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Dutiful Daughterinlaw
Member
posted 11-07-2002 09:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dutiful Daughterinlaw     Edit/Delete Message
I've been married nearly 15 years. At first we both worked. Living in his parents home sounded a great assist until we could save up for our own place in a year or so...

Our daughter was born three years later. My mother-in-law stopped driving the same month due to deteriorating vision caused by IDDM. Soon after legally blind.

My daughter is 11 1/2 now, son 9.
We relocated half way across the country shortly after my FIL passed away 9 years ago.
Since then she and I have tackeled heart disease, ups and downs of diabetes, colon cancer, gal bladder surgery, hernia repairs, pnemonias, and multiple infections requiring hospitization and ongoing nursing care.

For better or worse....
I am a registered nurse able to meet all her medical needs.
For better or worse...
I am wife, mother, social director, homemaker, housekeeper, CINDERELLA!
For better or worse...
My prince works longer and longer hours... Is he avoiding returning to the castle?
The evil stepsisters won't help! My resentment is building! My SIL moved 10 minutes away and has 2 kids in their 20's. They won't take her shopping, physicians, or even help me out with baby sitting.
For better or worse...
I am drowning. I have fallen into Alice's rabbit hole and I can't climb out. Somedays the Queen of hearts is happy and we bake and shop. I breathe a long sigh of relief! Other days she enters the kitchen shouting "OFF WITH YOUR HEAD" and I know I am in for another long day. These are more the norm these days than the occasion.

I am not seeking out a "pen pal for daily whining nor planning". I simply seek a supportive friend who is there... and understands.
My Mother in law is also my best friend... and for better or worse, to my marriage and family, my worst enemy.


IP: 152.163.189.166

GRM4LOVE
Moderator
posted 11-09-2002 07:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GRM4LOVE     Edit/Delete Message
Hello Dutiful and welcome..

I know you are going through so much..I must tell you how touched I was by your post... most of all your creative writing capability and deep down in side a sense of humor coupled with love, awareness and much more. I sense that writing would be a carthartic release for you and your writings could also help others to heal as well because of the way you express yourself.

I would also encourage you to continue posting here..others will respond... and also to visit with us in chats. While I was hosting a chat on AOL, IVillage has transferred the chats to their site... there is a wealth of support and reaching out is such a big step in your favor.. you aren't in this alone....

richest blessings
Gail

IP: 66.108.75.139

PrairieGal
unregistered
posted 11-09-2002 08:09 AM           Edit/Delete Message
Hi Dutiful...and welcome...

I agree with Gail...your ability to express yourself is wonderful...sensitive, yet with humor...
This sense of humor will get you through so much...don't lose it...
Your mother in law is so lucky to have you...but I know how hard those bad days can be...deep down she does appreciate all you are doing but sometimes they get so frustrated with all the problems, their lack of independence, etc..and of course they always take it out on the people closest to them...
I hope you will continue to post so we can see how you are faring...or try to make it to some of the chats to share...

take care
PrairieGal

IP: 24.66.94.142

proses8
unregistered
posted 11-15-2002 09:35 AM           Edit/Delete Message
Hello Dutiful..
Welcome...I too have been in and out of that rabbit hole you speak of. First my fil with alshimers (spelling) then my mil ..post stroke and now my husband. My mil was the "off with you head" type. So I know exactly what you mean.

My husband on the other hand is very loving and appreciative; but also clinging. I love him deeply and he is also my best friend; but he has lost a lot of his ability to concentrate and remember so while he is still with me I have lost a lot of him.....So....back in the rabbit hole.

I love the way you express yourself..It is soooo true! I am also glad you found this site. you will find people here to talk to and who understand how tough it can be.

So write often and we'll write back and as a fellow rabbit hole inhabitant....welcome.

God bless you and keep you....Pat

IP: 24.205.221.195

Dutiful Daughterinlaw
Member
posted 11-15-2002 10:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dutiful Daughterinlaw     Edit/Delete Message
Thank you all for your kind words.
I fear my hole gets deeper.
My husband has been great.
I told him I needed help.
He has been really trying... I wish it were enough.
My goal is a household assistant to keep an eye on things so I can escape from Wonderland. My fantasy TEATIMES... the pot is beginning to always seem empty.

