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Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 9/9/2010 10:04 AM (GMT -6)   
My wife's sister is dying in the ICU. We were told that it would happen two weeks ago and in spite of removing life support systems she is still lingering. She has been sick a long time but is has been nothing but one crisiss after another for 4 months. I have major health phobias and wont go near the hospital and my wife is doing most of the care and work.
I was in a very bad anxiety breakdown before this happened but I think this is taking me beyond anything I have ever felt before. All I do is walk and pace all day and feel insane.
Could this outside stress over her sister be taking me down. I am really sick and tortured. How would you feel?

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/9/2010 10:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Stress certainly can increase your anxiety.  I am sorry to hear of your sister-in-laws terminal condition.  If she is off life support and no further treatment is to be done I am wondering why they do not put her in a private room where her family could be all around her and it would be so more peaceful for all. 
I have a nephew that cannot go to hospitals either and when my sister spent 10 months in the hospital with cancer he was not able to come to the hospital even one time.  I know many people have phobias of hospitals so don't beat yourself up over this problem.  My sister never held my nephew's phobia against him. 
Support your wife in all kinds of other ways.  Let her know you care.  My husband is not crazy about hospitals either as he has had 5 major surgeries so visiting is not easy for him.  To help me out he would drive me uptown ( into the big city)  and drop me off at the hospital and then come back the next day and pick me up.  This was a huge help to me as for the 10 months the stress of the drive was rough especially in the winter months.  My neice and I were the only to caregivers available for my sister as she was from out of state. 
My hubby  also helped by cleaning the house and doing the grocery shopping etc.  One night he took me accross the street from the hospital and got me a room at the Radisson so I could have somewhere comfortable to sleep and just unwind as I was spending several days at the hospital.  He knew most of the time I had to sleep on the floor on an extra mattress the staff found for us.
Remember that guilt is a wasted emotion and concentrate on the good you can do without being at the hospital.  Do not let the "what if"  thoughts take over and instead list all the good things you do and include how you have survived anxiety and will continue to fight a strong battle.
I wish you peace,
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 24260
   Posted 9/9/2010 11:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey James, sorry to hear about your sister-in-law. Kitt gave you some great advice-can't really add anything to that but some validation. I have major hospital/sickness/death phobia as well. When my step-father had cancer, I really struggled to keep it together. I also had a friend who underwent a liver transplant, and just talking on the phone with her about it was anxiety inducing. You're not alone in feeling this way!
Peace to you and your family,
Scaredy Cat
"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1432
   Posted 9/9/2010 12:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi James,
I am sorry for all that you are going through and to hear the sad news about your sister-in-law.
When I was reading the reply that Kitt gave you I was thinking to myself that it was really some excellent advise!  I see that Scaredy Cat had mentioned that as well.
I have nothing more to add besides the fact that sometimes we beat ourselves up unnecessarily and don't realize that our loved ones are more understanding than we realize.  Just voice your concern of what is difficult for you and try to help in other ways.  Just making things comfy for when your wife returns home is an excellent suggestion.
Wishing you peace.~*
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
~Leo Buscaglia~

*Crohns Disease 1994
*Bipolar 2003/Anxiety/Panic Attacks

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 790
   Posted 9/9/2010 12:43 PM (GMT -6)   
sit2know, I too are loosing a friend to cancer at the moment, and off course this major 'event', has a bearing on the way I feel about everything. At times, it feels like the plate is way too full, and I wonder if I can take on anymore, or even get through day to day life. It is normal for anyone to feel overwhelmed in this situation, and when you already have a full plate, and more is piled on, it isn't surprising that you feel out of control. And the fact that this has been going on for a long period of time, makes it tough as well.

I applaude you for coping as long as you have been, and it would be great if you were able to step back just a little bit, and see that you really have coped with such a lot on your plate, and give yourselve some qudos for that. I think you are doing what most people do in this situation, and that is the hard yards.

Lastely, I am so sorry you are in this position, this really hurts and is really tough, may you find the strength you need to get through each day.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 2285
   Posted 9/9/2010 9:48 PM (GMT -6)   
So sorry about your situation. I agree Kitt had good suggestions. My dad went to a Hospice and man was that great! It was a really nice one that was set up just like a home. He had a great big room that had a couple of recliner chairs family members could spend the night in. It was Christmas and every room had a little tree. Even tho it was such a sad time it was uplifting. The staff was so caring not only to my father but to all of us. They made it all so much easier to bear. he only lasted a couple of days there...
I would recommend Hospice. One day I plan to give back and volunteer at one.
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