Is it normal to be so exhausted?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by topsy1, Nov 1, 2014.

  1. topsy1

    topsy1 Registered User

    Apr 22, 2014
    After looking after her for 5 years, I recently made the decision that I could not go on any longer and now mum is in a very nice care home, she seems unaware she is anywhere strange, thinks it is a hotel. So no worries there at the moment! But I went down with the flu the day after she went in, and 3 weeks later my energy is not back yet. I sleep well and have an afternoon nap (luxury not possible before!) but I am not myself yet. I am 60 years old and otherwise in good health. I have also lost about a stone since i started being a home carer, and the weight is not going back on yet. I wonder if other carers have experienced this, some people have said to me it will be 6 months or a year til I feel right again.
  2. susy

    susy Registered User

    Jul 29, 2013
    North East
    You have need so strong for so long and suddenly you don't have to be. You then get flu on top of that... I'm sure it is totally normal to feel the way you do. I'm pleased that your mum appears to be settled. That must help an enormous amount.
  3. cobden28

    cobden28 Registered User

    Jan 31, 2012
    I'm not a carer myself, but I do know that having the flu can really lay you low for several weeks, even after you may appear to have recovered from any physical symptoms. Stress makes recovery time even longer and lets' face it, you have been under stress for some time because of being carer for your Mum.

    Take your afternoon naps and enjoy them, because you do really need to rest in order to recover from stress .

    Try to eat well and sensibly and the weight will eventually come back on
  4. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    Flu can really knock your stuffing right out for a few weeks. I know that after I had it, it was at least 3 weeks before I felt anything like right again. Once I felt considerably better I well remember walking the dog with my daughter and even then she said, 'Mum, can't you walk a bit faster?' and I could only say, 'I'm sorry, darling, I can't.'

    I would think that the cumulative exhaustion from caring, with flu on top will take quite a while to work itself out. I would hope that plenty of rest and good food, plus good old time - not to mention NOT feeling guilty if you just want to curl up on the sofa with a good book or a box set! - should do it. I do hope you feel your normal self returning soon.
  5. Pepper&Spice

    Pepper&Spice Registered User

    Aug 4, 2014
    Hi Topsy,
    Wow 5 years, that's a long time to deal with all the stress and worry am so glad for you that the pressure is off for the time being. How about having an MOT at the docs just to check blood pressure, anemia, thyroid etc ? Tiredness can have lots of causes not least of all the "female" things the health professionals are always throwing at us( sorry making the assumption that you're female ;) ) but I think after all you have had to deal with it's not suprising that your body may need a little time to recover. How about a break away somewhere nice for a few days if possible and indulge yourself a little - I dare say time to yourself for treats in the last five years has been minimal if not non-existant !
    I haven't managed a year yet but I know when mum is in respite and I manage to get away all I do is sleep and try to enjoy the break :)
    The flu will definately pull you down and it's not unusual if you are already run down to have the recovery take a long time - how about a tonic ? Mum used to swear by them if I had a rough "do" bless her - now I have to worry about her health - maybe to the detriment of my own.
    Take care of yourself and all best wishes for the future.
  6. rajahh

    rajahh Registered User

    Aug 29, 2008
    I have noticed since my husband died that I have been prone to " being unwell". I think the body knows that now it is ok to be ill.

    I too have had flu like illness and am into my 4th week now. I am still absolutely shattered, However I am 75 so I expect my recovery to be slow

    I know of quite a few people who are feeling exhaustion after this illness too so I shouldn't worry too much
  7. kkerr

    kkerr Registered User

    Dec 28, 2011
    I would like to repeat one of the posts from a above - now may be a good time to get a full checking over by your GP!! It may be that something (like anaemia, thyroid problems etc) has been lingering for a while - but as carers we are so accustomed to putting others needs above our own - it may be that only now, with some time to reflect, think about yourself - that you are truly noticing the symptoms. Particularly with a history of weight loss, I would definitely make a quick trip to the GP, tell them your history, have full set of bloods done etc. Now is time to look after you!! After all, just because your loved one is in a care home, you are still their carer, family, friend - etc and they still need you to be there for them. Hope you are feeling better soon!
  8. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    Too busy to be ill and then suddenly - wham - with a little relaxation all the bugs seek you out and your down!! Just keeping resting when you need to.
  9. Annebags

    Annebags Registered User

    Sep 2, 2014

    I am exactly the same. Mum went into a nursing home from hospital and, while she was in hospital, I picked up a chest infection. Oh, and I was made redundant. I am so tired. I think the tension holds us together and once that is relaxed a bit, we fall apart.

    In addition, have just had a tiring visit to mum when she is asking to "come home".

    I think it is probably natural but that doesn't really help, does it
  10. Chuggalug

    Chuggalug Registered User

    Mar 24, 2014
    I'm so sorry you feel unwell. I only ever had flu once in my life. Never again, if I can help it - thanks very much! It really did knock me back for about three weeks. Mind you, it was over 20 years ago. I think I'd be out for the count for far longer, these days, if it ever happened again.

    If you like pineapple, grab a carton or two from the shop next time you go. Glass of pineapple a day really does help make things better. It certainly worked for me, another time, when I was down with something else! (You really don't wanna know!)

    Hope you feel better, soonest.
  11. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    Near Southampton
    Well, I wish my body had remained in blissful ignorance!
    I could do without everything that has happened to me since June!
  12. topsy1

    topsy1 Registered User

    Apr 22, 2014
    Thank you for your kind and understanding reply to my post about flu and exhaustion. I had forgotten about tonics but got my OH to go and buy me a bottle of Floridix. So thank you! Topsy
  13. topsy1

    topsy1 Registered User

    Apr 22, 2014
    Thank you for your kind and understanding reply to my post about flu and exhaustion. It does indeed help to know that others have been through the same thing, makes it more normal and understandable. My OH drives me to visit my mum in the CH twice a week, she has been there 2 weeks now and thankfully she does not seem to realise she is in a Home. Sometimes she just thinks its a nice hotel. I am struck by the amount of lies I now have to tell. When she asks when we are going home, I say with a jolly laugh, we've only just arrived! When she asks am I staying here too, I say yes. When she asks where my room is, I say its just down the corridor. Oh boy, its like living a double life, but anything to keep her from being distressed or anxious. Topsy1
  14. Pepper&Spice

    Pepper&Spice Registered User

    Aug 4, 2014
    These are the white lies we learn to tell our loved ones because truth can be cruel and unnecessary. How many times do I say to myself " play along" with whatever the theme, worry or current idea is ? Last time mum was in respite and we visited after a few days she was ready to go home and had been whittling to the nurses about booking a taxi ! When we did come to take her home she wasn't ready to go ! We just have to bend in the wind and hope we can get upright again !!
    Best wishes for the future and hope you soon regain your bounce :p

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