dody40April 10, 2013

I am so frustrated that I cannot stop crying. My hubby is sick and has taken to sleeping in the tiny living room in the recliner stretched out and a foot stool at the end of it. He will not use the one that fits him. He is there all day and all night long.

Another angle of the room:

This room used to be our dining room and we moved out here a couple of years ago. It was not ideal, but it saved us a lot of money. Now it is so cramped that I cannot stand it.

I have asked my son and his wife to come and help me move back into my nice big livng room, at least for the summer. Hubby said no, but I told him I am doing it anyway. They will come on the weekend to help me.

I guess I just needed a shoulder to cry on. I really am sympathic to what my dh is going thru with the new diet for diabietes (sp) and using oxygen all the time. I help him all that I can. He has bad pain in his hands and cannot do a lot for himself. I know I am overwhelmed with it all.


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Annie Deighnaugh

I'm sorry for all both of you are going through. I know it's got to be tough on him, but sometimes it's even tougher on the caregiver.

I'm not sure I would go through the effort of trying to move him. It looks very convenient and cozy. And when you're not as mobile, you don't want to be excluded from the activities of the house, but you want to be in the midst of things, especially socially.

Instead, I'm wondering if you could turn the living room into an away space for yourself so he can stay comfortable where he is and you can have more space and quiet time to rejuvenate yourself....I don't know your particular circumstances, or if that would work, but think about it....

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 9:34AM
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Dear dody!

I am so sorry. You have clearly reached the end of your rope, and it's good that your family is coming to help you this weekend. And you are right to do what you need to do to make the situation more tolerable.

Can you unload your frustration to your daughter-in-law or your son?

There is no need to apologize for feeling so overwhelmed. Is there someone else you can go to? A trusted family doctor, or a minister, or a close friend? Sometimes just giving in to your feelings and expressing them to someone, even if they can't give you practical help, can let the pressure out enough for you to cope.

And if you don't have anyone else, then keep posting here. You will surely have our support.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 9:35AM
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First of all, I think your husband has to get himself up and moving. Lying in a recliner 24 hours a day is not a good thing. Poor guy. He looks so sad.

Did you move to the dining room to save on heating costs?

That is a lot of big chairs for a small space. I wonder why he prefers the small one? Is it easier for him to get in and out?

If you can get him to move, put him where he can see lots of light and maybe watch a bird feeder. The sunshine may help lift his mood. I think your bigger problem is your husband's health issues, not decorating, but I am sure you know it.

If you can just get him into a more cheerful environment, that will help. Your dining room is sweet but is so overstuffed and does not appear light filled.

I really like your rug. Good luck. It must be so hard.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 9:52AM
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I am so sorry that you are going throught this. Why is it that men refuse to rest in the bedroom when they are not feeling well? I am so afraid that will be my husband one of these days :).

Good for you for reclaiming your larger living room. Keep the dining room/turned living room as a "den" for your husband and recreate your original living room. Sometimes just having space and breathing room makes things more bearable.

Spend some of your time with him in the den, but escape to your living room for some "you" time.

Hugs to you!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 10:00AM
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Hi Dody, so sorry you are struggling with these things. I'm not really understanding the living room dining room part for some reason but I think dedtired's advice to get him some light and something to watch outside like a birdfeeder is a very good one. He looks terribly uncomfortable and bored.

It looks like a very comfortable living room to me, so I can understand why he wants to be there. There appears to be a tv in front of him. Does he watch it at all? Maybe you can get him to move around some and enjoy another room or outside view part of the day? Maybe he'd like to listen to music. It might make you feel more relaxed too. Maybe you are saying you don't like spending time in that room because it feels too cramped and claustrophic for you? You could at least move one of the big chairs out of the room to open it up.

I'm glad to hear he's trying a new diet. Some people do get better. Dr. Fuhrman has had good success with his, if you have never heard of him.

Good luck making changes with him. It's very hard on caregivers. Take care of yourself too. There has to be a good compromise out there somewhere.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 10:16AM
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Health issues are so difficult and frustrating for everyone involved.
Our home environment is very important. When someone is ill, it is especially important that it is comfortable.
Can you just leave that chair there for your husband and move the rest of the furniture back?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 10:57AM
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Oh, Dody ... my heart goes out to you and your dear husband. I'm so sorry that you're feeling so frustrated, and that his illness is clearly such a hardship for you both. I hope that when your kids come to visit, they will be the extra support that you need right now. Wishing you all the very best, no matter what you decide to do about the room. (((((Hugs)))))

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 11:01AM
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We have some experience of this in a branch of our family.

