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I was standing in the kitchen tonight, thinking to myself how tired I am! It also crossed my mind that the holidays are upon us and following that comes the New Year! What will it bring? I pray that I and all caregivers r given the support, love and faith to be what we need and want to be. Most of all, I pray r loved one(s) know that we love and want them here for as long as God sees fit. Personally I want to bring up the topic of taking care of ourselves! I have been a mother, wife, friend, sometimes sister, and caregiver for 11 years! Maybe 2012 will finally be the year, that I start considering myself in this equation! Maybe I can lose the 30 pounds I have gained. Maybe I can take a short time and exercise. Maybe I will spend some time on me, which will make me a better wife, mother, friend and caregiver! Anyone else interested? I could use the support and friendship.

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Taking care of you may mean seeing a counselor. I had to do that for a while, when we were first diagnosed. I was so overwhelmed with all that I needed to do and carrying baggage from a pretty traumatic childhood. I can control me, my reactions, my health, but not theirs. I don't take enough time for myself; and I am determined to do better at that this year. I don't want to miss out because I wasn't well! :)
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Oh Oh my error somehow. I live with my mother, we have separate places so to speak, we share the kitchen and the bathroom, . But that doesn't make it any easier. She never is wrong, wants, get me, no please and thank you, she is perfect, no love no sorry, just gossip, problems and everything is my or some elses fault. She always has been bitter and mean. Yes right to sending my dad to the grave, she is a very selfish person. Again not poor me, and what a terrible comments to say about mom, no there is a horrible past, a horrible childhood and even now. Move on I am told, move on! Its in my face everyday. elses fault.
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Millieannie...sounds like it is a good thing that you and your mother are not together! You have probably heard this before but I will say it again. You have to forgive and move on with your own life and be especially grateful that you do not have your mother in your home with you...that would be like poison for sure! When we carry around all the anger and resentment around with us, it doesn't hurt anyone but ourselves. I saw a quote the other day and it says, " To forgive is to set a prisoner free and to find that the prisoner was you". I also know that forgiveness isn't a one time deal...it is something that I have to do daily. Do what you can to get your mom a ramp so your husband doesn't have to lift her and see what social services she may be eligible for.
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Being under stress also causes on to put on weight. I know you think you are doing the right thing. My mother does not live with me. I have been on my own since I was 18, When she was able she did not want me around. She would never go shopping or anything with me. When I put myself thru college to get a degree in nursing, her big complain about coming to the graduation was that "my legs hurt and I can't sit. That was 31 years ago. She actually told me to my face one evening after I had worked and gone to class for 12 hrs to not come to her house for a meal that she wasn't feeding me. Believe you me she has taken my poor husband's hard earned money that he has bought food with and gobbled like a big turkey.He doesn't "owe" her anything. Yet she has him lifting her every chance he gets. She would try to make me but I told her I absolutely was not lifting anything until I get well. I had an older half brother whom she let hit and slap me as well as take my things and destroy them. When he grew up he was buck wild. My dad worked many long hours and he had no idea what was actually going on. He got with the wrong crowd and was killed in a car accident. I know the day that he was killed an annoying old man kept driving his car up and down and up and down in front of the house. I lost count as to how many actual times. With a child like gesture(I was only 12) I said I wish he would run that car off the road. Everyone says things esp. children. Well, about a week after the half brother was killed she said to me, you know it was your fault your brother got killed. You said you wished old Orville would run his car off the road. I then said well you just wish it was me instead of him is what is wrong with you. She never once said no you are wrong. But for anyone to say that someone esp a child made an everyday statement caused a fatal car accident is just plain insane. I have thought that for many years now as an adult. I know that if anything happens to my dad dear grand daughter will clean them out with one swipe of the pen. Then what will dear ole granny do? Now she is turning my husband against her day by day. I am not going to be able to keep the peace for much longer. He is really not very concerned with her right now. He said today she would sit on her AXX until the day she dies. I truly believe she hates me for living and the half brother dying. BTW he was an illegimate child that my father took in and gave him his name and treated him better than I was treated. The say old wounds don't heal very well. They don't. People can criticise me all they want but how would