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I'm sure most of you will probably say yes to that question, but I need to hear some feedback.

I care for my adult son who is developmentally disabled and needs round the clock care and supervision. I can handle that. I would do anything for my son. Ten months ago my mom had to move in after she fell and pinched a nerve in her back. She has Parkinson's disease. She is almost 82 years old and is now bedridden since the fall. That's why she is here now. And her pets moved in too. Now I care for my mother and son and our combined pets...six cats and two dogs. I feel insane most days.

My mom is not endearing. She was not a good mom to us...very self centered and narcissistic...and I have found that my sense of humor and caring nature has turned into anger and resentment. I try so hard every day to adjust my attitude towards her. I don't yell, I just feel grumpy all of the time. I never get to finish being asleep because she wakes me up to go to the bathroom. She has a bedside commode I have to transfer her onto...seven to ten times a day. She is 165 pounds, so my body gets tired too. Anyway, blah blah blah. It's a lot of work.

She recently got approved for Medicaid and we will be getting 168 hours a month of in home care. Right now I am doing it alone. So the help will be welcome.

When I get tired and over stressed my anxiety starts to surface. I have panic attacks, etc.. So that hasn't helped. And I am bit depressed as well. Yes, I talk to a therapist. That helps. As I write this I feel like I must sound like a mess! I feel like a mess!

I just feel so tired all of the time. I know it's probably normal to feel that way given the situation, but I don't like it. I guess I am just looking to hear that others have felt this way too.

Thanks for your help.

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Kidnumber2, I'm sorry. I accidentally reported your post.
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Yep, I have cats and two dogs now that mon is with me and they do keep me sane. And they all watch over mom.I agree nap when you can!
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ChrisinOregon, I also feel tired and grumpy much, if not most of the time. Worries and responsibilities sap you of energy. There is physical, mental and emotional fatigue, and I have added a new one - radiation/electronic fatigue which does something really strange to my body. I can fall asleep on the computer/TV, but have a hard time disciplining myself to quit and get the rest I need. I guess that's what they call addiction. However, I crave the quiet time when mom is in bed and the noises of the day are (at least somewhat) subdued.

Do you have any trouble with motor functioning? I find that my motor learning disability makes me extra tired trying to concentrate and coordinate movements so motor tasks take longer. The brain uses more sugar than the rest of the organs in the body. Do you find you crave simple carbohydrates - bars, chips, bread, pies, candy? If you are alert for the sounds of your mother or son, it's hard to relax enough to go into a restful sleep. I always have one ear out to mom and have to close the window frequently because there is someone revving their engine, racing through the streets and that city hum that doesn't stop. Then I can't sleep because it's airless and too hot. Anger saps you of a lot of energy, too, as well as guilt. So yes, caring for your son and mother is physically, mentally and emotionally draining. Welcome to the club!
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Your four footed "babies" can sometimes be your only link to sanity! My cats and dogs are family members. I took them in at different times (all 4 cats were abandoned). I wouldn't throw my husband out, or my mom out and I wouldn't throw my animals out either. Damn, sometimes they are the only thing that keeps me sane and calm me down during this hectic life. They love me unconditionally. That's how I love them too.
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I hear you Rainmom. I am new here. I've browsed for awhile, posted one other question before this. I don't usually post things online. Don't do Facebook or Twitter or whatever else is out there. And, I'm probably more sensitive right now because of my situation. I'll take things with a grain of salt.
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Hey there Chris - I'm guessing you're new here or I would have remembered you and our crazy, similar circumstances. I've been here since last October - hard to believe that's almost a year! Anyhoo - the thing with an anonymous, public forum is your gonna get a whole range of replies. Some replies will be helpful - others, not so much. But mostly the replies and the people here are well intentioned. So pick through the replies, take what is useful and let the rest go. No point in letting stuff get to you and add more stress, right?
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Thanks for your responses. Let me make a couple of things clear. First, as I said before, i see my doctor regularly. Just had my yearly physical and blood work done as I do every year. Everything was normal. And I get my yearly mammograms.

