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I suppose I am so wrapped up in mom’s day to day care that I forget about myself and tend to ignore or maybe even deny my own health issues. It’s easy to slip into forgetting about our own well-being. The cardiologist said that he sees it all the time with his patients.


I have been on autopilot for so long, full time 14 years and counting that I don’t know anything else.


This is a new specialist that my primary care doctor sent me to see. I like him. He said a few things that surprised me. He spoke to me about silent heart attacks too. Our bodies are fascinating.


I had tests done and more lined up with follow up appointments.


He said stress is a killer. Heart symptoms are different in women. He says for me to take baby steps for lifestyle changes, not to do everything all at once because that causes more stress. Just lots of medical and practical advice. Medication changes and additional meds.


Oh well, all part of life. I tend to downplay my own health but he laid out a plan for me to follow.

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Thanks Tiger,

I appreciate it. Will give an update as I go along.
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That's good that you like your Dr.☺. I hope the tests turn out well for you. Let us know please✌.
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cwille,

Wow, long lives! I just can’t imagine living to that age. I don’t know how I feel about it.
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My mom lived to be 99. Her aunt lived to 102 or 103? My mother's mom lived to her early 90's (perhaps she may have lived longer if she hadn't broken her hip) so the odds are high that I will live a long life. Of the three only my grandmother kept her mind until the end. You joined after my caregiving days were waning so you don't know my mother's story but no, just ... no.
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cwille,

If you do make it to 100 would you want a big party if you were in good health? When my husband’s great grandma made it to 100 the family had a huge party with a band, great food, huge cake. It was fun! She loved it. She was a tiny little woman didn’t even use a cane and was dancing to the music!

She had no cognitive decline whatsoever. She knew everything going on! She had 12 children, a couple of miscarriages. She named her children after her favorite characters in her novels that she read. Okay, with 12 kids where do you find time to read? Haha
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Shell, Thank you.

Yes, I had a talk with mom about my health. She was understanding. Afterwards I saw her praying the rosary. I know she was saying it for me. I smiled. I don’t turn down anyone’s prayers.

I was thinking about returning to my adoration chapel for an hour a week. I used to enjoy that time. My church has a sign up sheet where we sign up for one hour at the time to pray for others. It is open 24 hours a day.

The goal from our pastor is, someone praying around the clock for needs of those in our parish. I actually love that. We have reached the goal and if someone has to drop that hour, a notice is placed in the bulletin to fill it.

It’s a beautiful chapel, gorgeous mosaic tile, candles, bibles and other spiritual literature. I love reading about Mother Teresa’s experiences. She herself started her day with chapel so she could fuel herself with the spiritual nourishment needed to fulfill her purpose.

We have a prayer request book and a testimony book. I love reading them both. I realize I miss that time to meditate and how I had more peace when I went to chapel. So, that’s one thing I am going to do.

I am going to try and walk outside some days to be in nature instead of riding my exercise bike all the time.

One thing I am not sure how to deal with but if you can help me or anyone chime in, I’d appreciate it. I just really struggle with mom’s negativity.

I do my best to be positive and she zaps me every time! I guess I need coaching on how to be a better cheerleader for her. Or maybe I am not seeing something.

I’m not looking for perfection. I honestly don’t like perfectionist. They make themselves and others miserable. I think that is one of mom’s issues. She was a perfectionist and was so talented in many areas and it’s depressing for her not being able to feel good about herself. I do understand that but she’s 93!

It’s not like I don’t understand her frustrations. God knows she has reasons to be frustrated. We all do. I wonder if a healthy balance can be achieved. That’s all I really want. Not perfection, a healthy balance in our lives.
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MidKid,

First of all, a million hugs! There is so much to learn from you. I appreciate everything you have to say. You’ve been on a long winding road, my friend.

You may have psychically and emotionally broken down but I have to tell you that I see one very strong woman that I gain strength from. You have inspired me and many others on this forum. You can’t deny your comeback, MidKid. That didn’t happen on it’s own. You are a fighter! A champion in my opinion, lots of people survive but they aren’t champs like you. I sincerely mean that.

The awareness that you gained from your struggles and heartbreaks is remarkable. I truly appreciate the kindness in your heart to share your experiences with others. I thank you and I know many others do as well.
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SendHelp,

Thanks. Believe me, I felt like canceling. I go to so many freakin doctor appointments with mom that the last thing I feel like doing is going to my own doctor even if I know it is best. Hey, I would rather go to my favorite coffee house and savor a cup of coffee.

While I was waiting to see my heart specialist, my nurse from my primary doctor calls my cell and tells me my labs were off. So change in meds and back to primary doctor in six weeks. Never ends, does it? I will make it, just sick of these bumps in the road.

I appreciate your support.
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Thanks, A caring daughter. I like this answer a lot. I am seriously going to try to follow through with your advice.

One thing my cardiologist told he during my visit that I found very comforting was, “Baby steps unto you are strong again.” So, Yeah I think I can incorporate kindness for myself into my day. This really helps me to move forward. I appreciate your message.
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You are a giver. That is a wonderful thing. It’s time to make yourself a recipient of your caring.

Make sure to do something nice (and relaxing for yourself every day). Spoil yourself with kindness - so you have the energy to take care of everyone else.
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Good for you! You went, even though there was trepidation.

It is common not to put our own needs on the list of priorities.
You count too!
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I had to learn that the hard way, as I expect most people do!

