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Update on my Dad and: is the way I am feeling normal or not?


Registered User
Dec 29, 2012
Hello all

I've not been here for a while, just been through a dreadfully stressful time with Dad which has had a reasonably happy ending now.
Dad has mixed dementia and collapsed and was rushed into A&E with me at his side back in July. We were told his kidney function was really low and they were so concerned about him they wouldn't let him home. Anyway he was kept in for two weeks, his kidney function improved dramatically as soon as he was on saline and supervised drinking. The hospital doctor told me Dad had been severely dehydrated through carers not supervising drinking properly. I couldn't be there all the time because I travel for work and there is no one else. The social worker at hospital wanted to send him home on his existing care package, but I objected and threatened to sue Adult Social Care so he was sent to the care home where he had been in respite previously for a detailed evidence based assessment of care needs. His GP and dementia nurse both advised me to refuse to provide practical care for Dad anymore because of my deteriorating health due to stress and the fact that Dad really needed care beyond what he could receive at home. Anyway.....after four weeks assessment, it was proved without doubt that he could not return home so he has been offered a permanent social services bed in this lovely care home where he seems well, settled and content.
I thought I would be relieved but I have just been unwell. The day after I was told he was getting a permanent place I had some sort of turn. I got up to go to work and started shaking from head to toe and couldn't leave the house. Since then I have been really poorly, aching all over, anxious, fearful of leaving the house, chest pains, palpitations, can't breathe sometimes. My GP has checked me over with tests and says I am okay. I don't want to see my Dad, either and it upsets me. I force myself to go to see him and we sit together and he doesn't speak to me much, although he seems happy enough. Yesterday I got to the care home and sat in the car outside. I couldn't go in and I drove home. I feel terrible; has anyone else had similar problems? What's the matter with me? I fought for well over a year to get him the care he needs, so I should be happy he's safe and looked after!


Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
Being pulled every which way by our emotions is normal. Dementia is not normality and places huge stresses on carers. We know what we have to do and then torture ourselves when we do it. Give yourself the kind of understanding and some of the care you have given your Dad.

You are a loving daughter and no higher praise is needed.


Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
South coast
cerridwen, the same thing happened to me when I retired. I had had a dreadful year with mums deteriorating dementia and my OH having lots of investigations (they now think he may have FTD) and I just couldnt carry on. I ended up literally counting the days until I retired and as soon as I had finished I started shaking and spent almost the whole of the following week in bed. The things you describe sound very much like panic attacks. I decided that I had had a mini breakdown. I think we can hold it all together for a while, but it becomes increasingly hard as the stress mounts up and then when the stress stops its as if the body knows its safe to be ill and we collapse.

Give yourself a break and listen to your body - you will get better, but it will take time.


Registered User
Aug 22, 2009
From looking at this site for several years I would suggest that it is very very common to be ill once your caring role changes in this way (and when it ends as well)

I believe that our bodies need time to adjust and you have had such a difficult time fighting for your dad. I reckon once you accept that these feelings are part of the deal, you will begin to feel better. I think that you just need time to adjust to your dad's situation now and it will become easier and you will be able to visit without all these emotions stopping you.

Be kind to yourself, you're doing your best and that is what counts. x


Registered User
Mar 4, 2013
Auckland...... New Zealand
Cerridwen, I really feel for you.
Much mixed emotions for you which would have been building up over a very long time.
From what you describe is exactly how I get, months and months even after a particularly emotional or stressfull event.
In short they are anxiety/panic attacks due to hyperventilating.

It has happened 5 x over the space of 18 yrs, the last time in 2006 after my husband had finished 7 mths of chemotherapy. For me I know when my stress levels are getting the better of me when I drive on that same stretch of motorway, that we had to travel to hospital day in day out throughout his radiation and chemo treatment.... i get the shakes and have to pull over. The thing is now after seeing a breathing physio and even after having a brain MRi scan and consulting a Neurologist, I can recognise my symptoms before they get the absolute better of me.

I think while you are doing all the day to do practical stuff, you cope and cope.
Now that you know that you Dad is being looked after and safe, I really feel now you need to look after Cerridwen. Are you open to the idea of counselling? I have found this. most helpful in the past talking to somone who is totally unrelated and unconnected.
Take care :)

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