My kids feel cheated because I'm missing school field trips. They know they can't always be the center of my universe.
I am even more overwelmed because both kids auditioned for additional performing ensembles requiring more transport from me and dedication from them beyond their years.

Depression growing... so is my fear of it.
I'm begining to have trouble completing all my days tasks, and now I seem to misplace the lists I've made to remember alls I have to do.
sometimes... Just sometimes... I dream of leaving Wonderland and hearing the words Alice doesn't live here anymore.
I love my husband, my family, our home.
But, the Just sometimes are growing...

Thanksgiving nears... Off with the Turkeys head!

IP: 64.12.96.235

GRM4LOVE
Moderator
posted 11-15-2002 10:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GRM4LOVE     Edit/Delete Message
{{{Dutiful}}}}

there comes a time when one must surrender and reach out for help.. and take it... if something were to happen to you..who would care for your children.. who would care for everyone else? You need to let go of the need to be in control of everything and get assistance before it is too late for you.. start with whatever it is that you need to do for you. It is very necessary for you to do so.. especially since your focus is on depression and where we put the attention of our thoughts is what we manifest. Unless you are interacting with others daily who can uplift you and divert your attentions and energies, you will continue to sink.. you are too caring, too loving, to have this happen to you...take charge for you... and then you can care properly for everyone else...

richest blessings
gail

IP: 66.108.75.139

Dutiful Daughterinlaw
Member
posted 11-20-2002 01:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dutiful Daughterinlaw     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks Gail.
Thanks for the kind words to all of you.
I mustered up all my courage and a few hysterics, and I told my husband more insistantly this time I had to get some help or I'd lose my mind.
We aren't interviewing yet... but I got the words out.
I realized I am losing focus.
Yesterday was the perfect example.
She popped nitro after nitro for unwavering chest pain. After number 7 was placed undeer her tongue she was given relief.
"I want to get you to the hospital" I insisted.
Instead she slammed her door.
I thought about it all night.
Seven nitro... Seven that I know of, heaven knows how many more that day.
Either I should have called an ambulance or she should have passed out from the excess.
Today I asked to check her nitro bottle... begrudgingly she handed it over.
They had expired in July.
We have exchanged the bottle for some unexpired ones at the pharmacy and I have been reminded again that my frustration over our helplessness is clouding my judgment.
I am an RN who once handled rooms full of patients at a time!
Now a full time Caregiver, Mom, and wife.... I must keep my judgement clear.
All her pain...
All my frustration...
Just one call to the pharmacy!

[This message has been edited by Dutiful Daughterinlaw (edited 11-20-2002).]

IP: 205.188.208.172

GRM4LOVE
Moderator
posted 11-20-2002 07:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GRM4LOVE     Edit/Delete Message
Absolutely Dutiful...for if something should truly happen to you, who would care for all of them.. besides don't you deserve the same care and respect you show to them as well????

keep us posted... blessings
gail

IP: 66.108.75.139

PrairieGal
unregistered
posted 11-24-2002 08:45 AM           Edit/Delete Message
AMEN Gail!!!
You hit the nail on the head...about caregivers "deserving"...unfortunately too many times we get lost under the pile of other people and things that need our "touches".
Dutiful..start interviewing and use ALL possible outlets of help available...I can tell you from experience and evening away with someone qualified to look after your loved one can give you a whole new perspective...and once you see you CAN get some much needed time for yourself or for yourself, husband and/or kids you will feel so much better...won't feel so "caged in"
Good luck and take care...
PrairieGal

IP: 24.66.94.142

tburrage
Member
posted 01-20-2003 12:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tburrage     Edit/Delete Message
Hi All,

Dutiful DaughterInLaw, you have a sister in California going through the same situation. My name is Tracy and I've been married to my husband for almost 17 years. I have a son who is eleven. My husband is an only child and about four months ago, his mother came to live with us from Illinois. Well, we didn't know the extent of her health when she came, so we were a bit shocked when she actually got here. She has had declining health over the past 10 years or so. She is/was one of those people who was afraid of doctors and never went. She almost died from breast cancer about 7 years ago. During this time, they discovered that she was also a diabetic and that she had high blood pressure, probably for many years.

This might be a long post, sorry! I gotta get all this stuff off my chest! I'm so impressed Dutiful Daughter In Law, that you can be humorous in such a situation. I am finding absolutely no humor in mine. So my mother in law is here and I set about trying to manager her life. When she came here, I had no idea that managing her would take up more than 50% of my time. Since she had poor health and care back in Illinois, I set about trying to help her manage her to get her back on track.

