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deek15redpeppers (@deek15redpeppers)

Depressed caregiver

Caregivers | Last Active: Jul 23, 2021 | Replies (42)

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Thanks for everyone's comments. They brought tears to my eyes and things to think about. My spouse (we're a same sex couple) is able to do her personal cares, so I shouldn't complain. We don't need outside help, but I feel guilty leaving her to go do something fun.

I usually get out for a 3 mile run every day and the last 3days I have taken a walk just to think and listen to music. It's my only chance to talk to a friend about my feelings, as my spouse is always around otherwise. She gets defensive if I try to talk about feelings and told me if I want to be happy all the time I should just leave. That's not what either of us wants. We have a virtual meeting this week with the palliative care social worker, but my spouse says she doesn't need to talk.

Thanks for listening.

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Replies to "Thanks for everyone's comments. They brought tears to my eyes and things to think about. My..."

@deek15redpeppers Getting out to exercise is a great way to help work through your feelings, and get endorphins up to help stabilize your mood! I'm glad our comments gave you some ideas, show you are not alone, and care that you get through this time.

Palliative care social workers can be a blessing. Even if she doesn't want to talk, gently encourage your spouse to be present for the meeting. And if she insists there is no reason for her to do that, make sure you are there. Taking care of yourself, and understanding the mindsets of those we caregive for, is important.

Will you let me know how this meeting turns out, please?

You absolutely have to take your walks or do something else to fill yourself up. My daughter's husband just went through a horrific surgery, but he's doing amazingly well. She called me yesterday when she was out walking because she's discouraged. She said that he's healing amazingly well and there is no cancer left, and she's waiting for him to experience gratitude. Well sometimes the person who isn't feeling gratitude for a miracle just isn't there yet. Even if all of that is done with, and they are healing they need to go through their own mourning process for what happened. They are still too numb from all that they went thru….chemo, radiation, surgery, tube feedings, or are going thru. Each member of the family doesn't get to peace at the same time, and the sick person is depressed and a bit crabby. But you need your walks, your sip of coffee at a cafe with a friend, your yoga workout in the park with a buddy. Whatever fills you up or you won't be able to help her. Her husband yelled at her, which he doesn't typically do. But he said the words. "I'm depressed, I'm climbing the walls." she's exhausted from being his support person, and she sees them as ready to be grateful, and ready to move on. Well he isn't. You need to hear her words. "If you need to be happy all of the time then just leave." Not leave forever, but go for a walk. clear your head. She just isn't happy, and neither is he. I haven't followed your story, and came by it by accident, but I'm one of her supports while she supports him. Find your support wherever it is, and leave the house to re-create yourself, so that you can support her. Go into a different room and listen to music and pet the cat, call home, do what brings you some relief even for a 1/2 hour…watch chick flicks after she falls asleep. Your daily walk is hugely important, just learn to do it w/o guilt. Guilt is a luxury you cannot afford right now. An hour for a walk or run with head phones, and listening to music is a necessity right now. My daughter works full time as a CEO and is very busy, but took time to be home while he experienced this journey, but her walk or her 7 mile run kept her sane. Without some relief she would be a basket case. Take care of yourself. You must. Began to take the guilt free walk every day. You have my permission. Kiss her on the head as you go out the door, and enjoy the fresh air. Then when you go back you can have a sip of green tea together or maybe pick dandelions on the way back, and put them in a jelly jar for her. Be creative. If she's still angry it still isn't your fault. But do what you can to take care of you. You are important.

@deek15redpeppers– I am a long-time lung cancer survivor and have been a caretaker for a couple of friends and for my mom when she had Parkinson's disease. I had to move into my mom's for a couple of weeks and be a 24 hr. caretaker. My younger sister also helped, but I was there all the time. Even the day that I knew that she would die I at least stepped outside for a break.

Since your wife is very depressed have antidepressants been offered to her so that she might feel a bit energetic and maybe want to do something with you? Have you thought of taking them yourself? I do agree that exercise is the best antidote but sometimes it's just not enough.

How long has your wife not wanted to talk? Can you talk to her at all about anything? She just might be scared to death to open up and talk. I'd give her all the room that she needs and see what happens. Is that possible?

@deek15redpeppers How are you doing today? Explain to your spouse that palliative care will help you understand what she wants and that you will do what she wants. Does she have have an MDPOA? This is a medical power of attorney and health providers look to it when determining care.
When is your virtual meeting? Do you think your spouse will discuss the MDPOA?

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