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I'm So Tired


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I’m not sure why I’m posting today, except to see if I can find some relief or help, suggestions or guidance, etc. I seem to have reached the end of my ability to cope with all of this, and I can’t seem to gather myself together.

For the past week and a half, I’ve had trouble sleeping; I’ve been crying on and off for the past three days. I just don’t seem to have control anymore. I can’t stand being in my own house, and I can’t stand being at work. I’m trying to juggle two jobs right now, and just the idea of the obligations overwhelms me.

My daughter brought home her report card yesterday, and her grades have gone down in all categories except one. I can’t tell you how angry I was. But that’s just a small bit of the anger, resentment and hostility I seem to be feeling on a daily basis. I love her so much, but I just can’t do any more in this area. I’m tired of asking her to work harder or to do her best. I’m tired on nagging her about homework and getting things done.

My husband’s ability to think and have a conversation seem to be steadily decreasing. He’s constantly tripping or falling on the stairs or falling while walking. His pain is regulated, so that’s not an issue. But I’m tired of constantly picking him up. I’m tired of having to fill in the gaps of his attempts at conversation. I’m tired of having to explain his grumpiness and illogical behavior to my daughter. It’s been at least a year and six months since he first began acting strangely (and stubbornly) as a result of the brain metastases, and while the surgery may have removed the immediate threat to health, it certainly didn’t make his mind function better or more rationally. I think he actually had more abilities before all the treatments.

I really don’t know what to do, and I’m not sure how much longer I can keep all of this up. I know how selfish this sounds, and I feel guilty about it.

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It is so hard...I have been down that road. The caregiver is a saint..and it takes everything you have out of you. It sucks the life out of your body. It is terrible. I know you are carrying the load. All I can say is..start to take care of yourself. Whatever that may be. Go to dinner with a friend, get out of the house awhile with no responibilites.

Get a massage, go to a movie..do something for yourself. This journey is hard. I pray for you. Hang in there. God bless, Nancy C

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Hang in there!

I know what you're talking about but from a distance. My parents are raising my 17 y.o. nephew. Over Christmas i had to take him kicking and screaming and crying to the library to write his research paper that we had to negotiate an extension for becuase we only found he had to write one when I called up the school to find out if he is going to be able to graduate.

It's tough to expect kids to be able to handle what we adults barely can manage. In my nephew's case...his strategy it to be on the computer constantly playing wizards of Warcraft 24/7.

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Believe me, you have a lot of company here with us caregivers. Glad you expressed yourself because that is one way we can cope. Your daughter's reaction to her dad's illness and the tension in the home is why she is not doing well in school. Perhaps a teacher or a friend could talk with her and help her express her own feelings without you having the additional burden.

You are doing more than any human should be asked to do, with two jobs, your ill husband and your child. You need to reach out to people around you and ask for help -- even if it is to be with your husband and child and give you some time off. If you don't take breaks and take care of yourself, you will not survive. If there someone you can talk with on a regular basis that you trust? We all need that.

Anytime you feel like dumping, do come here and dump. You have a lot of friends here who know what it is like to walk in your shoes. Take care. Don

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Is there any way you could quit one of the jobs to have more time for everything else? I went part-time after my husband was diagnosed and have remained PT.

Other things I have done that I think have helped include the following:

1. Talked to the guidance counselors at my kid's schools; they then told the teachers what was happening; they were able to help in little ways that have been a big help.

2. Got counseling for one daughter for about 5-6 months. She is doing much better now.

3. Got counseling for me--I go every 2 weeks. As Don said, we all need somebody we can talk to.

4. Consistently ask for prayer and support from our church family.

5. Ask for help from others--I haven't done too well in this area. People just don't know what help you need and they really have to be asked. Usually they are more than willing to help when asked.

6. Of course, get support from my LCSC family.

Don't get me wrong, we still all have lots of struggles, but I believe it is better as a result of the things we have done.

Please feel free to PM me if you need help, additional information, etc. Take care.

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All great ideas.

Try to schedule some time for yourself- even if it's just a moment to process everything from a "distance". Remind yourself of the good things- those are few and far between during this time, but they're there- make a list to remind yourself.

