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Every once in a while, like yesterday I have a very hard day. My husband who has dementia and cancer was agitated more of the day. Then when I went to care for my Mother she was all depressed and in a mood. My teen son wanted attention to and wanted me to go shopping with him and he never asks for much. I was not able to take him in the condition my husband and Mother was in. This morning I woke up at 5:30 am and the first thought in my mind was, " I should just get in the car and drive away and never be heard from again. I did not do it of course but that made me think I must be getting depressed. I feel tired all the time and not just physically. Many times in the past few months I've gotten up thinking I'll stay another day. I get tired of people saying do it One Day at a Time, or Things will get Better. They seem to be getting worst. Anyway I am going to a group support meeting tomorrow maybe I will find something there to encourage me. Thank you for listening to me rant.
Emilie

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I have felt like running away myself. I just wish that I could have my life back. I have 5 children and my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer while my mom was in hospital for 7 mos. and all they had was me to care for them. My husband and I lived in hospital rooms with my mom and dad to keep them together on my dads final weeks of life. During tha time neglected our children to care for my parents. Often times 1 parent in 1 hospital and the other in another in same town an hour away. Thank God my children were understanding. and are teenagers. At the time (the ones I had home ) wer 16, 17, 18. But still very much needed us. We slept in chairs showered in my parents rooms because when my dad was sick was soo very afraid to be left alone mostly for the fear of dying. I understood that so my husband with one and me with the other and both of them wanted to just be with me so I would go back n forth while my husband would stay with the other. My mom was completely bed bound so when she did get out(dad was still in hospital) we wheeled her out and into the room with my dad where we all stayed for almost 2 wks. Her on the recliner they offer at hospitals and me and my husband on hard chairs we balanced ourselves together to sleep just so my dad wouldnt be without my mom until we took them both home. My dad on hospice and my mom bedbound still but so much better in their home. Pretty hard to change a diaper in a reliner.(haha). That was scarey but we made due. Not No family member to offer to stay so we could go to the laundry so we could was our clothes, No offering of food. My dad didnt eat because he had no appetite so my husband and I ate his food my mom had feeding tube in stomach. There was not a timeclock to clock into or clock out we just stayed on the clock 24 hrs a day. Both of us lost our jobs caring for my parents because we took too much time off, my dad was dying and he couldnt care for my mom how can anyone just leave them. My siblings(got 4) wanted to place both of them in nh but Hello..... last days of my dads life. Moms prognosis was good she did start walking and eating on her own but his death pushed her more into dementia so now still needs 24 hr care. Running away is all I thought for awhile. Mostly because its hard to see your parents suffer so much. My dads been gone now for 10 mos and mom just realized it 4 mos ago. Now shes in mourning stage I think because of her dementia. Im on the last of my 5 children he just turned 17. I feel like I have lost sooooo much time with all my children. Now its caring for my mom. Yes the sandwich affect. Its hard but I Thank God he has given me my health, my understanding, my heart for the job because if I didnt have it who wouldve taken care of my parents. Its Very hard at times but I have more blessings then not. I just turned 40 couple months ago and I pray each and everyday that when I get older and cant take care of myself my children will put me in al or nh just because I know what its like. I accepted my life the way its gone but there are times when I still feel like running away. Who doesnt? Hugs to You. You are doing the right thing.
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Well, I DID RUN AWAY - for two weeks.

But first I resigned from being my MIL's care giver. I made arrangements for her care to be taken care of by others. Until her next 'crisis' - she has a visiting nurse every week or two, a bath lady 2x a week, she has seen a social worker (who just shakes his head), she saw a 'therapist' who says she needs to see a psychiatrist - which she will not do. She now gets meals on wheels - I only share something with her once in a gr4eat while and my husband takes it over to her - I no longer deal with her personally. Someone else cleans her apt. I WILL NEVER AGAIN BE ALONE IN THE SAME ROOM WITH THIS WOMAN.

