Things seem more settled around here. We have a "groove" and know what mom needs. She's using her wheelchair whenever leaving the house. Oxygen 100% of the time. Crazy how much weaker she is since June. We're really glad she's here rather than alone. We still have our sticky points-mom wants to eat nothing but candy and crackers which isn't good for diabetes and kidney failure.
I do, however, find myself waiting for the other shoe to drop. Will it be a fall? An infection? Trying to stay in the moment, but know it can't stay quiet forever.

How do you enjoy the quiet without worrying too much?

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Jeannegibbs is right on as always! Try to just go a day at a time.

But, yes, some worry is your new normal. While you're in the thick of things, it's almost impossible not be be in a "pending crisis mode." That's simply realistic. Do try to dial it down by telling yourself that you will handle what comes the best way you know how. The important thing now is to transmit love and caring.

Try to enjoy your mom when you can and realize that if she won't do what is in her best interest, you likely can't make her. Fighting won't help. If you can work around her issues to some degree to keep her healthier, that's great. But she's very weak and becoming weaker. You can't make her well again. Enjoy what you can so that you can make some good memories to carry you through the tough part that is down the road.
Take care,
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It sounds like you are pretty realistic in your expectations. The other shoe will drop. It might be tomorrow or it might be years from now.

Take one day at a time. If it is a good day, treasure it. If it is a challenging day, cope with it as best you can. But I suspect you know this, and are already doing it, right?

Some people are more prone to worrying than others. If it is your tendency to think ahead and worry about the future, caregiving will sure activate that big time. You may not be able to totally banish worry, but try to push it way back in your mind so that it doesn't interfere with enjoying the present.

You and Mom both deserve to live in the relatively quite present. Trust that you will be able to handle (and get help with) whatever the future holds.
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I'm a worrier too, and have to run the whole "worst case scenario". My advice is "have a plan". Your worries are realistic - fall, infection, etc. So think that thru and know there are resources and help. Likely she will go to the hospital first, maybe followed by rehab (you won't be left managing this alone); maybe it would at that time be an opportunity to place her in residential care facilty -- relieving of you of day-to-day care responsibilities. Maybe you can research some great skilled care in-home help/assistance a few hours a week to help you at that time and alleviate some of your burden.

My point is that you don't have to bear this burden alone "when the shoe drops" and there are resources you can and should tap into for your own mental health and the best care and well-being for your loved one.

Good luck and like Jeangibbs says -- relish all the good days and don't waste time and energy on worrying about future bad days you can't predict or control.
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All good answers and yes, the other shoe will drop. It always does with an elderly parent.

I am a worrier too but to keep my worries at bay I just did the next right thing and accepted that we would have another 'event' that wound end up dad in the hospital. I made sure we did daily weights, I treated his leg ulcers and got him to the wound clinic if we had a particularly nasty one, I made sure to remind him to put lotion on his legs (my dad didn't have dementia and could actively participate in a lot of his own care). I did all the things I could and should do as his caregiver. Just as you're doing. And that's all we can do. Take care of what you need to take care of today. When I would go to bed at night and everyone was tucked in and asleep at home I considered it a successful day.
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wonderful responses. Thanks. I think the shoe is beginning its fall. Mom said she thinks she has a UTI. This is probably what is making her so weak. I was able to get her into her pulmonologist tomorrow and a chest xray today. Hoping that treatment for the UTI and some guidance about her breathing will help with the increasing confusion and weakness.

I do need to surrender to the fact that I cannot make her do things that will help her feel better. Her unwillingness/inability, because it's both, are what aggrivates my worry. She will tell us she's okay when she's not because she doesn't want to interfere with other activities we need or want to do. Tonight after having to work until 8, I called to tell her I was going to stop by the store. I learned at that point that she hadn't eaten since lunch. She was waiting for me. Sweet, but aggravating.

I've got to stop fighting a losing battle. Like Elphaba the Wicked Witch of the West said--Surrender Dorothy.
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Ah, such a spot I'd say we all are in or have been in. My friend and mentor, a psychiatric np pointed out to me that I was "catastrophizing." She told me to challenge each negative thought with a realistic thought, it takes effort a great deal of effort but it works. Cognitive distortion seems to be something I have struggled with, maybe my silver lining is that I will be stronger, more compassionate and better from all that has happened.
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