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I'm drained. I'm so overwhelmed. I'm broke. Before you suggest going on antidepressants - I am allergic to all of them. My doctor has prescribed every single med trial possible. There are no other doctors, counselors that are different from what I am seeing and I can't afford extra.

I want an out and I can't do this anymore. Mom is now getting treatment at Sloan Kettering in NYC which is like over an hour for me. I have no life. I have no ability to drive certain distances either due to my agoraphobia.

I have been crying for over 5 days straight. My eyes are so puffy and my head has been pounding for days now.

I feel so alone. Guess I'm just venting. :(

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Freq, no -- I totally get where you're coming from. In fact, I live a Paleo lifestyle. Everything I eat is farm raised (even meat) and organic. But, as far as trying to monitor pain pills like Advils or my Lorazapam, which are at very very low doses, I think I'm not too bad. I don't smoke, I don't eat processed foods and I watch where my food comes from. I mean -- eating eating seafood poses great risks too, since Fukushima is still spilling out radiation and the oil spill really didn't "go away" or disappear as the media would like us to think. There is so much risk alone in our foods --- especially those who are only eating processed foods as well as non-organic products. Wheat and sugar are giving us illnesses. GMOs are almost among every single part of our lives and sometimes hidden.

I guess my point is: since I am uber obsessed with what goes into my system as far as food goes, I can't eliminate everything on this planet, sadly. I'm happy to see that you, among others are conscious of what you put into your systems. It does have impact our lives.

Another alternative to Advil is turmeric which I'm looking into, (for juicing). It's a huge anti-inflammatory. Even taking a heaping teaspoon of good ol' Yellow Mustard can alleviate muscle aches and heartburn. But sometimes, it's just not enough. :(

I also don't buy anything with red dye 40. When I'm sick, I don't reach for the gatorade -- I go straight for the coconut water which is loaded with potassium to get my electrolytes back in order. There are so many alternatives, but with pain pills, going natural is sometimes a challenge and not enough to ease the ailments. So, I suffer the consequences of shellac. O_O Scary what they put in our stuff. I'm also super concerned about this year's flu vaccination. The ingredients alone are just unbelievable, but I have to do it in order for my mom not to get sick. I can't shuffle around being a threat to her, as her cancer already does. Eh. Manmade crap, right? What happened to all of our food, medicines and everyday requirements to stay healthy?

Thanks for the info. I didn't know any of that of which you wrote above. I appreciate it!
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TheBoogs, I know what you mean by doctors trying to prescribe this or that.... most of my adult life I wouldn't take anything, not even an aspirin. So now it is difficult to take anything prescription, but I muddle through it. If I don't like the side effects I ask for something else to try.... my primary doctor is to the point where she gives me one week's worth of a prescription to try out first :)

Fillers in pills can cause side effects if someone is sensitive to the products being used. Some common fillers are lactose (milk sugar), microcrystalline cellulose, corn starch, sugars, whey and yeast.

Some common binders [to keep the pill together] in pills are povidone, xanthan gum and Carbopol (an acrylic resin).

Then there are the coatings which help to prevent the tablet from dissolving too soon. They may also keep you from tasting or smelling the active ingredients. A common coating is shellac - yes, shellac. Then there are the coloring of pills, and you are probably familiar with those dyes used in products.
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wow we r soul sisters its 11 now and im not sure how to get through the nite? but some how i still do...every time .. 15 years now .u r stronger than u think, cry ur eyes out but it doesnt fix any thing ...do it any way it makes me feel better,lol...btw call catholic social services they will guide in the right direction.for bills and ur mom
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Hmm, I do take a small dosage of Lorazapam when needed, but other than that, just over the counter Advils and Prilosec. Really never looked into that - don't think they can prove anything otherwise. I think the circumstantial events has just made me crumble. Every time I go to a doctor, they tell me, "Here, take some of these pills," trying to get me on some kickback of theirs. I don't trust drugs, but unfortunately, I do need Prilosec or something similar, and of course, the Lorazapam to help with my anxiety. Vicious circle. Thanks for the heads up with that -- I never heard of that before…
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TheBoogs, curious if you are taking prescription medication... why I am asking is that sometimes people are sensitive/allergic to the fillers in pills, and that could be what is making you crying.

