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Re: Breakdown? to Cindy

Posted by Victoria on March 23, 1999, at 19:05:42

In reply to Re: Breakdown? to Cindy, posted by cait on March 21, 1999, at 19:09:46

Cait, My difficult mother was ill, bedridden, etc. for quite some time, so I have an inkling what you're going through. It's not always easy to find the help you need in your situation, but here are some ideas: check with your father's doctor and the social service dept. of the hospital he was in for home health care; talk to the doctor about whether there is any way to treat your father's mood problems medically; local hospitals, senior centers, health care agencies for a caregiver group to give you support, ideas, share with people who are going through the same thing; some universities and mental health agencies have geriatric specialists who can help you find community resources and help you with decision-making and coping with caregiver stress. It also sounds like you need a good doctor of your own to help you sort out your medication situation. I know it can be hard to find the energy to make all these calls and keep trying if the first places you try don't pan out, but it sounds like you must get some help. You obviously love your family and are fighting huge odds to do your best for them all. That's really admirable! So, if you can't find it within yourself to get help for yourself, get it for them. No one can stand up indefinitely under the pressure you're in, and if you crack, you won't be able to help them. So for them and yourself, find the energy to get the medical, practical, and emotional help you need. Take care!

> Cindy, thank you for hearing. I DO need someone to listen... even if to just allow me to put some thoughts into words that someone else might read and understand.
> I have survived to the age of 43. And you are right about outward appearance! People "see" what they know how to see. The eyes really can be a mirror of one's soul... but rare is it that people take the time to look. "Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Cry, and you cry alone." Rememer that one!
> Yesterday I visited with my son (age 19). He suffered brain damage after birth, and he has no self help skills. I try to keep him well groomed (remember how people "see") so I trimmed his beautiful hair. Afterward, I needed to change his clothes and his diaper. I did the body check (I did NOT do it 2 wks ago) for any signs of trouble. I am just sick with grief. I found a place on his hip about 2 inches wide, and it looks like some weird infection. Just a year and a half ago, I discovered gaping, infected HOLES behind is knees. He had to have his hamstrings cut--not just lengthened-- so that the orthopedic specialist could cut away the infected skin and then staple it back together. Every time that I remember his SCREAMS when he came to from the surgery and over the next WEEK, I cannot forgive myself for not doing a better job overseeing his care (He is in a residential facility)
> I really got off track there, didn't I? Right now I am so crazed with grief over my father. I have been taking care of him since he was discharged from the hospital mid June of '98. He had a large brain tumor removed, suffered a stroke during that surgery, remained in a coma for 10 days, then left side was paralized for weeks. He has made so much progress both mentally and physically, but the brain damage to his frontal lobe results in some bizarre compulsive behaviors, and he can never be left unsupervised. My mothers screams at him several times a day, and just one week after he came home (head still all sewed up, and dependant on wheelchair to get around, and unable to verbally express himself) she started screaming at him and telling him that she couldn't live this way. She told him that he would have to go live in a nursing home. Poor Daddy just sat there with tears running down his face. I promised him then that I would take care of him. Now, I don't think that I can continue. He takes out his frustrations on me, and can actually be quite mean when he talks to me. I usually end up crying my heart out wondering why I am here.
> Psycho-Babble is good name for this site, because I am just babbling on. But I am truly afraid again. I have read some of the posts about lorazepam (this is how I found this site this week) and know that my dosage is much too high. I have to get clean, but am fearful of seeking medical help. I take 3 to 3.5 milligrams each evening. I've read that if I stop "cold turkey" that I might have a seizure. No way.
> Back to the "Breakdown" subject: I cannot make it for more than an hour or so without the overwhelming feeling of grief descending upon me and then I "hide" while I sob, all the while thinking, "I have to get it together. Who will take care of everybody, everything?" Stupid me, I've screwed up, AGAIN."
> Who cares for the caregivers, especially those who needed help before becoming caregivers?




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