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I know I have been stressed to the max lately...my husband said I am taking it out on him and everyone else. I love to sew, but just don't have the time anymore. I try and get a hot bath every night and try to de-stress and I usually end up falling asleep in the tub! I work full time and while we have caregivers that take care of Mom during the day and are there until 8 pm, I only have about 2 hours every night to do what I want. I hope to start walking again at night when the days are longer and the weather improves. I do have a walking trail near my office and hope to also get a little walk in during the day. How do you all handle stress?

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vikki - I walk too - along the trail by the woods. Nature heals. Music, puzzles and games, hot baths, definitely a good cuppa or two. My camera helps even if it is just snapping a pic of the latest flower in the garden and posting it on face book. I post a lot of pics on face book, not all my own, but I find ones I like and have a bit of a following. I am very visual so that is relaxing for me. You posted elsewhere about a mother how died not long after her full care child, Lancet Feb 2002 published a study re mortality of bereaved parents. Mothers and dads died more often than the general population in the first 3 years, then after 10 years the mortality of bereaved mothers rose. Ongoing stress does a real number on us. The mortality rate of care givers is concerning.
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Walking, good coffee, half a glass of wine or a mini cocktail, crosswords and puzzles! You can do a lot with those two hours a day. I'm not sure if FB and AgingCare totally decrease my stress, but I sure do spend a little time on here when I don't feel up to working on my patient notes yet.
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Does your office of Ageing( if you have one) offer any respite care?
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You've already taken the first step! That was the hardest one. The next ones will come much easier...
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Thanks everyone. I know I have to try and get rid of the FOG and take better care of myself. Easier said than done!
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Yes, you are deep in the FOG in your head. Please don't dam your health, sanity and marriage. One 1/3 of caregivers die before the person they are caring for dies. Sacrificing yourself will not make her any better and if you collapse under the weight, she'll end up in a nursing home anyhow.

I'm sorry that you live in a small town. That does limit the resources that area available to you.

Take are of yourself! Like Yoda told Luke in the movie star wars, "not try, do or don't do". You can do it!
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Wow, so young at 78, too. Then you absolutely must take the respite route -- plan for someone else to take over for a few days, and you and hubby go on a nice extended weekend to someplace you both really like. Treat yourself. You deserve and need a "Spa Day", for sure. This will at least help you re-charge, regain your emotional bearings, and you'll be a lot easier for hubby and others to live with! And you'll feel better about yourself, since you'll be in a better position to tolerate the intolerable.
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Zookeeper, I think the stress comes from the fact that I can't help Mom get better and I am watching her slowly slip away. Even though my house is only 1 mile from them, I got busy with my own life and didn't realize everything that Daddy had to do for her. I hate the fact that I didn't help more while he was still alive and I think part of this is guilt for not making his life easier, if that makes sense. I know I can't change the past, and I am trying to do what I think is best for her and my health and sanity be damned. I know that is not the right thing to do. I just have to get over the FOG that is hanging over my head.

Another stressor is that my daughter and her son moved back in with us. She got out of a bad relationship and is saving money to get back on her own, but it may be as long as a year before she is able to. The last child moved out right about the time Daddy got sick, and my husband and I were finally going to be alone. This is a second marriage for both of us, so we haven't been able to just be "us" since we got married.
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Cmagnum, we live in a small town and the closest support group is over an hour away so I can't do that. Zookeeper, she doesn't qualify for AL. She could go to a nursing home but I can't do that. I realize that puts more stress on me, but as of this moment, I just can't do it. I am looking into getting some more outside help to take over the weekends and possibly 1-2 nights a week but you are right, respite is nice while you have it, but it is like a bandaid on a major wound.

I just found out Mom made a comment to afternoon caregiver that she doesn't think she will be around much longer. She has told my sister and I that she won't live to see 80 (she will be 78 soon). I abhor this disease and what it has done to her. She has had a very rough day again. I was hoping to take her shopping this weekend, or at the least, out for a drive. I am so ready for warmer weather. She loves to work in the garden.
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Please note that my point is that you already have in-home caregivers handling most of the physical work involved. So it's the emotional burdens that are overwhelming you, and this shouldn't be so stressful or overwhelming with that help in place. If you didn't have in home caregivers, I'd say take a vacation and then roll your sleeves back up. But that's not the case, here, is it? Just what is causing so much stress? Is it caregiving, or something else that causes this stress?
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When it gets to the point when spouses have to tell you that you're taking things out on them, it's already too late. A respite would be nice, but probably won't solve this problem. I believe it's time to quit caregiving and focus on what is most important to you: your health and your marriage. Sounds like mom would be better off in AL. It's obvious you and hubby would be much, much better off. Sometimes we just need to admit that caregiving is beyond what we can manage and/or handle.
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I'm sorry that you are so stressed that you are taking it out on your husband. and others. That does tend to overload people's own emotional circuit board and cause them to back off emotionally and sometimes physically.

Since the caregivers are there until 8 pm each night would it be possible for your attend some sort of support group or even go in for an appointment for supportive therapy so that you can detox to someone else who may be able to help you de-stress in other ways.
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I take a bath. It helps - even if (like you) I fall asleep lol
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