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After my mom began to go blind and I began to try to manage her care through my absentee POA brother, the sickening knot in my stomach will not go away. Does anyone else feel that caregiving is making them physically ill? I went to see Mama Mia 2 with my daughters last night and, at the end of the movie, was shocked to find that the sick feeling in my stomach had disappeared for the first time in months. Of course, by the time we got home, to more drama with the family, it had returned. Any ideas about maintaining physical health and peace through all of this?

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What you’re experiencing isn’t fun, but it’s not uncommon. I haven’t slept for more than an hour a night in like forever. My doctor has put me on another blood pressure Med and even with the new one, it’s still high. Until my husband is in a facility and our debts are cleared, all the pills, therapy, yoga and “respite” in the world won’t help. Telling you to hang in there sounds trite. But it’s about all you can do.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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That break at the movie was like your basket of cards from Martin, giving you a chance to remember what a calm fullfilled life feels like. I think you've answered your question--providing time for YOU, doing the things you have already learned are renewing for you. That is your quest.

Families can definitely be a trial. The only answer I've come up with is to expect EVERYONE to be responsible according to their skills, age, health, etc. Everyone in the family need to be aware that none of us were born knowing how to deal with whatever we're dealing with at any given moment, But we all have the responsibility to deal with life's bowl of lemons or chocolates in a loving way.

The alternative is looming feelings of regret after it is too late to do anything about it. Who feels there is anything left to teach the younger healthy family members to step up? If they have never had the responsibility to step up in the past, they probably feel very inadequate to do so now. If they WANT to help but feel they son't know how, then get a few links to send them of videos that will teach them, or find a workshop and sign everyone up, say at hospice . . .
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Reply to Bravelute
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You were able to step away from the stress and anxiety of caregiving and that sickening knot went away. That demonstrates what our bodies go through as caregivers and how the stress and strain affect us physically.

When my dad went into a nursing home I had that sickening knot. The upside is that the knot prevented me from eating much and I lost 20 lbs. But I lost that weight because I was so anxious and upset and stressed that I couldn't eat. People would remark, "You've lost weight! You look great!" but I was a mess on the inside and that weight loss was indicative of my desperation to try and make my dad happy, healthy, peaceful, satisfied, etc. If I could just be a perfect daughter, if I could just be a perfect caregiver, if I could just ensure that I was able to take my dad to the hospital 3 times a week to have fluid drained (which was an 8 hour ordeal each time). I took it upon myself to take full control over my dad and his health and it practically wrecked my own health.

I hope you are able to get out more now that you understand how caregiving affects your health. Sickening knot = bad. Mama Mia 2 = good. Getting away from the caregiving isn't a luxury, it's a necessity.
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Reply to Eyerishlass
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Bravelute Jul 21, 2018
I MUST get to the theater this weekend. That is actually playing in our small community.

What about keeping a de-stress box for the both of you. An MP3 player with favorite music grouped into playlists. A favorite book for the both of you. photo cube or album. materials for a hobby or game. My sister would want a puzzle. I'd want an audible book or painting materials or scrabble game. Mom would want a video of the ocean in all weather and seasons and a piece of pizza.

What would you put in the de-stress box for you the caregiver? For your loved one you're caring for?
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