One time I was using an over-the-counter antihistamine that my doctor had recommended, and after 3 days of using it as prescribed, the 4th day I couldn't stop crying. Called my doctor and he said to stop taking those pills, and don't use any pills within that pill family.

Just a thought.
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Sorry to hear that, Lig. I have been trying to gain the mindset of "all is well", even when I'm suffering terribly. It's been very challenging, as you already know. What keeps me feeling good and (somewhat sane) is keeping up with my health as well as my appearance, like getting a manicure or my hair done. When I feel good on the outside, it's easier to hide the inside turmoil. (IF that makes sense whatsoever.) But don't get me wrong - I LOVE the days when I throw on a pair of sweat pants, put my hair up and call it a "mental health day" as I sit and watch my favorite shows/movies and cheat on my diet. ;) GOTTA do it once in a while. There have been a lot of days (many days actually) where I cannot stop crying. I can't even hold it in - not sure if it's healthy to hold it in. I hold it in when I'm around my mom and family, but when I get a moment to myself, like in the morning with my coffee, I have my prayer, meditation and crying session. It sort of works out well. I hope I make it through this, and I hope the best for you as well. I started seeing a new therapist who I actually click with. It's helping a lot. So far, so good.

The best to you..
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TheBoogs.. Hi I'm also film/editor.. Stopped cuzz editing total time consumption. 92yr mom has 30% lung capacity which means she can't do much. Exhausted 2. Agree meds r useless. I think about Places id like 2 see. Things id like 2do. Like being on Project runway..don't sew but keeps mind occupied.
So tired. I hear ya... PRETEND alls okay. Anything 2 keep from looking at reality of caregiving.
Not driving either & it adds another dimension 2 our situation. Dry ur tears. Ur not alone. Wash not important. I look like bag lady. Hair sticks out. Lol not care. I tired & perpetual sleep sounds good. But Got lot of stuff want 2 do so hope I survive. And hope u do 2..
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Littletonway - that's a great theory and I have even heard of that minister, Joyce Meyer use something similar. She says to do everything in fear. So, say I have anxiety one day and too anxious to go grocery shopping - to do it anyway. Same concept. I like it. I did that today and it helped a lot, so thank you. I'm gonna grab that book!

Phil, welcome. I'm pretty new here too. I hope you get the support you need on here. Some terrific people that give wonderful advice…
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This is a wonderful book that has helped a lot of people...available at amazon for less than $15.00...Get It Done When You're Depressed by Julie A. Fast and John D. Preston (Jan 2, 2008)
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You are not alone! I just joined this forum, reaching out for support and empathy, as well. Caregiving is a very difficult role. Big hugs!
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Oh I am voodoo sorry you feel so bad. I take care of both myddisAbled parents and I know depression and I havea chronic illness and insomnia. I would suggest a over the counter supplement named Sam e. It has really helped me. I suggest you look into it. Also I think you have adrenal fatigue which you can Google too. Wishing you well and praying for you.
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Freq - she HAS cancer. She was feisty until the tumor started sucking every bit of blood she has available. We keep taking her to get blood transfusions until we can get her into chemo treatment which is in 4 weeks. The doctors are taking their sweet time and this is my mother! This is my best friend! (You know?) I realize there are many people waiting but I will die if my mother dies. You would totally understand if you saw us together. I can't live without her. :(

*sigh*

kthin3, it's the 1,000 yard stare -- that dead proverbial stare that people get when they have seen enough of death, enough of sickness and enough of people whining about depression and anxiety. "Get over it" - "pick yer' big girl panties up and deal with life" sorta' attitude. I guess it's just how some people cope - keeping it all in and being the "bigger guy" - which sometimes works, but in the end, like my dad who always used to ask me, "What IS anxiety?" I used to tell him, "It's like an imaginary bear chasing you when there is nothing behind you."

One day, he got anxiety disorder so badly, that it went into depression. I felt SO horrible but YET, …….so relieved that I could understand enough to help him through it.

It's very easy to dismiss someone who is going through similar circumstances, IF they are handling it way better than ourselves.

