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Has anyone experienced being sick, I mean throwing up sick from your situation of caregiving like my mom is bed bound and a lot of mornings she has torn bed totally up and takes her legs and throws them over railings of the bed and at times hangs there for hours before, and I feel like I can start throwing up watching this all the time even though I know its wrong of me to argue with her I end up arguing with her and getting sick. Amazing to me when I'm fixing her up in the bed pull up on and off allll day everyday and when doing this according to her her legs can't move but yet when she wants to be crazy they can move all day all over the place and I'm really becoming sick to my stomach.

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It must be so hard to face the end of one's life and we do love them, no matter how they have been to us. I feel for my parent's suffering but it doesn't do them good for me to go down early with them! Nature will take them when SHE is ready and our own time will come too. So feel the love, leave the hurt behind, and do what you can to distance yourself: and what that means for me is that as soon as I feel like I am going down with their suffering I pull back and do something for myself: get tuned into something in your life. Refocus on yourself. Then, refreshed again you can go and try to take them for a drive, a walk, a short visit, or whatever is possible in your situation. Then when it's over. Brush your anger and grief off and try to get re-centered. The trick of life and even loving is to stay peaceful within, as much as you can.

It's a challenge! I was a total mess for 3 or 4 years. I've learned how to cope. Big thing is to accept Nature's way. You can only give so much support because some elders will not let go of their own anger and grief in losing their life.

But not everyone is like that. My Dad seems to be coming to terms with things. He is blind and very hard of hearing. His 97 year old brother died today. His wife (my step mother) has Alz and is not doing well at all. Dad is taking care of her. He is getting professional helpers now for his wife 5 days a week. Still my Dad silently takes it in as he sees his sweetheart dying.

We don't know how we will be at their age. I hope I will be more like my old friend,
Mrs. B, who is Dad's age, had a stroke and lives in a nursing home now. When I visited her she didn't know who I was, but I noticed she still had a sweet smile and she thanked everyone for every single gesture: feeding her, giving her food, whatever it was. That's the way to go!
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Yes! Emotionally and physically sick. It's killing me trying to help my 80 yr old mom from 1 1/2 hours away. She lives alone. I go there often .. taking her to doc appts, etc. and do what I can. It doesn't help that I am not a physically fit or healthy person myself. As horrible as it sounds, I know for a fact we could never live under the same roof as there are lots of issues too complicated to go into. I also know I could never be 24/7 caregiver. I would be one of those who would die before the person being cared for. Let's just say the question above "Would your elder parent really want you to be in the ground before them.....?" Well.. in my case she probably would!
Even so, I do love her am having such a hard time detaching from feeling so sorry and sad for her. We believe she has mild vascular dementia and will be going to a neurologist this month. She also has congestive heart failure and a-fib. She calls me 3 times a day to take her meds so anytime she sounds a little "off", my whole mood changes. She's doing mostly ok for now but it's been a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs. Right now there are home health nurses by doc orders coming in every so often and and we also are paying for Home Instead helpers. She does have some savings, but it won't last forever. My thoughts are with every single person in this caregiving role .. no matter in what capacity you are able to do it. I know my situation is nothing compared to others I have read here and my heart goes out to those who are doing their very best to take care of their loved ones with no help. Sorry this got long ....I've just been having a tough time lately detaching and trying to not let it make me sick.
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My experience is that if the elder refuses your help, allow them to reap their own harvest. It's not vengeance, it's practical. They don't let you do otherwise! So fine, take care of yourself. Make your own life your own priority. sounds like fregflyer and many of us have put others first and look where it got us? Would the elder parents really want you to be in the ground before them, or beaten up by your over concern while they fight you (consciously or not)? Do what little you can and let nature take its course. That's my present idea. I can't tell you how much stronger and happier I am. My mother thinks I am really nice to her when I do nothing to disagree or help her. Fine, fine.
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Oh my gosh, I am a nervous wreck and my parents don't even live with me, they are still in their single family home just down the street. I can't get them to move into a retirement community or get them to hire any help.

My parents apparently still see me as a young adult, not a woman who is also senior citizen with major health issues. And I believe all those health issues [breast cancer, hypertension, panic attacks, insomnia, tremors] stem from STRESS dealing with my parents. I keep trying to find something that will be a *ah ha* moment for my parents to understand. Even showing them my AARP card didn't get much of a reaction.... [sigh]

