caregiving & depression

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 1/11/2006 12:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi all.
This is my first post here. I stumbled across this site after googling info on a medication.
This past summer, my husband, my 2 Children & I were looking for a home to buy. My husbands
Mother has heart disease and has been on hospice (end stage) for a year. We noticed a sudden decline after visiting her and knew she needed 24 hr care. We asked her if she wanted to move to our area. This past September she moved here and bought us (paid cash)a brand new home for the 5 of us. She has Nurses and home health aides come in the home three times a week to do her showers and fill her medications. The only time the 4 of us can leave the home together is when we arrange hospice volunteers to stay with his mom. We often miss family funtions and none of my husbands family offer help or come stay and offer us a weekend away from this.

She walks, but is very unsteady. She is the most needy person. She calls out for me for attention every 10-20 minutes during her waking hours. I wake up at 7 am with the kids, take care of mother-in-law's needs(mostly mental, running back and forth to her room for 7 hrs and I go to work at 2pm, as my husband is just getting home. We've arranged our hours this way so there is one of us in the home with her at all times. I have just had my hours cut because I have been calling in too often because I have been averaging 4-5 hrs of sleep per night. My Younger Child's grades are dropping because of this situation and I am at work on some evenings. Both Children are involved with sports, dance and religious activity. They both love the new home & are worried that they may have to move again because of the situation. My husband is on the verge of loosing his job. He has been so stressed, he fainted. His doctor has given him an anti-depressant.

Our home is almost 3,000 sq ft, with 2 living rooms on seperate floors, so we do get away and spend time as a family ( IN the home) as much as we can on our days off. My mother-in-law is on 100mg of Zoloft 2x a day and Zyprexa(anti-psycotic). The Zyprexa was just started since she moved here. They have determined she is mentally ill. She goes to the hospital every 60 days for a 5 day stay to give us respite. The hospital staff had to be doubled for her needs, because she contantly calls out for attention. (she actually called the kitchen staff to complain that there was not enough celery in her tuna sandwich.) In the beginning of this decision to care for her, I agreed I would stay home & not work when her condition worsened. Since our move she has weakened due to a stoke she had in November. And just living in the same home with her and dealing with her illness, caring for the Children & caring for the home, and WORKING is frankly depressing and wearing the hell out of me. My husband doesn't want to put her into a nursing home because she is on hospice and doesn't have much time left and not to mention she just bought him a beautiful home.

She was just put in the hospital for her respite care relief for the 5 days. Before she left, I arranged for the hospice social worker to come to our home. After talking to the social worker, her & I decided to confront my mother-in-law and tell her it was time I quit my job so I could be here for my daughter and manage everything else and take over some of the things my husband has been doing to ease his stress as well. We can't afford him loosing his job!! Mother-in-law would then have to pay a certain amount a month to cover my wage loss. (She would be paying 6,000 a month for room & board in a nursing home, as hospice will not cover it.) Well let just say my Mother-in-law went to the hospital for her respite care in a fit of rage and denial, telling her dr.s & nurses on the hospice team, that I do nothing for her and that I 'just don't want to work' She tried to convince the staff that she could stay alone during the day, while I go to work dayshift. The Dr.s tried getting through to her about the fact that she can't be alone. For five days she belittled me to my husband over the phone from the hosp.
She is determined that I work and is in complete denial about her situation now....errrrr


PS- No- I don't have the means to just leave and move out at this point, or I would have.