Raised 5 kids basically alone in a 1700 sf home (DH is a great provider, but has to travel, so he is gone about 75% of the time, leaving me with the bulk of, well, everything.) We were packed in here like sardines.

At age 40 I had a complete mental/physical breakdown after an emergency gallbladder removal. I had put aside how incredibly sick I was, losing 40 lbs in 4 months and vomiting up even cold water for months--and not even thinking it could have been something serious b/c I was a MOM and Dh's company was in the midst of a hostile takeover of another company---very stressful time. I actually had to schedule a morning with him to take me to the ER as I was unable to stop throwing up long enough to drive myself.

Turned out to be pretty darn serious, the gallbladder was necrotic and pouring poison into my body, and had been for ages. Had emergency surgery and all was 'well'......but didn't recover. Panic attacks, depression, anxiety 24/7, unable to sleep and DH telling me everyday I HAD to get better, he didn't have time to fuss me. He's not the world's most patient guy.

About 3 weeks post op, I decided I better kill myself, it seemed like the best option. (This is how sick I was, it truly, on all levels, seemed like the right thing to do).

Told my hubby and he FREAKED. A short stay in the hospital and the dx of 'total psychotic break' was dxed. Medication, therapy, etc all followed.

I was told it would take a year to 'heal'. Couldn't believe that because I am TOUGH...but in fact, it took longer. I still get 'tweaky' and I know that means I am overdoing.

Since that time, we have dealt with Primary Liver Cancer (DH) his liver transplant, a post op infection that nearly killed him, all 5 kids getting married, DH's stroke, Dh's horrific motorcycle wreck (should have died) and last summer, DH had 2 major heart attacks, again, a miracle he lived.

So--life has remained and always will be stressful.

My go to?
Sleep. In my own, dark, quiet bedroom.

My psych doc gives me Seroquel and it knocks me out. I cannot fall asleep on my own, since the initial breakdown, and we've tried everything. Turns out 50 mgs of Seroquel will give me a solid night sleep. And honestly? Some days I give up about 2 or 3 and take one and go to bed.

I take a low dose antidepressant. A benzodiazepine for anxiety as needed and the Seroquel to help with sleep.

The stress? I can't control that. People who 'annoy me' or are time/energy sucks just don't get a place in my life. That sounds selfish, but I do a LOT of compassionate service and I do a lot with my 14 grandkids.

Telling my DH "no" I will not got to his Mother's anymore has been terrific. She was a HUGE stressor. She's his problem now, not mine.

Baby steps. I'm 63, semi retired and just realizing NOW how much I have given, given, given to others.

And truly, NOBODY cares for me, but me. I don't have a 'fussy husband' and I never expected he would be that way.

I have to accept that I have worn myself out in service, and then I'm no good to anyone.

Just recently stepped OUT of a bad situation with a neighbor who uses people up and tosses them aside. Reminded me of my limits.

I do what I feel I can and should. I do what I can with love, and when I can't...I know it's time to step out.
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See NHWM you made it to your appt. You would be amazed on how just a few small changes can change your health. You took the first step. You stated "our bodies are fascinating." They are! Did you know that the body can heal itself on the inside?

I am proud of you for going to see a Cardiologist. I know it was scary for you.

I may seem selfish, but I always take care of myself. I wasn't always that way, but I went through an illness for almost 10 yrs after that now I make sure I get what I need even if that means putting myself in time out. I live by the old saying, "you can't take care of anybody if you don't take care of yourself first."

Do you have a plan on how you can relieve some stress from your body and life?

Just take baby steps is a good start:)
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Thanks Snoopy. Appreciate it.
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Silent heart attacks -- what a frightening concept! I'm glad to hear you have a good doctor on your team to help you start safeguarding YOUR health. Kudos to you for being proactive.
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Thanks Cali and cwille. We do put ourselves behind our kids too. Yeah, good points. Wow! A lot of money for braces! All medical costs are skyrocketing!

Hey, cwille. My friend who switched from being a prosecuting attorney to working in the malpractice field for doctors would agree with you! That’s one reason why we pay so much for care, to cover their malpractice insurance costs. Interesting, huh?

He is actually filthy rich defending these doctors! Says he makes a lot more than he did as a prosecutor.
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Needhelp, it is extremely common for caregivers to take care of everyone BUT THEMSELVES! I think it’s the nature of the beast. I can kind of relate to this because as stay at home mom managing the schedules of 3 other people, I put myself on the back burner. Seems like every time I make an appointment for myself, I have to cancel it because my husband has something come up & he won’t be able to take the kids to school for me. Or pick them up. I’ve been neglecting 2 broken molars and again—I am putting myself on the back burner because my husband just paid $800 for a root canal and next week will get a crown which comes with another $1800 bill. Next month my daughter gets braces which will cost us $4500 after insurance! When it comes to my health, I continually find myself putting it off! Either the money can be used on something else or there other appointments for the rest of the family. I spend all this time making sure they are taken care of and I just forget about myself! It’s not the same as being primary caregiver to an aging ailing parent but still, I understand how easy it is to forget to take care of yourself!

You’ve got to listen to your body and take care of yourself too!! You don’t want your mom to outlive you, do you? Use the respite hours to take time to yourself-go to the doctor, go to the dentist, get a massage or a pedicure. Do something that takes your attention away from your mon. Your body is telling you something so listen to it :)

i am glad you liked the new doctor. It is hard to find a doctor you are comfortable with.
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Personally it has been less about finding the time and more about a loss of trust in the medical profession and an ambivalence about the value of self care - what, I want to live to 100?
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