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Been dealing with husband's open heart surgery and stroke for two and a half months now. And this morning I got two good phone calls. But I can't be happy about the good and potential good news. Everything just seems too much. What's my problem and how do I fix it?

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FF, I have a new way of relaxing. Having switched long ago to herbal based lotions, I had to find a new supplier when the existing outstanding supplier I've relied on for over a decade suddenly stopped returning calls and e-mails.

Eventually I went with another herbalist I met over a decade ago at an autumn fair. I had bought some mint lotion from her and just loved it; the fragrance was so relaxing, and it was better for dry skin post gardening than anything else I'd ever used.

So I purchased some facial cream from her, scented with frankincense and myrrh. Some years ago I bought a body lotion scented with amber lotion and patchouli. The fragrance was heavenly - literally indescribable with a soothing scent. I began taking it with me and sniffing it when I took Dad to the ER.

The new facial lotion has the same effect. Since applying it before bedtime, I've found that I fall asleep quicker; sleep better and am more rested in the morning. If I wake up too early, I put a little bit of lotion and dreamily fall back to sleep.

I've used fragrance for years as a relaxant. And I will continue to do so. I don't criticize anyone who uses meds, but try some fragrance when you're anxious and see how it works for you.

These aren't the almost abrasive, harsh scents of perfume; they're natural scents. Start with just a little sniff of cinnamon (there are some abusers of this - I've read kids are snorting it or doing something stupid with it). .... this is more like a pumpkin pie fragrance. And who doesn't love the smell of pumpkin pie?
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Speaking of medication..... how I wished I wasn't so afraid of taking anti-depressants and tranquilizers, I probably wouldn't have crashed and burned. I thought I was strong enough to deal with everything. Nope, I only fooled myself.

My primary doctor started me off with the lowest mg possible and had me cut that in half. I tried that dosage for a couple of weeks. I am pill sensitive so I would know if something was amiss. And I had to make sure it wasn't mind over matter. If a pill didn't work, then onto pill #2, then onto pill #3 that was a winner.

The low dosage pills did help. Prior I use to worry myself crazy any time it rained and was worrying that my parents empty house [on the market For Sale] the basement would get water. I use to run down to the house numerous times checking. After being put on the pills, when it rained I had that so-what feeling, if the floor is wet I will deal with it then.

Hadnuff, if you aren't taking any pills to take the edge off, please look into it. And start on a very low dosage.
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Barbara, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to honestly, very honestly, evaluate what your strengths and weaknesses are, and from there, determine realistically what you can handle.

For those aspects of caregiving that you can't or don't want to handle, find ways to hire someone to do them for you. In other words, learn to delegate.

Caregiving is also care managing. There's no shame in admitting that there are aspects which you can't handle. That's human. We all face that same evaluative task.

It'll be more to your credit that you recognize strengths and weaknesses and create a balance than to continue to feel overwhelmed and frustrated that you can't manage everything.
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Goodness, who wouldn't be depressed? I think it would take an exceptional person to not be depressed. I don't think pills are the answer. Having some help to get the weight off our shoulders would help. Having siblings who cared would help. Having doctors who were on top of things would help. Having loved ones who wouldn't insist on care on their own terms would help. I guess what I'm saying is if the world around us was caring and competent, it would help. We have a good pharmacy team -- I wish the rest of the world was like them.
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Barbara; are you on anti depressants? Not being able to feel joy seems to be an indicator of depression.
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Hadnuff, sounds like you are emotionally and physically drained. I know how that feels. You become numb to good news.

We have to remember we were all thrown into a job [caregiving] which probably not many of us here would have considered that as a career option, going out and caregiving for other people.

Yet, society wants us to immediately become Mary Poppins, Hazel, June Cleaver, Dr Quinn Medicine Woman, Wonder Woman, Super Nanny, Dr. Joyce Brothers, and Martha Stewart all rolled into one person :P

Example, I am a person who like quiet time here in my home office. Unless the house is on fire, don't bother me. Caregiving my parents had caused my quiet time to change into frantic worrisome time with very little sleep. I know it wasn't my parents fault that they had aged into their 90's but there were times that threw me down the rabbit hole because they didn't plan that part of their life better. I know it is different with a spouse, but I can't imagine how I would be with my sig other.
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jessiebelle: Most of the time I suffer from inertia too. Didn't used to -- it began abt six years ago, when I began to think "What if ... I just did nothing?" With a second stroke three years ago, a broken hip six months later, and finally leaving my husband because of serious psychological abuse (which had been ongoing for abt 10 years), I can barely deal with anything. The most constructive thing I did today was catch a mouse (you should have seen my face when I heard the now familiar "SNAP" of the mouse getting caught -- I grinned from ear to ear!), but that's all I can do now, and believe me, things are improving, if only on a minute scale.

And YES! I understand abt doctors never being around when you need them. My previous GP used to go up north to treat Indigenous people, and while I know they need help desperately, he was never here. So I got myself a new GP and we'll see how that works out.

I just want LIFE to let up on me. Jeez la-weez.
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Hadnuff, I feel that I have to wrestle with my mother's clinic when it comes to medication. It should be so simple, but a lot of times I have to do multiple calls to them and the pharmacy to try to figure out if a prescription was submitted. The clinic says yes, the pharmacy says no. This can go back and forth. And her doctor never seems to be in town. She spends so much time learning about medicine that she doesn't ever seem to practice it. What is it with all this continuing education that hospital-linked doctors do? I mean, it is every couple of weeks they go somewhere. Haven't they learned about video conferencing?? A lot of times I don't think many doctors really want to see patients. It is more about building careers these days. Pfft! It is exasperating for patients and caregivers. Caregivers end up having to do something several times, instead of just once. I once considered that people sat around and dreamed up ways they could make caregiver's jobs harder. It can seem that way.

Okay, snit fit over.
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Barbara, it's not necessarily the responsibility of the entity issuing scripts for the drugs, especially from a SNF, to state that there are no provisions for refills. It's often anticipated, and in discharge instructions, that the patient should see the regularly treating doctor, who will review the med list and determine if changes are necessary.

Beyond that, it's up to the patient to monitor the drugs used, determine when a refill is needed, and call the pharmacy. Since drugs are filled electronically, the pharmacy will refill if there are refills ordered, and if not, will contact the issuing doctor to get a new script.

It's a good idea when you get a new script to diary ahead a few weeks before that bottle of pills will run out, and order before it does. I color code pill refill expirations in my medical calendar, using a different colored pen than for Dad's medical appointments and mine.
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He may be able to drive again? That could be considered good news,
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The heart doctor called and said he wants husband to stay on same cardio drugs. Few less drugs to question internist about. Rehab sent husband home without mentioning that the drugs had no refils. And none of the three doctors he saw fir follow up asked if we needed refils. And I had a scarry and diffecult time get one set of refills for all the drugs he was on. Then the rehab drivers school called. The doctor approved husband taking the training. And a date is scheduled.
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I understand what you mean. Right when you think there's a break in sight, something else comes up. I don't know if you feel the same way, but most of the time now I suffer from inertia. It's like enough already, let up on me.

What good news did you have?
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Barbara, you call your therapist and you make arrangements to get your meds for anxiety checked and start making regular appointments for counseling to give you a break. See if you can get a caregiver to come to house 1-2 times per week - tell your husband that it's help for you (therapeutic fib) and they can keep an eye on him while you are gone. Anxiety disorders have to be managed - they are never cured. I understand:) Take care of you too.
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