She had diabetes, arthritis, anemia, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, neuropathy, cataracts and very bad periodontal disease when she came here. She was always fatigued, the woman had the energy of a barstool. Anyway, her diabetes was very uncontrolled and she really didn't care. All she thinks about is food and SMOKING! When she first came, she could at least climb the stairs, slowly and make herself some breakfast, lunch and get herself cleaned up and dressed.

She was hospitalized in Nov after she had oral surgery to remove her badly infected teeth due to too much blood loss. She became very weak during this stay but she recovered. When she first came here I noticed that she used a lot of maxi pads and tampons. I asked her why and she told me she was having periods. I'm like, wait, you're 59, this shouldn't be happening. In addition, the pads would leave a very foul odor in the bathroom after she removed them. I then talked to her about any vaginal discharge she was having, which she was. I told her I was making an appt with the OB/GYN because something wasn't right. Now, this is a woman who had refussed to have these kind of tests in Illinois, I would venture to say that she hadn't had one since her breast cancer. When I took her in, the doctor was immediately alarmed and wanted to do a biopsy right on the spot, but again, she refused, so he only did the pap. Turns out she has cervical cancer, stage 2b. She was hospitalized about 3 weeks after this diagnosis because of too much blood loss vaginally. All this stuff going wrong with her has just sent her body over the edge I suppose. Now I have to drive her 80 miles round trip Mon-Fri to have radiation treatments for 6 weeks, she is so weak (she has CHF as well) that she needs help getting out of the bed, going to the toilet, bathing and getting dressed. And hardest part, changing diapers and cleaning her up after she's had bowel movements (which is frequently since the radiation is probably hitting her gastrointestinal tract). My husband can't do this, so I get stuck with it. I'm almost at my wits end because I didn't sign up for all this. I feel resentment towards her because I feel like I have to give up my life to take care of her. I'm neglecting my own child and myself in the process. She can't really be left alone for long periods of time anymore. I don't know what to do. We're in the process of finding a caregiver to come in help me, so that I can take a break.

Sometimes life is so unfair. But I'm trying to see the good side of this. I know that the bible tells us to care for the widows, and that is probably the only reason I hang in there, because I fear God tremendously. And I keep asking him, OK, what am I supposed to learn from this situation, maybe compassion and patience, I don't know. I look around for the small ways in which God is working to help me in this situation. One of those ways is that he allows me to only work part time outside the home (20 hours a week, in the time period of a day and a half), so I can be home Mon-Fri to care for her. Anway, I've probably written way to much and bored you all to tears, but it's nice to read the other posts and know that there are others out there going through the same thing. In addition to drawing strength from God, I can also draw strength from you guys as well. Thanks for listening.

IP: 12.25.210.136

GRM4LOVE
Moderator
posted 01-20-2003 08:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GRM4LOVE     Edit/Delete Message
Hello tburrage

Welcome.. while you really do have a full plate, I honor the awareness you have in your last paragraph.

Your mother in law is still very young, and yes compassion and understanding how she must not have felt very good about herself in all these years. Perhaps there was abuse when she, herself was growing up..issues that she chose not to resolve. It is difficult to comprehend when we haven't walked in the other's shoes.

You might want to generate a heartful family meeting in which you, your hubby and MIL sit and share quietly what each is experiencing and what your expectations are...and how they see it best working for the highest good of all of you, including your own viewpoints. You might need to call in a social worker, a minister, a psychotherapist, one of her doctors so that you accomplish this.

Also living in Calif, there are excellent resource centers for caregivers set up throughout the state and you might want to check them out as well.

Truthfully if your mil is so ill, what are her choices...are you and your hubby trying to keep her alive longer than she is suppose to be...don't misunderstand what I am asking you here... is all the running and radiation improving the quality of her life? If not you may want to check into Hospice which is a wonderful program that will provide comfort, palliative care and help to maintain the quality of her life until it is her time, with no invasive medical treatments. This is something you will all need to consider and discuss with one another.

I pray this information will help to make it a bit easier on yourself.. you are doing so much... don't dimminish it.. open your heart some where you can and love her for the good things she may provide for time is short...If anything, she brought forth your husband.. and I am sure this is a blessing.

