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Old 05-23-2015, 02:35 AM
 
1,728 posts, read 1,256,556 times
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Your post really touched me. I'm so sorry for your loss, and for the pain you are feeling. I lost a loved one and a few months before they passed on I was taking care of them. I could not sleep much, I was stressed seeing them sick, and just really tired. I was even not very nice at times and just let my frustration show and I should not have. I wish I had been more patient. The night before they passed away I had to go to the store to pick something up for them and as usual was in a hurry to get to them as soon as possible. On my way back from the store I had a horrible thought of how it they passed on I would not have to be so stressed and tired and worry so much. The next morning they died. You have no idea how guilty I felt. Guilty I had not been as patient while taking care of my loved one, and especially guilty of my thoughts the night before. I thought maybe me thinking how stress free my life would be without them is what caused them to die the next day. Did they somehow sense this and thought they were a burden to me and figured dying was best? How selfish of me to care about having to hurry home instead of being grateful I had the chance to be with them, even if it meant taking care of them and not getting enough sleep. Their death made me not like myself very much.

I spoke to someone about this and was told that I am human and there is something called caregiver burnout or something like that. I never heard of this before, and I admit that I still have feelings of guilt, but it did help to hear I am not the only one that has gone through this.
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Old 05-23-2015, 10:02 AM
 
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Calvert, I hope you are doing a bit better. It is a long road, I know. It is incredibly hard to live under that cloud of grief. But every now and then, you will hopefully have happy thoughts, or at least be able to think of something besides your wife. I will say that for some months I could think of nothing but my husband. I couldn't concentrate on anything else - couldn't read a book because my mind couldn't stay on the page. I re-ran a million times our first meeting, scenes from many times in our lives, especially when we were so young and so in love. But gradually, I started having intervals when I could do something else. I can now do many tasks, read a book and such. But I am still pretty sad when I am not doing something like that. It has been almost 6 months. Sometimes I want to think of other things, and sometimes doing other things makes me feel that I am moving away from our life together, and that makes me incredibly sad. I think we just have to have patience with our feelings. And I do think now and then that, wonderful man that he was, he would want me to be moving on, into my own life. So I am just assuring you (and myself) that we can gradually make it through the sea of grief. Have patience with yourself, and acknowledge what strength and love it took to survive all that you have. You still have that strength and love to survive this part of it. God Bless.
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Old 02-22-2016, 10:24 AM
 
Location: God's Country
4,664 posts, read 3,039,933 times
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Human contact? Let me count the ways.


Well, at Mass the parishioners give the peace sign to others near them. This consists of grasping another's hand and wishing them peace, and lasts about 10 seconds. And then there's contact with grocery cashiers except for those of us who go through the self-serve lane. Occasionally it's necessary to have a service tech in the house like an electrician or handyman. Maybe three times a year go to the MD, clinic, or lab for blood work. Yeah, that's about it.

You know ... this new life really blows.

Hey, maybe I'll contract with Merry Maids. There are a number of rooms I don't use and haven't dusted or vacuumed. Yeah, that's the plan.
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Old 02-22-2016, 12:34 PM
 
Location: In a house
21,904 posts, read 20,929,744 times
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I can totally understand--I am right there with you. I did finally get a part time job and I do need that for the money but also human contact. Doesn't pay much but provides my fur-kids with food! I also joined a nearby church. I live on a gravel road in the middle of nowhere. This was our decision before my DH passed as we had retired and wanted to be out and away. I only have a few neighbors.
My husband died from ALS in Sept 2015 and the end was very similar to what you had to go through. The first year was difficult but this year the reality has set in--I am alone! It's not easy! I hope for the very best for you. It's one day at a time......
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Old 02-22-2016, 12:55 PM
 
15,207 posts, read 16,084,046 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvert Hall '62 View Post
Human contact? Let me count the ways.


Well, at Mass the parishioners give the peace sign to others near them. This consists of grasping another's hand and wishing them peace, and lasts about 10 seconds. And then there's contact with grocery cashiers except for those of us who go through the self-serve lane. Occasionally it's necessary to have a service tech in the house like an electrician or handyman. Maybe three times a year go to the MD, clinic, or lab for blood work. Yeah, that's about it.

You know ... this new life really blows.

Hey, maybe I'll contract with Merry Maids. There are a number of rooms I don't use and haven't dusted or vacuumed. Yeah, that's the plan.
First, I'm sorry for what you've been through. I know that it was hard to take care of your wife while she was ill and that it's even harder now that she's gone. My heart goes out to you.

Second, you didn't ask for any advice. Nevertheless, this is C-D where advice if always freely given, and is worth about as much as it costs. . It sounds like you would like more human contact. If that's true, have you thought about getting a part-time job, or volunteering somewhere? Maybe the library, the local Boys and Girls club, the animal shelter (could be depressing), food bank, Habitat for Humanity, school district? Does your city have advisory boards or councils you could serve on? Have you tried meetup.com? I don't know how old you are, but are you eligible for things at a senior center if there is one close to you?

What about travel? There are travel groups that cater to single people and older people.

