer and a few chickens at my house as I am trying to get more back to the earth. I live in the woods and watch the sky and the animals every day. I always did this but now I am really getting in tune with it as I can't go anywhere. I enjoy the internet and meeting many different so I know this chaper in my life is a very hard one I am learning everyday and if I make it out alive I will be a totally different person weither it be for better or worse. I will be lost after this is over for I do love my parents very much but they really don't relize what I am giving up to do this. Wishing everyone a very Good day and a Blessed Merry Christmas Season
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mimosalane Dec 2011
I am 58. My mom is 87. I have learned many things about nursing since July of 1991 when mom was in a coma from heatstroke & on a feeding tube, etc. After that recovery, I noticed her wearing sunglasses all day & in the evenings. Later was surprised to find out that her glaucoma was so severe that surgeries would not help much. And that was after several falls, a heart bypass & emergency hip replacement. I am an only child of a European immigrant. The father figure disappeared early in life. So, I risk everything to make sure the mom is cared for. There are many things I have never done & never had. But I realize that it gets real rough before things can get better. Medicare advantage 2012 is a big mountain that might collapse into Medicaid for us. I am glad for this website!
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sallie Dec 2011
It always seems one child becomes the main care taker. I am the middle child of 5 children. I work part time, so they all thought I was the one who should take the brunt of taking care of my dying father a couple of years ago. He had bone cancer and wanted to die at home. I along with my mom went through a lot emotionally and physically before he died. After he passed I was once again left with the brunt of helping my mom who doesn't drive and never had any friends. She has emphysema, is on oxygen 24/7 and gets worn out quickly. For two years I was driving 50 minutes twice a week to take mom shopping, doctor appts, banking and the pharmacy. The house next door to me went up for sale and my mom bought it. My older sister had been P.O.A. because she had lived the closest to mom. She was not happy with my mom moving here because it would be a 45 minute drive for her. She suggested my mom make me P.O.A. My mom did this and my sister got mad and hasn't talked to me or my mom since then. That was a month ago. My one sister is out of the picture all together, my brother lives 70 miles away and has his own issues and the last sister visits mom when she can, which is about once a month and all she does is take her out to dinner. She feels she has done her part doing that. These siblings don't realize how stressful things can be because they see the parent seldom and on their best behavior because they are happy to see them because they don't see them much. I see things getting worse with my mom's health in the near future and expect no help from the siblings. I have come to terms with this.
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quakerite Dec 2011
Whoa, endofyourrope, you weren't kidding - your situation is complicated. But in another sense, it isn't. Trust me, I totally get the stuff with your sisters - even though I don't know what motivates them, I got exactly the same treatment from my 2 younger sisters. And I don't know what motivates them, either - but it sure is painful, isn't it? Just an observation: you seem very sensitive to everyone around you and adept at figuring out what they're feeling. Not that it's any of my business, but my suggestion to you is that you use some of that sensitivity on yourself. What do you need? What are you willing to do to get what you need? You may have to do it without your sisters' or dad's approval (which you don't seem to have anyway). Life is too short, girl. Get some support to make the changes you want -- if that's what you want. ok, end of sermon. Thanks for the hug! I'll use part of it and send the rest of it back to you!
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Hi Quakerite,
My situation is complicated. My dad was a wonderful father. My mother died at rhe age of 46, and she died on my 26th birthday. She was our family glue, and kept things with we three sisters my dad at "peace". My father lost the use of one of his legs when he was in his early 40's, and became very mean , taking out his loss on all of us especially my mother. He turned from being the sweetest most gentle man in the world to a miserable angry man we didn't recognize. He was angry because his loss of control due to his physical loss. My mother understood it, and always backed him when he'd go off on us (not physically) with his meaness explaining how hurt he was inside. However, my mother got the worst of his rage, and after years of it she just couldn't take it anymore. She was toying with the thought of leaving him. Then she got breast cancer at the age of 43. She needed him, and reconnected with him clinging to him out of fear and the need of emotional protection. He became much less angry feeling that he was serving a big purpose again, and was much kinder to all of us. After she passed a huge fift developed with my sisters and I. My youngest sister (10 yrs younger than me) instantly became a very very angry girl. My father was so grief stricken that he was not there emotionally for her. I tried to take her to live with me but she lashed out like a wild animal. What she needed was her father. She changed, and for some reason took the worst of her anger out on me (possibly because I was the elder sister). Prior to that we had been extremely close. My middle sister (2 yrs younger) was a miserable resentful person her whole life. She had poor relationships with both of my parents but they both loved her a lot. Most unfortunately my parents favored me, but never realized they showed it. After my mom died their shared anger brought them together, and they shoved me out of the sister loop. It hurt...a lot, and despite my attempts of trying to get close they kept me out. I was married though and had my own life, and own supports. 5 yrs ago I was divorced with no children and was the obvious choice to move in with him. I wanted to anyway as I had always been close to my dad in a unique way. I was born with bad hip dysplasia, and in braces at 3yrs old for 2 yrs, then a wheelchair for another two. He was my rock. Now that he is so ill and dying his anger has returned. Once again he feels out of control, and knows he's leaving this world. He worry's about all of us, and wants to still protect but he can't. He is dying!!! Because I live with him I am getting pummeled with his verbal abuse, and being treated like a 12 yr old child! I am 52!!!!!!! He tries to control every aspect of my life, and arguments happen. I understand his pain and feelings of helplessness but his mean rants are horrible. Over the last three yrs since he's gotten much worse the two nasty sisters have also gotten much meaner and are now able to do it under the radar. He does not have to deal with them every, and his feelings of not having good past relationships with them is manifesting in his siding with them on everything. They have not helped at all since he's been sick even when I've asked on occasion. They also have rarely visited him. I understand that they are also in deep pain, but again it comes my way. The stress of living in this toxic environment with no emotional support from my family has been living in a hellish prison. I never once considered leaving him until recently when he viciously told me to get out and never come back. I am now considering doing just that, and force my sisters to now do the the care I've been providing these past years. My fear though is that they won't move in, and he cannot be alone. So my friend I hope this rambling diatribe will shed some clarity. He is mean because he has no control over leaving us, and it is hurtung him badly inside. It's just how my dad handles helplessness. Still it's not right, and has really taken it's toll on me. I am completely exhausted...an exhaustion I could never imagine could be. Any constructive suggestions would be helpful. Thank you for caring!!! LOVE TO ALL
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quakerite Dec 2011
Note: my answer was for "endofmyrope." I didn't make that clear, sorry.
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quakerite Dec 2011
You say "this mean old man" is not who your father used to be, and describe how he lashes out at you unfairly. Sure sounds like some kind of dementia - has he been given any kind of mental evaluation by his GP? I would push for that - if you get some kind of diagnosis along those lines, it will make a lot of things more clear to you. Meanwhile, it's not clear to me why you would allow your father to "suck the life out" of you and you certainly don't need to explain yourself to me or anybody. But it might be worth thinking about for you. It sounds like a bleak existence, the way you describe it. Taking care of someone you love is hard enough - I can't imagine what it would be like to care for someone who sounds so unpleasant. Please take care of yourself.
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