My husband was always a large guy, but after a surgery, when he stopped taking his water pill, he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Since then, his sleep apnea, arthritis, enlarged heart, mild narcolepsy, and diabetes have really kicked up. During the pandemic, he came down with sepsis to the point he was in a medically induced coma for two and half weeks. Since then, it has been one thing after another. He is in the hospital now with sores on his right leg, sepsis, MARS, and overall weakness. I try to see him daily and talk a few times on the phone. He has accused me when he is frustrated of not wanting him home ( I need him to be able to transfer himself and move around some), telling the nurses half-truths, and only marrying him to be a sperm donor ( we have two kids and have been married for 26 years). I still work full-time as a teacher, and he works full-time from home. I am tired. I can't rely on him for anything anymore. He used to run some errands when he could still drive, do some light chores in the house, and cook a couple of meals when I had extra outside chores or work from school. He was down to sweeping the floors in March, but nothing since due to his illnesses. I know he is tired and depressed- so am I at times. This does not mesh well with my age, arthritis, and autism. We moved last year to a new home built to accommodate his needs using a wheelchair and my need to garden. I am just burnt out this summer. He was in the hospital last summer, too. I guess my question is, what can I do to keep from feeling depressed and help him more? I do get outside daily due to my gardening; I do crafts, read, and watch TV, but I am not much of a social butterfly. I am already receiving counseling due to him and my job. I have our 19-year-old son to help some- he is an angel. Thoughts? If anything, thanks for listening.

What can you do to make your life easier? Chores dh used to do that you can figure out how to not do yourself? Order groceries to be delivered instead of shopping yourself, for one. Hire a housekeeper to clean 2x a month. Ask the doc about antidepressants to help your depression. Move into the guest bedroom if you sleep in the same room with dh so you can get the rest YOU need. If dh needs more help, hire an aide to come in. You already have your hands full enough! You're not Superwoman so retire the cape, that's my suggestion.

I have been debilitated for 17 months now after cancer treatment wreaked havoc on my central nervous system. My husband has been my caregiver this whole time. I've come up with the ideas I gave you to lighten HIS load. Except I'm the one taking antidepressants to deal with life now. Spend the money to make your life a bit easier. Don't take any verbal abuse from dh and chalk it off to him being sick and blah blah. Without you, where would he be? You are his lifeline as my dh is mine. I never verbally abuse him but thank him for all he does. Your dh should be doing the same.

Wishing you the best of luck with a difficult situation.
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to lealonnie1

I just came here cuz I feel the same. It helps to read others in the same boat. Not gonna fix anything, but I feel less alone, you are not alone out there. Thanks for posting.
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Reply to VegasGuy

Hi everyone! A quick update. His health is improving. He has been receiving physical therapy at a nursing home. He has finally realized if he wants to get home and stay home that he is in charge. He keeps practicing going from the bed to the wheelchair and then goes out of his room as far as he can and returns. I finally told him I needed him well and at home. At this time, I am overwhelmed with everything. I also gently told him some of his remarks were different from what I should be hearing. I know it is just us in this world, but I was tired. When I talked to him later, he was even more proactive. When I spoke to him at 8 PM, he didn't mention talking later; he wished me a good- night. Please know that besides visiting him almost every day, we text or talk numerous times a day. He realized as much as I love him, I can't be on call 24/7 and keep up on everything at home. Thank you all so much for listening and responding. I know this does not mean everything is going to end "happily ever after," but it should be much better. I am going to get a haircut and color tomorrow, which I have not done professionally since last August. Everyone, again thank you.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to Apple1964
Llamalover47 Jul 10, 2024
Apple1964: Thank you for your update.
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Tell him the rule: When you can get out of the bed and walk on your own you can come home - period. Until that happens I cannot take care of you - period. Remember this - if he comes home YOU will be cleaning up after him. YOU will doing everything for him. YOU, YOU, YOU! So he needs to stay where he is until HE can do for himself - PERIOD.
Tough love.
I had to do that with my daddy - I told him until he can walk by himself they doctor will not release him.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to Ohwow323

It is exhausting when your partner, whom you have relied on to be there to assist with the daily burdens of life, no longer can, and in addition, requires more support from you.
It is natural and ok for you to feel frustrated, maybe even a little resentful.
It sounds like you are doing things which you enjoy for your own emotional relief, and I'm glad you are receiving counseling, which I would have recommended.
Your husband is tired, depressed, and frustrated too. And taking it out on you.
He might benefit from some counseling himself. Both of you can use some grief counseling. You are grieving the lifestyle that was. You have lost a spouse, but he is still living and leaning on you for support.

