cywatkins Asked September 2010

How can I take care of my husband when he does nothing to help himself?

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My mom lives with my husband and I. She is 85, has CHF with symptoms. She is wonderful, always pushing herself to help out. and appreciative of my care for her. She cannot live alone, and this is a very painful time for us. My husband, on the other hand, is type II diabetic, has high blood pressure, lots of edema in his legs, and heading directly into serious complications - I see kidney failure a real possibility, as well as chf. I am so angry with him. He has no will power,eats and drinks whatever he wants, and seems to think all he has to do is take his meds. and he will be fine.

Taking care of mom, who always took good care of her health is one thing, but I don't know if I can face a future of taking care of my husband, who does nothing to help himself. I am so sad.

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NancyH Sep 2010
Was your husband active before his health started failing? That question might make a big difference in how someone answers your question. If he WAS active, then it does sound like he's given up and thrown in the towel so to speak on life in general. If he's always been a little lazy and/or couch potato then why would he get active trying to save his legs for example? We are all creatures of habit I'm afraid, I don't know how to motivate someone like that. I'd say if he's the first example, then maybe anti-depressants would be an option, along with a heart to heart telling him that you're not ready to face life alone when he dies too soon. And tell him that if you were acting like this, what would he tell you?
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IsabelCares Sep 2010
Your feelings are understandable, cy. Your care plate is more than full. Do you think your husband may be giving up, or running scared given his continued self-destructive health behaviors? Have you shared your feelings with him some time when you are not angry, but able to just tell him exactly how you feel and the fact that his health matters to you...you don't want to have to bury a Mom and your husband...and, if you feel it may help, ask him to join you in seeking professional counseling to help you both cope with his disease progression, your marriage, and your individual fears? Professional counseling may help. Think about it. Anger builds on itself. If your hubby refuses to go to counseling, and you feel it might help, go for it on your own. Your mental health and serenity are priceless. You can't go it alone with such high stress in your life right now. There is nothing wrong with feeling like you aren't up to the task of caring for your husband. If it comes down to that, don't be afraid to get in-home care for him. You'll still be his caregiver if you're paying someone to assist him.
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