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I am my mom's only child. My mom has cancer, (untreated) & cannot walk on her own.
She is in rehab nursing facility for now.
I have no relatives left after my mom passes.
I live alone w/my pets.
I'm 54 w/hypertension but take meds to control it.
I have to work to support myself (I rent an apt).
Last night was bad, I came home after spending the evening w/mom @ NH.
I am not sleeping well, I have a very nervous stomach, no appetite, I am starting to tremble & am occasionally dropping things.
I had stated to sweat, feel nauseous & had diarrhea.
This lasted about 2-3 hours until I tried to fall asleep.
I keep thinking how my mom is crying & suffering being away from her home.
She tells me everything I go to see her that she wants to go home to her own house & have nurses come there to care for her.
She & I cannot afford to pay for any care out of pocket because mom has Medicare/Medicaid and Medicaid won't pay for nursing care in your home.
Every time I talk to mama on the phone, she talks for a few minutes, then as we as saying goodbye she starts crying & I can't stand to hear her in so much pain but I can't do anything to change it & it's making me feel like I'm having a panic attack.
I've usually dealt w/loss & death OK (not as well as some, but I pray a lot & try to talk it out w/friends & that has helped me in the past but this is really taking a toll on me & the more I feel like this, the more I worry that I WILL die before my mom & she will be left all alone.
I'm also panicked because if my mom should pass before me, then I am all alone & it frightens me terribly.
I am seeing my GP Doctor on Mon after I called & spoke to the nurse & told her my symptoms.
I'm hoping she can give me something to help calm me when I get anxiety or advise on some alternative treatment while I'm dealing w/all this.
I never knew what it felt like when I hear that others had "anxiety" or panic attacks but I think I know now how it feels & it's very, very frightening.
Please can anyone help me w/their knowledge of what I can do to at least get thru this weekend??
Please.