I know that sometimes when you're depressed you want a situation to change but can't summon the energy to make get started. You sound sad, lonely and bitter, which is completely understandable given what you've been through. I hope you can find the energy to at least poke around and see if there's something in your community that you can do.
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Old 02-22-2016, 01:06 PM
 
Location: God's Country
4,664 posts, read 3,039,933 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cynwldkat View Post
I can totally understand--I am right there with you. I did finally get a part time job and I do need that for the money but also human contact. Doesn't pay much but provides my fur-kids with food! I also joined a nearby church. I live on a gravel road in the middle of nowhere. This was our decision before my DH passed as we had retired and wanted to be out and away. I only have a few neighbors.
My husband died from ALS in Sept 2015 and the end was very similar to what you had to go through. The first year was difficult but this year the reality has set in--I am alone! It's not easy! I hope for the very best for you. It's one day at a time......

Condolences, cynwldkat. I can imagine what you and your DH endured with ALS.


We were able to retire young -- 19 years ago in fact -- and there's no way I could acclimate to a work regimen at this stage of the game. And like your environs this is an isolated rural valley. Thinking about a hikers' club or else joining the other geezers who sit in the snack bar at Walmart, all wearing their baseball caps with their military units written on them. Geez, what a way to end up.
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Old 02-22-2016, 03:05 PM
 
Location: In a house
21,904 posts, read 20,929,744 times
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I hear you.....I never imagined being with another man and yet I never imagined being alone either. I have never in my life been alone and am not very happy with it. Yet I am scared to death of what is out in the world today. I went to a widows lunch and everyone was much older then me--very sweet ladies but not a lot in common. So here I sit with my critters learning how to do repairs and such on a house--things I have never done so it has been a challenge. I went from being taken care of with very little worries financially to having to care for myself and living on very little. It has been a wake up call to say the least!
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Old 02-22-2016, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
16,227 posts, read 22,011,931 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvert Hall '62 View Post
She survived breast cancer, pulmonary embolism, and, back in '99, the dangerous Whipple procedure in which doctors removed 1/2 of the stomach, part of the pancreas, and the entire duodenum which is the first part of the small intestine. She was my little warrior princess. Then in 2011 a non-Alzheimer's dementia along with corticobasal degeneration began. By early 2013, the disease progressed to the point that home caregivers were required.

The disease took a sudden turn for the worse 6 months ago. It was necessary to have her alternate between a hospital bed set up in the living room and an electric tilt chair. She was incontinent, unable to talk, use her hands/arms, and stand on her feet. In other words, totally helpless. Had to keep prodding her to open her mouth for food and chew it once it was in her mouth. Estimated wgt, 100 lbs; normal 125.

During these 6 months, I hoped and prayed for her death, partly because of her misery, but also, selfishly, because of the burden on me. Despite caregivers, I had to lift her to / from the bed and chair, assist with the sponge bath, and assist with every Depends change which were frequent as she often had 3-4 bowel movements a day,. The Depends were almost always wet also. On top of that, I've always prepared her meals and fed her, right from the beginning. For the icing on the cake, two heavy-handed women from Adult Protective services harassed me because they believed that her vaginal area was too pink from urine contact (a urinary catheter was ineffective).

Because of the need for me to be "hands on," necessary chores weren't getting done, and I was forgetting to do things like lock the door at night. Didn't know if I was coming or going. And so I prayed for her demise. I got my wish April 10.

And for the past three days I've done nothing but cry, a new experience as I don't ever remember crying since early childhood. The guilt is overwhelming. And all her life, even thru this ordeal, she has always been sweet and gentle. My wife was the most considerate of others' feelings than any person I've ever known. Well, I didn't have time to do chores, now I have nothing but time during which I must resist the urge to eat the business end of dad's .38.
I am sorry for your loss, but I am sure she is with her loved ones who have also passed, watching over you.

I watched a movie last week, about a man who would end suffering peoples lives, so they did not have to suffer anymore. They flat told him, I cannot live like this!! Please help me!
He tried to make it legal, but it never went through. What was the name of that? anyway, you are in my thoughts and prayers! Chin up!
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Old 02-22-2016, 06:21 PM
 
39 posts, read 21,086 times
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Calvert, your story brought tears to my eyes. You have had some kindly, good advice in this thread which I hope will ease your desperation. You were a loving, caring husband to your brave wife, no one could have done more than you did, and I am sure it was her time to depart this life anyway, so don't be hard on yourself regarding the prayers.

Take each day as it comes, live in each day and no further. It will get better eventually. God bless
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Old 02-22-2016, 08:28 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
5,135 posts, read 2,941,428 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvert Hall '62 View Post
Hey, maybe I'll contract with Merry Maids. There are a number of rooms I don't use and haven't dusted or vacuumed. Yeah, that's the plan.
Calvert --- let me know how those Merry Maids work out. I'm at the point of throwing in the towel on housekeeping after eight years alone....except for the cat who does not do his share. Even now it is a struggle to get through some days but hang in for the long haul -- things will get better. I miss the conversation most and shared perspective of a wonderful woman I spent half my life with. Regarding human contact, it is funny how people will 'chat me up' in the grocery checkout line or almost anywhere...and I've learned to do the same.
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