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What's Eating Me . . . STRESSSSSSSSSSSSS

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Unwilling Caregiver - - Equals STRESS !!!!!!!

Hi. For those of you who don't know me, I have my 85 yr. old mother-in-law living with us that I am charged with caregiver for. She was not brought up in a normal family situation. (They lived in the woods and by the time she should have been well into her school years - - welfare discoverd the family & that they weren't sending any of the children to school. After finishing what school she got, the family didn't want her to leave the pack, and then banished her for doing so. She never learned what normal is for living in a house with regular values. Not even the basics of bathroom etiquette or table manners or putting ones dirty laundry in a laundry hamper.)

This has been a pains taking process of teaching her just things that "NORMAL" society expects of us as she sees no need for any of it. It grates on my last nerve sometime and I get stressed to the MAX (and yes I do fly off the handle). She and her husband did not plan for retirement. He cashed in & spent the one small life ins. policy he had before he died. He died leaving her broke and for others to take care of, so here we are.

She now has a better quality of life than she has ever experienced and since moving in with us and eating properly, she walks for exercise 1 hr. every morning and has lost 58 lbs.. Her Doctor is majorly impressed. Her borderline diabetic condtion has been reversed and she's been told that she no longer needs medication. (She still takes it so she can eat candy bars mind you.)

This has been a long and difficult journey for us all. I am sure I will continue to stress over the everyday occurances that continue to crop up, but my real fear is that I will wind up as my late namesake aunt did: taking care of everyone in the whole famdamnly, becoming used up myself & then dying.

I pray for peace within.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JGMK55 10/11/2009 9:35PM

    emoticon It is so very hard caring for someone who is not grateful or at least willing to try and be grateful. It's harder still when that person does not have the same values we do. You are doing the right thing by caring for her, but you also need someone to care for you or give you some respite. Check into your county Office of the Aging and see if they have a respite program you could take advantage of. When my uncle lived with us (89 years old, cantankerous and a 'runner' - we had to pick him up from Texas 2x in less than a year - we live in NY), the Office of the Aging helped us so much; lots of wonderful suggestions to make our lives easier and to help him. When it was time to find an Assisted Living Facility for him, they helped us with that, too. Take care of yourself. You ARE important!

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ANSING 10/11/2009 5:12PM

    You have my sympathies. At 85, she's pretty much set in her ways, so choose your battles wisely. Some things are just not worth the stress it takes. So pick the stuff you REALLY can't abide, and just let the rest go.

Don't forget to take very good care of yourself. You are a very special person, and well worth it!

Hugs,
Annette

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JOSHKO 10/11/2009 2:18PM

    God never gives us more than we can handle and he obviously has determined that you are a STRONG person...when things seem too much just remind yourself of that. Hope there is someone like you for me if ever needed!

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ERINLASH78 10/11/2009 1:21PM

    You have every reason to be stressed in a situation like this, but think of the wonderful things you are doing for your family. You are helping her learn how to function appropriately and showing the rest of your family how to help people who need it. Even if you do fly off the handle every once in awhile, you are doing a great thing. I know it's probably difficult, but try to take a little time for yourself during the day (even if it's only 5 minutes) to take some deep breaths and think positive thoughts. Good luck!

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ANGELA1717 10/11/2009 10:37AM

    You def have a heavy load to carry. I have said a prayer for you. emoticon Angela

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GROOVY_GURL 10/11/2009 9:33AM

    You are definitely carrying a heavy load. You do have choices into whether you end up caring for your whole family. You can so "No", it won't be easy to say it will be hard, but you have to think of what is better for you in the long run. Hang in there!

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