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Hangingon, IMO effexor can be an unpleasant drug -- several ppl, including me, have had bad experiences with it, and some doctors won't prescribe it. Try one of the others, like celexa (mine), zoloft, lexapro, prozac -- they have far fewer side effects, and if you need an antidepressant, you *really* need it.
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I don't have any panic or anxiety other then what is going on w/my mom..
It only happens when I hear she's not doing well or if she should pass away.
I really don't worry about much of anything else, I guess in fortunate in that way, but losing my mom & seeing her so helpless & suffering is something that causes me to worry, excessively because I love her & how much she means to me.
I am not taking the Effexor my doctor has prescribed because I am afraid of side effects (nausea, insomnia, loss of apetite) pretty much all the symptoms I do get when I felt the anxiety attack..
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With panic/anxiety, understanding that something can trigger that in you will be helpful. For example, if your feelings get hurt, instead of heading quickly on a downward spiral in your mind, call someone immediately and just explain what happened ( pre-arranged understanding person). If the panic is still coming on, the person on the phone can wait until you take your medicine. Doesn't take long, allows you to learn to deal with acute anxiety and not feel alone. No therapist required. You can get through this. The panic goes away as you get older.
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Thank you all so much for your wisdom & advice.
I'm sorry I don't recall who in here but they mentioned maybe I can sell or rent moms home & use the $ to help pay for her nursing care so she can move back home but I can't sell her house because she has a reverse mortgage on it.
Her house can only be sold if she moves or dies.
Then the money gained from the sale goes to pay off whatever the amount was that mom has used up till then.
Also, I could bring her to live me because I live in a small, 1 bed apartment & have many fur babies.
Mom has asthma & can't be around the animals, not to mention so place for the nurse or caretaker to sleep at my place.
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Hangingon61......I have said this many times before on this site....NO ONE wants to be in a nursing home but they are the ones trained to take care of someone not us. All we can do is go, visit, and make sure they are being taken care of the best possible way (maybe not how we would do it but I had to give that up and over to God). Forgive me for offending anyone that is doing this at home. No intention at all and I bow down to you. Go at different times so they don't know when you are coming to check up on different aides/attendants. IF your mom does have cancer and is taking different meds or radiation, chemo, etc. then she might have a little chemo brain (dementia) and as someone mentioned above, she will never undrstand completely and it's futile to try to explain each and every time that she can't come home. I know it's hard, trust me. My mom was always saying well let's go when I would visit and I would have to make something up for her sanity and mine. That might be what you have to do with your mom for her sanity and YOUR's. Please don't think I'm being flip here. I'm not. I was told very early on (6 yrs ago) that you have to join them in their journey and not to try to reason or change their minds. It has served me well. Hard lesson at first at first but I became a master at it. Now it doesn't matter since she is in the late stages of her disease. When you visit or talk on the phone (which I'm not sure if that's a good idea to talk to her after you leave the facility) when she starts in on going home or you living with her, try to redirect her and start talking about weather, drs. appts, your job, church, etc. What did she love to do before all this? Try to get aides involved in that. Bring it to the nH and let her look at it. Tell her you will be back in a little bit that you have an appt. ANYTHING but just DON'T feel guilty! Guilt means that you have done something wrong to hurt someone or something on PURPOSE and you haven't. My sister died unexpectedly 3 years ago so I am the only child taking care of my dad (93) and mom, 2 grand kids. You are doing the best you can and that's all you can do. We all have your back here on this site. Good for you that you pray and have support from friends. Find a support group for this.....it really will help plus you will find friends in your area going through the same thing. Go have some fun. It's hard but once you try it you will get used to it and it will become easier on you to visit your mom. Good Luck and God Bless.
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You don't mention yr mom suffering dementia. So, I can understand that she is not happy with the present situation, but when nothing is wrong with her memory, normal thinking etc. you can only repeat and repeat that financially IT IS IMPOSSIBLE to have enough support in her own house. Nurses, family assistance etc.. cost quite some money. So you should stand firm with her. And when she refuses to accept, better you have someone of the rehab facility to talk with her, or ask them to arrange the intervention of a psych. assistant to have some talks with her so that she finally can accept her situation.
As far as your condition is concerned : feel so sorry that you do all you can to support your mom, and getting sick yourself. To be honest, I sincerely think that the problems with your mom are the main cause of yr health issues. First have a good talk with your doctor. Of course he will order exams to see that you do not suffer anything physically. And when, your troubles are purely resulting from the situation you are in, there are some things you can do on your own :
- look up on yr p.c. some breathing methods, which will diminish your panic attacks. Deeply breathing in & out, holding your hands on your belly so that you can feel your breathing is a very good thing to do. Even only 5 or 10 minutes will make a serious difference.
- Take at least 30 mins. each day for yourself. Or you take a good relaxing bath, or you make an easy walk, go from time to time out to just get a drink for yourself, in order words : be a bit egoistic and care for yourself.
- Some supplements or vitamines can also help - even temporary - as you don't eat enough. If you have no appetite : try to buy some foods with a strong flavor. It is easier to eat something sour or sweet or with herbs, etc.. than just some bread with ordinary cheese.
- Try to find in your neighborhood if there are no groups of people, who regularly meet and encounter the same problems as you have. Talking, talking, talking is the best solution. As you have no brothers or sisters to share with, you will have to look elsewhere to have a good talk.
- Where I live, there are centers with psychologists, where you pay, according to your income. This is a lot cheaper than going to a psychologist who is working alone, or in a practice, without any financial support from the government / state. May be the rehab facility of your mom know some addresses where you can find suitable help
- A good thing to do as well : write down your sorrow and misery. Of course this does not alter the situation, but it is a form of relief.
- If you are not the writing type, get some colour pencils or cheap paint, and a package of white paper and express your feelings. Only stripes / forms / circles etc.. may have a certain relief effect of you. This is done on regular basis in psychological facilities and is very helpful for some people.
- I can understand that you can not keep a dog, as you go working, but the presence of a cat, or even a small bird can give you a lot of pleasure and love. You need each pinch of love and tenderness you can imagine. So, I recommend you to go to a shelter and get yourself a cat or a small rabbit, or whatever small animal that can stay alone during the day.

