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Burnout

Faithful_Angel's picture
Faithful_Angel
Posts: 88
Joined: May 2011

I've learned alot lately as a caregiver, Im at the end of my rope right now. I haven't been eating or sleeping. I'm crying alot. I don't even take time to think about anything but my dad. I've stopped everything else in life.

My dad has turned against me mean and hateful. I know this is a normal part of dying but it doesn't mean it hurts any less. I've tried to talk to him and there is no reasoning with him. He's so Mad and angry and mean to me while he's nice to everyone else. The doctors, the nurses, social workers, chaplain, even my mom. Me he sees me as dirt.

I had a talk with my mom today and I'm on the brink of leaving and letting her try to deal with him, So much has been put on me and I don't want to make things worse. Im trying to decide what is the best thing for him. If I am making my dad miserable It may be time for a change.

Temporary solution, Im going to a hotel for two days starting sunday which happens to be my birthday. Let him think, and let me figure out the next step. Im also thinking about talking to my grandparents, in case things don't improve I might go back "home" to ohio and stay with them while I get arrangements made for a house for my mom and I and my dad if he survives long enough...*this was the plan for my mom and I anyway*..

I'm at a complete loss and so distraught..

Lisa4502
Posts: 7
Joined: Jun 2011

I kinda know how you feel. You're trying to be there but our loved one makes it so hard. More than anything, like I've been told you have to take care of yourself. I don't have alot of advice for you but it sounds like you're on the right track. I'm in my own dilemma as a caregiver that gets no appreciation but everyone else does. But we have to hold on and find a way to get through this.
Take care of yourself and have a great birthday.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!!!

LISA

Barbara53's picture
Barbara53
Posts: 659
Joined: Aug 2009

After about 9-10 days on caregiver duty, I'm no good to anybody, so I go home and recharge. We have a good home team that can hold things together for a while. Right now I'm home on my birthday break, too. Geminis rule!

One little piece of advice: your dad is no longer himself. You must detatch a bit from his rage and the frustration, which is not about you at all. You're just an easy target. Be there for your mother, and turn the other cheek over and over. Keep taking breaks, too.

Love is so hard sometimes, especially forgiveness. Although I'm not an extremely religious person, we do have a family joke about forgiveness. When asked how many times he had to forgive his troublesome brother, wasn't seven times enough??, Jesus said maybe seventy times seven would do it. So when someone in the fam stirs up bad juju we knock palms to foreheads and say "seventy times seven." We all know what it means.

Good luck and happy birthday!

Lelia's picture
Lelia
Posts: 98
Joined: Jun 2011

I'm glad you made a plan to get away, while you're on respite leave make sure to do some things for YOURSELF. If you don't feel like being out, order a room service cheeseburger and watch a movie in your favorite loungie pants. Do for yourself whatever personal things you've been missing on account of taking care of dad every second of the day, a facial/hair treatment or your nails or a nice bath.

Consider talking with your dad and the chaplain during one of the clergy visits, sometimes a third party in the room helps in remarkable ways. When the chaplain arrives for a visit, tell him privately you need a few minutes with him/her and your dad together. After they have private time or whenever the moment is right, go in and sit down, be direct but kind and gentle, owning your feelings and making eye contact with them both: 'I'm concerned that dad seems angry with me and hope you can shed some light on how we can communicate better' or something to that effect. Be direct about your feelings and use 'I' statements, owning and expressing how YOU feel. Saying 'I feel hurt and unappreciated when X happens' is much different than saying 'He's acting mean and he makes me hurt and angry.'

Angel, this is likely the most difficult time in your life and there's no road map for the journey. Call on your Higher Power (and your angels) for help, and continue to vent here, we really do understand.

I've told you before, for some reason your story touched my heart when we first met here. I think about you often and offer prayers of strength for you several times each day. I look for you here, and wonder how you are. I'm grateful to have such a dear soul as you during this time in my life -- xo Lelia

Faithful_Angel's picture
Faithful_Angel
Posts: 88
Joined: May 2011

All I can say is wow. It's funny how when we are going through our trials, those people we connect with can put a smile on our face. And I know he's not really mad at me. But it's still hard knowing we've had such a close relationship. But it is what it is.

My dad's still in denial about his impending fate. And we went to the doctors yesterday and the doctor said you wieght is leveled off no more weight loss...you vitals are stable..so you are holding your own.

In my dad's eyes he heard..."you are doing much better, you will beat this". So now we are contending with that. He has stopped taking even his prevacid to help with his stomach. It's going to be a rough rocky road..

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1612
Joined: Aug 2009

Yes, I know that it is easy for me to say to,take care of yourself and hard for you to do. It is the most important thing a caregiver can do, though. I'm glad you are getting away. Pamper yourself for a change. You dad is lashing out at you because he knows you are a safe place to take out his frustration. He may in denial, but he is also probably a bit scared. Fay

ms.sunshine
Posts: 710
Joined: Mar 2010

It hurts when you are giving your all, and someone is mean. Time for you to take a break. Maybe you, and your mom can take turns being there with him. You are so stressed. Do something that makes you happy.

dearfoam's picture
dearfoam
Posts: 82
Joined: Apr 2011

I take my dad for his CT scan to see how the chemo has affected his numerous tumors. I am really anxious for the results. He is stage four melanoma with brain and lung mets and has been told they can't cure it, just slow it down. He seems like your dad when they say one thing that neutral and he hears something about getting better - it's hard. He also gets frustrated a lot and doesn't want to work with me on the things we can do to help him get along for now.

On the flip side my dad has no idea what pills he's taking. I mean, we tell him, but he kinda takes whatever we say he should take. He doesn't like to do any of the other things that are there to help him, so its a mixed bag of hope, denial, lethargy and determination.

Hang in there!

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