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I am tired and stressed. Trying to keep a good perspective but right now I just want to cry. Here's what all I'm dealing with and I just want to vent mainly. Maybe if I get it out somehow I will feel better.

My dad is paranoid schizo, has COPD, on 14 pills daily, 3 inhalers, and a nebulizer twice daily. I go to his house weekly, dose out all his meds, pick up his refills, pay all his bills, take him to his dr appts, grocery stops (my younger brother does this mostly once every other week...that's all he does though), and clean about once a month. He's good on his meds but still, I'm the sole caregiver really. Been doing that for 1-1/2 years now.

My mom (divorced from my dad and remarried) was diagnosed with cancer last March, went through chemo and radiation. Cancer is gone but she's worse now than during treatments. She's severely depressed, not eating, losing weight (down to 113 from 160 at diagnoses). She won't take her appetite stimulant or some of her other meds as directed. She takes minute amounts of Xanax for panic attacks. Now the dr is saying feeding tube. Today they made the appointment for the dr that does feeding tubes. It's next week. Did she tell me when I talked to her? Nope. I found the note about it while I was there cleaning. So now I have to talk to my boss tomorrow about taking off so I can take her to the dr. (The dr is an hour away) She refuses to listen and is severely depressed. She has a counseling appt in 2 weeks and is on the cancellation waiting list. She is on antidepressants but won't increase them like the mental clinic nurse practitioner told her to.

My stepdad is in bad health as well. He gets frustrated because she won't eat. He can't do much so I am now going to her house as well on a weekly basis.

In the middle of all this, I work 3 part time jobs, have a husband and home to take care of. I'm scheduled for a hysterectomy in early May. So I'm hoping and praying that my 2 weeks off from surgery will actually get to be restful but I'm guessing not if they actually put a feeding tube in my mom.

I'm just really over all this, doing it all by myself and want to run away.

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I don't know how you are enduring this and I'm so sorry. I am in total agreement that you need to lighten your load or your health will be in jeopardy.

Maybe a good mental exercise would be to imagine what would happen if you were removed from the situation. This is a hypothetical so it does not matter how, just imagine what if... I sincerely doubt that these family members would end up perishing. Somehow their needs would be met. Probably not with the quality of care that you give and certainly not to their liking but they would survive without you.

When I do this it helps me to put things in perspective and ask for help. I'm sure it's not a good tool for everyone but it helps me.
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Katlady, make two cups of that coffee. Drink one yourself. Remember, 30% of caregivers die before their patients, because they refused to lighten their load. Save yourself first, or you can't save anyone.
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I hate to see them put a feeding tube in your mother. Feeding tubes are not always the right answer. They are a money maker for the docs. They become infected, the patient always smells like sour milk and it just causes them to linger. Stop the surgery if you can.
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Annecurrey Tell your dad he needs to sale his home, or sell it to sis and hubby. If he gives them his house you won't be able to place him in a Nursing
home later if need be.
Katlady Your mother is married and has a son. Tell your brother to help your stepfather take care of your mom as someone has to see to your father. Look for someone to give you a day off even if you have to pay them for their time. Good luck to both of you.
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Katlady. It's time you wish your parents well and said goodbye and good luck. Forget how depressed they are. You are one (unwell) person doing the job of 6 people. I am in pain just reading about your story.
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Here's one. I am the sole caregiver of my 90 year old father. My sister works in a school and has summers off but sees him (maybe) once per week. Her and her husband blew money away and are now facing bankrupsy. I recently bought my dream house in another state and am taking my father with me because he would be alone when I left. Now, I find that he offered his house to my sister when " we" move to help them out. Something wrong with that picture? He comes with me because there is no caregiver but sis and hubby will then have Dad's house. Does everybody think I want this burden?? ?
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The dr scheduled the feeding tube placement for next Thursday. She's down to 114 from about 160. They said it's only going to be temporary but I fear she'll get dependent. She says it's good they'll get to see inside her stomach. She's constantly saying something is wrong but all tests have been negative. I'm more like the oncologist now saying her problems are now more psychological.

Now I'm dealing with her not taking her meds as directed. I'm so frustrated with her and I'm to the point now that I don't sugar coat anything. I tell her like it is, which is something I have never done. I was talking to my older brother (lives 3 states away & I know if he could possibly be here at all to help, he would and he would help a lot) and told him some things might come out of the closet in all this and I basically don't care. I'm tired of all of it.