I have not had an easy live (bad childhood) divorce, 2nd husband with Alzheimer when he was just 50 and died 13 years later.... So I know something about how you can feel when life is not so easy and happy.. and therefore I have tried out lots of the recommendations I gave you.
I sincerely hope that this answer will be a little helpful to you and hope that your situation may turn for the best soonest possible. A big hug from Belgium / Europe and best wishes for 2016.
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Hangingon, sounds like you need to get your Mom home. My Mom did the same thing, it ripped out my heart and I brought her to my house. She couldnt thank me enough and is as happy as can be. You could sell or rent her house and used that money along with her ss and maybe A&A VA to hire a caregiver fulltime when you work. She, and you will be so relieved. There is nothing like tucking your Mom into bed at night knowing she is happy and safe.You can also use daycare, its cheaper, some even come pick them up. I hired a caregiver to get mom up and to daycare and picked her up after work. Go with your gut, there is always singular to live at home with pets. I think you will both feel better. Medicaid does have at home programs, but if your mom has a house, she wouldnt qualify. Not sure where you live but medicaid puts a lein on any assetts or house that your mom owns and she will lose it regardless. Think about it . I have anxiety also, have had it off and on for years. I have been on and off zoloft , now I take a 1/2 klonopin if I need to drive long distances, as thats the only place I have anxiety is driving. Always start the pills at home because you could fall asleep and you need to adjust to the dosage. Follow your heart, you will be okay. One thing that really helps, sing! XO
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JessieBelle, I misunderstood who was being given the psychotropics.
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The quality of medical care in skilled nursing facilities varies. Any kind of specialist is usually going to require you to push and advocate for it. For my Mom, we usually had to arrange the transportation too. But it was worth it. The primary care docs were not giving her ideal diabetes management, the nurses including the APN misinterpreted retropulsion as resistance and/or could not pick up on her parkinsonism; I took her to a geriatrician and a geriatric neurologist at the Benedum center in Pgh and they got her on meds that actually helped a great deal. The differential diagnosis of dizziness is broad, and if it is not cardiac in origin, you might want neuro or ENT for this. But as long as you have a healthcare POA, you really do have a right to talk to the doctor in charge - you usually go through the director of nursing to make sure the concern is addressed promptly, because routine care might entail a physician review once a month or less.
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PCVS, the benzodiazepines and antidepressants were being recommended for the panic attacks the caregiver is having. When used therapeutically under the guidance of a good doctor, they can prevent complications of panic, such as agoraphobia. I should add that they should not be used long term, just long enough to allow the person to get through bad stretches and regain their confidence. Long-term use of benzos can be a problem, of course.
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You need to go to the rehab and demand a physical therapist look at the balance and dizziness issue. Your mother doesn't need to be hospice ready in order to have a medicaid waiver for PCA help.

And people here need to stop advocating psychotropic drugs for our elders for everything.
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Hospice can provide care up to two years. My mom is in hospice and actually is improving (go figure). She was accepted since she met certain criteria--one of which was weight loss. what about VA benefits if your dad was a war veteran? It takes a while to get them but might be worth a look/see. Also i would talk with the social worker at the facility. The one at my mom's place is really helpful.
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Sub-lingual ativan works for me. Just a suggestion. Take care.
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Diazepam
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You need to get yourself to a psychiatrist so that they can prescribe an anti-anxiety med, such a Diazapam.
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Thanks everyone.
Mom doesn't need hospice yet, she's not dying but is not able to walk.
She fell 2 weeks ago due to her dizziness & balance problems, which has never been addressed as of yet.
I don't understand what needs to happen at the rehab nursing facility she's been at for the past 10 days.
There have been no doctor to see her to get a plan together or treatment for her dizziness while she's been there & I don't know how she can get better and/or stronger to walk in her own w/out the dizziness being addressed...
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In CT there are medicaid waivers for in home health aids. Call your local area agency on aging for advice. Also they can help you find support groups. Go to these, they can be helpful if you find any that fit.
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I was just thinking the same thing, maybe your mom's wish is possible - many states have Medicaid waivers and in-home hospice might be possible. Maybe there is a residential hospice (that's what we had for my mom - it was way nicer for her and for us than even the nice skilled nursing that she actually liked) where a pet would be more welcome too. But in any event, yeah, get help with the anxiety. You need a healthy foundation for rebuilding you own life without Mom, rather than thinking it at all likely you will pass before she does - and if I was your Mom, I would want to know that you would be going into your future carrying on rather than being lost in a world of worry.
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Hi Hangingon, I've been wondering how the doctor appt went on Monday? I hope you were able to get some immediate help so you can work on your long term issues.
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Please get help and don't be afraid of meds. I had such bad anxiety that my heart rate was 120 and I lost so much weight that I weighed 90 pounds at 5'4". I slept only one to two hours a night for months. It was hell on earth until I got on klonipin temporarily and paxil long term. It's been a miracle. Please get help ASAP. No one should suffer like this if they don't have to. I'll pray for you.
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Dear hangingon,
Have you explored the possibility of Hospice for your mom? I know they do not provide 24/7 in home but theyare extremely helpful with issues such as yours. And they will come to the rehab facility. You are not in a financial situation where you can afford in home care. I would keep explaining that to her.
Does she need a referral to a pain management specialist? The nursing facility should be able to set that up.
As far as your fears, by all means, see your primary doc and get some meds to help you through. Also , if you are open to it counselling is a great thing. It sounds like you are focusing on the "what ifs". Try to find a counsellor who can help you with mindfulness or living in the moment. 90% of the what ifs never happen and when something does happen you will handle it. I found that trying to concentrate on what is going on now helped me. Many things you can't change. Try not to focus on the negative (can't take her home with help) and focus on what you can do-visit, talk with her, make her comfortable.etc. She has to deal with her inability to remain in her home with help because it is just not possible. I know that sounds cruel--perhaps the social worker at the rehab facility can talk with her or her doctor. Sometimes when a person hears that from someone other than a family member, it becomes a reality. Good luck to you. It is a difficult situation to be in.
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Click on her name Ashlynn on the left hand side (above Give a hug). That will open a new window where you will see a blank area for posting comments. Go you the top right of the comment area and click the empty box next to Private Comment? Then in the box just underneath, write what you want to say. Then click on the orange button that says Submit.