Dody, I'm guessing that your husband is suffering diabetic nerve pain in his hands and feet, and that he is disabled by failing circulation and by other peripheral damage that diabetes can cause? It that's so, then getting up and moving is problematic.

And if his response is like what happened with our relative, he really can't get up and about, he may not be able to cope with his disability except to feel angry and helpless, and the only control left to him is the power to refuse to cooperate.

If that's the case, then I think you must find respite and counseling for yourself. All the best ideas in the world won't help until the personal roadblocks can be moved aside, or at least be made small enough to go over or around.

Try to spend some time each day taking care of yourself, and talk seriously with your children when they come to help you. Nothing you are feeling is unreasonable.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 11:07AM
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Hi Dody: I'm not totally understanding the dining room/living room issue either. I can understand your need to remove the sick room feeling in your living space; but I would be inclined to give your husband more time to get his body adjusted to his new diet and meds. And he really will benefit by some form of exercise, even if it's stationary at first by moving his arms and legs. Many hospital services provide in-home inspections, suggestions for better living arrangements and physical therapy. Check to see what you and your husband might be entitled to. With spring/summer on the way, maybe fixing a comfortable spot on the porch or patio would inspire him to move around a bit and become more agreeable to move into the bedroom and use the living room space with you.
You can always move a few of the dining room pieces into the living room to open up that area and create another comfortable living space for everyone to use.
But don't let your frustration take over. Your husband is very ill right now and hasn't been home from the hospital very long.
Good luck and good health to you both.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 11:14AM
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If the reason he prefers the smaller chair is that he can see the television better, perhaps you could either move the tv or one of the larger chairs to accommodate his viewing.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 11:16AM
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Dody, I'm trying to figure out if it's a TV or a window across from where he's sitting? I think I remember when you made the move to this room -- didn't you post about it way back when? Seems like a long time ago.

Come back and tell us how you are doing. I pray that once he gets more accustomed to the new diet and how to move around with the oxygen he'll become more, shall we say, flexible.

Does he feel cold? I got a small portable heater to put in the living room next to my DH. That way, I can keep the thermostat low but he can be warmer when watching TV.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 11:17AM
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You have such a difficult situation, my heart goes out to you. Please take care of yourself, it will help your husband and the rest of your family too. I"m sure they are frustrated and want to be of help. Continue to allow that. Maybe your son can visit with your husband and you get out of the house with someone at least once a week. My dad suffered from diabetic neuropathy along with many other health issues. For many years, he stayed in a recliner in the family room as your husband is doing. He wasnt on oxygen, so he looked "normal". It was so hard on my mom. She tried to do it all, refusing help. The toll on her was that she seemed to lose her compassion over time. She was very active. She couldnt understand why he seemed to "give up" and just "sit there". She wanted him to get up and move around. She was convinced this would fix him. The more she tried to get him to move, the grumpier and more stubborn he became. He didnt want to walk, he couldnt feel his feet and it pained his legs. PN doesnt go away or improve. He was happiest when family/friends came over and in the family room he was in the midst of it. Your feelings are so, so normal. Please take care of yourself, and remember to hug your husband. God bless.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 12:38PM
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((HUGS)) He may be suffering with some depression with all that is going on. Hope you were able to get some help from the dietitian. (I saw you on the cooking forum)That would alleviate some of your stress. Don't forget to take care of you too buy yourself some flowers they help cheer up a space. Again my prayers are with you.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 12:53PM
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I'm so sorry Dody. I understand him wanting to sit where he is because it's probably the most comfortable spot in the room.

Don't change your mind about opening the living room again. Talk to your son and have him as your backup if need be. It's imperative you have your own space right now, a place where you can go to relax, read, watch TV. Having your own space will do wonders for you.

Hugs to you. :)

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 2:11PM
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I feel so bad for you Dody. It sounds like you are really frustrated.

Now, I'm going to ask you how long he's felt the need to sleep in the recliner? If this is recent you may want to consider taking him to your health care provider as sometimes this is a sign of respiratory problems caused by fluid retention. It makes it difficult to sleep lying down.

Hoping things get better for you and forgive me if you already know this.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 4:25PM
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Dody, I'm another visitor from the Cooking Forum. I posted a message to you there about an idea you gave me when you asked about diet changes. I understand a bit what you're going through. My husband has congestive heart failure, and that's why I cook low sodium meals. But he's suffered with other complications the last couple of years. Physical activity is very difficult for him, so he spends a lot of time in his recliner in the living room.

You've gotten good advice. If you can reclaim your original living room as a special place for you, then you can spend time during the day with him as you bustle around in the kitchen. But you'll still have a retreat to go to. I think you'd be better off having two places for sitting, reading, and watching TV. That way your husband can stay where he's comfortable, but you can get a "break."