And I think, as said above- the most important thing you can do for yourself is ASK FOR HELP.

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Oh, honey, what a load you are bearing.

I think we have all hit a wall at one point or another, convinved we could not take another step forward. You will be able to pick yourself up and move ahead, but it's OK to sit for a minute and contemplate the wall. It is truly amazing that you have made it this far already.

Lots of good advice here for you. I wish I could come over and help out, but you'll just have to take my prayers instead. One step at a time...you'll make it. Stop in and let us know how you are doing!

:) Kelly

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Please take a break. I too had 2 jobs before my husband was diagnosed. I dropped one off, hired a full time caregiver for him and to do lite housekeeping and cooking, this is the only way I can have peace of mind while I'm at work during the day. I scheduled all relatives, family and friends ahead to drive him to his doctors appointments in case he won't feel like driving. I try to spend 2 hours on Fridays to fine dinner, just me and my Mom.

It is endeed overwhelming. My life hasn't been the same. My husband and partner in life used to do just about everything including waking me up with my coffee for the past 17 years. Now I find myself doing everything for us. God Bless. This too shall pass. PM me if you need someone to talk to.

God Bless

Love,

Malou

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As a mom, my suggestion would be to hire someone to take care of hubby for the weekend (24 hr care for two days) and take your daughter somewhere "fun". Take her to a hotel for a mother/daughter weekend, pedicures and room service and the pool....and TALK TO HER. Let her ask the hard questions, and answer them. Don't give her all the ugly details, but don't sugarcoat it all.

She KNOWS there is something big going on and it is eating into HER life and HER mental well being. Get a feel for where she is emotionally and then find a "fix", be it counseling or just one night a week where SHE is the focus and not Daddy's disease.

THEN, take some time for you. I strong suggest counseling, you can vent to counselor about how unfair it is, etc., and not worry about hurting the people you love the most because they won't overhear you by accident.

It's hard, but you CAN do this, you ARE doing this. You just need some help. We on the board are just "virtual help" - find some REAL help, a hand you can hold, a shoulder to cry on, an office floor to stomp on. It's not failing to ask for help, really. You need to refill you pitcher so you can continue to pour out love and support for your family.

Take care,

Becky

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I'm so sorry you're going through all this and I hope touching bases with us gives some relief and comfort.

When I was 11, my dad had a severe depression (not his first, but the first I witnessed.) He was hospitalized, had shock treatment, the works. I had never seen him like that = he had always ben my hero -and I was crushed and confused. I had just started junior high and my own world was topsy turvy. Hormones changing.

My mom tried to hold it all together and kind of expected me to just go on as if nothing was happening. HER life was disrupted and SHE needed me to be even a better, trouble-free kid than before.

My grades - always great before went DOWN that semester and I was so ashamed to compare report cards with my friends for the very first time. I didn't know I was depressed, too. I just thought I was not a good or smart kid anymore - I was letting everyone down and when my Mom would get upset with me she'd always ask "Why are you doing this?" I didn't know.

I never got counseling and my self-esteem went in the dumpster for years after that. Your daughter is frightened and depressed and she can't help that she can't do her best right now. If she'd ben a great trackstar and broke her leg you wouldn't be surprised she couldn't compete for awhile. Her heart is broken, too, and she can't concentrate right now.

I know you are just worn out yourself. Counseling, a friend to take her for fun, are all great ideas.

Leslie

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Hi,

I read with heartache your posting. The suggestions given are excellent. The times that I couldn't sleep,had bouts of crying and thought that I wasn't able to keep this up I turned to the occasional Ativan. It did provide with me a good sleep which allowed me to face the next day. I lost my mom on Aug. 25, my dad on Nov. 7 and Ron on Dec. 22. I was able to function after mom's death because I had dad and Ron to look after. Following dad's death I still did ok because I had Ron. Now I feel like I have no one.

People keep telling me to call them if I need a shoulder or help of any kind. However, I've been refraining from doing that because I feel like I'm a burden and that they don't need me bringing them down.