Be sure to click next to the Private Comment? button -- if you don't, the comment will display for all to see!

You might want to try it beforehand, with a comment like "Can anyone see this??" Good luck!
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Ashlynne thank you so much for the reply.
I suspect momma doesn't want to see PeeWee because it will kill her to see me having to take him away from her & bring him back home w/me because she's want to keep him w/her but they won't allow that.
I am going to bring a photo of him tonight & see if she wants to keep it on her dresser while she's there.
We'll see.
I don't want to cause my mom any more grief then she's already experiencing.
I'm a computer idiot.
How can I pm you??
XO
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Hanging on my heart goes out to you. You are truly so lucky that your mother is/was a wonderful mother and it's a huge plus that she has her mind intact. Much as she would like it she has to understand that living in her home with staff is not financially possible ... and, much as it will sadden her, at least she's in her right mind to hear it and deal with it. At this point assisted living or a nursing home is where she will be best off and, as she can't walk, probably a nursing home. Please don't feel bad about that. In a decent NH she will be so well cared for, better than she ever could be living in her home with rotating staff, some of which won't turn up sometimes.

What concerns me is that she doesn't want to see her dog right now. There's something off with that and you need to find out why ... feeling stronger (to handle a 4lb dog? I've got cats twice that size) is an excuse for something. Try to get to the bottom of that one and don't mention the dog again unless she does, then say he's well, happy and having a great time playing with your pups.

I have 2 dogs, my mother's minpin x jack russell terrorist, 6, and an old black lab who came from rescue a couple of years ago, plus 4 kitties, all rescues in one way or another. They are my everything. The hell I've been through the past few years, without them I doubt I'd be alive today. Feel free to PM me if you wish. Dog Bless you and Woof ... Lynne, Sue, Ashy Girl and the Mouse Squad ♥
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Ashlynne, I'm so sorry to hear that your mom was mean to you & not such a nice person, but my mom was very good to me growing up & even as an adult we were/are still "best buddies"..
I understand what you mean about getting on w/my life, but I take that to mean if my mom is being mean or inconsiderate of my needs then I would feel that way about caring for her, but that's not our situation.
My biggest problem is money.
Not being able to provide & pay for in home nursing care to help care for my mom is what's causing me the most misery in dealing with this.
My mom means the world to me.
She has a little dog of her own, a tiny 4 lb Chihuahua named "PeeWee" who she loves dearly..& talks about him every day & cries when she says his name..
I told her that I could bring PeePee to the hospital to visit w/her because he would love to see her & misses her also.
She said she's not feeling well enough yet but when she gets a little stronger she does want to see him.
Mom does not have dementia, Alzheimer's or any memory issues.
Her main problem right now is w/mobility, extreme dizziness (which cause her to fall 2 weeks ago) & general malaise & fatigue.
She can't walk on her own.
I have 4 tiny dogs (including moms pup PeeWee now) & 9 kitties.
They are what I live & breath for.xoxo
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Hangingon if it's any consolation, to her last day on this earth my mother (then in a nursing home, bed ridden, dementia, parkinsons and many strokes) was determined that she would move somewhere like a 5 star resort where she would have meals cooked to order, room service, instantly running servants and lots of visitors to entertain her every day. Of course it was all my fault she couldn't move to this "Nirvana" and I was keeping her in jail. She had no friends but expected that wherever she went I would throw away my home and life again (did that to care for her for years) and run after her to wait on her hand and foot, all the while taking her abuse 24/7.

