existing vs living? Friend of mine that I have known for about a year is a great woman and 66 years old. But she is stuck in a nursing home because of poor health. She has Anemia, Diabetes, Heart Disease, and limited Kidney functionality. Daily she is restricted to only so much water which is a cup of ice usually to sip from as it melts. She is weighed every evening to make sure that she doesnt retain too much water as for too much water can be bad for heart and kidneys. She is on oxygen otherwise she gets very weak and feels like she cant breath as well. She also had issues with Anemia in which she requires transfusions or injections of a drug that skips my mind at the moment that promotes red blood cell count. She is ok when she is at a 9 but she gets very weak and tired and starts to act strange when she gets down in the 6's. She also has bipolar and takes meds for that as well. She almost died in March 2015 when at a different nursing home she tripped over a wheel chair behind a curtain and she broke her hip and pelvis. Her body started shutting down from internal bleeding and other issues as a result of the injury, and she was not expected to live. She pulled through and is better, but her quality of life is very restricted!

We are very close friends. We have shared so much to each other about each others past and present. And yesterday she stated in her own words to me that she is upset that she is EXISTING and not LIVING. Her children rarely come to visit her and she feels as though she is a burden to them. She said that maybe God will soon take her away from this all and she can rest in peace.

I tried to uplift her and help her, but I am without any ideas on how to help her. The good thing is that she is a Born Again Christian, and I confirmed with her that she did not have any thoughts of suicide.

Suicide was a concern of mine on this chat with her because she attempted suicide about 12 years ago and her husband allowed her to overdose on pills and sat watching TV knowing that she overdosed. He was a piece of trash to her and she felt trapped with him. he was very controlling. So she tried to end it all. Before she passed out she called 911. They arrived she was unconsious overdosed and they pumped her stomach and brought her back from death.

She promised me that she will not kill herself that she made a promise to God and her children that she would never do that ever again.

For the fact that I too attempted suicide years ago, I worry about her. Her and I connect very well and we are 26 years apart in age. Stories we both share very similar in our lives, and her concern for me is that I dont throw my life away and stay making the same mistakes that she made through hers. Both of us lived similar lives and I am almost where she was exactly at when she was 26 years younger.

I am looking for ways to bring excitement to her life to make her feel important and that she is living vs just existing, but I am seriously at a loss as to how to achieve this.

There was a small show at the home the other day and she met a young man in his 20s who has down syndrome and he needed help with his iPhone and she helped him and she told me it was so much fun helping him.

So I am not sure if I could somehow find something in which she could work with children or animals or anything that also is allowed with the nursing homes regulations so that she is not just sitting in a bed surfing the internet playing online games and eating her 3 meals, getting meds, and weighed in day after day feeling as if she is just existing vs living.

She gave up on having a physical real life relationship when she was set up with this other nice man there and within the first week of getting to know him at the home he died from a heart attack in his sleep.

My friendship to her is about as close as you can get without it being a in person real relationship. We both have feelings for each other, BUT, we both keep it online only. We both met on a virtual online place called Second Life and hit it off quickly playing boyfriend/girlfriend in the virtual space. It became much more than that, but we never met in real life. So we have a love for each other that is a friendship love. We both know it cant be more than that. We both enjoy our time together online and I wouldnt leave her for the world as she is a true friend. But her troubles with just Existing vs Living.... I truly want to try to help her somehow so that she isnt just existing and waiting for her dying day as she was chatting to me about.

Her one daughter visits her once a week but doesnt spend much time I have been told. I met her daughter when on skype talking with her and we have the best of times talking about funny things of our past and preset. The biggest problem is she really needs someone for her in real life and I cant be that person as for I am 800 miles away. But I have helped her before remotely with problems, and this one has me stumped. Thank you for any help on this! =)

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Does your friend knit or crochet? There are dozens of charity groups that accept knit or crocheted blankets, hats & such for newborns or impoverished children. Those types of crafts are relatively inexpensive, will keep your friend busy and make her feel like she's got a purpose in helping others with her abilities. It's also inexpensive to get her started...crochet knitting needles and a few skeins of yarn. See if the nursing home offers lessons on how to knit/crochet as an activity (or even if a "neighbor" would teach her)

If she doesn't have those abilities - there are other ways for her to get involved without leaving her chair....writing to soldiers, making greeting cards for a charity, etc. Try googling to find these charitable opportunities.

Finally....I feel this might be a bit dicey due to the description of her history....but I purchased a book for my mom called "remembrances." This book had questions about her life on each page and gave her space to write her answers. She spent a lot of time filling it out and I tell you it's has become a treasure since her passing last year. The book Mom had was a little too heavy on the Christian stuff for my mom - but it sounds right down your friend's alley. Check for those books on Amazon. Your friend might like to spend time writing down her memories to be shared with her children one day. I just transcribed my Mom's "journal" from this book and plan on having a small book "published" for the family this year - my Mom wrote poetry, too.

Good luck & thank you for being such a good friend!
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YES freqflyer!! Jacquie Lawson!! I love those cards!! They're so lovely and charming!
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Eyeishlass, do you mean the Jacquie Lawson greeting cards? They are awesome :)
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There is at least one thing you can do off the top of my head. If she begins to share with you that she feels she's just existing and not really living, allow her to have those feelings. They're her feelings and they're valid. Try not to say something to her like, "Oh, you don't mean that!" Or "That's not true!" Let her share how she's feeling.

If her schedule is as you described then it sounds like she is existing and not living her life. Many people in nursing homes feel this way however she's pretty young to be feeling this way. She could live at least another 20 years. That's a long time to feel useless and apathetic.

Are you in touch with her family? Is her family aware that she feels this way? Who's responsible for your friend? Who would the nursing home call if there was an emergency? Can you talk to that person and express your concern for your friend?

As an online friend who lives 800 miles away I don't know what you can do except continue to be her friend and confidant. Talking to you is probably a bright spot in her life. Being so far away and the fact that you're not family kind of limits you as to what kind of change can be implemented in her life to make her happier.

Have you seen those animated online greeting cards? I can't think of the name of them.....Jackie something.....I can't remember. Anyway, you buy a membership (about $15) and then you can email these lovely cards that have flowers blooming on them and butterflies fluttering around. The verses are lovely and it's just a nice little something to send to someone. I'm sure if you Googled it you could find it. My neighbor sends me one occasionally and I love them.

As much as you care about your friend and as much as you'd like to help her there may be little that you can do for her due to the circumstances. Is she on an anti-depressant? If not, maybe you could encourage her to check that out with her Dr.

If it were me I'd try to keep her spirits up by sending her things via email. You know her, you know her sense of humor. Find things on YouTube that you think she'd like and send her the video. Try those greeting cards. Look for memes she might appreciate. You may not be able to change the way she feels but you can try to get a smile out of her everyday.
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