I am so tired. I need to vent. I am so tired of people telling me God is teaching us things through the sickness....

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That is the last thing I want to hear. also people at work ask how my husband is i tell them very weak and depressed. they say very hateful. well he isnt going to get well overnight. that is like telling someone who is walking through the desert and is thirsty and tired and worn out that you are not going to get out of the desert overnight it will take a long time. they offer no help. no water no nothing. i would rather they just keep their mouth shut. i am so tired of the comments. i dont know if my husband will ever get back to normal and be well. i do know i love him with all my heart. i know there is nothing i would not do for him. he is my heart and i love him so much. i am just tired.

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My stepmom takes care of my difficult post-stroke dad. We made an agreement - to tell each other the truth. I take care of him one weekend a month - he had a fall in January that resulted in a trip to the ER and AFTER that she commented that he had fallen a lot lately. I should have been warned.

In addition to the truth - our agreement is that she can vent to me safely & i'll just listen. (in other words I won't offer ideas unless that is what she wants). Sometimes she just needs to vent, me listen, understand, we usually end up making bad jokes, and laughing. She says that helps.

Also - finally - I tell her what time I have and she tells me where she needs the most help. the one weekend a month is a God-send to her. But I also stop at Walmart on my way up to pick up things they need, that she can no longer get out regularly to pick up. (she has a caregiver two afternoons a month and we agree that she needs to do fun things - like lunch with friends, bowling, etc). I also do online/free shipping shopping for her. I help with websites for Medicare, their insurance plans, etc - since she doesn't feel comfortable on line.

The point I'm trying to make - is that if we ask a caregiver how it is going - we should encourage them to be honest, and just SHUT UP AND LISTEN and empathize. Sometimes a release helps. Then pay attention over time - how are they doing - if they look exhausted, buy them a coffee and listen. If they are struggling at work - help occasionally with workload.

I think LISTENING with empathy is a key.
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Jim - Wow! I'm exhausted just reading your post!

It doesn't sound like you have much of a support system. Maybe you have already tried what I have to suggest, but here goes.

Ask your doctor or hospital to put you in touch with a social worker. If any of your charges has disability, pester their social worker for help. Even if your wife is not a senior yet, contact your local senior center and "area agency on aging" and request an evaluation of her needs. I see you live in South Bend, and I would hope that a college town would have some good resources. Have you talked to anyone at the Alzheimer's association? They have a lot of help and advice to offer.

I hate it when I ask for help, and instead, am given more work to do! But any energy you can invest in getting more help will pay off. This is a stereotype, but as a man, do you believe you're supposed to handle it all without help? Fight that attitude. You need to take care of yourself (by getting help) before you can care for others.

To get better responses, ask your own question. Tell us more specifics about your family. Tell us which parts drive you the craziest. Best wishes to you.
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yvonne: And my personal fave? "God never gives you more than you can handle."

Like, what is that???!! I'm agnostic, but that phrase makes me want to hit someone upside the head. Argh.
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Jim,

You are understandably overwhelmed, but that does not mean you are being punished.
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You are overwhelmed. One person to care for is plenty, but four? What you're not being is punished. Why should you be, and by whom?

You've been presented with a complex challenge, so treat it like a project to manage. The factors are time, personnel, finance and facilities to set against the needs of your loved ones and your priorities. You can't do it all. So what has to come first, who can help you, who's paying and what are the logistics involved? Try mind-mapping, imaginatively, to see what additional support would make life less impossible; then reach out to ask for help.
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I am caring for multiple people and am overwhelmed. My wife has early onset dementia, my son had cerebral palsy, my sister is mentally handicapped and my daughter is mentally ill. I am overwhelmed and feel like I'm being punished. Thoughts?
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i just want to vent too. i have my mother with dementia, now incontinent all day and all night. No help at all from 10 siblings. not an offer. I want to keep my mother because i truly absolutely believe she deserves to be in a family home as long as possible. but if i could have one day to myself God knows how much i need it. And my in home caregiver is about as LAZY as one could ever be despite numerous reminders of how i want things. worst of all, today, when i vented to a friend, she scolded me and told me to just get over it all. find someone to talk to. right. i guess i learned that lesson. will keep it to myself now and just try to hang on as long as possible. what's the right thing to say? how about "how brave and kind you are as hard as it is to follow your own heart and do the right thing" instead of making one feel like the lonely fool for taking a parent in because they DESERVE it. how about "you should be so proud that you are standing up and doing the right thing". i don't believe God will bless me more than others. i don't believe He has. I just think this is how the world works. some feel the duty and responsibility and some simply and selfishly don't. it's as simple as that. period.
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Yvonne I would love to be able to come and help you or bring you a meal... please take care!!! I know when you really love someone it is hard to not be able to instantly "fix it"...I hope things get better soon!
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We all relate to "tired" and needing to vent. Others not walking in our shoes have no idea how hard it is to not snap and go postal on insensitive comments. I have to have all my energy to be calm and use a quite voice with my patient. Others who are just being jerks, do not understand they are blundering thru a land mine field when they say something stupid. I keep my mouth shut because I do not have the energy to go back and make ammends...lol...We all understand each other and have no judgement for the bad days. Thank you for sharing and go look in the mirror and tell yourself "Good Job, I did not slap anyone's face"
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I've never done this before - but, I feel that if I don't get it out I'm going to burst. My husband is sick with congestive heart failure-stage 4- he's 14 years older than me & I'm really beginning to feel that I can't take care of him any more- it's so stressful. I love him very much and we have 2 beautiful children - but, he's been in/out of the hospital for months now and the only rest I get is when he's in there- it's nuts! Is it so wrong to feel that I need a break so bad that I am better when he's in there. My family (siblings) don't get it - most of them have spouses that are closer to their ages and are generally well- my husband has not worked since Dec '07 - we're on the brink of losing our home - we've had to do bankruptcy. I have sort of a "support system" with my church family- but, they're even getting tired of the glum news from me constantly- and I've missed every Sunday for the last 6 weeks anyway. Sorry, I can't seem to stop writing. Just had to get this out to the "void" or whatever. I'm even on my husband's gmail acct now. Please email me~~ if you have any suggestions on how to handle this- I'm at my wits end- the only person I have at home now with me is my 14 yr old son and I can't very well tell him how dyer the situation is- thanks so much to anyone with any suggestions-
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