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5 days ago · Meet fellow Caregivers - Introduce yourself in Caregivers

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. We dealt with a very similar situation with my mother-in-law. She was in end stage renal failure and along with osteoporosis was no longer able to care for herself. She decided that she was stopping her dialysis. Her mental faculties were impaired because of the kidney damage and thought if she stopped the dialysis she had to stop all medications including pain meds. She decided to do this just before the Christmas holidays.

I had a talk with her and told her that if she was truly ready to end her life that was her decision however I wanted her to think about those around her that would be affected by it. I asked her to think about her son and daughter and her grandsons and how it would affect them to lose her at Christmas. I reminded her that her death at Christmas would make a very happy family time a very sad time for a very long time. I lost my Dad at Christmas many years before and it affected me deeply. I also told her that she could stop dialysis but continue her medications. She wouldn't listen to me.

I talked with my husband and we decided to contact Hospice for advise. We didn't ask them to get involved, we just wanted information. However, they immediately visited her at the nursing facility and we hadn't even talked to her about getting them involved. The Hospice nurse immediately got her set up on morphine for the pain. The nurse also let her know she could continue her medications even though she stopped dialysis. We already knew that stopping the dialysis could be a painful process especially when her body began filling up with fluids and toxins that were no longer being cleaned from her system.

We visited her to discuss Hospice and saw that the morphine was giving her much needed relief from her pain. She had decided that her family was trying to stop her from doing what she wanted. She told us that the facility staff had contacted Hospice for her. We told her that we had contacted them for her because we wanted her to be comfortable.

She passed away on January 9, 2000. She was able to spend a final Christmas with her children and grandchildren enjoying each other's company and for a short while being the Mom and Grandma that we all remembered so well.

My heart goes out to your husband. I'm sure he would prefer to be with you and his son but I understand not being able to be around all the stress. Maybe you can go home for a day or two so he can see for himself that you are doing fine. I hope your son will allow Hospice to just come talk to him about what they can do for him and the family. They can be an invaluable source of assistance and guidance for all of you.

Hugs and Prayers.

Wed, Jul 31 7:13pm · Statin Intolerance in Heart & Blood Health

@jakeduck1

Hi Leonard (also my husband's name) I don't recall where I got the figures it was several years ago. My PCP did confirm the numbers. When I began my research over 20 years ago when my husband was put on Lipitor after a massive heart attack, my first stop was the manufacturer's website. I read all the reports, etc. that most people never see. This is where I learned of the side effects no one was talking about; the muscle weakness, the paralysis, etc. From the manufacturer's website I moved on to reviews from people who were or had taken the drug knowing that generally only those that have a issue would post anything. I then moved on to drug reviewers and anything else I could get my hands on. The numbers were mentioned more than once.

If you have been one of the 'lucky' ones that could take Lipitor and not have the side effects, that is wonderful. Others are not that fortunate, either it does nothing for them or they get the side effects. In the past I have talked with people who became paralyzed and unable to function even on a cerebral level.

Wed, Jul 31 7:12am · Statin Intolerance in Heart & Blood Health

My husband and I had the muscle pain, etc. from statin use. My husband's doctor tried different statins on him with the same results. All statins have the same side effects. His doctor also tried medications that were not statins. Those didn't affect his levels any more than the statins did. Eventually he stopped all cholestrol lowering medications. I stopped taking the statin and refuse to take anything to lower my cholesterol.

My levels remain the same at 245 total. I have had high calcium levels that were caused by a diseased parathyroid gland. Once that was removed the calcium levels returned to normal. I did a great deal of research on cholesterol and our bodies. I learned that our bodies make cholesterol and that it is vital for brain function. Statins remove cholesterol from the blood and doesn't distinguish between what the body makes and what we ingest. When I started my research over 20 years ago the goal was to get the cholesterol level under 200 now it is under 100 and the lower the better.

My PCP uses a mathematical equation to determine my probability of having a heart attack over the last few years I have a 3% chance of having a heart attack in the next 10 years. I am 64 if it weren't for other physical issues I would be in great shape.

On a final note, I learned that statins only help about 1 in every 100,000 people. The other 99,999 get no benefit but do suffer with the side effects. My PCP confirmed this and I decided the odds weren't good enough for me to deal with the side effects which can be debilitating for many. There is a new drug Repatha that is not a statin but is an injection.

Sun, Jul 21 9:08am · Handling Ups and Downs in Marriage and other relationships in Depression & Anxiety

Ginger, I failed to mention that I have been in counseling for over a year now. My therapist has been a tremendous help in dealing with the depression and anxiety. He is also helping me learn to cope with my relationship. My therapist tells me after every visit to remember to do something for me and that if my hubby doesn't want to participate to go without him. I have told my hubby that once he retires I want to do things and not sit at home 24/7 and that if he doesn't want to go I will go without him. He laughs.