I went to see my doctor before I ran away to visit my sister - she was afraid I might have a stroke at her house. I explained what had been going on and shared a few things with him (we had already had a family meeting with the doctor, my MIL, my husband and myself a few weeks earlier - the doctor knew things were not good.

My doctor told me I did not have a BP problem, I have a MIL problem. That somehow we need to get her out of our home - PRONTO. Well, that can't happen for a while, sadly. But, since she has her own apt. connected to our home - we have closed the doors and blocked them.

My doctor (hers as well) said my MIL has serious anger and rage issues with me as her primary target. She has made absolutely certain that no one has seen her in action with me - only on a couple of occasions has my hubby seen her and then it wasn't at her worst. That way she can continue to deny having done anything or having said anything to me.

The doctor says she does not have dementia. I do think she may also have a personality disorder. She spends all her time now telling lies about me to anyone who will listen. She lies even when it isn't necessary. She stretches the truth and changes the story and 'embellishes' every tale. The only people who would know for sure that she is doing this is my husband and I - because we know the people she is talking about and we have heard the stories before and we have often BEEN there. It is as though she is just kind of making it up as she goes along - saying anything that will generate the response she hopes for - so others will feel sorry for her 'oh you poor thing, we had NO idea.................etc.'

I told my doctor some of the things she has said (including claiming that I called her very early - 3 mornings in a row - just to wake her and harass her and hung up before she could answer. I told my husband who then checked her caller I.D. the very next morning and told his mother that NO ONE had called her EVER at 7 a.m. in the morning - her earliest call was at 8:30 a.m. for weeks and there were NO calls at all from me on her I.D. Her response? Yes there were! She does not understand that the call I.D. records any unanswered calls and who they are from! Even when hubby tried to explain this and told her she was not telling the truth - she denied lying. Said SOMEONE was calling her!!

So, after talking to my doctor who assured me I was not going to have a stroke - I packed my bag and went to AZ for 2 weeks and stayed with my sister. My dear hubby could not go - he had to work. He could have used a long break too! But the lovely man let me go once we had his mothers ducks in a row.

IT WAS THE BEST THING I COULD HAVE DONE!! I had wanted to stay a month. My nerves were shot.

I spent 2 weeks in an environment that did not remind me of my MIL - there were entire days when she did not even cross my mind. I walked, swam, napped, cooked and played with my sisters little dogs. She and her hubby work - so the house was mine all day. We visited and had fun in the evenings. I checked my BP when I arrived and it was perfectly normal - like when I was 20!! It was in the 120's/60's range the entire two weeks.

Sadly, it has gone back up some since returning home - but within normal. I could have used another two weeks - buy hubby 'needed' me and it wasn't fair to make him so miserable - so I came back.

Things HAVE changed. I hung curtains over my French doors and keep them closed with a pretty tassel - so I do not get any surprise visitors. Knowing this has done wonders for my well being.

Sadly, my MIL has never once acknowledged anything she has ever said or done to hurt me and never will. For this - she has lost her loving care giver. She will never again have a care giver who actually cared the way I did.

I have grieved as though she has died - and as far as being the person I once knew - that person and that relationship is dead. She tells people she is waiting for me 'to get over it' and for things 'to blow over' and has no idea that my husband meant exactly what he said when he told her that FROM NOW ON we 'live entirely separately' and that I am no longer her care giver. We are just neighbors.

She still vilifies me to everyone who comes by or calls. She writes cards and letters doing the same. My own daughter in law got one and told me about it. It is very sad and it hurts. Slander is an awful thing and one cannot easily defend against it.