Second, I do not have sleep apnea. What I do have is a mother who wakes me up to use the bedside commode. (The pets do NOT keep me awake.) She is not incontinent. And, Medicaid has assured me that the caregiver can handle the transfer to the commode. She has a hospital bed. If you raise the bed up very high she is almost in a standing position. She helps get her pants down and you help pivot her onto the toilet. You are not doing a dead lift off the bed.

Third, I feel tired when I don't get enough sleep. There is a lot of stress in my day. Fatigue is expected. I don't fall asleep driving or in the shower or doing dishes. I am awake 18-20 hours a day. If i am fortunate and my mom and son fall asleep at the same time, i take a nap. So if i feel really tired some days it's because I AM TIRED.

Fourth. My mother did NOT bring six pets into my house! I already had a small dog and five cats. She has a small dog and a cat. You can continue to debate the pet issue if you like, but it is a non issue to me. I can assure you there is NO hygiene issues with the pets. The cats are indoor cats...they have a large "catio"...a fenced in area with a roof, off of the back door...i leave the back door opened during the day so they can go in and out and lounge around in the sun if they want to, as can the dogs. The dogs also have a fenced in, grassy area, so they can go to the bathroom. The dogs cannot stay outside unattended as we have bears and coyotes that regularly visit. The dog fence is low to the ground. It works for them.

As i said before, we are a family with two legged and four legged members. It actually was cruel to suggest getting rid of pets...especially after i made it clear that they are not the issue and getting rid of them was not going to happen. People here who have four legged family members understand where I am coming from. The cats would LOVE it if i slept more because as soon as I am lying down two or three of them make themselves comfortable on me. And my little, thirteen year old dog is a constant companion. She makes me smile and is calming to me.

I am not here to debate the pet issue. Or for negativity. I came here for support and to hear from others who feel tired from caregiving. Plain and simple.

Lastly, Chris is short for Christine. Just wanted to clear up the gender issue if the mention of mammograms didn't do it.

Again, thanks for your responses. .
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The commentator said they were tired all the time. Advising them to find another home for the pets was a suggestion to help them be able to get more sleep, not an act of cruelty. The commentator mentioned the additional 6 pets coming along with the mother. So it sounded like it was MORE work.
Honestly, this person needs to take stock of the situation. Go visit an M.D.
I have a young friend. she is beautiful, educated, caring and has an excellent job and nice home. She took care of Mom, Dad, son and brother (no pets). She has many siblings and cousins. None of them pitched in until at age 42 she had a mild stroke. She ended up hospitalized and took a leave of absence from her job. Lucky for her the job was still there when she recovered.
She told me "I took the S off my chest. I am not superwoman".
Sadly Dad has since passed away, but mother is now taking better care of herself and letting her daughter live in peace. The girl almost dropped dead taking care of everyone else.
See what I am driving at? Why is the poster claiming they are so tired?
It seems obvious they have taken more responsibility than their body can handle.
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ChrisinOregon: Have a checkup -- at least some blood tests. I know that stress is exhausting, but underlying it, you could be anemic, or be hypothyroid, or have sleep apnea. I know I felt tired ALL the time when I was hypo, and dozed off at the most inopportune moments (while at the theatre watching a live show that was hilarious and I really enjoyed? Come ON!). Also, stress weakens the immune system. So please, go to the doctor.
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My babies - two King Charles Spanials - give me such comfort and love sometimes I think I depend on them more than they do me! In fact, in three weeks we are bringing a new KCS puppy into our lives. I am both dreading and loving all the things that come with puppyhood and focusing on all the work and joys involved will be a welcome diversion to worrying about my mother.
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Advising her to get rid of the pets is cruel. She lives in a rural area so she likely has property for them, loves them and she said some are 10-15 years old which means that they are less likely to get adopted anyway. If she has property and a fence, the animals could actually be the least stressful of her situations. I can sleep during the day if I leave the back door unlocked bc my dog knows how to open and close it, he can do his business and run around until I get up and walk him.
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Considering your very full plate, I would think that you might want to set some priorities. And I would think the work of the pets would be one that would have to be below that of the humans. Pets are great, but even super heroes can only do so much. I think that caregivers often do not recognize their limitations. Conditions change, situations change, things are not always perfect. Making adjustments to accommodate YOUR needs is just as acceptable as making accommodations for your son and your mom's needs. I would give myself permission to do it.

