1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

  1. LynneMcV

    LynneMcV Volunteer Moderator

    May 9, 2012
    south-east London
    #1 LynneMcV, Feb 21, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2015
    I learnt a valuable lesson recently - about just how important it is for carers to take care of themselves!

    I have been feeling low for a very long time now. Since the beginning of the year I have felt particularly rough - but I've probably been feeling generally run down and tired a good three years before that if I am honest.

    I wasn't particularly surprised, a lot of major things have happened in the last three years - almost one on top of another, not least having to watch my husband being diagnosed with dementia and the gradual decline in his abilities ever since - so I suppose it was only natural for me to think that these were all contributing to my general feeling of mild to moderate despair at various times.

    But then, recently, the mild to moderate feeling of despair got much worse and I was panicking because I though if I felt this bad when my husband is still only at the moderate stage of this disease - how the heck was I going to cope when he got a lot worse?

    I was increasingly concerned that I might be developing symptoms of dementia myself - often stopping myself just short of doing something daft like going to the fridge instead of the freezer, putting groceries away and then not being able to find them, repeating myself (semi-aware that I was repeating myself but never quite sure) - not being able to concentrate properly on work (my list of reminder notes had been growing ever longer!)

    I was at my worst just about three weeks ago now - to the point where I felt so low that the very thought of getting out of bed was a huge obstacle. I ended up signing myself off work for a week. I think the only reason I did get out of bed was because I needed to make sure that my husband was ok.

    Anyway, I eventually took myself off to the doctor, convinced that the stress was getting to me and that I needed my blood pressure taken at the very least - and probably medication to get me back on an even keel.

    Well, my blood pressure was extremely high. I was put on medication and sent for blood tests. When the results came back I had been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid. This in turn had led to very high blood pressure, very high cholesterol (apparently both regulated by the thyroid) and very low Vitamin D (no wonder I couldn't think straight).

    How simple the treatment was though! After just one week of thyroid medication and Vitamin D supplements I feel fantastic and completely on top of things again. How I wish I had not struggled on feeling so low for as long as I had before seeking help. I have stopped making lists and can think clearly again.

    I urge other carers not to make the same mistake I did. Don't automatically assume that everything is the result of the stress and energy needed to take care of a loved one who needs us - sometimes it might just be something completely different which can be sorted out quickly and easily.

    If you are struggling, I urge you to let someone know - and never shy away from going to the GP - it might just be the best thing you did :)
  2. Caroleca

    Caroleca Registered User

    Jan 11, 2014
    Ontario canada
    A good post Lynne.....and great advice
  3. AlsoConfused

    AlsoConfused Registered User

    Sep 17, 2010
    So glad you're feeling better Lynne :) ... and thanks for your very sensible advice.
  4. 2197alexandra

    2197alexandra Registered User

    Oct 28, 2013
    My thyroid levels are just about manageable again for the first time in three years. I was up to 275mcg thyroxine a day by the end of caring for dad. I'm back down to 175mcg my normal amount. But boy I feel so much better. I think I just got used to feeling terrible it became normal.

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