At the end she thought she'd move back to the UK and live with her brother in law so he could care for her ... my late father's kid brother, he's in his 80s with some health issues and she hasn't seen him for 30 years.

I assume your mother has dementia. You have done all you can for her and now she needs 24/7 care which one person alone cannot provide. She's safe and cared for. You've done all you possibly can and you must get your life together and move on.

With animals close by you are never alone. As an adult I've had rescues life long, currently 2 dogs: Sue, a miniature pinscher x jack russell terrorist who sleeps in my bed and farts/kicks me all night, Ashy Girl, a 9/10 year old black lab who came from Rescue in April 2013, and four cats "the Mouse Squad", all rescues with dubious backgrounds.

I'm an only child, my mother didn't want children and I grew up alone with a German shepherd and an old cat called Toots. My mother ran off any boyfriend I ever had because "He's just after MY money" so I've lived alone most of my life. Yes she was an evil, mean and spiteful woman and when she died September 12, 2015 I was so grateful ... a lifetime of torment was over.

Hug your pets and try to move on with your life. They are the only ones that will truly love you and want to be with you unconditionally forever. Dog Bless you ♥
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Thank you all so so very much for allowing me to vent my own problems & concerns.
It is very helpful to know that there are others who understand the emotions & feelings that come about when dealing with this.
Your suggestions are all appreciated & I have to follow thru w/some sort of treatment and/or counseling support group.
I suggested to mama tonight if we could maybe consider selling her house, moving her into an apartment where she can have some nurses helping her & the next thing she mentioned was "are you going to move in w/me?"..
This makes me feel so guilty & cruel to tell her "no, I can't mama because I have pets & you have asthma & can't be around them".
She loves my dogs as well so she didn't push it or say to get rid of them so I could move in to be w/her, but I know she's probably thinking to herself that I'm putting my animals first..:(
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One of the things I've found helpful is a weekly support group. At group, members are given a safe place to express their concerns, feelings and worries. Since I live in an area where I don't have regular friends, this group has proven invaluable. Panic attacks can be dealt with and there is no need to suffer any more than you already are. Reach out and you'll be amazed at the help you'll get. In the meantime, stay strong!
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HangingOn, I have panic disorder that rears its frightening face sometimes in my life. There are a few things I've found that are really helpful. First, I reassure myself that panic attacks are self-limiting. I won't have a heart attack, die, or go crazy. Second, I drink water. Third, I eat well -- not enough to gain weight, but enough to stabilize my glucose and other nutrients.

If you are having panic attacks, Xanax is the best sedative to take to keep them at bay. Other sedatives do not work nearly so well on panic attacks. I hope your doctor will let you have some that you can take when needed. Your doctor may also want to start you on an antidepressant. You may feel odd when you first start taking the antidepressant, but your body will get used to it.

After you've been panic free for a while, you can taper off the antidepressant. Panic attacks feel terrible and interfere with life. They are self-limiting, though, and usually respond fairly rapidly to treatment. The best person to see would be a psychiatrist that is open to prescribing Xanax for a while. Many doctors now are afraid to prescribe it, because it can be addictive. They are afraid of being called on the rug for prescribing it. The ones who realize the benefit outweighs the risk are the best doctors for someone with panic attacks.
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Oh, if the doctor does diagnose you with anxiety disorder, then I would learn as much about it as possible. I found that the more I read and learned about how it comes about the body, how our body reacts, what the mind does, and how we can deal with it, the less they effected me.

There are many famous people who suffer with anxiety disorder. I've read a lot of biographies about them. They describe their journey and how they learned to deal with it.

There is life beyond that feeling.
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