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Some advice urgently needed, please. I can't think straight

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by cerridwen, May 9, 2015.

  1. cerridwen

    cerridwen Registered User

    Dec 29, 2012
    99
    Gloucestershire
    Hi all

    My Dad is in respite for a month, out on 27th May (I have posted about this already). He also has iron deficiency anaemia and is having tests for internal bleeding. I saw him yesterday first time in a week and he was really poorly looking, having deteriorated. Very weak and tired, aching all over. he looked terrible. I spoke to his care team at the home who said that he is taking his iron tablets as directed and they are waiting on blood tests to see how he's doing. They reassured me that they have everything in hand and that they would involve a doctor immediately should he deteriorate and that they would let me know asap if there was a problem.
    I am stressed out of my mind. Over the past week I have had so many stress symptoms; indigestion, acid reflux, lower abdominal cramps, chest pain, panic attacks, insomnia, aches and pains all over my body and I fainted yesterday (low blood pressure). I can't think straight and can't stop these symptoms. I don't know if I should be seeing my GP or not and whether there is anything else I can do for my Dad. He has a CT scan on 15th May, which I will take him to, but he is so weak he can't walk far so I am concerned about getting him into the hospital. I spoke to his dementia nurse yesterday who has stopped his Donezepil (it can cause internal bleeding) as a precaution and told me to try not to worry so much.
    My husband says I'm stressed and that I should calm down. He also says Dad is well taken care of (it's an excellent new care home with a good rating) and that I should take a break from seeing him and worrying about him and rest. He says I should take action when its needed. He's very logical! I am really at the end of the line with all this and I am barely functioning. Three years of caring for both parents (mum died of cancer in June 2014) and I've just imploded. I know I wouldn't be as stressed if I didn't feel so exhausted. Can I have your perspectives please because I know many of you are going through same/similar. What would be the best things to do? Brain is like goo and the headaches and stomach upset are awful.
    thank you in advance, Jane xx
     
  2. looviloo

    looviloo Registered User

    May 3, 2015
    464
    Female
    Cheshire
    Hi Jane, I just want to send you a big hug, because I do know what you're going through and the stress is completely normal and understandable. In your situation, I would see a sympathetic GP about your stress symptoms, because your health is very, very important.

    Also, could you ask the care home and/or hospital to arrange transport to and from his hospital appointment? You could still go with your dad but you wouldn't have the stress of driving.

    Try to tackle one thing at a time - you're doing your best and that's all you can do. Hopefully others can give you more advice, but I just wanted you to know that I can relate to what you're going through... take care xxx
     
  3. AlsoConfused

    AlsoConfused Registered User

    Sep 17, 2010
    1,958
    Wanting to help ...

    I think you should see the GP ASAP - but only because he / she might be able to do something about protecting you from the onslaught of these stress systems.

    You'll be too agitated to be able to relax but would any of the following help:-

    - build in long, slow walks with caring, sensible relations and friend if you're physically fit enough to do so - the activity will use up some of the adrenalin churning around in your body

    - every time you start to worry over something you can't do anything about (your Dad's health or the future, for example), stop yourself by saying "NO" and resolutely turn your attention to a happy memory. I use a memory of my niece - just over a year old at the time - rapt in contemplation of lambs in a field. You'll need to do this repeatedly; worry's a default mode now isn't it?

    - would hypnosis help? It might be available via the GP.
     
  4. patsy56

    patsy56 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    840
    Fife Scotland
    #4 patsy56, May 9, 2015
    Last edited: May 9, 2015
    Hi Jane and can I quote you <I am stressed out of my mind. Over the past week I have had so many stress symptoms; indigestion, acid reflux, lower abdominal cramps, chest pain, panic attacks, insomnia, aches and pains all over my body and I fainted yesterday (low blood pressure).>
    When mum was diagnosed last year and B started to go down hill, (he has Parkinson's) I too was like that, my doctor signed me off for a month. Not that I'm saying you should do that, just as you say we have/are going through this and
    <Brain is like goo and the headaches and stomach upset are awful.> I know these too, makes me think sometimes I have the dementia.

    Hang in there Jane we are all with you.

    edit PS
    I have a big garden it helped with me, I am sure I ended up with a nervous breakdown.
     