She is now 'reaping what she has sown.' I will post again if we ever are able to move her out of our home - that might take some time.
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Never thought for a moment to leave my son behind :) Thank you all so much for your replies. My son is the only bright light in my life right now :)
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I have had my elderly Mother for 3 years and it only gets harder as time passes. Thank God I have grown kids, a husband and a neighbor that will come and stay and let me get away. I would not have made it this long without them.
Do find help and give yourself a break. Some areas have Daycare for the elderly and disabled. Even one day a week to call your own will help. If you have a connecton with a church, that might be a source for help.
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Your son really needs you. Please don't run away. I feel for you. I am so sorry that you are going through this. I don't have any magic words to say to you.
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Don't wait too long to seek help. Even WITH help, this all takes a toll. I thought I was taking care of myself. Ate well, watched my weight, took lots of vitamins, got my sleep. But the emotional stress of dealing with the cognitive changes and personality changes finally pushed me over the edge. I will be doing good NOT to end up in the psych ward myself now. Get ALL the help you can. Make sure you have something to look FORWARD to and then DO IT. Your son deserves to have time with his mom - your time with him won't last forever. They grow up so fast. Hire help. I can't say that enough. Even with help it will be difficult. I pray for all caregivers each night. I hope the support group helps. That is one thing I didn't do and hindsight is 20/20 they say.
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Emilie, caregiving takes so much emotional energy. Taking care of two people who are in different places, while trying to make a life for children would be too much for any one person. I would want to run away, too. Of course, I would put the son in the care with me. Hugs for him. I know it is hard on him, too. I don't have any answers for you, but wished you could set aside at least one day for yourself. No cooking, no cleaning, no caregiving. I know it is hard to do, but I think we all need to set up some self time and make it understood that no one can encroach upon your time without risking one of their limbs.

I am sorry that your husband is so ill. Have you checked with Hospice to see if they can come in to give you some respite? I don't know how old your husband is, but Hospice will work for whatever insurance or Medicare will pay if your husband qualifies. There are also some local home care facilities that will work in the same way. Your Agency on Aging will have the best information about which services may fit your needs. Even if your husband is young, he may still qualify for these services because of the cancer and dementia.

I know it's hard. When someone advises me, I usually think "You want me to do more work??!!!" We can just do what we can and try to keep our wits about us. Personally I wish I didn't feel so dog tired, weary, and traumatized at the end of each day. I have a feeling that many of us feel like that. It sure helps to say it.
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Emilie, God bless you-you are really in what they call that 'sandwich generation' situation and I feel so badly for you. That reaction you felt was knowing you had to face another day of the same old same old and you're weary. I definitely agree with those suggesting you get a caregiver, once or twice a week just to give you a hand with whatever it is you are needing. I suggested to someone else on another topic that you visit the website care.com and click on the senior care individual and put in your zip code and a radius in miles . You will see people in your area who are ready, willing and able to come to your aid and you may negotiate the compensation and the schedule. You can also join the site and place your own ad for what it is you need. In this way, if you have someone you expect on a regular basis, you can make that date with your son to have 'alone time' with him to shop, have lunch, whatever. Hopefully you have the funds to give you this assistance, if only a few hours a week. I know it seems easy for people to toss out suggestions when they don't know all you are going through, but remember that everyone's heart is in the right place and just want to give you support. And you can always come here and vent and we will listen. And pray for you! xo
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My husband has dementia and is slowly changing. I want you to know I love this support group. Just reading what you go thru and suggestions from others going thru the same lifts my spirits. Thank you for venting!
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I believe it is normal for someone who feels trapped to want to run away. and sometimes people do and most who do regret it. I guarantee it would be harder to run away than to find a way to take some time off for yourself with or without your son.
Things will not get better. They will get worse. So for you to be effective you need to find a way to get away so you can re-charge your batteries before you break down and then what? If you can afford to run away you can afford to hire a care giver to relieve you once or twice a week. No excuses-do it!
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Do you have a Home Health Care Agency or Hospice group in your area that could provide respite even a few hours each week. Caregiving is for one person is more than overwhelming at times. You and your son need time together! God Bless!
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You will be comforted by the people at the caregiver's group. I look forward to my meetings with others who are also caregiving. You truly have a heavy load, and perhaps you need to consider some type of day care or respite, so you can make time for enjoyment with your son. God Bless You!
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