If you are perfectly healthy, as your doctor confirms, I would be curious as to why you are always sleepy and tired all the time. I suppose that it may mean that you are tired and not getting enough sleep. Eventually, that will catch up with you. Of course, if the demands continue that overextend you, it's up to you.

Do you have a backup plan for the home if you were to become ill and be hospitalized? If the ones who would help then, could help now, perhaps you could get some relief.
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Any assistance is a welcomed break from the routine. If he has an aide 5 hours a day, he can allow that person to tend to the needs of the mother. Hopefully she will not need to potty during that time. It may be time to start Depends and bed mats for those times she isn't able to be transferred safely.
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hannahhonee73 wrote: "I'm not technically an agency employee as far as their protocol but I know that they can't lift 165 lbs without a hoyer and that's a 2 person job which negates the help." I'm still wondering about this. If you still have to help with this, then how is help going to allow you to have more sleep?

I don't see this whole scenario going on indefinitely, actually. Too much stress, too little sleep.
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I think it's easy to underestimate the benefit companion/pet animals can bring. Yes, it's additional work, and yes it can complicate hygiene, but when these creatures have been your constant companions for some time life without them is pretty bleak.
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ChrisInOregon,
Thanks for your question. Reading the replies have provided healing for me in a way. I used to feel quilty (sort of) because I was sleeping so much. Any extra time I can find I dash to my bed and sleep.
I care for my 78yo mother who has dementia and end stage kidney failure. God has been good to her; healing her of diabetes, high cholesterol and weight gain. Now the stubborn illness seems to be high blood pressure and 10% kidney functionality.
For sanity, I turned her bedroom into her living quarters. I serve her meals there, she watches DVDs (cancelled cable tv because commercials mostly of food she can't have), enjoys cds, hospital bed, bathroom, pictures of family, stationary bike (which she hardly will use) basically everything she could need or want. Because of dementia, i have to block the hallway making it difficult for her to leave the room with her walker. She has gone outside alone and fallen on sidewalk, scraps but nothing broken thank God! She has tried to leave 1am saying she is going home. I came to realize it is part of the illness.
To bring happiness to me while i care for her 24/7, I acquired 7 parakeets and 53 fish. Lol, the birds stay in the living room and are not caged. The fish(48) in a 55 gallon aquarium and 5 in a 10 gal tank. It is extra work, but it gives me an out. It helps me to be mo re patient and tolerant as a caregiver. I have 9 siblings, yet not one care to be involved in her care. I have always wanted to be an only child. Being a caregiver turned that into reality.
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Well, certainly getting someone in the house to help is a smart idea. Perhaps you can get someone to help with the pets as well. I have a retired female friend who spends every day volunteering to help care for other people's pets.
You are tired all the time because you have too much on your plate and not enough help.
You are doing the right thing by getting help.
There was a time in life I put all my needs aside to take care of others. I realized they would be fine and I would be destitute or dead.
It seems evident that you are tired because you are spread too thin.
Will your son, mother and pets be more well off if you end up in the hospital?
Take care of yourself and good luck.
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Dottie, I hear you. I couldn't imagine having to go out in the world and work a job and then come home to caregiving. The broken up sleep is a killer.

Kidnumber2, I will never get rid of the pets! My mother and son would be devastated. As would I. Yes, they are a lot of work, but i will not just re-home pets we have had for ten and fifteen years because life got more complicated! Their welfare is important to all of the humans in this house. I didn't take the pets in because it was a convenient time in my life to do so. When I took in these pets over the years I accepted responsibility for them and give them a good quality of life. That's how we are in my family. Pets aren't just animals. They are part of the family. So, no, getting rid of pets is not an option.