Sun, Jul 21 8:08am · Handling Ups and Downs in Marriage and other relationships in Depression & Anxiety

This topic could not be more relevant to my situation. I have been married for 44 years and have always been the stronger one. I have always done all the cooking, cleaning, shopping, finances, yard work and maintaining the vehicles. I have also done all the minor home repairs or arranged for someone to do the bigger things. I reared our two boys pretty much on my own. The boys are now 41 and 37 so we have been empty nesters for a long time.

He is 72 and still works full time because I encourage him to do so. He has congestive heart failure and has a defibrillator. He is nearly 300 lbs and refuses to do any kind of exercise. He says his knees hurt too much. He has had a TKR on the right knee and refuses to do the left one. He didn't follow through with the PT after the right knee surgery. He suffers from depression but won't talk to his doctors about it. He had no desire to do anything and spends his time at home either on his computer or watching tv. On the weekends he won't shower unless I tell him he has to. We have a membership to the local aquatics and fitness center but he won't go. He is a 'former' smoker who says he quit years ago after a massive heart attack in 1997. I to this day still catch him smoking.

I am 64 today. I had to quit working five years ago and apply for disability because I was no longer able to do my job. A meningioma and resulting surgery in 2009 caused a cognitive impairment. That in addition to fibromyalgia made it impossible for me to retain information to perform the tasks. I was a sales rep for a company that developed and sold software for pharmacies. I was good at what I did and in addition to bringing in new accounts I was also responsible for all of the independent clients across the US and the Virgin Islands. I could no longer remember how to get to places that I visited frequently. I couldn't remember what I was doing and why. The stress of trying to maintain made the fibromyalgia worse. I also suffer from severe depression and anxiety and other physical problems.

We are more like roommates that spouses. There is no physical relationship and hasn't been for a few years. It became very painful for me and his BPH left him with a diminished ability to perform. It became one sided in that I provided him with pleasure but I got nothing in return. Lots of promises but no follow through.

He has always had a problem understanding the fibromyalgia and no matter how much I tried to explain it to him he didn't really seem interested. I would provide him with materials to read that never got read. He never asked how any of my doctor visits went or about tests results. Now I am being tested for possible heart issues and he showed a little interest at first but not any more.

I still do all the things I have always done. As long as his needs are met everything is fine. If I ask him to help he either waits until I get fed up and do it myself or he deliberately makes a mess for me to clean up. If I call him on it he accuses me of turning everything back to him and everything is all his fault. He says I am always picking on him and his response to any discussion is to leave. There is never any civil discussion of the issue. He immediately goes on the defensive and gets angry.

He will be retiring in September of next year. I don't know how I will function with him underfoot 24/7.

Thu, Jul 4 2:02pm · Thyroid Problems in Diabetes/Endocrine System

@crenhov Your surgeon is correct about the thyroid causing the osteoporosis. Have you had your parathyroid tested? I had a parathyroid gland removed last fall because my levels had gone way up. I had also developed osteopenia, was very fatigued, and had memory problems. I had also started putting on weight. After the surgery I lost 10 lbs. within a week and was doing well. Now my TSH levels are rising. My surgeon found a large benign growth on my right thyroid gland so I suspect that is playing a part in the elevated TSH levels. I anticipate more surgery in the not too distant future. My TSH levels have fluctuated for years.

Mon, Jul 1 9:07am · Repatha as a treatment for high HDL Cholesterol in Heart & Blood Health

I cannot take any statin because it has adverse reactions to another condition I have. I have not taken anything for 'high' cholesterol in several years. My total cholesterol stays about 230. I am 63 and have had no heart attacks, no strokes, etc. I did a great deal of research and learned that our body makes its own cholesterol because we need it, especially our brains. Yes, statins reduce cholesterol levels but it doesn't distinguish between what is needed and what isn't. Personally, I think the premise that everyone needs to be below 100 (it used to be 200) assumes that we are all exactly alike when we are individuals with different needs. Every year at my annual physical my PCP uses a mathematical equation which determines my likelihood of having a heart attack. Every year my chances are 3% over the next 10 years that I will have a heart attack. We no longer discuss lowering my cholesterol.

Fri, May 17 10:50am · low energy with diabetes in Diabetes/Endocrine System

@dorisena Please be careful with B12, it is possible to get too much of it. This happened to me and even after I stopped taking it, it took several months to get my levels back to within normal limits. Frequent night time trips to the bathroom can be very annoying and zap your energy. I have this problem as well and find that what I eat for a late night snack affects my trips. I love fresh blueberries and eat 1/2 to 1 cup every night for their melatonin-like properties but I will get up more if I eat them after 9pm. Have you been tested for sleep apnea? This will affect your sleep as well.

I try to stay as busy as my body will let me and I tend to overdo on the days when I feel energized. I pay for it the next day because I am too tired to do anything. Fortunately I don't have diabetes but do have hyperparathyroidism, osteopenia, fibromyalgia and degenerative disc disease to name a few. I came inside a little bit ago from cutting the grass on my 1 1/2 acres. It will soon be nap time.