  5. WIFE

    WIFE Registered User

    May 23, 2014
    857
    WEST SUSSEX
    As a precaution I would visit your GP. He might suggest something to "cool" your anxiety but all the symptoms you have described I suffered with - and several others - through my husband's fractured hip, subsequent ten weeks in hospital with post-operative delirium and then visiting him in a Nursing Home for ten months whilst his dementia steadily got worse until he died. I knew I was stressed but couldn't control the symptoms all the time. Now slowly they are subsiding - still get severe nauseous headaches some days - so I imagine a lot of your problems are stress related and you need to take time for yourself to enable you to get through the sadness of your Mother's cancer and your Father's decline. Thinking of you WIFE
     
  6. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,839
    Suffolk
    Yeah, I've been there, it's called Carers breakdown. In my case it was respite for OH for two weeks and I didn't go and see him, I went away.
    If dad is not in a wheelchair, all the hospitals have them, with luck one might be available for you to take him from car or taxi to his appt and back to vehicle.
    The symptoms will gradually go. 'Try not to worry it trite', but get involved in something else, like gardening as was suggested, walking, knitting, reading, watching a film, anything that would take your mind off it for a while.
    The other thing I would suggest is to write all your worries down. Some you might be able to solve, some you absolutely can't do anything about. Forget those . Look at the rest and see if you can anything to improve the situation.
    I have found that seeing things written down, or even the act of writing them down, clarifies things no end.
    Good luck
     
  7. cerridwen

    cerridwen Registered User

    Dec 29, 2012
    99
    Gloucestershire
    Thank you for your replies everyone. I was started to think I was going crazy with all these random symptoms so in one way it is comforting to know that many others have experienced them as well. I guess I am naive and a bit isolated. I know other carers are struggling as well.
    I have decided to step back and let the care home do their job. I am not going to visit Dad until the end of the week, unless I am called in an emergency. I am also going to see my GP on Monday. I don't want to keel over and be incapacitated. I am starting a new book to read too......I used to love reading but can only now manage one or two pages and I give up. I am just going to plug away at that and I may be able to finish a book, who knows. The thought stopping ideas are great, by the way, and also gardening, writing down worries and exercise. I will try all of these gently.
    Still feel grotty physically. The aches and pains and headaches are the worst. I am glad it is coming up to bedtime.
    Night night, Jane xx
    Thanks again
     
  8. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    1,539
    Female
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    #8 Linbrusco, May 9, 2015
    Last edited: May 9, 2015
    Cerridwen I'm sorry to hear about your Dad.
    Apart from you seeing your GP, as soon as possible, I would really recommend you do something to relax as far as your breathing.
    Whether its yoga, meditation, a relaxation CD you can listen too, or seek help through a breathng physiotherapist.

    I care for my Mum with Alzheimers, but almost 10 yrs ago when caring for my husband who had a brain tumour, I also started experiencing a lot of symptoms like you have mentioned.
    I was also having dizzy turns, pins and needles, a spaced out feeling....
    I ended up in hospital, as they suspected a TIA. After a consult with a Neurologist and Brain MRI, the conclusion was hyperventilating.
    After many many months of stress while DH was having brain surgeries, radiation and chemo it got to the point where the constant demands were causing my breathing to become totally out of synch. Overbreathing can cause a lot of physical symptoms. Sit down, and time your breathing over 1 minute. Count the in breaths and count also if you sigh, or yawn. Anything more than 12-15 in breaths can be overbreathing.

    Now with Mum, its something I constantly have to remind myself of. My husband is going overseas shortly to visit his family, and I am taking 3 weeks off work.
    I don't plan on doing anything much at all :)
     
  9. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    426
    Hi Jane,

    Sorry to hear you are so stressed. I can totally sympathise. I had a nervous breakdown at the beginning of the year which was partially caused by the stress of years of having to deal with one parent who has dementia and the other who has severe mental illness and possibly dementia too.

    Go to your GP ASAP and talk to him/her. Even just doing that will validate how you feel. Your GP will definitely tell you that you need to rest and may well sign you off work for a few weeks. I would strongly recommend taking time off and allowing the care home and other people around you to look after your dad. If you don't rest now, you could well have a breakdown, and then you definitely won't be able to look after your dad, so it's in both your interests and his to take a rest and look after yourself.

    All the best,

    LS
     

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