WARNING: This is "self therapy" of sorts. I've been encouraged to write when sad... I'm probably talking to myself more than anything. I just needed to get this OUT

Any caregiver knows that taking on the responsibility for an aging parent or loved one requires immense sacrifice and dedication, but this weekend the reality of the loneliness of caregiving slapped me in the face.

I ended up in the emergency room Sunday. At 5:30 am, I was awakened by a dull pain in my lower abdomen. When my home remedies didn't work, I resolved to visit Urgent Care as soon as it opened. By 7:30 AM, I couldn't stand, sleep or lie down comfortably. The dull ache had become a piercing pain that would literally double me over.

I made my way to Urgent Care hoping that a quick once over and a "take two of these and call me in the morning" would suffice, but as I feared, they sent me to the ER. I was irritated. I only had a few hours to "rest" before reporting to my second job, and now I would have a hefty bill in addition to precious lost "me time" (so much for that AM bubble bath). I also still found myself wondering if I would get out of the ER in time to visit Dad at the ALF and if I could effectively hide the fact that I felt like a mule had kicked me in the stomach.

Unrealistic expectations aside, I wasn't quite prepared for the realization that I, indeed, was ALL alone. As I cursed under my breath at the mountain of forms the admitting nurse shoved under my nose coupled with her irritation that I refused to sit in a wheelchair, the proverbial question mocked me like a high school bully: IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, CONTACT...

I drew a blank. The only person I "had" was Dad. I certainly couldn't put down the 88-year-old legally blind veteran with dementia. My friendships had long dwindled as a result of my inability to accept invitations to social outings due to work or caregiving. I stopped expecting the invitations. Those "friends" had moved on with their lives and continued communicating with people that had time to enjoy their company.

I hadn't dated in two years, and though I'm sure some of my ex's would have obliged, that just seemed strange. My dad had other offspring, but we certainly weren't close, not ONE of them had been to see Dad in over a year.

The weight of the proverbial bubble in which I found myself seemed to crush me to the point of suffocation. I felt alone and sad. As tears soaked the form that relentlessly mocked me, I held my breath and put my dog's name and my work phone number in the spaces provided.

...and after seven hours of waiting and every test imaginable, I went home with a healthy bill, a diagnosis of ovarian cysts and a recommendation to reduce stress...

I'm not even looking for a reaction or a reply here. I just needed to get this OUT, and for whatever reason, I find prose to be soothing.

Thanks for letting me share.

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I do surveys for extra money and I got thru one and it asked for my home address. I put 123 Sesame Street...maybe your dog needs an address, he/she can join me there. :)

And, ovarian cysts are the worst. So sorry, I hope they get better. I was told I had a UTI, hubby was making me drink cranberry juice, we had a long drive and he was stopping every hour or so to make me pee...mine hurt so badly I could hardly walk, I was holding his arm and limping. Not fun!

Tinyblu, I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. Like others commenting, I've had cysts for decades - my left ovary is so full of them that they can't detect the outline of the ovary on an ultrasound - it's just a lumpy mass. I had a hysterectomy 17 yrs ago (they left the ovaries, despite the cysts, to keep me from going into menopause at age 31) - so I don't have too many issues with them these days, but I do remember that they're very painful. The only thing I've experienced that's more painful is when an incision in that "internal area" ruptured 3 days post-surgery and I developed a hematoma in a very, very bad place. I'd take non-medicated childbirth any day over either of those situations.

I do hope you can get some rest and recover a bit - and find a way to deal with this before the next cycle hits.

Oh, and as far as recovering from that "rip out the baby box" surgery in a weekend - yeah....that's not likely.  It takes a pretty good amount of time to recover from that one - definitely not outpatient surgery and not a weekend recovery thing.

Thanks everyone. I'm feeling a bit better, but won't know how bad these things are until my lovely time of the month rolls around again.