they have liked it to have been them. My father to this day does not know all the things that went on behind his back while he was out laboring for 12 or more hours a day.But she paints me to be an evil person who my dad is supposedly ashamed of. He has never told me this himself she said it and she is far from truthful. I have nothing to be ashamed of. I don't have illegitmate children nor do I go out lying on people and try to make them to be something they are not. I have never taken anything that wasn't mine but some how when her family would come and break into the house if anything was gone it was immediately blamed on my first husband. If he took anything I never saw it and I never knew him to have an opportunity to get into the house. Since he was a Vietnam wounded vet with the loss of the use of his right arm and partially paralyzed on the right side, he would have been a poor buglar. She will pay for hers one day. She would like to see me in the streets begging for food. Nothing would do her any better. I never thought I could see such mental and verbal abuse coming from a parent. I am to the point of calling APS to come and see how they are living esp. with the income they have and there is no ramp to get in or out of the house. Its like they are prisoners in their own home. They expect me to physcially carry them down the steps. I have bored everyone enough. I hope everyone gets some much needed rest.
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I'm in ! I would love to start a group for those of us that have a parent IN our homes, and need support for weight loss also. Mom lives with us and I left my job to care for her. I had help but lost it and am searching for someone else. I am always last on the list and never do what I would like to do for me, like walk, exercise, go to ww class. Take care all, I know hiring help works wonders, but we need eachother as we are also practically "homebound" ourselves.
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I am sorry, so sorry. Life turned around, a parent taking care of us and now them. I am on disability from an injury, for life, cannot make her see, being my mother, I cannot do all she wants. I have been told move out and now! Even in counseling, Several counseling. Why, I do not know. I feel the pain you have, stay close, my friend.
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I already am sick, to many things with my stomach from nerves and stress of my cargiving for my mom, however she doesn't feel she needs it or is older. She plays vitim and I am stupid. I am on 2 depression RX's. And numerous medications for my stomach. It will not get better, poone of 6 children and no one helps, they know how she is so since I live with her, it's me! No pity for me, I just try to find time for me in quiet area and settle down, this holiday has been terrible, but can only believe I am in Gods hands as well as my mom.
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The holidays are the sad time of the year for those who suffer from depression. In my case time was made for myself by a medical emergency. My mother had decided to give up on life because of a simple fall that left her with a broken wrist. She somehow would manage to wind up in the floor every day sometimes more that once. She was perfectly fine until the cast went on the wrist and she decided the cast made her "dizzy". Dizziness did not cause the fall that left her with the fracture, simply not picking up her feet while being preoccupied with her only grand daughter whom she raised and cared for far much more than she did her own daughter. Money is like water to the granddaughter. She knows no end on how to spend and spend she does. Good ole granny pulls out the money for new cars and wild spending granddaughter doesn't believe in checking the oil ever. End result: locked up engine on almost new car. In the mean time good ole granny never asks 30 year old granddaughter to lift a finger but has 60 plus daugther with bad back to begin with working like a slave. End result: daughter winds up in hospital with radiating pain from back to abdomen, chest, arms. Daughter has to undergo numerous tests end results: daughter has ruptured T12 disc and has 3 bulging cervical, as well as post laminectomy L4 and L5 and bulging discs S1 and 2. Daughter picks up virus from hospital end result: daughter now can not stand for more than 5 minutes, is running a fever, cannot hold down food, blood sugars are out of control. Does dear old granny care???? NO. She doesn't even tell other family members daughter is in hospital. Family members find it out thru other sources and run into daugter's husband in grocery store and were shocked dear ole granny didn't call, it would take attention away from her even though daughter didn't care whether they knew or not, it was the principle of the thing. Now dear ole granny wants to make sure everyone is fed on her favorite list for Christmas end result of this: daughter tells granny that if she wants them fed to cook it herself or order it from the deli. The point here is granny is VERY well off finanically. But it is cheaper to make daughter feel like she "owes " them her life even though granny left daughter off the list when it came time for college education or even clothing when daughter was growing up. Daughter was banned from having friends or ever going anywhere in high school. Daughter was not allowed to go on her own class senior trip because of a lousy $50. Bitter. You bet. I am not a robot. But I am now not going to dear ole granny's and working like a dog now. I am the one who wound up with the raw end of the deal. Good ole granny has run her mouth to the medical people who are now throughly convinced she is NUTS. I knew she would keep on running that mouth. I told her keep on and you are going to wind up on Zoloft. I wish everyone a happy holiday season. Believe me I know how you are feeling for wanting time for yourself. Don't wind up like me. Injured and sick. Make that time, one way or another.