I am not a warm fuzzy type of person, I would be the last person you would want caring for you if you become unable to care for yourself. I get frustrated way too easily. Maybe that seams from being an only child with no relatives living in the same State.
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Someone on this site and I have written about this detachment on our part. I think this is survival mode. Allow yourself to go through this stage, I think. You can emerge from it in a healthy balance of emotions: observer, care giver, daughter detached enough to function better. I used to mirror and take in every feeling I thought Mom was feeling. That road leads to ruin! Don't make yourself a nervous wreck. Control your emotions with gentle, non-judgemental, and humour. That is what I am learning to do from others right here on this site. It had been the most helpful thing yet and has improved everything for me!
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My mother will not accept outside help--yet. I hope that when the disease progresses I will be able to bring in outside help without a fight from my mother. My mother is in denial about her Dementia. She suffers from anosognosia-- a lack of awareness of impairment – a person does not even know they are ill
I had to (for my physical and mental health) make a decision to let what ever happen happen. I do not have POA and my mother does not trust me or my brother to talk to her doctors and work with them to provide the best care that we can for her in her home, as it is her desire to stay in her home.
I am trying to seek out ways for me to do things outside of her home. This is easier said than done, however, I do know it IS necessary for my physical and emotional well being.
I will be following this tread for advice and tips also.
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I don't get physically ill, but I have this troubling habit of detaching. Maybe it is self protection. When things get really hairy, I do all the critical things, but I am so detached that it bothers me. Maybe it is good, though, because if I find my mother slumped over a table, nearly unconscious, in the middle of the night I know how to get her sugar back up. I know how to call 911 when it's too bad for me to handle and to have all the information ready that they need. At the same time, it bothers me that I become so efficient and unemotional when things happen. Sometimes I hear that we will break down after the crisis is over, but I don't. I dread it at the end when things are REALLY over. I wonder if I'll have the major collapse then. I don't like feeling so robotic handling day to day crises.
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Nikki, my mother is constantly demanding things and longing for people. She has an agency that sends her 3 hours a week of personal care. I put at ad at Craigslist and had relief for drivers to take her to places. Now things have changed and she wants to move to a more social senior building. Fine. Whatever.
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We all might also consider the health of your Thyroid, liver, and other organs that are effected by stress. There are so many healthy ways to get back on track. Don't use drugs or booze. That is NOT self care, that is self destruction. Don't you agree?
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I had anxiety attacks, sweaty palms, pounding and irregular heart, etc. I too almost went to the ER. Instead, a friend who practices herbal and Aruvedic medicine suggested I get Rescue Remedy. It works within minutes. You feel calm and relaxed. It's a Bach Flower remedy and you can find it at your local health food store. It cost about $15 but it lasts years. You only use a few drops at a time. It is so effective, if you use other things to self care: good rest, healthy diet, friends, time for yourself, etc, you'll improve. I don't have the anxiety, heart pounding, nor parasites anymore.
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Well, I became very sick last year. When it was diagnosed what I had it sure was the perfect metaphor: parasites! We will express through the body our deepest felt feelings and thoughts. Obviously you, Sandy, are repulsed by this experience of care giving.
ShakingDustOff: I felt like you did last year. I wanted to drop dead and make my mother concerned about me. I was raging over every demand and insensitive or outright manipulative remark she uttered. Then I thought: What damage am I causing to myself by allowing this to get to me?? My doctor said to me, "your nerves are damaged. You need a counselor, yoga, or something. You can't go on like this."
This past year I changed completely! I feel so much better now. I am sad to see my mom decline but it is a natural thing. No one gets out alive. I don't take on my mother's emotions, no more guilt, and I laugh at her remarks and bad behavior.
And what is more surprising is I actually feel more love and that I can help her more, while preserving my inner joy. It can be done!

Give up the attitudes that YOU have. Hold them in your mind, be brave to view them, without judgement, with self love, and then decide a way to find your peace.
It's all inner work. Let us be grateful we have been the ones to have this opportunity. Get strong by it all, instead of crumbling and "falling down".
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In short---yes, it does and can happen. For me, it was slow, occasional, and over time. Many minor things happen and you tend to ignore or minimize them. Don't. First thing, you see that your loved one's physical needs and safety are in place. Then,if you live-in with them (or not), your needs should be addressed in however big or small that will be. I mean taking time for yourself, nurturing yourself in whatever way possible. For me, it's things like small walks, seeing friends regularly once a week or even twice a month, crafts or activities I like, even treating myself to indulgences---like cheesecake (that's supposed to be funny but small things help). If you can get any outside help or respite, get it. Keeping your health and sanity are key. And last----don't feel guilty for taking care of what you need.
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When my mom began going downhill she and my dad lived about 10 min. from me. She refused to get out of bed except to go to the bathroom and when she did get up she'd fall because she was so weak from being in bed all day. I had no idea that this was the very beginning of my caregiving that would extend to my dad after my mom died and not end for years.

So in the beginning of the caregiving I was not used to such stress. Unrelenting, painful stress day in and day out. One night I thought I was having a heart attack. I was having palpitations and my hands went numb. I know now it was an anxiety attack but up until that time I had never really experienced anxiety in my life. Stress, yes. Anxiety, no.

So this particular night I thought I was having a heart attack and I called 911. After they left I felt like an idiot. But to answer your question, yes, I have become physically ill from caregiving.
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I called my mother's dr today to leave a message that I am desperate for relief from being her only social connection. She is demanding, self-centered, and judgmental of me and hates that I have a life at all. I have chest pains nightly as I'm also dealing with an 18 yr old son with ADD and ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) and between the two of them, I think I'm going to go first.
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If you don't want her placed, then please consider hiring outside help a few hours a week. Maybe check church to see if there is senior companion group that will send in someone to visit a few hrs a week so you can get a break.

You sound at your breaking point, if you are physically sick or have a stroke...who will take care of mom?
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