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Now what? Lately, I tried listening to music and knitting before I go to bed, but it didn't seem to help much.

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I agree strongly with both ba8alou and cmagnum about setting boundaries with your moms. You do NOT have to sacrifice your own health and happiness to take care of your parent. I just had that lesson smacked into my face last week. I had been worrying and worrying about my mom not taking her meds and losing weight. I believe she's coming to the end of the line. Took her to the doctor for anti-depressants or an appetite stimulant and got shut down by the doctor. At first I was very angry but then listened to what the doc had to say. She told me I was trying to make my mom live the way I wanted her to and I had to let that go. So I did! She's living the life she wants and I'm not going to worry about it. And it's made a world of difference in my attitude.

Once you realize you don't control the universe, that you're only one small cog in a very large wheel and you're not perfect, you can let a LOT of stress and worry go. Do the best you can. Get help if you need it (and it sounds like you need it). Be kind to yourself. Eat well and get some exercise to burn off that stress. I feel 100% better than I did last week. I'm sad knowing that my mom is winding down in her life, but I know that I can't control that and I can only do what I can do. And that's more than enough! Blessings to you both.
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To all of you wonderful folks doing 24/7 caregiving--what will Mom do when you're dead from stress? It happens all the time. Listen to yourself saying "mom won't hear of". In order to be a caregiver you MUST take care of yourself first. If mom is at the stage where she can't care for herself but is still awate of her surroundings, she could probably last another 10 years. Can you do this for 10 years? No, me neither. It's time to set some limits the same way one would do with a 5 year old who only wants candy. No our parents aren't 5 but that is the level of their reasoning ability. So we have to act accordingly.
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cadams, you lack of sleep could be a symptom of stress or burnout, but also of depression. You need to talk about this with your doctor or possibly see a therapist about it. While it could be all of the above, I think it is also your body's way of telling you that something must change.
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OneMoreDay, it sounds like your mother is using the fear of making her angry to instill guilt about not being the perfect caregiver and obligation to be her only caregiver. I think it is time for some boundaries for your own good and for hers also for who will care for her if you die before she does which happens to many caregivers? Like it or not, you deserve a break. You are not her slave. At some point, if it hasn't already, this 24/7/365 day pace will have a negative impact on your marriage and that is not fair either. I wish you well in setting some boundaries to reclaim some of your life back instead of burning out while walking on eggshells.
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Hugs to you. I don't know statistics and science about insomnia and caregiving, but I'd bet money that you are not alone in your suffering. In fact, I can say that I'm in the same boat! I thought I was going to be better at this caring-for-Mom thing, but I've been locked into this 24/7/365 routine without a single day to spend with my husband for 18 months now. I'm angry with myself because I'm less patient than I was in the beginning and I do know that none of this is Mom's fault. Guilt, guilt, guilt... I am depressed too, so I understand. I never get 8 hours of sleep in a single stretch so that may contribute to my emotional turmoil but there really seems to be no way to get relief. Mom is far enough gone to be unable to care for herself but fully aware of her surroundings - won't hear of a "stranger" coming in to help or give me a break. I lie in bed every night, trying to get sleepy. It usually comes over me around 5:30am - two hours before the alarm goes off. Still, I don't know what I will do when Mom's gone. I worry incessantly. I think it's a race to see who will die first...Mom or me. Hopefully someone else will have a more helpful response...I just needed to say that we are on the same path.
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