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Mental Exhaustion

Thursday, September 08, 2011

It has been such a long, stressful week. I just feel like I could fall to pieces.

My husband and I have been involved in the care of an older gentleman for some time. He is a dear friend of ours without family in the area. He has been having issues with his health and we have been highly involved in decisions (Power of Attorney, etc) concerning his care. He has been living on his own, with some reservations on our part. Being highly independent, it has been a fine line we have walked between honoring that independence and stepping in with some very hard decisions to place him in assisted living.

Last Thursday, after he had not returned our phone calls, we went to his home and found him face down on the bathroom floor. He was near death. After being rushed to the E.R. and then placed in ICU, he has had his UPS and DOWNS but seems to be on the way to physical recovery. He has a broken leg and is being released from the hospital to an 'aggressive physical therapy' unit in a few days. His mental capacity has always been of major concern and one of the main issues throughout this entire time of being involved with him,. We now realize it will be impossible for us, in good conscious, to allow him to live alone anymore for his own safety.

It is not an easy thing to hold the future of someone's life in your hands. I have never had to deal with a situation such as this before and now have extreme respect for all those caregivers who have struggled with these same issues before us. I can't imagine how difficult it must be for someone to tell their mother or father that they will not be returning home.

My life has gone topsy-turvy this past week. My food choices, exercising, sleep schedule, water drinking, have been exactly the opposite of every article I have ever read on SparkPeople. Ugh. I have spent so many hours speaking to Dr's., nurses, physical therapists, patient care coordinators, etc, etc, etc, I am just emotionally and mentally brain dead. I don't see an end to this in the near future, so I am just hanging on at this time. I am looking forward to the days when things become a little more stable and we can get back to our life as we knew it, or at least something close to it. I know there is always hope and I am clinging to that.

My deep respect to all the caregivers out there!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Oh my Dear Friend I feel for you. There are not many people who would take this responsibility on themselves. You both must be very caring people. My Mother has Alzheimer Disease. She lived with me 5 months last year. I was willing to care for her because my own responsibilities are few. I do not work outside the home...and my Hubby is out of the house for work. It worked out although we had our spats...she hates being told what to do by her kids...and told me often I had forgotten,"who is the Mom and who is the kid". She got so homesick that family came and got her promising they would take her into their home...but when she said no...they let her go home and live alone. I can tell you.. that for those months that she lived alone...I stressed more than when she was here and I had the responsibility for her. She finally had a fainting spell and the Doctor told the family it had something to do with her heart...and he told her she could not live alone. My Sister took her into her home and she ran away almost everyday. She would have to get others in the family to get her and bring her home...she runs a day care in her home. I was so worried about both of them and I am 1,100+ miles away. Finally with a change of Doctor and new medication she settled but everything was still a fight for my Sister.

    Last week they finally put her against her will in assisted living. So far she is doing so much better....has not given them a word of trouble. I am so thankful that she is being cared for and my Sister can now just be the kid...like Mom sees her to be. I pray everyday that she will be contented there...and will live out her days in peace.

    I know it is hard but just like kids...they don't always know what is best for themselves. Get some rest and rest your soul in peace that you did the right thing. Blessings, Grace
    3427 days ago
    You guys are so awesome for taking on the role you have taken in his life. I am a care coordinator for eldelry and disabled on Medicaid and see quite a few people who have no one to help them at all. It is so tough to go through those decisions, but it sounds like you really are making the choices that are right for him. Hopefully after this experience he will settle into his new home and realize that he really can't be on his own. Sometimes the scare of going through something like that helps to change their mind and come to grip with their limitations. Bless you so much for what you are doing for him. I hope you are able to get the mental and physical rest you need soon too.
    3427 days ago
  • SUNNY332
    My deepest respects to you. Mercy - you all are saints. This man is so lucky to have you and even though, it is tough to make these decisions, it is best for him.

    You are my Shero for the day and your DH is my HERO. God bless you both!

    3427 days ago
    So many decisions but onesmade with love and respect for the man you care for. You are angels to do this so try to give yourself a break. Find a little time for you so you can deal with the stress and take care of your own health, too. HUGS!
    3427 days ago
  • no profile photo CD10922393
    emoticon My heart hurts for all of you. It is obvious that your decision was made out of love and, darn it, sometimes love can sure hurt.
    Your friend may be angry, hurt, and frustrated BUT you know that things aren't going to get easier for him mentally, or in the world of aging, physically. You are caring for him and loving him the best way you know how and that is all you can do. No doubt he has enriched your lives and his life has been made better because you are in it.

    Side note:
    You may have to deliberately ease some of the tension in your body. Maybe you can sit down and let your body go limp while you breathe slowly and deeply, relaxing your neck, unclenching your jaw, gently moving your neck and shoulders. Or take turns with your husband rubbing each others shoulders. Or just soak in a warm tub. Take care of yourself.

    3427 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/8/2011 5:11:24 AM
  • no profile photo SUNDANCE10171
    Wow!!.. what you and your husband are doing is amazing and also very difficult. This gentleman is very blessed to have angels like you and your husband in his life. You saved his life!! But remember you have to also take care of yourself! I wish you all the best of luck, and hope things get easier for you!
    3427 days ago
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