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My mother age 87 has lived with me since her discharge from a chronic care facility during October 2011. She has no dementia. She has a trach and has to receive daily nebulizer treatments. I am 63 and single. I have decided not to retire as I have no freedom to travel or do the bucket list things that others have the freedom to do. It's like being responsible for a child. To make matters worse she seems oblivious to my situation. She feels I am responsible for her and she made me promise never to put her in a nursing home which I would not do at this point as it would be a death sentence. She is very fragile and susceptible to the many infections in such places. My health has been great but I now have high cholesterol and for some reason the past two days I have upper legs pain. Earlier this week when I took her to visit her son and his wife and kids out of state I was so fatigued I lay in bed for two days except to perform her care. I told my family I am depressed but they just blew it off. My roommate moved to another state two weeks ago and took her precious Yorkies. I am very attached to them. My mother said what's wrong with you as you didn't wish me Merry Christmas. Duh! I said I am sad and trying to adjust so I am not celebrating this year. I have bought her a mobile home years ago and took her on wonderful vacations. But now I am so sad because it really is all about her. I feel all alone and when I come home from work I try to be alone till time to take care of her needs. She is my mother. I care about her. It's just so sad that her life has become my life and now with my leg pain what next. I have two friends here in Maryland and they care about me but I don't unload on them. So this is very depressing. Nothing to look forward to. Any emotional support is appreciated.

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get an appointment to see a doctor about your legs. find out if you can get respite care (some insurances may cover it). see a therapist about your situation. exercise (which is different from the laborous work of taking care of your mom), especially the kind that causes you to be mindful of your being and focuses on your breathing. get your family to pitch in caring for your mom--get them to go to therapy with you. can you still go on mobile outings with your mom? also with other family members? go to places you and your mom would enjoy?

you're racking up buckets of karma points. stay strong. care for youself.
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Caregiving is such a stressful task and it's already taking toll on your health. To be an effective caregiver to your mother, you need to be healthy yourself. And in your case, you have sacrificed so much for your loved ones, but you also need care for yourself especially now that you are experiencing upper leg pains. If you feel you don't have the heart to bring your mother to a long term care facility, you may opt to hire home care aide. As for you, you may seek the help of elderly caregiver support organizations, here are the list of those organization and their contact details: http://www.infolongtermcare.org/senior-caregiver-support/elderly-caregiver-support-organization/
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I think you may have done a good job of self-diagnosis. You could very well be depressed. Fortunately, that is treatable, usually with a medication plus some talk therapy. Please check into this, along with checking out your leg pains.

At 63 you have a lot to look forward to. Don't put all of it off until you are no longer caregiving. Who knows how long that will be? You need to do some of your bucket list now. Yes, it will mean making arrangements for mother's care in your absence. And while you are depressed it is really hard to take the initiative for a project like that. So please, please get medically checked out for depression.

If you and Mom used to like to travel together, could you do some traveling with her? A cruise, even a short cruise around Lake Michigan, can be very relaxing, with all meals prepared and activities you can participate in or decline at your pleasure.

Would a roommate be a good thing now? Getting yourself a pet?

But primarily get your own health conditions treated, and then start making plans for your mother's care while you take periodic breaks for yourself.
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I was wondering the same thing, Countrymouse.
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Upper legs pain? Could you explain a little more, please?
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I agree with most of what loridtabbykat says. You need to add some fun to your life. Right now your life is very focused on your work and your mom. Broaden that out a bit and your world will feel more hopeful. Another thing I'd suggest is adding some regular exercise. I've started working out several times a week and I can't tell you what a difference it makes in my attitude. Lessens my stress...builds up my immune system, helps with cholesterol.

I'm 63 and single and my mom lives nearby in Independent Living. You could investigate something like that for your mom, Independent Living or Assisted Living, which is NOT a nursing home. She'd be around some other people, which lessens her dependence on you for everything. I've been responsible for my mom and dad for 12 years (dad died 4 years ago and mom is going strong at 94). I left my corporate job and started a home business because I was too stressed working in an office and trying to take care of my mom and dad's needs. So I definitely know how you feel. Now I work from home, so can be very isolated. I've worked hard to make friends and get out through meetupdotcom. Check it out for meetings in your area. They have all kinds of groups and you're in a metropolitan area, so there are even more options. Get out and make some friends.

I had a cat who died at 23 and I vowed that I wouldn't have another pet until my human caregiving days are over. That was too much stress on me - sick dad and sick cat. So only get a pet if the happiness will outweigh the extra work a pet entails. Hang in there...you can find some happiness and health beyond taking care of your mom.
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You need to take a break! What I would do is go to your local pet shelter and find a Yorkie to call your own. Sounds like you miss your room mate, how about advertise for a new room mate? I would find find a local Church that you like and attend regularly! Your Spirit is crying very loud for Comfort. Call your local Senior Services Center and find help for a CareGiver to come over to give you a break. Our local Senior Services Center is funded by our local Catholic Church and we have 40 hours of CareGiver support, so I can go and do something I'd like to do, once in a while. You sound like you really need a break, and you need a social network (Church, Local Senior Center, CareGivers,...etc). If it's really bad, locate a Social Worker, I did a couple days ago, and I can't tell you the difference it has made! Please keep us posted. God Bless you for taking care of your Mom!
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