The practicalities of looking after ourselves - how do you plan your own care?

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Oh dear. I have an unerupted wisdom tooth which my dentist tells me is burrowing its way downwards into my jaw. He eyed me sternly a few weeks ago and explained that if it gave any more trouble he wouldn't touch it with a stick - he'd pack me off to the max-fax people to have it dug out. Probably with a pick-axe and chisels... (sorry, feeling rather gloomy and despondent about this).

Well, the little brute is starting to grumble again and I can't say he didn't warn me. So what about timing? Do I go back to him now or wait 'til there's really something to complain about and hope I can defer treatment until the new year, giving myself more time to plan caregiving cover? I don't know how much time the treatment will take or what it will involve, exactly, but I don't think it's going to be a quick in-and-out job, and I don't want to start the ball rolling and then not be able to stop it.

Stupid tooth. All it had to do was tell up from down, for heaven's sake.

What do you do about nuisances like this?

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Gulp! - thank you AmyGrace! It's been quiet so I've left it alone - but you have given me a good kick. I will get on to it pronto.
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My mother would poke me in the eye if I addressed her as "Mum." It's a generational thing - I'm old enough to come from the time when the English created the special squirming embarrassment for adolescents of being too old to call your parents Mummy and Daddy and far too young to propose using their first names. Negotiating that ordeal was a rite of passage that left me unable to call her anything except "mother." Or "mother dear" when she's being trying. Or "dearest mama" when I really can't take any more…

Except that now that I'm old and tired I quite often lapse naturally back in to "Mummy." If only we could make adolescents realise that that self-consciousness will one day be a thing of the past, just think how much social dysphoria would be saved!
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Country mouse...You're a Brit? But you don't say "Mum"!
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Go to the oral surgeon asap. Your wisdom tooth root can wrap around the nerves and bone and then the surgery becomes much more complicated. My niece put it off for over a year before she had hers out and because she waited too long, she has a slight numbness on one side of her face. The surgery isn't so bad, just get it over with now. The oral surgeon should be able to give you conscious sedation so you feel no pain or anxiety. Get some soft foods in the house for when you get home.
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Wow, katie3699, you really have a lot on your plate. Has your husband always worked away from where you live? Is he supportive by phone and through cyberspace? Would it cheer you up to join him for a few weeks?

It is OK if you don't see your dad every day. Please don't add guilt feelings on top of your depression!

You are on the max dose of your medication now. Perhaps there is a different drug that would help at this point. There are also some non-drug things you can do to combat the depression. Can you talk yourself into taking a walk often? Brisk walking or any exercise is therapeutic. Are you eating a reasonably healthy way? Fresh fruit and veggies and minimal processed food?

Also try to avoid isolating yourself. Yes, being cozy under the covers is comforting. But try hard to also get out and among people. Make plans to meet a good friend for lunch. Go to your church or knitting club or take golf lessons. I know it is very hard to take the initiative when you are feeling depressed, but you took it by posting on here so I'm hopeful you can take initiative to do other things that will help you.

You father is in a good safe place. It is important that you visit him often and that you keep an eye on his health and the kind of care he is getting. But this does not have to be a daily job.

Increase your contact with your husband. Report your increased symptoms to the doctor who is treating your depression. Do as much non-drug self-support as you can. Right now dealing with your own health has to take priority.
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I suffer from depression and usually my meds keep it in check; yet this whole thing with caring for my dad by myself..it's really making it worse. There are some days I just want to lay in bed and not think about it.

I visit my Dad often as he's about three blocks from me in the nursing facility he's at. Yet there are days I just need a day or two off while I crawl under the warm covers of my bed and just stay there all day; as it's become my safe place...and the place I go for a little peace of mind from it all.

Taking care of a loved one whether they're living with you or in a nursing facility (you're still taking care of them as I try to stay as tuned into Dad's medical care as possible); again, visit him as much as I can, etc.

Yet there are some days I just can't take it and need a day off. Nothing fun about seeing someone that was once so strong; the one you turned to when life got rough and can no longer turn to; and the bottom line..the one you looked up to your entire life as this strong individual.

Seeing them in a nursing home laying in bed sleeping with their mouth open; trying to get out of bed with assistance as I cheer him on when he gets his legs about him and is able to walk maybe 12' to the bathroom; as nursing staff rolls him over to change his Depends.

It's so very sad.

I do have to laugh at times though when Dad is in a good mood and singing to staff and to me. Yesterday I stopped for a few hours and he looked at me and said, "It's gonna get stinky in here...I just pooped my drawers.."

Coming from a man that was so polite he took passing gas to the bathroom and wouldn't do it in from of my mom for 25 years...LOL!!

Somedays he's nice and other times he's a complete ass. I'm the one that takes him to his MD and if he waits too long he starts to swear. I know it's his dementia, but it's embarrassing.

Other times he'll lay down on the tray on his wheelchair while waiting for his MD..and it's hard to keep him from falling out of it, so I've resorted to a Gait Belt to keep him in. He hates the thing at times and then will start saying he'd having chest pains when it's nothing but the Gait Belt.

Staff gets him into a room as soon as possible then, where they grab a pillow and let him sleep.

I don't know how much longer I can keep my depression in check as I'm as much medication as I can be on during this difficult time. I have so much stomach acid at times that I literally have to make myself throw up.

And with no help with my dad, as my one sister lives out in South Dakota with her family (wants updates but won't come home to help); my husband is out in Alabama working for the railroad (and has no idea what to do as he's never been there..)..it's basically me myself and I.
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Now you tell me not to bite the dentist! Oooopppsssss! That explains a lot.
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I dread oral procedures. I have nightmares about them. Or I did until I had several crowns done! Just go ahead & get it over with so you don't have to fuss with it again.

I take my ipod & headphones in so I can listen to music or audio books during procedures. Tell the doctor about your anxiety beforehand. There is such a thing as sedation dentistry.
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No 'get well' boxes of toffees, then? :(

Thank you, all - so around 3 days' cover all told, we reckon? I'll speak to the care agency and hope we can monopolise our usual lady for it.

I'm sure you're right that any surgeon will probably think it's a fuss about nothing. I might be less anxious if I hadn't seen that stupid x-ray. Notes to self re consultation: 1. Remember to unclench jaw. It will make the examination so much easier. 2. We never bite our surgeons. They are our friends.
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I had not remembered that you were in the UK, Countrymouse. Please ignore all my insurance advice. But a surgeon will take good care of you. Sometimes, the surgeon's view of the difficulty is different from the general dentist because he has seen so many similiar cases. As long as you are not a smoker and do not use a straw afterwards, you will do fantastic. I rather enjoyed the pudding, applesauce, eggs, and warm cereals afterwards. Ice-cream once or twice, truth be told. Please keep us updated. I will be remembering you in my prayers. Speedy recovery!
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