Also, in the middle of all this mess and my major meltdown over the weekend, I finally realized I can't keep doing all of this. Something has to go. So after praying a lot, talking to dh (who is super supportive btw), and talking to some very close friends, I've decided to quit one of my jobs and pick up 1 extra day at the other. I'll be working 2 days one week and 2-1/2 days the next without any major loss of pay. I'll still have my at home job. This will give me more time to help the parents and give me at least a day to get things done at home and hopefully get some rest. I just really dread giving my notice but I can't live for everyone else. It's time I start taking care of me in all this. If I don't, I'll be of no use to anyone.

Looking at the next 2 weeks though is overwhelming. I think I have 1 day off to get things ready at home for my surgery, if I can do this. I need to get mom's house cleaned before her surgery next week, the week of my only day off. Work, getting things ready, pre-op appointments, thinking of when to turn in my notice, training someone and in the middle of all the work stuff they are getting a new computer which has to be set up. Fun! (Note the sarcasm)

I have never looked forward to surgery but this time I am and not just because the fibroids will be gone but because I will be able to say no and hopefully people will understand. Thinking I might need to take 4 weeks off instead of 2. LOL
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Unless your mom is a very large/tall person I'm not sure why the doctor is talking about a feeding tube. My mother is in a nursing home, is a very tiny lady, but I doubt she weighs as much as my labrador who's 92lb.
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LOL Pam. You know, we have been talking about that.

Last night was not good. I was stressed yesterday and basically told mom what I think about my brother not helping. He works 3rd shift but he can always help his friends with their race cars, farming, putting up hay, and mowing for them. He does none of that for mom. He gives her money I know but nothing that requires any physical help. I mentioned that last night and that I was tired of doing it all by myself. He could help. Why did I say it? Because they needed wood for their wood heater. My neighbor gave us the wood but we don't have a truck, my brother does. It wouldn't have hurt for him to take 2 hours out of his day to get it with our help and deliver it to them. Nope. What happened is our friend came at 8pm last night, we loaded up the wood and delivered it at 9pm last night. It bothers me that someone who has met my parents once offered to do more.

While at my mom's we talked some and it just got worse. I've been up all night crying. She's not well at all. It's like she's given up - physically and especially mentally. What I said hurt her. I've felt guilty all night. Even worse is there are things about my brother that she doesn't know and I will not tell her ever, especially in the state she's in now.

At least today's a new day and I can start all over. Hopefully today will be better.
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For god's sake get mom some Marihuana. It will help with the anxiety and perk up her appetite. A pinch in her coffee will work.
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I wanted to run away after just reading your post.

You have too much on your plate, it's that simple. You have to lighten your load. And don't count on being able to rest post surgery when you have your mom, your dad, and your stepdad all accustomed to you caring for them. The little picture is finding help for when you're laid up after surgery. Is there any way you can hire caregivers during this time to ensure you get the rest and recuperation you need?

Big picture, there's only 1 of you and 3 of them. You work 3 jobs and you have a husband. Of course you're stressed and tired! You're doing an impossible job juggling too much. Caring for 1 person is stressful enough.

Like the wise captain said, being stressed and tired leaves you vulnerable to illness. Our bodies aren't equipped to maintain that kind of stress for any length of time which is why when we're stressed we demonstrate symptoms of that stress (crying, depression, anger, etc). It's our body's way of letting us know it needs attention and relief. And again like captain said, if you get down you can't care for anyone. Don't overestimate your body's ability to handle all of this. Cracks will start to appear and you're going to be that much more vulnerable after your surgery.

I have lupus. I've had 12 surgeries. My dad lived with me for 5 years. I can remember times when I was so sick yet I was down on my hands and knees scrubbing stool out of the carpet or cleaning and dressing my dad's leg ulcers or taking him to the Dr. or encouraging him to do his PT exercises or holding him up while I weighed him or doing any number of things that came along with caring for my dad. My dad was very apologetic and felt bad that I had to "work" while I was sick but that was life. That was my life. I wasn't in a position to care for my body or my illness because my dad needed me. Since his death last year I've had one major flare and that's it. Now that I don't live with the daily stress of caring for my elderly parent I am able to care for myself and I've seen a marked improvement in my health.

"Take care of yourself first" isn't a platitude, it's an order. My health was totally out of control when my dad lived with me. Now it's manageable most of the time. That's not a coincidence.

I don't have a lot of faith that your convalescence will be peaceful. I hope you can set up alternate arrangements during this time.
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the strain of what your doing could be the cause of your own health problems. disease is simply the absence of health. when you get beat down your succeptable to anything that comes at you imo..
i say turn some of that load over to trained providers before you kill yourself. then nobody wins.
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