And I am not kidding myself. I know my fatigue is from being too busy. But I just have to work on how to make it more doable. Implement solutions that will take some of the responsibility of me. Getting a caregiver in five hours a day will be a good start.

Life is hard for a lot of people. We do the best we can with what we've got
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6 animals in addition to special needs child and Parkinson's mother????
First get those animals out of the home. Expensive and time consuming. Call the ASPCA and get those pets a new home.
Then possibly you can get a decent caretaker for your mom while you continue to care for your son.
I wanted to fall asleep just reading your post it made me so exhausted. You are trying to do the impossible.
Get the animals out of the home first off. Is their welfare Mir important than yours and your child's???
They can easily be relocated. That is far too much if a burden for you, unless you send your mother to a nursing home, in which case the animals might be doable with your son -maybe. How many others besides yourself do you think you can care for???!
You are not a machine. Sounds like you have WAY too much on your plate.
You first, then your son.
Get rid of the pets or your mom. That is much too much for even a very going person getting a good salary. Don't kid yourself. You do not have sleep apnea. Your are exhausted from too much responsibility and lack of rest.
Take care if yourself and your child!
.
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The stress of worry I think also wears us down. My mom is a happy darling. Being on night duty and getting up every three hours to change her makes me need to nap during the day. I also gave a full time job so that is a problem.i am getting in some night help so I'm hoping that will make a difference. My siblings are MIA. I was able to find a one wonderful gal to help during the day and anther part time for t he weekends. I get so tired I almost fall asleep in the bathroom or sometimes just sit and stare.
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Hey Chris - I'm right outside of Portland. Yes, we have a lot in common. I adored my father - he was my best friend and the only person who has never let me down. I don't feel I ever got the chance to mourn him as from the moment I told my mom daddy had passed, I became responsible for her - and she's a handful. See how things go with the new assistance with your mother - but I urge you to do some soul searching about your promise to never place her in a nursing home. I see that a lot here - that promise. But when you made it you had no idea of what it would become. Such promises are unreasonable, in my opinion. Money, health, further deterioration of your moms physical and mental wellness - no one can possibly know what the future holds when these promises are made. What price are you willing to pay - to keep this promise?
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Hannah, I care for my son and he is mostly nocturnal. There is no getting around that. He has a different sleep clock in him. I am up with him until 4-5am, then he sleeps until around 1pm...it varies though. I want my mom's caregiver to come in the morning. That way i might be able to get in six hours of sleep and can handle the 18 hours that follow.

Someone said they are weary. I feel that way a lot. When I have to take her to doctor or dental appointments and have to do the dead lift from the wheelchair to the car, and/or the wheelchair to the dental chair my body gets very tired. And if she wakes me up after three hours of sleep everything else gets tired and it snowballs. Toss in a few panic attacks, my son having a meltdown, and a sick pet that needs to go to the vet, and i am dangling off the ledge by my fingertips!
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According to Medicaid they no longer do the 24 hour, home caregiving thing in our state. They only go up to 200 hours a month. If my mother couldn't feed herself or was incontinent, for example, she would get more caregiving hours. My mom can stand up and walk a little with her walker, but she has to be helped to a standing position and held with the gait belt or followed with her wheelchair. She has very poor balance and coordination. And her right knee buckles because of the pinched nerve. She was gaining some upper body strength but then stopped doing her exercises. She has never been motivated to be self sufficient...she has always preferred to have people do for her...even before she had any mobility issues. She has always been sedentary. My dad just gave up finally and started doing everything that needed to be done. Now he's gone.