I know what that feels like. My husband had a massive stroke at the age of 53, that was 9 years ago, leaving him bedridden, in diapers, unable to talk, walk, eat solid foods, and because of the brain damage sustained, he has the behavior of an impulsive child, and refuses to cooperate for his basic care needs. He is aggressively resistant to bathing, and basic grooming. He has been kicked out of 2 nursing homes because they were unable to manage his combative behavior. As a result, I quit my office job to stay home and care for him.

I love him very much and felt certain that he would do everything he could to take care of me if I were in such a position. He was a good man to me and I feel I owe him my devotion and care.

It is a lonely feeling, to be isolated with these burdens that none of your friends or family truly understand. It is depressing. We only view our futures with a positive outlook, and when our life situation turns out so differently, this is not the life any of us expect, and it's maddening!

I think you have a good handle on self-care, and I hope it felt good simply to vent. This is a good forum to vent, as everyone here knows the frustration and the sadness and the physical and emotional toll this takes. Hopefully it helps you to know you are not alone. And consider mental therapy for your husband to help him get through this, without blaming you.
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Reply to CaringWifeAZ
MiaMoor Jul 9, 2024
If I were religious, you would be in my prayers. Instead, I'm sending you warm wishes and hope for the future.
I understand your frustration but I can't offer you anything other than to assure you that you are not alone.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to graygrammie
Anxietynacy Jul 2, 2024
Gray, something just knowing your not alone does wonders for a person that is in depression.
Your husband is very depressed and very unhappy with his life and sadly he is taking it out on you(which is normal as we typically take out our frustrations on those we love most)and you are already overburdened with everything you now have to do yourself.
The important thing for you to do is to make sure that you are getting the help you need around the house, even if you have to hire folks, and that you're doing things that you enjoy to keep your spirits up so you can continue on this very difficult journey with your husband.
I know it's hard. My late husband had a massive stroke a year and a half after we were married at the age of 48,(I was 36) and I cared for him until his death at the age of 72.
He too had many health issues stemming from his stroke and was in and out of the hospital many times over the years. What often got me through was the thought that if the tables were turned and it was me that had had the stroke, I liked to think that my husband would be doing for me what I was doing for him, and that made things a little easier.
I also reminded myself why I had married him in the first place, and the true love that we shared, as he was the very first man to truly love me just as I was. And coming from a very dysfunctional background, that was huge to me.
So please don't lose focus of the reason that you married your husband as it can help keep things in perspective.
Also try to find a caregiver support group in your city that you can attend, as that can be a life saver. Just being able to share with others that are going through similar things and to be able to be honest with your feelings with others that truly understand can be life changing.
I also found great strength from God, going to church, and from those in my church who walked along side me in the hard times.
I hope and pray that you too have all that.
I am here to tell you that you will be able to handle whatever comes your way(by the grace of God)and that you will come out at the end a much stronger, more compassionate and empathic person.
Hang in there, and don't be afraid to ask for and hire whatever help you need.
God bless you.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to funkygrandma59
Anxietynacy Jul 3, 2024
Funky grandma, that was really sweet, I like hearing stories of others on this forum, makes me understand them better. 💓
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I’d tell yourself and DH that he was a first class sperm donor and helped you both to have two fantastic kids. If the comment hurt at the time, making it a compliment might wipe out the nasty feelings!
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to MargaretMcKen

I am so glad things are turning around for you. Therapy has always helped me I go through Better My mom has dementia and now lives with my sister, ( we don't get along well) but my therapist Elizabeth has been a God send. She helps me navigate & find ways to deal with some issue. Sometimes a 3rd neutral person can help us through the ups & downs of difficult time. the best part is you can connect by text, chat, phone, or video. I do phone about twice a month, but I am also free to text her through my account anytime. Almost always reply's the next day.
Best of luck to you and your husband.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Diana59

Apple, your husband has no right to be mean to you. Yet, it's understandable that he's unhappy with everything that he's going through. It really is a dreadfully difficult situation.

I don't suppose there's a definitive bit of advice to help you. It's your relationship and your life. I hope that getting it off your chest and feeling understood helps.

I think that's something you could try with your husband - showing understanding, even when he's being unreasonable.

By this I mean practicing holding in your anger or hurt when he says things like, "you don't want me to come home". Instead, you could try acknowledging how he's feeling. Something like, "I can see how you might feel like I don't want you to come home (mirroring his words). It must feel like home and family are so far away when you're stuck here. That's why I visit you whenever I can. I can't wait until you are up on your feet again and home with me."

If you argue with him, telling him he's wrong, of course you want him home, then you'll put yourself in an opposition role and he'll more likely fight against you and not listen to reason.

If you show that you understand him first, you'll put yourself on his side (even though it's saying something negative) and you may have a better chance of him listening to your reasonable version of reality.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to MiaMoor
MiaMoor Jul 6, 2024
Btw, I have absolutely no idea. But I think it's worth a try, even if all it does is make you feel better by at least trying.
Wishing you all the best.
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