The 21 month support I provided Ron has taken its toll. I am in the process of seeking assistance and hope to secure a great social worker here who specializes in grief counselling.

I think that a good professional and something mild to aid with sleep will help. And, of course, the benefit of the support here is immeasurable.

You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.

Janet

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First of all..please accept a virtual hug! The sage advice offered here is right on the money...please ask for some help and the suggestion to take some *mom and daughter time* is really a good one.

I am so sorry things are so difficult but try and take things just a second at a time, ok. I am very glad you came here and please continue to let us know how things are going.

Praying things get better

Libby

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Sense I read your post last night I have not been able to get you off of my mind. I don't know if I have any real advice for you but I do have some thoughts and some things you may want to think about.

First of all if you are working two jobs you must need the income. Giving up one in that case would not be an option. Getting an outside caregiver can be expensive and that to is probably not an option.

Something you said sent up a red flag to me. I think that your most serious problem is trying to cope with your husbands declining mental health. It is really tough caring for someone who has a life threatening disease but when you add mental problems it becomes a whole new ball game. You can no longer find the person that you love and it breaks your heart. It is easier to keep so busy that you can ignore it most of the time. Problem is that sooner or later you have to face what is happening and I think that is the point that you have reached.

What you have to think about is how frustrating and frightening all of this is to him. Despite what is happening to him he is still the person you love. Somewhere he is in there crying out that he is still there. You need to take time to find the Him that you still love. Take time just to be with him. Remember how it was before and instead of letting it get you down use that to look for what is left. It won't be easy but you both need that time. Time to be with him instead of just doing for him.

Your work can be an escape for a while but you can't depend on that. It will wear you down mentally as well as physically. I have just a few suggestions.

It sounds like you have to leave him alone while you are working and that is a worry in itself. But if you can leave him alone to work you can leave him alone to take some time for yourself. Make an appointment with yourself and keep it. Take a long shower or bath (I am an expert at the 5 minute shower but there are times we need more) get a bottle of wine and treat yourself to a drink once in a while maybe even two glasses. Any more than two would be another way of trying to escape and that is not good either.

Find someone you can have a normal conversation with at least once a week for at least a half hour. As a caregiver for people with dementia and Alzhiemers I go days talking to no one but my clients and that can get me down. I have to take the time to talk to someone who can carry on a normal conversation and you do too.

As far as your daughter is concerned you have to think of how things must be for her. Not only has she lost the dad she used to know but the mother she used to know as well. Nothing is the same for her and she is having a hard time handleing that. She needs some kind of counciling either at school or privately. She also needs you to talk to her about things other than her homework and how hard things are. Talk to her. Tell her that you love her and that you are having a hard time coping with everything. Don't do it when you want or need something from her. Do it when you want to give some of yourself to her. You will be surprised how understanding and helpfull children can be if you talk to them instead of at them.

My heart really breaks for you. You have so much on your plate right now and it seems that you just can't go on but you can. When someone you love is suffering in any way and you get to the point that you are somehow you can reach down to the depths of yourself and find that you do have what you need to go on. It is not easy but who ever said that life would be easy especially when you are confronted with something as devistating as LC?

Treat yourself good for a few minutes each week and give yourself more credit than you are now. You do have the strength. It is just waiting for you to realize it is there. Pick yourself up and give yourself the gift of understanding your situation. Use the love you have for your family to love yourself and you will make it.

God Bless you and help you to cope. Please keep us updated on how things are going. We are here for you but you need more. You need to be there for yourself as well.

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This is from a teacher AND a survivor's point of view.

With my second cancer diagnosis, the second call I made was to a teacher I knew in my son's school. She would alert the counselor, who would alert his teachers. I did NOT want him being yelled at if he had a far off look in his eyes.

I hope you have already called your child's teacher or the counselor. Teachers cannot help in situations they are not aware of. My school has homework clubs. I have also volunteered to keep kids after for extra help.

Just knowing a family is in crisis means that kid is going to get some extra attention from me.

If you run into resistence, definitely contact the principal. Let me know if I can help further.

gail

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