how do you limit family responsibility that leads to crashing?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by sascha, Jul 15, 2006.

  1. sascha

    sascha Member

    i'm in a dilemma. my dear aunt is elderly and is having major health disasters. right now, she has been in the hospital for a week. In general, I have been the 'go-to' person to take her places, like doctors' appointments, to pick up prescriptions, run errands, help take care of her apartment, stay with her in the hospital, stay over when she's sick at home--in general, just help take care of her increasing needs.
    last year, i took care of my sister as she died of cancer. i haven't gotten over that. now i'm facing that same caretaking situation with my aunt (she has two daughters, but they are far away). i find i CANNOT COPE WITH ANYTHING beyond taking care of myself and my CFIDS condition. as soon as i get involved with my aunt's health problems, i totally lose my way in taking care of myself, and i pay the price. this is happening again and again, and i feel like i'm falling apart. i find I JUST CAN'T DO IT. but how do i remove myself from taking on responsibility for my aunt's health crises.
    one daughter is coming soon. i'm hoping she will take over totally, but i know she doesn't want to come, so i think she won't last long, then i'll be the one in charge again.
    anyway- i'm in a bad state now. i was so wrecked i withdrew and slept for @39 hours, just waking up for a meal, just about. i am wrecked and i DON'T WANT TO ASSUME THIS RESPONSIBILITY ANY MORE. but i don't know how to find the help my aunt needs, that she will agree to accept, besides that help coming mainly from me. i get to feeling really desperate and trapped. i cannot do one thing in my own life when i am involved in her care. i love her, but i can't be a caregiver anymore. it takes too much of a toll on me. i took care of my husband when he died, my mother (along with my family) when she died, my brother-in-law (along with my sister) when he died, then my sister last year. i just feel like i can't do it any more. HELP! sascha
  2. lovethesun

    lovethesun New Member

    They could get the money together to hire a companion.You could still check on things and visit.Hugs,Linda
    [This Message was Edited on 07/15/2006]
  3. hugs4evry1

    hugs4evry1 New Member

    If one daughter is coming soon DON'T hope that she'll take over, hand over all of the care and let her know that you can no longer do this due to your own health situation.

    Don't ask, tell her. It's her mother and she and her sister should be taking care of her or making arrangements so she can be cared for.

    People will always be willing to watch someone else do all the work. You don't have to let that person be you.

    You've done enough, your body is tired and you have the right to take care of yourself.

    I'm sorry you've had to go through so much. But it isn't your responsibility to take care of everyone.

    Also, please break up your post into smaller paragraphs so others can read it too.

    Nancy B.
  4. rosemarie

    rosemarie Member

    I hear you loud and clear.My problem is not from caring for a Aunt but for my Mother.

    Things were fine about 6 yrs ago and then Mom had to have a angiogram then angioplasty. I was the one who had taken her to the hospital that day to get the angiogram as my Sister "CAN'T DEAL WITH MOM BEING SICK" I got to the hospital and sat and waited till she had the angioplasty done , I was all alone in a strange hospital and knew I was to be spending the night there as she had asked me to stay with her and what could I do? My sister showed up shortley after the procudre was done and she was slurring her words and smelled like a old ashtray that had not been cleaned. And of course she broght her husband who was three sheets to the wind.

    They went in to see Mom and the nurse's asked them to cut their visit short as the fumes from the cigerettes were so srong that mom was having trouble with her breathing. This of course offended them as they will @#$#%# well smoke if they waaant to and no one will #$@%@#$% tell them that they can't be around mom .

    Thankfully my husband arrivedd and they cut their visit short as they had just bought a " NEW TRUCK" and had to show it off. It was a HUGE 4 wheel drive that you would need a step stool to clib on to get in this truck. So of course my sister tells me that they will pick mom up from the hospital in the morning and I asked just how did they think she could get in the truck and lay down if she needed to. They didn'tknow but it was not the fact that they wanted to take mom home it was that they wanted to '"SHOW OFF THIS NEW TRUCK TO HER".

    I spent the night in the lounge as I could not afford a hotel room and I finally called my cousin BArb and she had a spare room and came to the hospital and made me tell mom good night and took me to her home so that I would sleep good that night. And I did and I brought my mom home that next day.

    Then Momma started getting these spells where you would be talking with her and her exp[ression would go BLANK and she would not hear any thing you said no matter what you did to get her attention.

    She had gone to spend a weekend with MY brother in HEber CITy Utah and had a bad cough and didn't have her inhaler with her.. I took her to the doctor who thought that she may have some phemumonia and gave her some meds but she just kept getting worse with the spells.

