Any tricks to help one keep a positive outlook while caring for your spouse when your own health is just as fragile?


We are both retired and have many health problems. Chronic pain resulting from these health concerns is wearing us down. We take care of each other the best we can but it's hard to stay positive when you're in pain. We both have had a triple bi-pass operation. I suffer angina if I rush doing things or don't take it easy.

One of the arteries that they used for the bi-pass is clogged and my cardiologist says that due to the area it is in surgery would be risky and not always successful.

My husband has degenerative disk disease (all of his discs are affected). He also has had a number of attacks of pneumonia which has affected his kidneys. He has had a few occasions where he tries to stand but has no strength to hold himself up and he falls, twice hitting his head. I couldn't lift him and had to call 911. He was hospitalized a few times when this happened.

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Beachmouse, you are doing a hero's job looking after your husband while you yourself are suffering.
Will your health insurance provide professional counseling and a social worker to help you plan?, What do predict your future is over the next 2 to 4 years: better, or worse?
While you are planning for your next living solution, get your physician to order an occupational therapist to come to your house and help you make your environment safer and your life easier.
Sounds like it is time to go visit affordable assisted living facilities or family home care options. You can act ahead of time and be your own boss, or you can wait for a disaster and someone else will decide what happens to the two of you. I don't mean to be harsh, but it sounds like you are at a point where you need to take a hard look at the current and future realities.
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Beachmouse, a good healthy diet doesn't have to be a specific one developed by someone. I just checked out the McDougall website; some of the substitutions wouldn't be ones that appealed to me either.

You can just focus on the basics of good healthy eating and eliminate processed, inflammatory, high sugar and other foods that are so common today.
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WINDYRIDGE: I'm 69 soon to be 70 and hubby is 74.

BLANNIE: We tried Dr. McDougall about 20 years ago and it was not the type of diet for either of us.

GEEWIS: I'm sure there are services we might be eligible for, our diabetic nurse counselor is checking out some services for us. The first being meal preparation because I have nausea 24/7 and find food hard to eat as my stomach can't tolerate it . . . or cook due to the smell. The doc is trying to find out which of my meds might be causing the nausea. I eat a small portion of food and pretty much exist on yogurt and cracker chips, they are the few foods my stomach can tolerate. We don't have the financial wherewithal to move to an assisted living complex.

We live in a adult community and would hate to leave our home. Neither of us would enjoy living in an apartment whether it be a condo or rental. I have the most horrid fear of cockroaches and would be fearful in an apartment/condo. We live in a small town and avoid the city due to the bad infestation that can occur in city apartments. Maybe I'm weird but my phobia is really frightening.

Thanks for all your answers, it's very much appreciated. I will try to find whatever services we might be eligible for.
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Beachmouse, I'd encourage you to get help or seek a living situation that would be easier for you. Subsidized senior housing if money is an issue may work as they often have services available at the complex. A continuing care community or assisted living if you have the financial resources. Bring in cleaning help, shopping help, aides and any other help that is available. Since you are young for such serious problems, your need for additional help will come sooner than others who have less health issues.
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You two are so young to be having so many health problems! What is your diet like? If you transition to a whole foods, plant-based diet, you can greatly reduce (if not reverse) the effects of your diabetes and heart disease.

Check out Forks Over Knives (video) or Reversing Heart Disease by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. If you're on Facebook, join the McDougall Friends group and read the personal stories of people who have regained their health by changing their diet. It can truly change your life. Hugs to you - I hope you can regain your health to where you can both enjoy activities at your gated community!
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How old are you guys and do you have any family or friends to help out? Should you consider assited living with so many health problems?
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