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 1/11/2006 1:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Oh and I know that the above seems to focus on more of the stress issues and not on how I personally feel about my Mother-in-law. I do care about her, I just never anticipated the amount
of stress this situation would cause. I tried taking Celexa to help with stress, but It gave me some strange adverse reactions. any advice would be appreciated :o)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 1/11/2006 11:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Makenzie,  I am sorry that you have to go through this situation.  Taking care of a family member is a difficult task especially if that person is mentally unstable.  What I would do is while your mother in law is in the hospital, sit down with your husband and discuss your concerns with him and try to come up with a solution together.  Work as a team.  Also if she is Mentally Ill and you and your husband feel that she can not make decisions for herself regarding her medical treatment and finances you can always petition the courts for guardianship.  That way you would have the say of what goes on and where she goes.  However, this can be costly.  So do research before hand.  Of course that does not stop her behavior, on that point it sounds as if your husband needs to speak to her physicians and they need to come up  with a better medication combination for her.  I hope everything gets better for you real soon!! ~elisha

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 4305
   Posted 1/11/2006 9:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Makenzie and Welcome to HW,

I'am sorry that you are going through this difficult time.I know it must be really hard and especially when it not only effect's you but the whole family.In 2003 I was in a wheel-chair because I was sick and could not walk from my bed to the bathroom without help.It put a stain on my marriage,with me feeling quilty and know my ex was working to job's just to keep a roof over us and to be able to eat.It hurt me to no end's to have to watch me suffer and I could see how he just wish it was all a bad dream.For the first year and half he never complained but it was spliting us the stress so over whelming and he did finally tell me he wanted a divorce because he could not deal with having a sick wife.So I do agree that you and your husband need to set down and discusse thing's so both of you get get some of the stress off of the both of you.Please let us know how thing's are going with you and your family.i will keep you and your family in my prayer's and thought's.

P.S.Feel free to come here to post,vent that is what all of us are doing here for support.

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 1/11/2006 10:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Elisha, for your kind words of support. One of the hardest things about being a caregiver is the lack of acknowlegment you receive or understanding, when you are down and out and don't know what to do.

We don't receive any help from family members because of the way my Mother-in-law has treated them through the years. We have suspected the mental illness for some time, but this is the first time that we've been directly involved in her medical affairs and have been told.

As far as petitioning for gaurdianship, that may be an option at some point, but right now she is in total control of her finances. 2 months ago when the Dr & social worker informed us of her mental illness and put her on the anti-psycotic, they sugested they do a psyc evaluation on her and we asked them not to confront her with this because she then would have switched Hospices as recourse for her denial and we would have had to go through the transition of new people in the home and we happen to like the hospice team she has. Any time a Dr. has confronted her with medical decisions that she didn't agree with in the past, she has created many problems for the physician and anyone involved.

She is still in denial about needing someone here for her and is demanding that I work during the day and her DR. has told me to go ahead and work in the day If I choose, she may just lay on the floor for 8 hrs. I know if I do this, after she has fallen, she will then put the blame on me for not being here. But the Dr says It is at this point her choice, until a psyc eval declares her mentally ill. If she's left here alone and the hospice team decides she is doing things that are endangering herself, then they will call the county and file a report.

I just went to the DR today and I am trying an anti-depressant called Remeron. Hopefully this will help me sleep and function better throughout the day. I took a sleeping pill called Lunesta. It worked for a while, but I thought I would try something that may help with sleep and anxiety as well,

Thanks again for your thoughts. :o)

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 2/16/2006 10:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Curley(that's my nickname too) for your post, somehow I missed it.
I can't imagine what you went through, that must be the hardest position to be in. I am trying hard not to let my Mother-in-law see my stress. I hang in with this situation as I know it is the right thing to do for my husband, it just gets very frustrating. The hardest part is knowing someday I'll feel guilty for not dealing with this right. For a few months (before the anti-depressants took effect) I would constantly complain to my husband about his Mothers behaviors. I now am trying hard to cope and sympathsize with what my husband and Mother-in-law are going through. I just worry that this will effect our marriage long term. My Daughters are very involved with activities and seem to be coping very well. My Mother-in-law's Zyprexa was increased and her behavior is now managable. I am now staying home with her and in control of all her Meds. She had taken a bottle of 60 vicoden in a five day period, so they decided it was time I take over them completely.

Thanks for your post. With your perspective and going through a disability, It seems you could be a great help to me. Any Advice is appreciated
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