We do not have adult daycare out here. We live in a rural, coastal community. Our town has 2000 people. The bigger "cities" are 75-100 miles away. It's a trade off...we have beautiful scenery, perfect weather, quiet, no crime, slower pace of life...but limited resources. I won't move to a bigger city for more resources. I considered it for about ten minutes and decided against it. We'll make due with what is available.
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I am tired too---all the time. Somedays (since I am not currently working) I will take a nap and that just becomes bedtime! Not often, maybe once every couple of weeks, but I feel that if I am capable of sleeping for 18 hours, I must need it.
This is something that my psych dr has tried to address for 20 years. I do not sleep "well"...I have horrible nightmares, every night. PTSD from many years of abuse that was not dealt with in an appropriate way until I was 40+. I do NOT wake up happy and refreshed, I wake up ready to go back to bed. Stress just takes me down even further, When I was more involved in mother's care, I was worse, if I am having issues with a family member, I get even worse. I know it's depression and the fact my brain never gets the rest it needs. Only when I am completely physically exhausted can I truly sleep and sleep well. And weirdly enough, I sleep GREAT in hotels. Never at home. My psych doc recently prescribed Pravosin ( a blood pressure med) for the nightmares. It's just ok, not great, and the s/a are that it's also a diuretic, so, so much for the good night sleep--up every 2 hrs to go to the bathroom. Sorry--kind of off the topic, but I know that the key to a good day is a good night's sleep. Having all you have in your life, I would crash and burn too. Good luck finding some help and maybe some balance.
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Sorry for so many posts, but is adult day care an option for her? I know Medicaid covers it but I think there are some parameters of self function required. Maybe it would cheer her up, too. Elderly people are easily depressed when they lose independence and don't have anything to do.
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Is it that your mom can't do much for herself or won't bc if it's can't, I would appeal the hours given. The lady I care for is near comatose and the original person gave her 12 hours a day! It was appealed and changed to 24 without hassle.
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The in home help might be able to get you on track with sleep. Since you have 168/month does it mean that you get screwed if it's a 5 week month? I would try to determine what times are going to be the most helpful for making your life easier. I know a lot of people don't like to "waste" the hours on midnights because it's not as much work but there's benefit to know that you can sleep. Maybe you can do 2-3 overnights and the rest during the day. Be aware that the aide often has limits to what they can do as far as cooking/cleaning/bathing and lifting. I'm not technically an agency employee as far as their protocol but I know that they can't lift 165 lbs without a hoyer and that's a 2 person job which negates the help. Each place is different and you should have a choice between a few agencies. Good luck!
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To clarify...it upset me that my mom could only think of telling the case manager that i got snippy sometimes and not think to mention about everything else i did for her. I was happy that the case manager responded as she did to my mom.
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NY, When she moved in with me i thought it was temporary. Thought she would get mobile again. Granted, she shuffled around before the fall and her movement was slow and limited, but at least she moved!

AND, I just said to her yesterday that she does have options! When the case manager from senior services was visiting a couple of weeks ago to assess my mom's needs, my mother had the nerve to say that I got snippy with her sometimes! The case manager looked at her and said, "people get snippy. Your daughter has a lot of responsibility to deal with." That really upset me because I have been killing myself to accommodate her. My mother doesn't see that. Well, she sees how exhausted I am, but ignores it. Her go to phrase is, "what about me." Very frustrating.
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Rainmom and monkeydo, the hotel thing sounds wonderful. Sleeping. No one needing me. Room service. I've thought of doing that as well.

NYdaugthterinlaw, she does still have her home, though it is up for sale, but there are still around 550 hours a month that i need to take care of her above and beyond the 168 Medicaid will cover. She can't do anything for herself besides feeding herself, pushing the buttons on her remote, playing slot machine games on her tablet, painting her fingernails, looking through mail order catelogs...you get the idea. She doesn't participate in life...won't come out into the living room in her wheelchair...not that she can move herself in the chair...her arms are too weak. She wants to stay in her room and have everything come to her. But she has always been this way. The only difference is that before her fall she was at her house not participating in life. When my dad was alive he did everything. My mom was only interested in doing the things that made her happy. Going out for dinner, watching television, and ordering endless crap from the shopping channels!
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