I get it. I just wish some people had a bit more compassion or lack of enthusiasm to respond on these particular posts. Know what I mean/

Thanks guys~
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MaggieMarshall. You have all the sensitivity of a Mac truck. Obviously you have absolutely no idea what major depressive disorder is and how bleak and horrible it is. Lucky you. Your cold, "get over yourself" posts are so ignorant they remind me of my sister, the RN who "doesn't believe" that mental illness runs in our maternal side of the family despite grandma have received shock treatments for it in the 50s; or my having 2 breakdowns, or our aunt, mom's younger sister, who was classically bipolar and went without treatment for 10+ until finally said aunt found treatment herself.
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TheBoogs, I am confused... in another post a few days ago you mentioned your Mom's tumor was found to be small, it could be removed, and your Mom would be in remission. Is that not the case? You mentioned how feisty a person she is, and that is great, you need to add all those things to the plus column.

Now, I have been through cancer surgery at 63 and pulled through without a hitch... it was slow going getting back on my feet, and I landed. You, or your partner, or your sisters, need to be there to help your Mom with getting around for the first couple of weeks.... she won't be able to pick anything up for awhile. I assume your Mom is getting chemo. Hope she is doing ok with that. Since NYC is too far away for you to drive, why not have your Mom get an Oncologist who is much closer by who can give your Mom the chemo. That would be a win-win for both of you.

As for tough love, sometimes it has to be given because some cannot see the forest for the trees. We all have hearts, and sometimes we love our parent(s) so much we want THE BEST care for them, even if it means handing that dear person over to professional Caregivers. And please don't paint all assistant living/nursing homes as the same, there are many lovely places.
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I didn't read the other responses, my apologies. Still navigating this site. Thank you all for the wonderful suggestions and sharing what you did with me. I'm sorry some of you lost your loved ones. It's not an easy task for all of us and I just need to get back -- to get back to "me -- to get back my energy.

I appreciate everything, I really do. :(

Bless you all…
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Yes, to feel better. Too easy? I don't know. Thing is, "this too shall pass" isn't so for some. I have been in this situation far too long.

My mother is my best friend. I love her with everything I have. The thought of possibly losing her devastates my entire soul. I DO love taking care of her and seeing her happy, but I am suffering from a terrible depression. I don't want to be away from her, so I guess your suggestion would be to "just suck it up" right?

Mom will not survive without me. Trust me on that one. She'll end up in some nursing home where they neglect or abuse their elderly patients as they did with my grandmother.

May I ask you why you are on here, Maggie? I assume you're a caretaker too, right? You seem to lack a bit of compassion in my opinion. The "tough love' thing isn't working for me. I'm not saying to coddle me, but don't be so insensitive. I'm not sure if you don't have love for the people you are taking care of, but it's very hard to see someone - the person you love the most of all people, suffer and go through this fiasco of medical procedures she always feared all her life.

So I'm so very sorry that I have a heart and that i love my mother so much that it's depressing me. I came here for support, not a kick in the rear.

THANKS!
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Believe me but people experience the same things you are experiencing right now. You feel weak, useless, you do not see what the future holds for you. You think that you’re incapable of helping others because you cannt hel your self as well. You feel like you can’t accomplish anything and you feel like your life is on a very deep and black pit right now.
You are not alone and in reality, there are more people who are suffering more thatn you do, some people are in a more deeper black pit that where you are right now.
Instead of focusing on the things that are negative in your life, why not count the things that are positive? You do not have aterminal disease, you still have food to eat, a place to live in, a family you can always go home to, some few friends who you relly can rely to. There are more things in your life that are worth living for than the things that deprives you from making the most out of your life.
Focus on the things that positive in your life. The more you dwell on the negative ones, the harder it will be for you to recover and move on. It is just a process. And just like any process, it all takes time to complete one step to another. Hopefull these tips could help you figure your life and hopefully move on to a brighter light.
1. Acceptance. Accept the fact that there are things in life that you do not have contro with. Focus on the things that you can change, improve andwork on, not on the things that you are not capable of changing.
2. The will to change. Accepting is a very difficult stage, but once you have managed to do so, you should be able to have the will to change and to try getting out of the pit that you are in right now. If you do not hae the will to change, you end up going to the first step all oer again.
3. Focus. You need to constantly work on the things that will bring you to a more positive situation in life. Take note, this things are not usually easy but with focus, you can slowly and surely hit every goal that you have in mind and see yourself being successful in facing and surpassing the challenges that you’re about to face.
You can get out of the situation you are in right now and you can do something to change. You just need to realize that you can, accept that you can, have the will to do the things that you can do and focus on making a better life for you and the people that you love.
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Maggie
I really liked the last part of what you said:
Mom will survive.without you. She'll be well taken care of. It is your CHOICE to be her 24/7 care-giver. There are alternatives. Maybe it's time for you to explore them.