Please keep us posted. Richest blessings in all you are doing.
Gail

IP: 66.108.75.139

tburrage
Member
posted 01-26-2003 01:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tburrage     Edit/Delete Message
Hi GRM4LV,

Thanks for all the information and words of kindess. I like your idea of a family discussion involving all parties. She and I actually get along quite well. She is very appreciative and aware of everything I do for her. She actually prefers me (most of the time) over her son, my husband,caring for her. Probably a woman thing.

Anyway, the comment you made about prolonging her life. I believe the radiation is going to help her and that eventually she will have a better quality of life. She's not ready to die-so that's a positive sign. They believe she will recover from the cervical cancer, it will be all the other medical problems that will eventually take her life. Doctors don't always know all the answers, one doctor thought in her current condition, she would probably live about a year. But who the heck knows! Although she is still weak, I have seen improvement since we brought her home from the hospital. But she just requires so much attention and care. It's hard to know when the right time is to place someone in a skilled nursing facility, especially when they don't want to go.

I will continue to try to be positive and just take it day by day.

Tracy

IP: 12.25.210.136

Dutiful Daughterinlaw
Member
posted 01-26-2003 08:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dutiful Daughterinlaw     Edit/Delete Message
Dear Tracy,
I have just returned from a visit back East to my family... I love and miss them all the time, but this was a good reminder of how I ended up living here while they remained there! I forgot how noisy the City was! I am exhausted, but thrilled to be home and thus a bit let stressed while returning to being dutiful.
It will take me weeks to catch up on "household stuff"... but I'd love to write. I understand, and I will listen.
Robyn

IP: 152.163.189.166

GRM4LOVE
Moderator
posted 01-26-2003 09:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GRM4LOVE     Edit/Delete Message
Hello Tracy

Glad to hear the prognosis is optimistic.. the quality of her life is most important.. just be aware for sometimes I have heard that radiation in the elderly has had some invasive side effects.

Your spirits sound brighter and I pray things will go more smoothly...hopefully some answers will come out of the family meeting that benefit you all.. maybe she just needs to go into the facility every once in a while for respite to give you a breather...

keep us posted.

richest blessings
gail

IP: 66.108.75.139

GRM4LOVE
Moderator
posted 01-26-2003 09:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GRM4LOVE     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Robyn,

Welcome back! We've missed your incredible humor..glad your trip went well...

look forward to seeing more of you

gail

IP: 66.108.75.139

tburrage
Member
posted 01-26-2003 10:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tburrage     Edit/Delete Message
Robyn,

I'm glad your trip went well. Were you ever able to locate some help to come in and give you a break? We just hired someone this past Friday. She will start tomorrow. Not sure how she's going to work out yet. I fear she may not be able to handle the strenuous physical demands of helping my MIL out of chairs, couches, toilets, wheelchairs, cars, etc. Not to mention running up/down the stairs to wait on her hand and foot. The person we hired is older than my MIL I believe? Anyone have any pros/cons of hiring a younger person versus an older person?

Gail, I'm surprised I sounded more upbeat with my last post, since it was the weekend. But that's good. I think I'm usually OK during the week. It's the weekend where I get more bent out of shape. Because I want to lay in bed all day reading a good book, just doing absolutely nothing and eating breakfast at like noon! But caregiving doesn't just doesnt't EVER end.

Hope you all have a GREAT week!
Tracy

IP: 12.25.210.136

GRM4LOVE
Moderator
posted 01-28-2003 08:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GRM4LOVE     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Tracy

it's so difficult to base the work on pros and cons of age..obvious reasons..could seem impt yet sometimes the elderly can have more energy than a younger a person..I think a lot depends on motivation, attitude, and heartfulness... and most of all the ability to get along with your MIL and for your MIL to like her...

You can also consider placing MIL in respite for a day or two just to give you a breather...if you need assistance checking into what is available..let me know and we will see how we can help..

keep us posted...blessings
g

IP: 66.108.75.139

tburrage
Member
posted 02-02-2003 11:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tburrage     Edit/Delete Message
Hi GRM4LOVE,

The MIL is bonding with the caregiver we hired, but then again, she forms attachments to people very easily! However, the caregiver called in sick the 3rd on the job. Sooooo, it all fell back to me. I do like the fact that someone is coming in. It really gives me a break, although I do sometimes feel guilty when I'm not helping, but of course, that's what she was hired for. We're still unsure if she's going to work out, but we're going to give it a good try. She seems like a nice person with a spunky attitude. And her being older gives the two of them something in common.