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Merry Christmas to you! Peace to you!
I have been very depressed, I take care of my mother and a friend who is elderly. My mother is depressed and already wanted the tree down. I to let the stress of the holiday get to me, and sad though I made Christ second. This we no, any day should be Christ first. As I need to remind myself again and again, I cannot control family, hurts, fights, and need to take of myself, I have had a great deal of health issues this year. 2012 needs to be for me, and Christ! Blieve you and I are a child of God's and he is in control! Kathy
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There are a couple of caregiver groups there already...the question is, do we start our own group or just join one already going? Whatever we do, lets join the same one so we can be connected.
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Hi ValerieAnn -- I absolutely agree with Karie H.'s advice. You must priority yourself in order to take care of the others who rely on you. Easier said than done. But u know what, my only child, my daughter, she tells me to buy something for myself. And during my payday she tells me to go ahead buy a new shirt or new slippers or new shorts so I can enjoy the fruits of my labor. Can u imagine this 12 yr old girl is telling me her own piece of WOW (words of wisdom). I read your profile, we're both in our 40s. I'm 40 this July 2011. And we both love cats! Meeoooww purrr.. I got 5 cats here at home & I love animals. Used to have a golden retriever but he died back in 2007. And we kept the chicken which my daughter bought as a chick 3 years ago. Now the chicken is big & old & has sturdy hard legs and he's the darling of the neighborhood especially in the morning when I let him free-range for food & exercise. I can talk for hours about the joys of pets than my caregiving duties to my mom. Anyway, I just want u to know you're not alone. I'm on the other side of the Pacific I'm here in the Philippines I'm close to 19 years of caregiving to my Alzheimer's mom. It's not easy and I relate to all the grievances, rants, vents here. I too had my share of my super rant when I felt I was at the end of the line. And holidays cause us more stress. Just say no to so many engagements, and just be at peace & quiet with yourself. U don't need to bring your mom to all the events that u all get invited. As for me, we're invited by relatives this 25th for Christmas lunch. I already made up my mind, me & my daughter will go there. Mom stays at home and we'll be away for maybe 4-5 hours. I wanna savor my few hours of freedom with my daughter & relatives who are still strong, in good health and we don't want to spoil the Christmas lunch with issues about growing old, Alz and all that stuff. We take it as our freedom to re-connect with the healthier, younger crowd of family even for few hours. It's our right, it's the right occasion & we all deserve it. If I bring my mom, she will not just ruin her own Christmas lunch, but will cause undue stress to me being her main caregiving in this event, and her sorry state will add gloom rather than festive mood. So right now, we decided there's boundary into everything. And we don't want to spoil the occasion. Mom stays home alone for few hours, while me & my daughter enjoy the lunch with stronger members of the family. Good luck to all of us & happy holidays my fellow caregivers!!!!
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I am with you! Have you ever done Sparkpeople.com? I am signed up there but haven't really paid that much attention to it. It is a free weight loss and health site. I am not sure how they work but there are groups that people form on there and wouldn't it be fun to have a caregiver group that us "fatties" could belong to? I don't say "fatties" to be mean, because, I am calling myself that...ok...just to be clear! LOL I certainly understand the problem of not being able to exercise due to not enough time or just too tired or depressed to do it. Look at the Sparkepeople site and see what you think...maybe sign up and use it for a while before we start a group. I will check mine and see how it works too. Motivation is the key and I certainly do not have much at this point but perhaps we could motivate each other! I am not much of a "leader" and I tend to come up with ideas and do not want to be in charge, but I will see if I can muster up some excitement within myself to be involved.
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ValerieAnn,

Caregiving is a hard job, especially around the holidays when you are trying to please others. It is very important that you take the time to do something for yourself!!!

Taking care of you should be your number one priority. If you don't take care of yourself how are you going to care for others.

Best of luck and don't ever feel guilty for saying no and making time for YOU!!!!

Regards,
Karie H.
AgingCare.com Team
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