I know there have been many times in my life, even when i was in another career, when I would help out 10 hours a week. Get a forum going where you live. "It takes a village" at times, and with all of the compassionate people out there, we can make everything work. It is just that every situation is so individual.

God Bless you "TheBoogs" "you are blessed"
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Dear, you are not at all alone. As I've answered to the other poster, many honoring sons and daughters are suffering from the same thing being a sole care giver to their parent(s). And you certainly a good son, as you persists caring your mom even suffering from severe depression, to a point where suicidal thoughts arise, you good caring deeds speaks volume.

A. How I cope
I am a 43 years old son, single. I have been living and taking good care of my parents all my life. My mom died from cancer 5 years ago and that I became the sole care giver to my father. I have a sister whom 14 years older than me, verbally abusive. My father is so unfair to me, he loves my sister much more than he loves me. He refuses care from her, he only expects cares from me with literally 20+ times more than my sister's inputs. From time to time, my sister calls me and says "Pa says .....", she add pressures on me and expects me to do more and more to my father, I felt used, betrayed, and really burned out. As a result, I do suffer from severe depression.

From the past painful years of being a sole care giver, I learned exam my thoughts: why do I feel so exhausted and depress taking care of my father? When feeling depress, strange thoughts often arise, and strange thoughts often leading to depression like a cycle, i.e. "my 90 years old father is so healthy and never get sick, he must outlast me, and God will keep him alive to punish me". Also I will ask myself, is there any issue between me and my father? Such issues will make my care to my father so miserable, i.e. "I love my father and hate him at the same time, as he is so unfair to me, he loves my sister and he does not love me!"

So, my advice to you is, do exam your thoughts. See what thought(s) trigger you the most causing you to feel depress. As you find that out, deal with it and work on it.

B. Depression
Since I am a fellow suffering from severe depression due to my family issues, I have done a lot of researches online and I learned that there is an expert on this field called Dr. Neil Nedley on Depression. Should you have energy, do watch his talks on Youtube. His advices do shed lights on my depression.
youtube/watch?v=-dSq9RDqDco - Here is the first of the 4 series.

Hope my inputs do help a little. A big hug from me.
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I understand your comment about therapists because the only ones we have around here that are somewhat affordable are awful. Can you get Hospice to come in and look after your mom to give you a break?

Have you tried this amino acid for depression? I have taken it for a while ( don't think you can take it long term, you have to take a little 'vacation' from it) See the info on Webmd about it:
webmd/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-653-phenylalanine.aspx?activeingredientid=653&activeingredientname=phenylalanine
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Boog, your mom has cancer. Not your fault. Somehow I'm betting that whatever Dad died of, that wasn't your fault either. We don't control the universe, and very often, life isn't fair. We sometimes work hard and do the right thing and whatever we're working on turns out like crap. The universe has some obdurate and random parts to it that don't respond the way we want them to. Cancer, mental illness, dementia...they are all examples of life gone haywire that we have no control over. I'm a graduate of the Clinical Depression university, in case you think I'm just blowing steam here. Read the Book of Job, not for the "he suffered worse than I did" if you are a God believing person, read it for the "I'm God and it's too hard for me to explain how this all works" part. Meditation helps. Long walks. Letting go of anger and blame. You didn't "let" your Dad die; it was his time. You are a worthwhile person and I empathize with your sorrow and pain.
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Boogs, I know how you feel. It feels as though everything is falling apart around you, but you must take a deep breath and take it one day at a time. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You have support (partner and sister) AND you have this forum to vent. Three years ago, I was like you - overwhelmed and feeling like I was drowning in misery. My father and sister died within eight month of each other, and my Mom was officially diagnosed with dementia/ALZ in between their illness. I had lost my family within a year. I'm not comparing my circumstance to yours. I just want you to know that things will get better. Your Mom is not going to be around forever and, hopefully you can work towards getting your life back. It helps to mentally take things one day at a time. Sometimes, it can be one hour at a time. I understand you have agoraphobia. Can you seek some support on-line with others that share your condition? It's worth looking into. Be brave, be strong. I send you a big hug.
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TheBoogs, I also have trouble with driving.... 10 miles is my limit.... I have yet to find something that helps, but I keep looking.

