1. daddykins

    daddykins Registered User

    Jul 14, 2012
    Portland, Dorset
    I am tired, fed up and I suppose angry.
    I have not posted for some time now as I am afraid of the future for my wife.
    Last year was interesting and tense, we celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary last September and the following week my wife was rushed into hospital which resulted in her having a pace maker.
    Things then did settle down somewhat, although I was having to do more for her by way of washing and dressing etc. There has been some improvement in what she is capable of doing herself, although I still have to be aware of her personal hygiene at times, and I do still have to shower and wash her hair, which can be a little troublesome in making her as she dislikes showers and we only have a wet room.
    She now has got into the habit of going to bed, which needs my help in undressing etc, and then getting back up again, normally with 10/15 minutes as 'she cannot get comfortable', coming in to watch the television, though not what I might be watching.
    So I get her comfy, glasses and feet up etc, find her something to watch and after twenty minutes or so 'it's rubbish I'm going to bed'.
    I have this 24/7, my only escape is shopping on a Monday and Friday. She will not mix with the other residents here or go to a day care centre.
    There are times when I could just walk out, but I made a vow over fifty years ago to 'love, honour and cherish, in sickness and in health' and that stops me, and on top of all this I am also having to support both our son and daughter as they both go through there own personal traumas.
    O'K rant and ramble over, but has anyone got any suggestions that might help please.
  2. truth24

    truth24 Registered User

    Oct 13, 2013
    North Somerset
    So sorry to read your post. Wish I had some suggestions but I am sure someone will be along soon with some advice. Best wishes.
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hello dadykins

    the vow did include `in sickness and in health` but did not say 24/7 or that your health should suffer in the process.

    You need some time to yourself and a little space regularly and all I can suggest is your wife be cared for by agency carers for a couple of hours every day.

    I had a daily care package of two hours a day and as mobility began to go, half an hour morning and evening to help with dressing and undressing. Something like this might really help you. Even with this excellent care package you would still be housebound for 21 hours a day.
  4. Mufti

    Mufti Registered User

    May 11, 2012
    #4 Mufti, Apr 3, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015
    sickness and health

    Hi I can only relate what a very dear friend said to me when I was at the end of tether. I too was upset that after forty years I had come to the point where I was getting physically and mentally incapable of continuing with caring. She said - you need to stop thinking that if you get help you have stopped caring! You need to keep yourself well so that you can then "oversee" the care but not physically give the care. She was right. I started with day care then respaite care. Sadly, just before Xmas I had my crisis and my partner is now in full time care but co still see him regularly and ensure he is cared for as I would expect. The guilt monster is still there but gradually I am realising that it was make the decision or fall down and then there would have been no-one to support him - we have no family and friends can only do so much. I don't know if this makes sense but I hope you can accept some help and get some peace soon. X Mufti
  5. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    Hi daddykins :)

    I do agree that 'in sickness and in health' means just that....however, I don't feel it means that you have give up on your own well being in order to fulfil this vow. In fact, as others have said, if you don't get help, you will feel worse, and you will be less able to give your wife the care she needs. I do also understand your need to support your children, no matter how adult they are....I feel that strongly myself.

    So....I hope you will be able to access some support to help all of you. Some suggestions:
    Has your wife had a needs assessment from social services?
    Have you had a Carers assessment? You are entitled to this and the local authority has to take your needs, as well as your wife's, into account.
    Have you looked to see whether there are Admiral nurses in your area? ( they are dementia specialists)
    Have you talked about this with your GP?

    Just a few ideas. The main thing is to recognise that you are important as well as your wife and children, and go from there.

    Sending you every good wish

    Lindy xx
  6. di65

    di65 Registered User

    Feb 28, 2013
    new zealand
    This could have been a direct quote from my Dad. He looked after Mum for years - 24/7 and Mum would not allow him to accept any help. We eventually persuaded him to get someone in to shower her 3 times a week, and after he had a hernia op, to get someone to do basic housework 3 times a week. Mum also would not mix with other retirement village residents, as she was convinced they were trying to get Dad into bed. If that were not so sad, it would have been so funny. When these accusations started Dad was in his early 90's and had a catheter, and confided to me that nothing worked anymore after his prostate op:D.
    I do hope you get some help and a bit of a rest.
  7. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    Our fiftieth was in February and passed without my husband knowing anything about it as his short term memory is less than five minutes. This is a hard, hard slog and you must get all the help you can whether your wife likes it or not.

