I am not a doctor. I am providing information based on experiences that my mom has with natural remedies. The purpose of this blog is to help folks to educate themselves. Use this information with your own discernment.

21 November 2010

One More Day

Only one more day before services begin every day; help real help with caring for my mom.  However, I am losing it.  I have symptoms of depression making the final few steps of this long journey of caring alone seem impossible.  

I ask, "Can I make it until Monday when the van comes at 7:30 AM to bring my mom to Day Care?"  

Three days alone with my mom is way too hard on me lately.  Crying, has made it worse.  I am depressed.  I tried so hard not to become depressed, but I failed.

I experience feelings of hopelessness and despair one where I feel no way out and trapped.  I see my life in a cage, chained down as my mind slips away, losing consciousness I drown in sorrow. I ask for help.  I don't hear answers.  

I understand why care givers turn to suicide; the pain is intense.  The feelings associated with depression are real and we can not just "snap out of it."  The depressed Care Giver looks for a way out but we can't see the exit through the feelings of self pity.

Expectations rise and fall.  Failed expectations pull the Care Giver down as though a huge anchor has been tied around our necks; breathing is difficult as we feel a heaviness take over.  Pain, physical pain riddles our bodies, taunting us as our minds crumble, believing the only way out is death.

Tears and lots of them are shed.  Uncontrollably, without warning, tears projectile out of our eyes.  Sadness for the loss of family and the perceived failures of Care Giving take residence in our minds, pulling us down deeper into the darkness associated with Hell.

Death, we begin to think about death.  Maybe if we just get in our car and drive the wrong way on the highway into a Mack Truck, the pain will end once and for all.   We begin to believe that no one will miss us if we croak.  More and more our thoughts drift toward ways to end our lives; scary thoughts... unhealthy thoughts. 

Yesterday was this sort of day for me.  I did think about dying and how it would free me from care giving.  I thought about what would happen if I ended it and immediately got a chill up my spine.  I cried over the thought and became angry with myself for allowing this thought to penetrate my consciousness.

Care Giving day in and day out, 24 x 7, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for nearly 3 years without a real break has worn me down and weakened my constitution.  I am severely burned out.

I’m so close to success, the end of this long road of caring solo is coming to an end, yet I still feel that it will never arrive.  I am impatient. I need help to make the final mile.

Deeper into the pits of hellacious thoughts my mind drifts.  With a perceived feeling that family don't care nor see how desperately I need them right now.  Why?  

I cried. 

I prayed for strength to make the final stretch.

The most valuable lesson that I've learned through all of this that my husband is my family, he is the only one that matters now.  He is my rock.  He is here and he is holding me up. Reminding me all day yesterday that we are nearly there, that we can do it together.  

I have come so far, years of heads down care giving, times that have been much more difficult.  However, I felt defeated yesterday.  My feet felt as though they were stuck in cement rendering me immobile.  I need help.  I asked and cried for help… who will answer?

In comes my Knight in Shining Armor, my husband.  He has never let me down and for that, I'm grateful.  He hands me a lifeline of encouragement, extending his hand while saying, “Hold on, you can do it.” 

Only one more day to live through being my mom’s sole Care Giver every day.  I need to survive only one more day the grueling pain that’s the by-product of caring for a loved one with dementia.

I forgive myself for the dark thoughts that I have from time to time.  I forgive all those who want to help but don't know how.  I turn my focus to love; love of self and love of family.

I love myself.  I do believe that I can if I think I can.  It’s now that I need to put on my running shoes, pick up my burden and persevere.  I can do this; I’ve done more difficult tasks associated with caring over the last 3 years alone.  I have what I need... I refuse to die before my time.

Only one more day and the oppression brought on by care giving for my demented mom will begin to be lifted.  I won’t need to call anyone for help because help will be here.  I can return to having happy relationships with my family.  I miss them more than I can express in words.

I understand Care Giver suicidal thoughts.  I also understand that suicide isn’t the answer, that it’s when we have these thoughts is when life is about to turn the corner to brighter days.

Today, I am more hopeful.  I can make it through one more day and I look forward to my own healing.  I look forward to getting help for myself where I can begin to experience joy.  I look forward to laughing.  I am excited for daily respite and the time to do things that bring me happiness.

Advice for other Care Givers who feel the burden of caring for a loved one, if family doesn’t help when you feel that you need them the most, release resentment and anger.  Siblings have no idea what you are experiencing and are more than likely numb to your cries for help. 

I found that there is help out there.  Call Elder Services in your area, they will help you.  Call them early and get the paperwork going, this was the toughest challenge as a 24 x 7 Care Giver, there is a lot of paperwork and hoops to jump through, but it is well worth the effort.

Only one more day and I KNOW I can make it because I think I can!