I did see a GYN, but I'm getting frustrated with the challenge of finding the time for the follow ups and additional tests. Each copay means trying to stretch that thin paycheck even further and now I have an insurance deductible that needs to be paid.

It's a sobering thought that I don't have time to be sick. If I have to get surgery that means down time for work AND caregiving. Not feeling well makes me even more impatient with my Dad. I'm not really good at the whole dementia thing as is. When you add feeling crummy, I'm NOT good to be around.

I literally thought. I hope this doesn't require anything more than a crap load of ibuprofen because that's literally all I can afford. I'm not having kids anyway, so for all I care, they can rip out the whole baby box as long as I can recover in a weekend...

I once put John Doe as my emergency contact. As Freq Flier wrote - been there, done that.

Tiny, I totally relate!!! Lol at using your dogs name for emergency contact.
Lol and :( too. I'm in same boat for same reason, nearly decade of care giving,
raising child with special needs, and relatives that were polar opposite of
supportive with a dash or two (or three) of Jerry Springer thrown in the mix.

I wonder how many care givers end up in exact same place?? Know your'e not
alone. ((((hugs))))) and (((((hugs)))))

You have us :)

((((((((tiny))))))) What a horrible experience, but hopefully a useful one. Trust that you are feeling better, but, if it happens again, get the help you need. Sometimes ovarian cysts need surgery. Meanwhile, isn't it time to put yourself higher on your list of priorities? Your dad depends on you and you need to be able to depend on you - and - we all need people and help sometimes.

Man...ovarian cysts are painful! Monitor yourself and if there is more pain, severe like before, head to ER. Avoid those useless Urgent Care.

My cysts were from major hormone problems. I had to have surgery. See a GYN doctor about cysts too.

I know what you mean about being socially isolated. But this is a good opportunity to talk to someone you have been friendly with, tell them what happened and ask them if they’d be willing to help you out with a ride, have their telephone number as IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, etc.

I’ve allowed myself to become isolated due to my own illnesses. But I realize I did have people willing to help. My MIL! And she’s next door too. My husband has gone out of town for a few days and MIL knows.

Have you ever thought of getting a medical alert necklace? My dad accepted one and he’s been such an ass over the years I wondered if people would agree to help him? (Mom’s in AL and he’s at his house.)
He’s got 4 people on his alert, one right near by. And her brother agreed to help too.

If you parted ways amicably with an ex, ask him! Ask someone at your church! We forget there are people around us who will help....

Oh boy, what a realization. Hopefully now Dad is in a AL that you can learn to relax a little. I have said before my brother says I am my own worst enemy. Please learn to "give it up" Nothing is going to be perfect with Dad. He is safe, clean and fed. Pick ur battles.

Oh, Tinyblu, I am sorry that you felt so alone.

I have had ovarian cysts and had to have an ovary removed because the abdominal pain got so bad. Don't kick yourself because you had to go to ER Dept. It needed to be done.

I don't know if this will load up correctly. Here is a {{{Virtual Hug}}}

I'm so sorry Tiny that you are sick with such an immense responsibility. If its any consolation.. I find myself in the exact same position.. I don't have any emergency contact... caregiving has eaten away all my relationships (siblings, friends, romantic, other relatives...).. one way or the other... and my parents can no longer serve as my contact.

Life is so unfair... to those who give everything they have for others.. and there is no one for them to lean on when its needed.


Tinyblu, ovarian cysts, been there, done that, threw away the t-shirt. I agree with Barb above, THE WORST pain ever.

As for an emergency contract, that's a tough one especially when one's friends have all disappeared, and one has no children, no siblings thus no nieces or nephews, and all my cousins are in other States and are seniors themselves. I had to chuckle when you said you wrote down your dog's name. I can see the ER calling your work number and asking for Lassie Tinyblu.

Oh Tiny! Ovarian cysts are the WORST!!!!

Is there anyone at work you can use as an emergency contact?
Or is there a sw at the AL you trust?

This really sucks. (((((Hugs)))))) and tears%%%%%%%.😢

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