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Burn out one more plunge on the roller coaster


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I'm almost ashamed to come here. I just have so much going on and this is the only place I feel connected, the only place where I feel I can turn for support or advice or what ever there is for me.

I just feel like I have reached the breaking point. I'm just so tired and I don't know how much longer I can keep trying when everything just seems to go against me. I have been so close so many times. Just one paycheck away from being able to relax a little but now it seems it is getting further and further away from me and I just don't think I have the energy to keep reaching and having it slip away.

First it was my car needing work. That put me behind so I took an extra long job to make up for some of it. Then I got sick and missed a week of work. So I told myself it could be worse and I would find a way to catch up. I asked for extra work and agreed to a job tomorrow. The next day after I took that job I learned that one of my clients had an appointment and would be with her daughter all day on Tuesday. So the extra I earn tomorrow will be canceled unless my boss can find me something to fill in. If she doesn't I have one two hour job for that day. A job that I have to drive nearly an hour to get to and an hour to get home. It will take me nearly 3 gallons of gas. I could just ask for coverage and take the day off. I'm sure she could get someone but this is my special lady. So what do I do?

Then 2 days ago a tooth fell out of my denture. I can't tell you how far down the list of priorities that is! Not enough tho because today on my one day off I started to vacum and the belt broke on my vacum cleaner. I took it apart to make sure that was what was wrong with it and then couldn't get it back together. I spent an hour on it and just got more and more frustrated. I ended up sitting on the floor beating on it with a screw driver and crying. I kept saying "I'm just so tired damn it". I know that is the problem but there is more.

All around me I see illness or death. Two people I care about very much are in a battle for their lives against another kind of cancer. I can't even call them to add my support because I just can't take any more bad news. I feel like I am letting them down but I don't know what else to do.

I know that my job is a lot of my problem. I really need a break but that is just not possible. I just get so envolved with those people. I can't help it. They need so much and I want desperately to give them something even if it is just a touch or a hug. I want them to know that someone cares. It's just getting harder and harder for me.

I go days without talking to anyone who does not have severe dementia. They say something or I say something and a minute later they have forgotten and we go through it again and again. I really thought I was handling it well until yesterday. Now I just don't know any more.

One lady is 94 and yesterday she made a remark that upset me. She said it just seems like a person should be able to just go to sleep and go. She is still able to get around. She takes her own shower and lives alone. She needs help with meals and supervision with her medication but she can manage everything else. The problem is she is going blind and has dementia. She has nothing left to look forward to. I know she is thinking about death and would welcome it but she is afraid of dying. She is trying to figure out how to get to that place, what would be the easiest way. That makes me think that maybe she is close to the end even tho she is relatively healthy.

I had the start of two anxiety attacks while at her house. I knew what they were from watching Johnny and I was able to stop them but they really frightened me. I was really upset when I left her house.

In the car on the way to my next job a song came on the radio. The first time I heard that song I commented on it describing mine and Johnny's relationship. One line of the song says " I know you've been stretched to the limits but I'll be here for you". It just seemed to put me at ease for a while. Then I got to my next client. My special lady.

She was in bed when I got there. She got up but didn't want her shower. She said she was just too tired and didn't feel up to it. I decided to just help her wash up and change clothes. She could hardly get up from her chair. She is going down hill and I see it each time I go. Most of it is probably from depression and lonliness. She always perks up when I get there. I found out that her son is thinking about putting her in a nursing home. I know that she does need full time care and they can't afford it at home. If she goes into a nursing home Medicare will pay for it.

The problem is that I know in my heart if she goes there she will not live long. She just would not be able to stand the routine. This is a lady who went to a female doctor for an exam and told me afterwards that she was so humiliated that she would rather die than have to go through that again. I am the only one who she will let shower her. She took a shower one time while I was out sick for someone else while they stood by but she wouldn't let her help. She wouldn't have any choice in a nursing home.

I see all of these things and it gets to me. I struggle eveyday with my finances and the pain of losing Johnny. I look at these ladies and think is that all it comes down to? Will all of the struggles and all of the pain get me nowhere but where they are alone and just waiting to die. Not able to remember from one minute to the next what is happening.

I just don't know how long I can keep this up. I have to work and this is my line of work. In February I will be 62 and I can draw my social security but I know it will not be enough to live on and least not until I get caught up a little more but it will give me something to have if I can't work. I won't be without a penny. I may even be able to afford insurance but I just don't know if I can make it that long.

How do you go on when everything seems stacked against you? How do you keep fighting when you see no hope of things ever being better? So many of you here have been in the battle for so long and you are still fighting. I admire you so much for that. I just wish I could be as strong.