    We go to as many Alz groups as I can access for his sake and mine. I need to talk to sane people. John goes to day care one day a week and enjoys it though clings to me in delight when he comes off the bus! It would be pure vanity to think I am so important rather than just his security, his comfort blanket. Get help, find time for yourself. This is going to go on for a long time.
  8. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    In sickness and in health...but whose health.
    I had, last year, Carers breakdown. Believe me, you really don't want to go there! Fortunately a fortnights respite cured that for a while.
    However, if you accept help you will be able to care for wife longer. My OH goes to daycare three days a week now. Those days are the times I do the shopping, see my friends, go the the dentist etc. you get the drift. OH cannot be left alone unless in bed ( though I refuse to go to bed when he does...16:00 hrs on average). These things enable you to look after your wife for longer. If you have health problems than in the end it will be impossible.
    I have now been advised - by practically everybody including my GP - to put him in a home and I realise that this is the right decision. However, he has one more chance, more medication. I feel I owe him that chance. But if I hadn't accepted help, he would have been in a home 12 months ago.
    Whatever your feelings, I urge to accept help before it affects you as well.
  9. daddykins

    daddykins Registered User

    Jul 14, 2012
    Portland, Dorset
    Still tired

    Thank you all for your support and comments.
    My brick wall is the complete resistance to any outside help and that includes the carers here as well. Just to give a little more, she will not open the door to our flat if I am not around and she absolutely hates me going out even to do the shopping. A couple of weeks ago she even phoned me to ask where I was and I had only just parked at the supermarket!
    We live in extra care sheltered housing which requires a key fob to gain entry, twice. Callers have to call the flat by inter-com to be allowed entry and still she feels 'un-safe'.
    We did 'fool' her when she came out of hospital last year, into signing for 're-hab' care for 4 weeks, but she absolutely hated it even though the ladies who came were very friendly and always chatted first to put her at ease. But they confided that they were doing less and less, just a quick sponge over, not proper washing, which was a waste of time.
    I did take her to see a day care centre, but she had made her mind up before that she was not going to like it, this was reinforced when someone recognised her and tried to make conversation. It was definitely 'if you think I'm going their again your mistaken'.
    As for assessments, yes we both have them, although they are about 3/4 years old now.
    I suppose part of the problem is that she still tries to 'be in-charge', she was a senior teaching midwifery sister until retirement through back problems, osteoporosis and arthritis.
    Still I do get a smile and compliment, most days, when I do her breakfast, porridge with cream and fruit.
    Is that enough, I suppose it will have to do for now............
  10. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    North East England
    #10 CollegeGirl, Apr 4, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2015
    Hello DK! I'm both delighted and saddened to see you posting again. My heart goes out to you - this illness is absolutely the pits isn't it?

    Everyone has already said the things that I would have said, so I won't repeat them. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make things right for you and your wife.

    You sound so sad, overwhelmed and tired. I wonder what you would say if a friend of yours came to you with the same situation and asked for your advice? But it's very hard to be objective when it's your own situation, I know.

    I wish you and your wife all the best, and hope you can climb out of this black hole, and somehow get some help that will improve your life and state of mind.

    Do keep posting - even if there are no answers, it may help just to do that.

  11. Tara62

    Tara62 Registered User

    My late mother was like that, too - an absolute, total NO to any suggestion of outside help, expressed as forcefully as is humanly possible. Daddykins, I'm afraid that the time comes when, as carers, we have to go directly against the wishes of those we are caring for, and simply impose the help that is needed. I think you need to do this now, for the sake of your own sanity.

    What I found, with my mother, was that although her Nos were absolute, when the necessary care was imposed, she did accept it - which astonished me, because I thought we would have a far harder fight with her about it. I started small: the first thing I did was insist on a cleaning lady once a week. I expected my mother to rant and rave at her, or even attack her, but when she arrived for the first time, my mother simply accepted her. The next thing I did, some weeks later, was get carers in in the mornings to make my mother wash, which she was refusing to do. This was more difficult, and my mother did put up a lot of resistance, but sometimes the carers did succeed in getting her washed, which was something my father and I had found totally impossible - and the interesting thing was that my mother was never as abusive towards the carers as she was towards my father and me. In the end, I came to believe that my poor mum felt more able to be difficult with my father and me because we were closer to her, and it was easier for strangers to make her do things like washing and dressing.

    What I'm saying, in nutshell, is that I had that very same brick wall, but I found that in reality, it was a straw wall that just looked like one made of bricks. I think you should get a small amount of help to start with, and see how it goes. You may be surprised at how successful it is. Good luck.

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