    I took her to the ER where her BP was so low that it was 50/30 and the dorks let her go home. She had a spell as ssoon as I got her in her in the house ,

    My daughter who lives with her sat in front of her yelling at he BRandma talk to me and she was not there even thought she was looking at us. I called 911 and by the time they caught there she would not go with them but they put her on home 02 about 10 pm my daguther calls upset as MOm was really dizzy and would I come over and check her out.

    Having been a nurse's aide I took her BP and it wass 130/60 not bad for what it had been. She said that she was tired and wanted to go to bed and she asked me to get the 02 hose into her room , when I did she was laying on her bed , gray and not breathing I screamed to my daughter to call 911 asap and turned mom over on her side and yelled at her to snap out of it.

    She looked at me and asked me why was I yelling at her and I told her that she had passed oout again which she denighed. AS fast as she was awake she was out again , but the amlaunce was there so they took her this time to the hospoital Where the doctor adimmited that he may have makde a mistake.

    She spent 5 days in our ICU where she was gettting worse and on that last day she was so out of it that the doctor called Lds where she was life flighted, I had to sign her over to the heliocopter adn was told that I had a few hours to get there because I was the one who now had medical power of atterny as I had sighned all those papers.

    Mom wnet to LDS hospital and My daughter adn I drove there so that I could fill out more forms about her health and meds, I called my brother who kept telling me that it was pointless for me to drive down that night and to just stay home, I tried to tell him that I had to be there to siign papers and if he wanted to do that he was closer but he didn'tknow any of her medsss or who her doctor was. So I went and he was pissed off at me for asking for his hlep and not following it and i told him that he needed to listen to what I had to say.

    She spend 4 days in the shock and trauma unit and another 8 on the floor really out of it.. She asked me please don't leave me alone so I didn't and I stayed in the lounge for 3 nights and then they helped me to get one of the hospital houses to stay in and they paid for it.

    She had blood clots in her lungs and was so very sick. MY sisiter came once for a few minutes adn told met hat I was doing just fine there and she left.

    AS did my Brother who thought that it was dumb for me to stay in SLC with her when i needed to get so eme sleep too. I told him that mOM wanted me to stay with her and he didn't belive in me so he asked and she told him that she felt like she needed me there so to bug off adn let me do as she aksed.

    AFter 10 days she was relieased to a nursing home for a couple of weeks for rehab and she did really good .

    Over the next few years she has been in and out of the hosptial with every thing from rectal bleeding that they could not find ryme or reason as to why she had lost so much blood and had to be given 8 units of whole blood and 8 of FFPC. Fresh FRozen packed cells. And spent a few days in the hospital and came home again.Then this last time it was celluitis that had her going in for IV threapy for a week but not haveing to stay ther.

    I have been the one who has been with her all the times , I haaaave sigghend all the papers that were needed and I did everything that she asked me to do and was ther to be ther for her for moral support

    My sister can't deal with this as she proved it the last time when she was bleeding.

    She was beign given a blessing and my sister is crying loudly in my ears" I DON'T WANT MY MOM TO DIE , i JUST CAN'T COPE WITH IT. P[LEASE DON'T DIE I WON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH OUT YOU AND it only got worse ,

    My BIL made a scene out inthe waiting room calling the repectionist nasty names as she didn't want to let him in as he was DRUNK ,

    HE reaaked of alochol as did my sister who was talking narcitic pain meds as was her hubby.
    IT took the nurses telling them 5 ytimes to leave adn threating them with security to kick them out for them to leave adn then they staid out side and griped about it.

    When mom started to perk up she told the ICU nurse that she didn't want my sister or her husband to come and see her, I was to be there with her as much as I could and the nurse told me that I could not go in one day and MOm got really mad and said "That is the good one not the bad one that I don't want around me

    ."MY dear sister calls my MOm and tells her that she is bringing her a milkshake when mom had just told her that she could only have clear liquids and MIlkshakes are not clear liquids..

    It was a royal night amre adn a pain in the rear end.
    Between my borther who lives 3 hours away and does not come to see mom when she is well , he only came once when she was sick with the blood clots in her lungs and she was there for 10 days. And he would not do a thing to comfort her.

    HE told me that I was bugging her and she finally told him that she had asked me to stay with her as it made her feel like she was not alone..

    Right now I have the medical power of attereney but my MOM thinks that my Brother should have it. But I have tried to tell her that in a emergancy when they need to know from the perosn with the medcial power what they should do for her care.

    I was told that they have to be albe to be at the hosptial with in 30 minutes max sooner would be better. AS they may have to use an airway or do cpr. And it would take him over 3 hours to get here if hhe could get off work.