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I know how hard it is to hang in there. But, believe me, when my brother died unexpectly at age 41, on Oct 21, four months to the date I loss Mike...I thought I would die. But, I have one sister and 4 other brothers that were just as hurt as I was. So we hung on to each other. I also wondered how much more I could take. But, somehow we are so much stronger than we think we are. Somehow, we make it through this hell on earth. I can only wish and pray there is something better awaiting us. How could there not be? I know you have to feel absolutely exhausted. You are constantly working so hard. But, maybe it's time to slow down...give yourself a break. Maybe it's time to pamper yourself. I know we all work hard to meet our bills....and something always happens that causes us a set back. My prayers are here for you. I pray God gives you so release from all this stress in your life. Also, the song you are talking about "Making memories of Us" by Keith Urban...was played at Mike's funeral. That song so described my love for Mike, and I know him for me. So, I know how that makes you feel. Life is hard without our loved ones. I cried today, because my fridge went dead. I had to go buy a new one. But, it upset me...because those are the things Mike took care of. I didn't have to worry about those things. I really relied on him. I miss him so much, as you do Johnny. I just pray this gets easier for us. I pray we can someday feel comfort and peace. God bless you, Nancy C

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I can empathize with someone with dementia wanting an out. When I really had my memory issues last year, I KNEW I was having problems and I couldn't make my brain work correctly. It was frustrating and it was scary - and it was sporadic, not building more and more over time.

I know you took the extra jobs to try to get ahead, but MAYBE the job being available to you was to cover your car and being sick. Someone was looking out for you, you are not ahead, but you are no farther behind, either.

View it one day at a time, Lillian. When you were young and had to eat things that were nasty, you took it one bite at a time, do the same when life presents itself as a plate of cold spinach. Break it down to amounts you can handle, be it day by day or shift by shift.

I hope you aren't doubting your worth, it sounds like there are people out there that truly need and appreciate you. Don't shortchange yourself, you ARE important, don't forget it!

Take care,


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I shook my head reading your post, just want

to add mu idea,

Could you work in a home for retired people,

I live in one, 160 apartments with nearly one third

the people needing care, they are not really

very sick just old and need supervision for their

bath and personal care like taking their medication

or getting to a medical appointment with somebody

that could take notes (there is a car and driver

for that) and supervision for some meals.

There is always a shortage of workers even if the

salary is good and the conditions of work very nice.

With all the care you take for all your patients you would be an ideal person for the work.

Any chance of places like that near where you live.

Take care Lily and you will find the ideal place

as you care so much for people it is a question

of time for your dedication to be recongnized.



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Lil...I am so sorry that you are having such a hard time of things right now. If you stop and think, maybe most of this is about timing more that situations themselves. I know this time of the year is really hard for you, as every day brings only memories of Johnnys death. Lil, you are such a firm and faithful believer in God. You know that He can and will help you cross every hurdle. Maybe your life just isn't where He would like it to be right now. My ex-boss was going through a period in life where absolutely nothing was going well for him. It seemed as if everything was a dead end road for him and every turn was wrong. Finally one day, he sat down across from my desk and started to cry. That same day, he had a long heart-to-heart with God and told God he needed to show him where he needed to be and what he needed to be doing. He told me he was just "standing on the edge" waiting for God to make the next move. Well, some very interesting changes came into his life and he made some drastic career decisions. Now, things are going much better for him. Have you ever thought that maybe you're not doing something with your life that God truly wants you to do? I'm usually not one to "preach" about this type of thing but the parallel between your recent happenings and my ex-boss are very much alike. I'm saying lots of prayers that you'll get all this figured out. You're a very strong and couragious lady and I know you can make this all work!

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I'm sorry it has taken me so long to reply. It has been a rough two days. I do want to thank all of you for caring.

J.C. I did try to get a job in an assisted living home but it proved to be impossible. I have worked in one before but here it is not possible. All shifts either start or end when it is dark. I live 20 miles up a twisting mountain highway. My vision at night does not allow me to drive that dark road after dark. Those places do not pay as well as the job I have now going from home to home but it would be more hours. Unfortunately old and sick people seem to not be a priority when it comes to pay. I would earn no more than I do now.

Sunday I learned that my son gave his blessings to my granddaughter. She will be married two days before Christmas while her fiance is home on leave. In April he will leave for Iraq. Erica will continue to live with her parents and go to school. They will have a small wedding with only the family there. I will be the only one missing. My son offered to buy me a plane ticket but I know that he can not afford that and the wedding too. I am also a coward and will not fly. Even if not for that I can not afford to take the time off from work. I can't even afford a wedding present right now. My whole situation seems to be trying to defeat me.

Somehow I will find a way to hold on to my home and continue my job. I don't know how I will do that but I trust that somehow God will show me the way. For today I just need to rest. I have the day off because I chose not to spend 5 hours in town waiting for my next appointment. It was just not worth that and I need time to grieve for my dear friend who passed away last night. Then I will somehow find the strength and the means to continue my battles for justice. There are just too many people that the world seems to have turned it's back on.

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