Three helpful hints!!!

theflatteredfireflyMay 24, 2005

I'm a newbie to posting but have visited this site often for comfort and to know I'm not alone. I'm a half time caregiver of my mom and have been for 7 years. Lately I have become angry about it all. Anger at giving up a part of myself to someone who thinks she is my "job". Anger that my brother doesn't have a clue and doesn't want a clue. Anger that Mom doesn't want my brother bothered (He is a Pastor of a small church but his children are raised and on their own). Anger because nothing I say or do is good enough ( which I have decided is a control thing). Anger because there is never any THANKS! Anger because I have given and given and given and I just don't want to anymore. I have done pretty good with this the past 7 years but as my children get older---well I'm just afraid I have and I'm going to miss too much. Most people don't think it is that big of a deal with me because until today I haven't complained to anyone but my sympathetic husband. Help me out and give me three hints to control the ANGER!!!!! Oh yes, and God Bless You All! Lisbeth

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Three things that worked for me over the years, before, during and after caregiving.
1. Walking, early and often, if necessary
2. Walking with the "enemy". Put mom in a wheelchair, wagon, whatever works, and get her out too. She probably needs it as much as you do. You don't have to talk, just walk.
3. Pottery - there is nothing more satisfying than playing in the mud. You can work out a lot of frustration in a pottery class/studio. And, you get a lot of good serving dishes and gifts out of it.

Good luck, and hang in there.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2005 at 7:12PM
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Thanks momj47,
I can't remember the last time I went for a walk. That sounds like a wonderful 'hint'. I feel really bad for what I previously said. At the time it felt good to say it but now I feel guilty for putting it in writing. I don't feel that way often. I guess you can add anger for feeling guilt for negative feelings. I think I will take a nice long walk tomorrow morning and count my blessings with every other step. God bless, Lisbeth

    Bookmark   May 24, 2005 at 8:14PM
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Hi Lisbeth and WELCOME! as everyone else will tell you don't feel bad, it's good to get everything out and we are not her to judge. i was actually watching a tv programme on our tvo (or your pbs) about caregiving yesterday. it says you are supposed to ask for help - well i have asked for help many a time, but there is no way my mil would go out of her way to help her son! my sil is the same. i think i'd get more help from our dog than them! because i had a bit of a scare - health wise myself about a month ago, i make sure i take time for me! i am important to everyone in our family, so i either knit,crochet or quilt and mostly every afternoon, i get changed back into my pj's and i read and if i fall asleep for awhile all the better. maybe you could visit your doctor and be put on an anti-depressant just to take that edge off, i am on the lowest dosage of paxil and it does work. our house is a mess, but as long as the livingroom and kitchen are clean who cares, if your friends or relatives don;t like what ythey see, they can get you a cleaning service or pitch in. my doctor also to me to get out and walk, which i do and now i'm even riding a bike - and this is after i got our car repaired! i will admit that atleast one day out of the week i hate being a caregiver, and wished someone would take care of me, i feel like a single parent most of the time and that i have 3 kids not a hubby and 2 kids! oh, yes, and most importantly - and everyone will agree with me - the secret is a bubble bath and a good book! debbie

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 12:35AM
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I came to this forum a long time ago, and for the reason you posted. I needed to VENT!!! Caregiving is a pain in the rear-end, I don't care what anyone says.
I have one day a week I hit the next town for my shopping day, grocery, library and whatever. Sure I am doing chores but I am doing it gladly to get out of the house.
Hubby and I gave up our lives when the son got injured, we cannot travel, you would not believe all the gear it would take! I cannot leave him with his dad, we had to when I had to have surgery, believe me he was so glad when I could care for him. Hubby has a bad back, trying to lift dead weight is not good.
The only good thing is I can leave him in the house by himself, then work in the garden, go to the sewing room, or sit here and chat with you all.
So come here anytime you need to scream, we listen and know exactly what you are going through.
Getting the anti-depressant is a good idea, I was crying while talking to my family Dr. I apologized and he told me straight up "you cared for your mom, you had to put your dad in a nursing home, you had serious surgery, your hubby had 2 back surgeries and your son is a quad. Jeannine you need a anti-depressant!" So now I take Celexa, and it works!!!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 3:06AM
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Everyone has given wonderful advice....welcome...this is the place to come to vent...just writing it down helps....anger is just that emotion that we all feel....just a question....what about your brother??? Have you sat him down face to face and said "I need your help?" With my hour away...out of site...out of mind...when not going thur caregiving and being there they just don't get it. Having to ask can be a real downer...but you do have the right to ask him for is his mother. I ask my has not been easy to always be the one that has to be it. You have to take care of you...try..and it is hard...a process and as I like to say....find some kind of balance...take it one day at a time...and with prayers,prayers and more prayers. My doctor talked to me like Jeannine...he gave me takes the edge off and I will not go without it. God Bless and stay with us...we are here to listen...Nora