I use to have agoraphobia, hated to stand in lines at stores or the bank, it use to scare me silly... I was thrilled when drive-in thru's started to be common place as my car was my cocoon, I felt safe in it. I hated to be in staff meetings, I just couldn't sit still, I wanted to bolt.... most of those meetings were a big waste of time anyway :P

Eventually the agoraphobia started to disappear once I got into menopause, makes me wonder if it was hormone based, for me.
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Boog. if it was a perfect world and you were in charge? What would you want to happen right this minute? Realistically? Don't say "feel better." That's too easy!

I mean, sometimes, we're just BLUE. Blue as blue as blue. Who wouldn't be with the plates most of us carry around 24/7? One thing I personally know when I'm having a rotten few days is that "this too shall pass."

When it doesn't pass . . . when you're allergic to every anti-depressant on the market . . . when you can't afford some of the other wholistic treatments for depression . . . then you simply MUST change your situation.

Mom will survive.without you. She'll be well taken care of. It is your CHOICE to be her 24/7 care-giver. There are alternatives. Maybe it's time for you to explore them.
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Hi Freq, She works 12 hour days and she does her best. She drives me to my monthly appointments, and when I feel ok, and well enough, I drive myself. She's been a good support system, but she's exhausted too. I feel bad. I feel like a huge burden on her.

ba8, I cannot drive over an hour away to see a therapist. I have agoraphobia is what I was trying to say. I wish I could see them. I don't have money for the therapists around here. They cost so much. I also don't want to stress her out - if my mom thinks I'm depressed, she'll go into a depression too. I can't stress her. But yes, very good idea…..Thank you for bringing that up.

I'm still hanging in there, praying. How do you all handle the stressors of taking care of someone and if you do, do you also take care of the rest of the family?

I LOVE to cook, but I do it all the time, cook for mom (which is a pleasure because I love her) -- cook for my partner, my sisters when they're here and always have coffee brewing for whoever comes over. I bring mom to all of her appointments that are local, but my sister has to help me when it's over an hour away. That has been a real help.

Ugh. I feel like I'm going through another episode of what I went through with taking care of dad and I felt like I failed. He died. I'm so incredibly sad and I miss him terribly. :(

It helps to know people are there that are in similar circumstances, so they can (you can) help me in knowing what it is you do to cope.

I feel like I'm losing it. o_O
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virtualprograms@mskcc.org Are you saying that MSK charges 100$ per session for family counseling? have you talked to Mom's doctor about how you're feeling? Indeed, you can't take care of her if you are in this condition. PLEASE talk to her oncologist at MSK and see what they suggest. MSK has satellites sites all over these days, and the virtual caregiver support sessions that the link above will take you to.
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TheBoogs, I know you have mentioned you have a live-in partner.... how is she coping with all of this? Is there anything you can do as a couple to help each other out, like drive you to appointments, etc?
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I can't afford it any of it at this time. $100 bucks a pop for a visit is just way out of my budget at this time. I can't drive there myself, have to have help with that because I can't due to my agoraphobia. I love working from home, I get to cook and clean and do laundry instead of it piling up, but at this time, I can't even lift a finger. I'm suffering terribly and even tried calling a suicide hotline to where they couldn't help me as well. I exercise when I can and eat right, take my vitamins - but I am withering away here. I pray and pray and pray and … my God doesn't seem to hear me I guess.

My life is over it feels. This is it. There is nothing more to it. :(

I'm not gonna kill myself, but I am going to hide under my covers for as long as I can. I can't do anything else. It's hard to even type.
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The reason I asked about working is because that's often the best therapy of all. When we have too much time on our hands, we concentrate on me-me-me. Getting our brains busy with other things besides ourselves, our plight and mom's health, is cathartic.

I'm glad you work at home. That must help "a little." If it's not our time to wind down our careers, giving up a job to care for one's parents is, in my opinion, the greatest sacrifice of all.

I wish you well. Exercise!
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Can you talk to the social workers at MSK? I seem to recall that they have family support programs. Hugs to you, dear.
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