Caring for Someone or a Pet who is not well

monica197
monica197 Posts: 1,111 ✭✭✭✭

I wanted to send a note of encouragement to all of those out there who are caring for someone or a pet who is not well.

It is tiring and often a good night's rest is interrupted.

I am sending you blessing and hugs. If it were possible I would wrap up strength and energy into this note too. Know you are not alone.

🧑

Β«1

Comments

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Moderator Posts: 2,683 admin
    edited March 16

    @monica197 It is very difficult and there are times the hours are long and exhausting. But, I would do it again.

    I think the hardest part is often you do not have a social life. So many times I have been ready to head out ther door and a crisis pops up.

    As for animals, I wish they could talk. It would be easier to help care for them and make the decisions you have to make.

    Thank you for your kind words and encouragement.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Moderator Posts: 2,683 admin
    edited March 16

    There are several people her who take care of someone or who will be. My best to all of you.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Moderator Posts: 2,683 admin

    @RustBeltCowgirl There are a few times, (thankfully only a few) that I snap at mom, then I feel bad. Those days I try to find something to do in the other part of the house

  • Annie Kate
    Annie Kate Eastern Ontario, CanadaPosts: 683 ✭✭✭✭

    Wishing you strength, energy, and patience, @RustBeltCowgirl! And the ability to set boundaries gently. May God bless your difficult work!

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl North Coast OhioPosts: 1,179 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Monek Marie I so get it. That's why I sent you the PM to check and see how you were doing. As for "not much to say", I'm in that spot, too.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 689 ✭✭✭✭

    @Monek Marie & @RustBeltCowgirl Sending you hugs. πŸ˜˜πŸ€—

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 4,660 admin

    @Monek Marie @RustBeltCowgirl I had a job once for a couple of years, taking care of an elderly couple. Their age was creeping close to 90 years. I think 88 & 89-ish. She was bedridden with terrible arthritis and who knows what else. She was on a lot of meds. He was usually in a wheelchair or on occasion, he used a walker.

    She was often bitter, angry & demanding (and sometimes sweet and sometimes abusive). She had wanted to marry someone else initially, but he left for war. She married otherwise and as much as she appeared to love her husband, confided in me that she always wished had waited for the other to return. So sad, having regrets. Her (very handsome older, she had a picture) brother died in WW2 (extreme sadness & bitterness there). She was very private, almost in an odd way, and never had children. I don't remember why.

    Sometimes she hallucinated, seeing imaginary (hated) hunters across the ravine, hunting her deer. That was certainly interesting.

    Sometimes she was frustrated with me (I had to carefully watch what subjects we chatted about and take cues from her), and once she told me I was like a daughter to her. I still have a beautiful delicate ruby necklace she gave me. We could not find the earrings. She was convinced they had been stolen when I had searched everywhere and didn't find them.

    He could chatter on and on (and fall asleep), then wake up & chatter on and on. It was hard to excuse one's self at times.

    The house was cluttered with antiques & stuff. He fed the mice on purpose. I worked on convincing him it wasn't good as they were ruining his precious books. It was difficult and took a long time to convince him. The mice were numerous...ugh...one of my biggest ick factor things and there I was in my worst nightmare. He had been an academic (so books were important) & geologist in his youth. He had a memory like no other. His stories were sometimes interesting, but always never ending. They had a skunk come in their basement cat door the week before I came to live with them, came up the stairs and explored the whole main floor. They loved it, so I'd heard. It smelled so lovely...ew. Thankfully nothing else visited while I was there.

    It was my job to do light housekeeping, make meals & sometimes assist Homecare ladies. I took him to town once in my little car, I think for a doctor appointment or something. He liked getting out and got all gussied up, going to town hat & all. πŸ˜„

    I did have weekends off, which was important. They would have had me stay the weekends, but being in my early-mid 20s, I needed time out & away. I had to leave after 2 years because it was just time. They wanted me to stay. He was sad, she got angry. πŸ˜‘ But, I had a fear that I would come down the stairs one morning to one or both being dead. I had trouble with that. I had had to call the ambulance once for him while I was there.

    I can take physical care of the elderly, but it is certainly not my gift to wait on them hand & foot. I would rather just be there to encourage them. That is more my personality.

    My replacement was another young lady who was very lovely in personality. It wasn't long, however, before they were moved into a home.

    I had a choice to stay or go. It was a job. For both of you, it's a duty to family and you have many more responsibilities, which is much more difficult. Do either of you have respite? I certainty hope so. It is very, very important.

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Moderator Mid North Coast AustraliaPosts: 1,114 admin

    @monica197 you are certainly one outstanding individual. So compassionate and mindful. Personally, I’m not in the position of looking after anyone presently but I will be there if I’m needed.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Moderator Posts: 2,683 admin

    Unfortunately no @LaurieLovesLearning for respite. My brother , Bob, who passed away this spring was my go to for a break and for mom too. I do plan on taking her to see her grandson and nephew this winter (a goal for her to build up her muscles) which, in many ways will be a small break for me.

    I adjusted my thought on eating issues this evening. I will consider it a game and challenge so I am hoping my new plan will help eating issues and peace of mind, lol.

    Taking care of the elderly or others who need it is a difficult job. I admire you for doing two years at a younger age Laurie. It's more time consuming than a person thinks.

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl North Coast OhioPosts: 1,179 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Monek Marie I've got your back. If you need help, call me. It's about a 4 hour trip.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Moderator Posts: 2,683 admin

    My mom is a sweetheart. I am blessed that way and she is still sharp and remembers most things. I am glad I have this time with her but sometimes its difficult and will be very painful when she is gone. I am an emotional mess right now.