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 8:11AM
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Thank you all for the words of encouragement and advice. I love my mother and brother very much. He lives away and can't be here personally to help out. She asked to move here from another state seven years ago due to failing health. We accepted that gladly and I had so many dreams for happiness in her latter years. It saddens me to know that just "ain't gonna happen'. I thought she would get involved with senior groups, use senior transport, and all the other things avaliable here. I see others her age enjoying things and I want it for her so badly. Instead she claims she has nothing in common with anyone around here and isn't comfortable getting help from anyone but me. I guess I'm the one with the control issue and need to accept the limitations she puts on herself. I'm more fortunate than a lot and honestly don't know how some of you handle the responsibility of the role you have been given and accepted. I went for a nice long walk this morning and realized all the blessings I have and I'm not feeling bruised as yesterday.(I know her critizing words, deep down, is just frustration over her aging issues.) Even tho this is the first time I have posted, I just want you all to know that I have visited here frequently and always gotten inspiration from each of you. Thanks again. Lisbeth

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 11:17AM
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Lisbeth, I'm a newcomer here too and I really mostly just lurk and realize that I have it easy compared to many of the forum members here. I think I'm oversimplifying when I say how nice it is to know that others share your burden and sorrows and problems. It just makes you feel not so all alone in the world. I feel some anger too, but I try to convince myself that it's normal and I'm not REALLY angry with my folks, I'm angry with the situtaion that we're all in right now, not with them personally. But, its darn hard.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 10:55PM
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Oh, can I relate to what you mentioned about your mom not wanting to socialize or have anyone else take care of her. My mom has Alzheimer's and when she reached a point where we realized she could no longer live on her own (she was in an assisted living facility) we moved her in with me and my husband - that was about six month's ago. I had everything figured out. I had made arrangements at a lovely senior day care designed for Alz pts that also had transportation. It was going to be perfect; I work full time, so I thought this is great, she'll spend her days there and then come back, have dinner with us and I'll tend to her in the evenings. Well, what I didn't figure on was that she flat out refused to go. I was able to get her to go two days for a couple of hours each day and that was that. She too said she has nothing in common with any of the people and would rather just stay home. So, I had to scramble and get some help to come in during the day when I work. Unfortunately, she has not changed her mind and in fact refuses to do anything. ALL she wants to do is sit in her chair and watch TV -- that is it. I've come to realize that I have to accept what makes her happy and not try to get her to do what I think should make her happy. But, it is not easy. I was very lucky to have found a woman who is really wonderful...warm, loving and knowledgeable about the disease. Now that the weather is warmer in Chicago, she would love to take my mom for walks, or a ride in the flat out refuses; she won't even go out in the backyard...she says she's enjoying the day from inside where she is. So, I have to accept that. As I said, not an easy thing to do, but as we all know, our role as caregiver is not an easy one. Good luck to you and please continue to post...venting does well, Mimi

    Bookmark   May 26, 2005 at 8:45AM
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At one time I was caring for 2 elderly disabled parents, and one mentally ill sister. This is not to say that I was doing the day to day care that most of you seem to be doing, but with 3 charges, working full time, single, the administation took so much time and energy. And of course there was so much that only I could do. And do I know about anger.
This went on for 14 years and started when I was 31.

If my dad hadn't' died when he did (at 92) I don't think I could have stood it much longer.

What I learned: You need to set limits for what you will do. You need to remember that your life is MORE important than the life of the person you are caring for... at least when caring for an elderly parent.

What are your mother's finances? Do you have control of them? If you do, you should be spending your mother's money on getting her some outside care, one day a week free for you or something like that. Or hire a social worker specializing in the elderly and get her an evaluation who can suggest things that will be helpful for both you and your mother. Talk to your brother if money is a problem. What is he doing to help? Sounds like nothing, so he could be the one paying for the one day a week care you could use.

See a therapist yourself to help you come to terms with the fact that you are not setting boundaries that are working for you. You should be able to work with a therapist to set some different boundaries and let in more help and ask for more help and /or let more things slide for your mother and fewer things slide for you, your husband and your family. Try to imagine that the anger may still persist after your loved one is dead that you had to give up so much of your life and that of your growing children and try to make adjustments now.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2005 at 11:32AM
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