About respite care. Would she have to go to a center or would someone come to my home?

IP: 12.25.210.136

GRM4LOVE
Moderator
posted 02-03-2003 09:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GRM4LOVE     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Tracy

I think you are very fortunate... especially if they both like one another.. the guilt...that is something you are doing to yourself... if you are paying this woman to come in, it is so that you can have the time you need to yourself... if you trust her, surrender.

Respite is care that is either provided in facility or in a home, depending on the respite center's program, your location, etc. etc. and something you might think of checking into.

keep us posted

g

IP: 66.108.75.139

Parris
Member
posted 02-15-2003 04:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Parris     Edit/Delete Message
Hello,
My name is Parris I live in Sullivan county NY. I now am a caregiver for my Mother in law who had a massive stroke and heart attack on the 31st of Oct 02, she was in the hospital and is now home the doctors progonsis was grave when they sent her home and hooked us up with Hospice, They have been a godsend.
Iam married and we have 2 grown children and 2 grand daughters.
I was starting to think I was alone with this all i had seen was people who were caring for there own parents. Thank you I found this place by accident wile exploring a site about Hospice.
My Mother in law is still getting better and was to be released from Hospice but they changed there minds due to her starting to weep water through her skin and her feet and hands turing blue i felt really bad about that and thought i was doing something wrong here. The RN was great about that and tried to get the Doctors to make a house visit but I had to take her to them what an experence.
Some days i feel over whelmed and over worked I gave up all to do this and get NO help from his family.
Before this happined I had a job I loved doing my hobby for a job was wonderful, My boss is a wonderful lady though on news years eve she called and offered me a propisition that i gladly accepted I work at my hobby at home for her she dosent want to lose me either. That was a great ego boost for me. this is the 2nd time trying to post hope it works this time.

IP: 66.82.9.31

tburrage
Member
posted 02-16-2003 07:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tburrage     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Parris,

I'm glad you found this board also. It is very uplifting to find out that you're not the only one going through a particular situation. And it helps to just get it off your chest and talk to others are experiencing what you are experiencing. Somedays the workload (I'm sure as yours is also based on your post) is so much, I find myself thinking/wishing that my MIL would die, and I KNOW that that is a terrible thing to think. But I'm human. I'm sorry to hear that you have no help from your husband's family. We don't either at this point since my relocated to California with us. All her family is in Illinois. But remember, the bible tells us that 'we will reap what we sow'. And although it's hard to think past the moment sometimes, let alone the day, just remember that God has some special blessings stored up for you when we do the work he has planned for us. I have to try daily to remember this information for myself!

Anyway, glad you're here and by the way, how does one weep fluid from their skin? What is that?

Hope you have a WONDERFUL week, I know, easier said than done. But TRY ANYWAY!

Tracy Burrage

IP: 12.25.210.136

GRM4LOVE
Moderator
posted 02-16-2003 04:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GRM4LOVE     Edit/Delete Message
Hello Parris,

Welcome... You did make it..persistance is a wonderful thing... It's important to just click on the submit button and hold it for a few seconds and then release it for it to take.. some people actually compose their posts in an email, note pad or word processding document because sometimes their ISP's time out before they finish and send it propedrly.

Hospice is truly wonderful, and yes, it's amazing to know that you aren['t alone in what you are going through...that there are others who are here that understand fully...

Will Hospice allow your MIL to go home and still be under their program once the weeping is under control?

We tend to beat ourselves up thoroughly when something goes wrong, until we find it was something that was never in our control in the first place...

I do hope you will continue to post and visit with us in the chats.

Blessings
Gail

IP: 66.108.75.139

GRM4LOVE
Moderator
posted 02-16-2003 04:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GRM4LOVE     Edit/Delete Message
Hello Tracey...

I found myself praying for my husband and father at times to be relieved... I don't think this is uncommon.. It becomes so overwhelming at times and some times just when you think it can't get any worse, it goes to an even deeper level.. yes there is a bigger picture.. for me it was developing this site and the non profit.. we never know what is really in store for us in terms of the bigger picture... keep your faith angel..

Blessings
Gail

IP: 66.108.75.139

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