  1. You know Suz, sometimes, I think it's a little like any other relationship that is very difficult--no matter what the reason for that difficulty is. There are things, rescuing things, that if they happen at a certain point, can make everything at least somewhat ok. There is a point of return. But there is also a point of no return. Sometimes, it's too little, too late. Sometimes there is just a certain amount of collateral damage that has been done a person through chronic trauma, that even if everything were 90% "fixed," it just wouldn't be enough. Maybe you're not there. But maybe you are. Either way, I think there comes a time when you also need to consider your life and your husband's life as equal to that of anybody else's life. Even if they were only half-worthy, the two of you together would still be equal to anothers' you put before. There is only so much time in life. Even for you.


  2. PJ... I never met you but I love you!

  3. Please, please, please consider taking an antidepressant. I know you don't like medications, so maybe your mom's (alternative) doctor can give you some workable other possibilities.
    The point is, however, that all these ups and downs are not healthy for you! Depression is an illness (just the same as Lewy's or any other invisible disease). It doesn't just go away. You may feel more hopeful for a while when you get the help with your mom. But I really don't think it will totally go away unless you pay attention to it on its own, separate from your feelings about your mom. I have taken antidepressants and the difference in outlook, attitude, feelings, worries is truly remarkable. Depression is not something to fool around with. Please!

  4. Hello Mellodee... thank you for your concern.

    I am taking St. John's Wort, just started it after our ND recommended it for me. It works!

    Yesterday was an awesome day for us. The St. John's Wort made a world of a difference. I'll also have acupuncture to help ... so, I'm OK.

    Everyday is getting better and better.

  5. Yes, this post scared me a little. Four years ago my oldest friend (since we were 5) committed suicide just days before Christmas. I still can't heal. Now whenever I get a hint of hopelessness in my mind I freak. I found that exercise and regular spa appts helped me. Just a massage or a facial - something where I know I am putting me first for awhile.

  6. Kim... it's a reality that no one writes about. I had to write this post for others who may feel hopelessness taking over and that there is always hope. Exercise, massage appts. and meditation are all things that I participated in because they are beneficial to overall good health. I'm excited to get back into a routine.

    PJ ... I won't give up until I give the Day program, 5 days with transportation and 2 days respite on the weekends a chance. Besides, my mother-in-law lives with us too, even if my mom moves out, we will not be alone.

    If and when my mom does go to a home, I'll still worry about her. I will feel that I need to be at the home all the time to watch over the care. Sending a loved one away doesn't help remedy the depression, from what I've been reading, it exacerbates the issue.

    I appreciate all of your comments PJ, Mellodee and Kim, all of you give me thoughts to ponder when making my decisions. Thank you.

  7. Hi Susan,
    I have just discovered your blog. I am fulltime caregiver for my mum who as Alzheimer’s. I feel locked in a bizarre 24/7 rollercoaster world with her. As I read your words each one resonated with me. I also checked out your caregiver’s guide to sanity and agree with you on so many points. I thought this is a girl with the right approach and so similar to my own. But I also feel that you need to take your own advice. Easier said than done I know, when did I last made time to meditate. I send you love and prayers. It was heartening to read your words and know I am not alone.

  8. Hello Anonymous... thank you for stopping in to read my blog.

    Care Giving is stressful, more stressful than any sales job that I've ever held.

    We are doing well now that my mom is going out every day. The Day Care Program that she attends is superb. The nurses there are sweet and understand dementia. They keep my mom busy all day long.

    Thank God for the Elder Services in our area. They have helped us so much and the help is just beginning. My mom would be in a home if not for Elder Services and the State of Massachusetts providing health services in our home.

    Starting tomorrow we have a woman coming in every day at 5pm to help my mom clean up and get ready for bed. This is the crucial time of my preparing dinner... my mom's needs always caused us to eat like the "rich people." (my mom always believed the wealthy ate late dinners.)

    I've begun to have time for myself and it feels awesome. My husband and I are able to spend time together again... oh happy days!

    It's a journey that we are on... some times it seems impossible but we always figure it out.

    Rest assured Anonymous... I am taking my own advice. As you know, it's really difficult to do when things are out of balance - we are regaining balance and as a side result, control of our lives.

    Thanks again for your comment, we are definitely not alone. Readers like you have provided me much needed support that has helped me more than anyone will ever realize. Thank you!

  9. Thank you for acknowledging my comment. I appreciate that. I looked for an email address, as I there are a few things I would like to enquire about, but I could not find a link that worked. I am trying to practice balance but it is a bit like being on a seesaw here at the moment. Enjoy your day.

  10. Dear Anonymous... here's the link to my profile which has my email address. I will be delighted to exchange email notes with you.


    It's a wild ride that we are on.