Everyone is right -- Adjusting to his medications and new limitations will take time. But the reality may be that this is what his life will look like from now on. So be sure to do what you need to do in order to stay healthy and content. Get help, go out to lunch with friends, buy yourself a treat when you shop for groceries -- whatever will help you.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 8:24PM
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Dody, I'm so sorry for what you're going through. Being the caregiver is extremely hard and overwhelming for a lot of different reasons. My husband is also sick with a chronic illness and his favorite spot in our house is also the magic recliner. Ours is placed at his reading desk is so he can watch tv on his monitor. It's basically in the middle of the room and there is just no way to make it look like it belongs there. For a while he slept in it too and some evenings he still does. It bothers me that the chair is where it is, but I've never had the heart to tell him.

I can also relate to your need for a more comfortable space but I don't think forcing it on your DH is the answer. In the big scheme of things, isn't his comfort more important especially if there are other ways to work it out? When someone is so chronically ill, their world becomes very small and for whatever reason that space is obviously very important to him. Forcing him to make changes he's not up to will only stress him out and could exacerbate his illness or pain.

One reason he may not want you to move to the other room is having you near is comforting. For some reason, my husband doesn't even like to be home if I'm not here. When he was sleeping in the living room I ended up sleeping on the couch.

This post was edited by lukkiirish on Wed, Apr 10, 13 at 21:12

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 9:05PM
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Thank you all for your responses. The room Gary is in used to be my dining room. When I open up the bigger room, he will have the same set up. Where he is now, you have to siddle around foot stool to get thru. Also the same around his end table. I had to remove the small table and give him a bigger round table.

This is pretty much how it is now except now he has his table on the opposite side of the chair. I can't take a new picture as I need my son to reformat my memory card.

Gary will never be better and we have to learn to live with his condition. When he was in the hospital, he was calling me at 4 am for 5 days in a row. I finally gave the hospital my sister's phone number and I took the phone out of the bedroom. I know I sound heartless, but I really am not, just trying to keep my own sanity.


This post was edited by dody40 on Thu, Apr 11, 13 at 7:57

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 7:49AM
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Dody, I'm so sorry to hear about Gary's condition. You have a lovely, warm home. I remember you from another forum. Have missed you and wondered how you were doing. Also your sister. I hope you can check in some time.
Marilyn C

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 12:43PM
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I am sorry, Dody.

I am so glad your son and DIL will be helping you soon make a change. You deserve it!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 12:51PM
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Just want to pop in here and tell Marilyn that I remember her well. Especially loved your postings about moving and renovating your home. Never did get to see everything you did to it.

I loved that forum, but got kicked because I did not post a lot.

Just a side note, Larry & his wife are coming Saturday or Sunday to help me make the change.


This post was edited by dody40 on Fri, Apr 12, 13 at 8:11

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 7:54AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Just sending you hugs and letting you know I'm thinking of you. It's new right now, which makes it harder, but you will settle down into a routine and it will get easier on everyone. Getting older sucks. Getting sick sucks. Suffering sucks. But it happens to everyone, and we need to find and develop our core strengths to see us through.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 8:36AM
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Dody, I've been reading the posts and wanted to say that I'm sorry for what you're having to go through, both with your husband's illness and with the changes in your life situation. I hope you are able to make some changes this weekend. Do heed the words several kind folks have offered here and know that you have a caring 'family' here too. It does suck that you have to go thru this rough period of adjustment and I hope things will be brighter for you soon with the living situation.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 10:21AM
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(((((Dody and Gary)))))

Sending loving, comforting energy your way.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 10:26AM
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You guys really make my heart sing for your support. Yes, it is really very hard for both of us.

I working on getting him to take care of some of his own needs, like making his own breakfast and lunch, just to get him back on track as soon as he is able.

My kids are coming this weekend to help (do) get things set up. I have arranged things as much as I can until they get here,

I love how helpful everyone is to anyone needing help, even if it seems silly (like my post). I know most of my post was not 'really' about decorating and you just jumped right in. So, thank you.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 11:34AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I don't have much to say but I understand completely.

The best thing you can do is remember that if you aren't well; mentally and physically, you can't take care of your husband. Don't feel guilty for making him wait a little while for something- not everything is an emergency- or moving him to the other room, especially if you make it inviting for him.
Eventually, you may move a hospital bed in for him and if he is the larger room it will help, also get home health care now if you can if he doesn't have it already. Window with birdfeeder is ideal. My Dad loves ours.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 11:55AM
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