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Re: Breakdown? to Cindy

Posted by Cindy on March 23, 1999, at 21:12:31

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

> 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?

Dear Friend Cait, My heart goes out to you and your family. It is such a struggle for you I know to be dealing with the isuues at hand, not to mention being depressed. As if that is not enough. I know how you feel being a caregiver and need help yourself. That is a big issue with caregivers always giving and doing for others and never doing for yourself. I took care of my father-in-law who was Dx. with lung and bone cancer. We had him in our home for about 1 1/2 years. Suffering with my depression for over 15 years and trying to battle with it myself did not help much when he came to live with us. It meant I had to put self off once again. To me depression can somewhat look like a boil it keeps festering and festering until oneday it just ruptures. You have alot on your shoulders and have every right in the world to feel like you do. You hit the hammer on the nail when you said when we cry we cry alone, but I want you to know I cry with you. I know you are hurting and feel there is no hope. The road ahead looks dark and long. I been there, I am there with you we can't give up. Three months ago when I decided to seek help and stick with I meant that and I hope and pray you will seek help. Find a doctor who you can trust and he will help. I know it must be awlful to have your son in a facility and now you are facing the same issue with your dad. Having to make that decision on placing a loved one in a home is horrendous. You are only human and can only withstand so much. You have gone to great lengths it sounds to take care of your loved one. I am a nurse also and have woked in alot of nursing homes and there are good points as well as bad. The key to quality care is visiting regular, asking questions, and knowing who is taking care of them. You have done that with your son and I am confident you would likewise do with your father. At least if he was in a nursing home you could start taking care of Cait. If you don't take care of yourself no one will. I want you to know it is not your fault that you did not check your son over for decubitus that is the nurses duity. You need to report that kinda care to D.O.N . I can also relate about how your dad yells at you my father-in-law did the same. I t is awlful and hurtful. Cait please go to the doctor no matter what medicine you are taken. I will be praying for you and your family. You are worth helping yourself. For years you have helped everyone else now it is time for you. You are a wonderful person to have cared for your family like you have give yourself a hugg and a pat on the back. I am here if you want to talk.


Your Friend,





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