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I noticed my fatigue got worse as the caregiving years went on, and I'm not sure if it is due to my natural aging and/or caregiving? Do you think caregiving has caused me to wake up tired (unrefreshed), as many days I wake up tired? Does this happen to you folks? How many days a week would you estimate that you are tired and how much do you think caregiving affects your energy levels? In other words, before caregiving did you have more energy and less fatigue?

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Yes! In the past 5 years I have aged 20 years. Even when I wake up feeling fine, I am exhausted before afternoon sets in. I think it comes from the atmosphere. There is no joy to breathe in. My automatic joy-making machine broke soon after I moved in. :(
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Let's say before becoming my parents chauffeur and errand runner six years ago, I use to be able to spend 8 hours doing yard work on a Sunday, it was a good tired. Now if I try to do yard work, I am exhausted after 45 minutes. Just can't do it any more :(

I believe we become emotionally and physically spent. Forget about exercising, I just don't have the will power to do it any more. I find myself dozing off in front of the TV, usually the last 15 minutes of murder mystery, not knowing who done it. Plus we tend to get stress related medical issues. Getting cancer didn't help, and developing a heart issue threw another wrench into the works. I feel older than my own parents who are in their 90's.

And how I long for the times back when I could sleep 6 to 7 hours without any worry.... now I find myself awake at 3 in the morning, can't get back to sleep because my mind is racing, so I look for something to watch on TV. Thank goodness for ME TV and those great old shows.
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Yes. And I've only been at it four months. I think part of the problem in my case is that I'm automatically empathic, so if I see someone stub their toe I feel a shadow of it. And as I see my mother struggle with simply standing, walking, sometimes thinking itself, I feel the shadow of that in myself too. Since I live with her and work from home I rarely see other healthy people to remember health and somehow my own health erodes in the presence of her illnesses. When I can stay in a state of compassion it is easier to remain more positive though that's a challenge sometimes when I feel like the life is draining out of me.

But seriously though get yourself medically checked out too, you could have a nutritional deficiency or sleep apnea. I'm seeing the doc soon myself.
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I love ME TV, Retro TV, and also the old movie channels! I have also been distracting myself with DVDs of the old "Dallas" TV show starting in the 70's. How things seemed so much more innocent and at a slower pace even back in the 70's and 80's. Funny to see people without cell phones. I don't think JR Ewing would have gotten away with as much as he did if he could have been tracked by his cell phone....
I am exhausted usually by late afternoon and find myself falling asleep at 9:30 no matter what I am watching.I always fall asleep right before the killer is revealed in a murder mystery too..then awake in the middle of the night and start worrying. I would love to be able to sleep for a full 8 hours completely uninterrupted!
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Yes!! It's awful ... for me it's more mental fatigue. Just watching my father who passed 2 years ago and now mom with AD. I can barely stand it anymore. I haven't woke up refreshed in more than a year. A few hours of sleep here and there simply isn't refreshing. Even if I could sleep I don't seem to get quality sleep anymore.

Before caregiving, I had an abundance of energy. I'm only 51 and feel like Jessie... I've aged 20 years and it shows. Cept I did it in 2 years!
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I used to be able to run circles around anybody 11 years ago. Now I am a mess. I have to clean,cook,wash clothes,weeding,pick up mail,vaccum,dust,pick up after a dog,make appts,go to docs,wash dishes,listen to a maniac complain,and this is just some of the things I do. There are 2 homes involved,not 1. She wont get any help to help me! So am I tired? Oh you better believe it.But according to that lazy a** recluse who lays around ALL D*MN DAY I dont do anything! So now I gotta start laundry on this beautiful sunny warm day. And the soap opera continues.
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I don't know of any caregiver who is Not tired All the time. It comes with the disease--your loved one's disease. I feel like I am swimming up stream all day long.

One thing I just started out of desperation but seems to help calm down my racing mind is to listen to meditation tapes at night when I go to bed. I went through several until I found a couple that I really like. One on breathing helps me focus on getting the air in and out of my lungs. When I am paying attention at something so simple as my stomach going up and down, I don't think about all the crazy things going on. I seem to be better able to get to sleep rather than worry.

And when I wake up during the night after he gets up to go to the bathroom or tosses and turns, I turn my phone back on to listen to those meditation tapes. Really helps.

Make sure the environment in your bedroom is conducive to good sleep hygiene.
+ comfortable temperature for you
+ dark room (I use a sleep mask as I need night lights)
+ comfortable mattress and pillow
+ a humidifier to keep the air moist and my dry nose doesn't wake me up
+ background noise of the humidifier is soothing
+ sleepytime tea or some other herbal supplement that helps you relax
+ avoid caffein and alcohol before bedtime

Look for any and all things that help you sleep. That is the most important factor in keeping your health.
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Whitney - Yes me too! The others are right, its draining mentally and physically for various reasons. Many people don't understand why you might be/ I am so tired! Plus add the rest of my or your family! Hang in there and see if you can get some help in daily so you can rest and do things for you.
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It is such a connection, especially when you are an empathetic person, sometimes I feel that my Mom and I are sharing some kind of vulcan connection and I am having sympathetic symptoms - like some dads do with their preg. wives. From Star Trek to Star Wars....may the force be with all of us!! (I know, I'm such a dork) LOL :)
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Well I have chronic fatigue syndrome anyway and it is just like an additional weight being added on to my back. I don't sleep well anyway and - just like today - I am worn out looking for something that she misplaced, and she misplaces things all day long because she never puts anything back in the right place. This then becomes My Problem. Why do I have to be the parent? The house looks like a runner up for the Hoarders show, and I look pretty crappy too.
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