    Update on my mom. She was admitted last night.She is one air but they can keep it regulated now and will try to get her off soon. Her heatbeat is still a little irregular but they are pleased overall.

    She had water in her lungs and around them so they thought her pneumonia might be back. Its not, I was happy to hear that but they found a nodule on her lung.Total surprise to us. So there is more hospital time involved and hopefully good news. She was so funny today and called me wanting to know why she could not come home. They all love her there.

    And with a rise in covid in this area, no visitors! And they finally got her a room. She had to stay in emergency (looked like a convertedcloset room), until a room opened.

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl North Coast OhioPosts: 1,179 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Monek Marie Trust them to take care of her. You need to take care of "you" while they've got her. Go get some decent sleep.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Moderator Posts: 2,683 admin

    @RustBeltCowgirl Yes, they can take care of her better. And I slept ther better part of yesterday.

    Today, anything I am doing is at a snails pace.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 4,660 admin

    @Monek Marie That sounds good to me. Soak in your time and enjoy it.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 689 ✭✭✭✭

    @Monek Marie I happy to hear you're getting a break, your mom is in good hands and doing well there.😊

  • COWLOVINGIRL
    COWLOVINGIRL Posts: 862 ✭✭✭✭

    Thank you so much for the encouragment @monica197!

  • Desiree
    Desiree Posts: 244 ✭✭✭

    To all of you offering support and encouragement and to all of you who are "caring" for others I wish you all the strength and wisdom you need.

    I, too, am a caring of my mother (82) and her brother (88). I have been caring for my mother since my father passed away 25 years ago. My father "spoiled" my mother as well. She wasn't an invalid for all these years so I was able to continue to nurture and support my own children into adulthood and she was able to live a pretty normal life, just didn't want to be alone. I think it has been over the last 13 years that the care level increased. She developed health issues, needing blood transfusions, extreme infections and then a diagnosis of a blood cancer (MDS/MPD) and eventually was given a stem cell transplant (her case was done by the director of the cancer hospital who used it as a study for the treatment of otherwise healthy older patients, it helped to raise the age for stem cell transplants for others). It has been a challenge ever since though with the need to be extremely vigilant for rejection symptoms. About eight years ago she "invited" her brother to live with us (under my care but without any consultation) because his macular degeneration was getting worse and he couldn't drive/care for himself as well anymore. Fast forward to about three years ago...he was placed on hospice care with the diagnosis of end stage COPD. They took most of his med's away and kept only what was considered as "comfort care". I think; 1) he did not need all the drugs they had him on (blood thinners, blood pressure, diuretics, etc. ) and 2) the doctor jumped the gun. All of my research indicates that this is NOT end stage, it is challenging but not end stage and the fact that it has three years now pretty much confirms it. Unfortunately, because he was told he was dying, each day has been and is his last day in his mind. He isn't really the nicest person in general so that just makes it harder to be the care givers. The last three years has also taken a toll on my mother. She is now also suffering from severe scoliosis (her rib cage is beginning to tickle her hip bones) and moves much slower and is often in pain so mood/eating/sleeping/activity is all affected. She is a semi-silent sufferer while my uncle is a very vocal/semi abusive sufferer and the tension between the two of them is getting pretty bad. She gets mad when he raises his voice at her (because that just isn't done) and he thinks she hates him and is disgusted with him because she get mad. I am Switzerland (neutral) and stay out of that sibling dynamic but it is exhausting sometimes. I am on call 24/7/365 unless I can escape (yes I consider it an escape) for a weekend or a week to go visit with my children (in another state). The pandemic made it impossible to escape for way too long and I could tell that it was making me crazy. While I have five other siblings, only one has offered to give respite time. Unfortunately, my mother has become so dependent on me that she refuses any other care giver. When I escape, I provide enough food that only needs to be heated and my sister who lives close by will come in and check on them but once I am back she is out of it again. One brother has offered so many times to come and stay for a month to give me a break but Mom tells him no. He keeps telling me to "just do it, leave for a month and make her ask for help" but my care giver heart just argues with me so I haven't. Sorry I went on for so long, but like others have said, as caregivers we are somewhat isolated, without others in the same situation. I think it triggers something inside when we find someone who gets it.

    And so, long story short, we journey through our days the best as we can, loving and caring without any expectations. I try my best to remind myself that this is all about loving on my part, respecting them for who they are regardless of their current physical/emotional/spiritual state. I want to be able to go to my grave knowing that I gave them everything I could to make them just a little bit more comfortable/peaceful/joyful in these waning days of their lives. Does it come with a cost, heck yes! But if not me, who? A stranger, no, I can't live with that.

    So for those of you in this same place, virtual hugs to you, the kind that go on and on until you are ready to stand on your own again.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Moderator Posts: 2,683 admin

    @Desiree message me any time you need someone to listen. Big hugs!!~

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl North Coast OhioPosts: 1,179 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Desiree Feel free to message me any time you need an ear as well. @Monek Marie and I have a rather large message thread going on.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 4,660 admin

    @RustBeltCowgirl You should be able to invite her into your conversation, I think. If not, I know that @Monek Marie has that ability.

    I am so glad that you cannall learn on each other. It is so very important.

    Hugs to all of you. πŸ’

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 689 ✭✭✭✭

    @Desiree An avalanche of hugs to you.πŸ€—

  • nicksamanda11
    nicksamanda11 Posts: 292 ✭✭✭

    Hugs😍

"Italy is known for tomatoes. Thailand for chilies. Germany for sauerkraut. But tomatoes originated in Peru. Thailand imported chilies from Central America. Sauerkraut started in China. Everything is a remixβ€”and the world is better for it. Share what you know. Learn from others."

-Marjory Wildcraft