    MY sister suffers from depression and drug abuse perscription meds that is. AS is the dip she is married to. And she can't deal with this and can't cope iwth it so I have to
    My brother is not intersted in it and does not get it when I tell him just how ill she really is. And that she needs some one to sign papers and know what meds she takes and who her doctors are. HE does not know any of this. And I do.

    So I alone have been there for my mother each time she has been ill and she depends on me to do what needs to be done. I always feel like I am going to lsoe it adn be hyertrical but I always feel like I will do it later on .

    I am the only one that she will let say in a hosptial room with her. I make sure that she is gettintg the right kind of care adn I am there to help her in any way.

    So I know how you feel , I don't have any help when it comes to mom;'s health as my brother and sister are so selfish and so wrapped up in them selve that they can't find the time to be with her and to help me take care of the mountian of paper work.

    I have stayed with MOm while I have fibro, MPS, degeneritve disc disease, facet syndrome, arthritis in my back and knees & left wrist, Lumbar/Thoracic Radiiculitis, and I get really bad headaches when stresssed out. I have two bulging discs L4-L5, L5- S1 and also I get some sicatia in my back ,butt , thigh too. I feel like I am falling apart as my sister adn brother don't believe that I hvae fibro < MPS or any of the rest as I will keep taking care of mom dispite of my own pain. Wheil she was in LDS the doctor that was taking care of her came up to me and aksed if he could talk with me.

    WHE asked me why I as limping , and looked so pale and walked like I was in pain. I told him whtaa I had and he called my pain doctor who said that I needed to rest more and stress less. Mom's doctor told me that If I didn't get more rest that he was going to prescribe me a sleeping pill so I could sleep and he kept track of me makeing sure that I was taking my pain meds adn getting some rest.

    AFter I finally got MOm in the nursing home and ready to come back to her home I then crashed and was so sick for 3 weeks I Hurt so much that moving was too much for me. I tried to do the leaset that I could. I failed at it and he called my doctor who wanted me to get more rest and I tried. It is so hardd when your the only one that you can depend on to hlep you care for your mother.

    YOu are so sweet and caring to take care of your Aunt.
    Try to get as much sa rest as you can. HUGS TO YOU>

    Rosemarie
    [This Message was Edited on 07/16/2006]
  5. Lisa76

    Lisa76 New Member

    Hi there!

    You've sure taken on a lot in your life and I understand how that feels. I've done that too, with a lot of my family members and even friends. I was forced to change this only after I finally broke and now am struggling with a chronic condition as a result of the chronic stress. It did take losing my health for me to realize that I have to live my life first and make my well-being a priority. In a way, I've always felt guilty about turning someone away or finally creating boundaries after being worn down by a person. It sounds like you're at a point where you recognize that you can no longer carry the burden of someone else's care, yet you're waiting for permission to walk away. I've always needed reassurance from others in order to not feel guilty for saying "no". Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way that people can sense this in me and often took advantage of that by saying whatever they knew would inflict more guilt, (it controlled me).

    The point is this: This is your life and your opportunity to make some real changes. If you have to, talk to someone you really trust for support and encouragement in facing this. For me, learning to be honest and how to tell someone what I will and won't be doing anymore was both terrifying and empowering at the same time. You're not always going to get the reaction you want and in fact, some people may lash out at you. That's a good indicator that you don't want them in your corner anyway. The people that truly love you would never want you to jeopardize your health. It sounds like you really love your aunt but you're not going to be any good to her if you keep pushing yourself this way. Make the decision to allow her daughters to take on her care and make sure they understand your decision is final. Set a date for them to take over and then allow yourself some time to recover and regroup. Over time, the feelings of guilt and responsiblity for everyone around you will lessen. It's wonderful to help out the people that you love, but not at the expense of your health. Give yourself permission to make these changes before you completely burn out.

    Good luck with this. I'll have a good thought for you!
    Lisa76

  6. MsE

    MsE New Member

    You wrote "i find I JUST CAN'T DO IT." If you can't, you can't. You won't do anyone a bit of good if you go nuts or dead from doing too much.

    So---get your doctor to give you a letter stating you're not to do anything except take care of yourself. Make copies of it. Give them to those people who have been expecting you to carry the load. Then say, "No."

    The family may have to pass the hat to get your dear aunt into an assisted living center, and I know that is a difficult thing to do. However, you sound desperate. That means it is way past time to put yourself first. People with cfids/fibro absolutely must listen to their bodies and behave accordingly.

    Again, we all have our limits and it sounds like you have reached yours. You simply must take care of yourself.