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I am new to the boards - I been caring for my wife who has Lupus - I knew she had this disease before I started dating her and I figured I could handle anything that came with the disease - fast forward 10 years later and I am having a bit of a struggle keeping my positive outlook on things - her Lupus has gotten progressively worse - and her quality of life has diminished greatly too - things she could do before she can't anymore ( going to the movies - the flashing on the screen and the cold AC causes a lot of pain) and I can see her world just get smaller and smaller - I do a lot of things for her and I am lucky her Mom helps with the Dr. appointments and I take care of grocery runs - and just all the other little things - But I heard something about caregivers fatigue - and I think I am going trough something like that - I love my wife - that's not even a questionable issue - but suddenly I feel overhwhelmed - also its doesn't help I been diagnosed with PTSD and Bipolar II in the past couple of months - I wonder how this comes into play with how I am feeling right now.

 

I didn't mean to rant - as you can see I haven't really expressed this to a support group and I really would like to just re-focus and learn new things to keep being the best caregiver I can be to my wife.

 

Thank you everyone in advance for any insight or help.

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Hello rafantsan and welcome,

 

Your post has touched me greatly. You weren't ranting. You shared your situation and what you are experiencing and this is very healthy.

I must admit, I had typed a whole reply and when I began searching for links to include in my response, I lost my post so I am rewriting in text and will copy and paste to you.

 

Your love for your wife is incredibly special. To know of her disease prior to marrying her and willing to take on total responsibility tells me about your remarkable heart and how special you truly are.

 

You have found a safe place to share and receive feedback from. It's been quiet for some time but other caregivers receive notices of new posts to the boards and they will respond in kind as well.

 

The role of caregiver requires a special kind of person. It can not only become tedious and tiresome, but can cause or compound physical and emotional problems that the caregiver themselves may have.

 

Just like when you are on an airplane they tell you to put your own oxygen mask on first and then help your children or others, in caregiving it is the same way. In order to help your wife, you must first help yourself as well. PTSD and bi-polarism are two problems you are challenged with and you must balance them as well in order to keep up the remarkable work you are doing.

Many caregivers are faced with their own challenges physically, mentally and emotionally.


I and many other caregivers and well known individuals have been faced with PTSD. I am somewhat familiar with bi-polarism.

 

It is important to seek out the right medical treatments that can help to balance these two issues for you. You may choose to go with traditional western medicine which many do but there are also alternative medicine therapies that could also assist you such as EMDR, acupuncture, herbs, vitamins, homeopathy and most of all diet, which help to balance the entire body mind and spirit. Traditional medicine works at treating the symptoms, not necessarily the causes or imbalances in your system.

 

Traditional medicine in working to help you can be trial and error in the medication that is used and finding the correct dosages that are needed. At the same time, they can cause side effects that effect your body and emotions as well.

 

There is a program called EMDR Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a gentle therapy that works on balancing the right and left side of the brain. You can find out more information at http://www.emdr.com/ and http://www.emdrnetwork.org/description.html. If you are interested in it, they provide a list of clinicians that can work with you. If finances are an issue, the clinicians who have finished training must work with several clients free of charge as part of their training so you can find out more specifically what might work for you.

 

I, along with many caregivers, veterans home from war, people who have been raped and much more have undergone this therapy and it does work.

 

As for a bi-polar issue, many people work with traditional medications and many are reaching out to alternative therapies such as homeopathy, vitamins, herbs, acupuncture and most of all, diet, which treat the body mind and spirit and help in balancing and integrating all these systems. Traditional medicines tend to treat the symptoms, not the causes or imbalances.

 

Only you know what is best for you, but it is important for you to know and understand what is available to you. The same holds true for your wife's lupus.

The role of caregiving is stressful and what we all come to realize is that no matter how much we want to help our loved ones, we are not in control of their outcomes. We can only do the very best that we can and provide the love, compassion and understanding. We cannot take away their pain or make them whole. We can only do that for ourselves and they must want to help themselves in this fashion as well. The stresses that you are experiencing can also compound your own health issues which make it more difficult to stay on top of things.

 

It will take time and research but it is all available online… then you must seek out the proper treatments that you both desire to help alleviate the diseases.

Your photo looks as if you located near a big city. There used to be a link that showed all areas in the US where there were programs. Unfortunately, the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation ceased funding new programs several years ago and there is no specific link to plug in your zip code. You might want to do a search for Faith in Action volunteers or FIA Volunteers with your zip code and many individual programs will show up for you to follow through with. If you want, you can email me your zip code and I can assist you. The volunteers are loving, giving individuals who can assist with shopping, light housework, companionship and more so it is worth while to explore this area more.

 

Please remember, you have found a safe place to share and vent.. no apologies needed for expressing yourself, your concerns etc. You need the support as so all caregivers and you have reached out.

 

I hope this helps… please keep us posted with how you are doing.

 

Richest blessings in all you are doing.

Gail

Greetings Rafantsan:

 

We are sad and happy to have you here. The trials and tribulations of caregiving can be so very complex and such a roller-coaster ride. After 10 years, I would imagine that caregiver fatigue would have hit you for sure - what it really means is that you are burnt out… It does not help at all that you have recently been diagnosed with two health challenges of your own to deal with on top of caring for your beloved wife – it is no wonder you are tired!

 

I must say that the alternative ideas suggested by Gail are worth consideration. I would only add that, if you have a juicer, buy some fruits and veggies such as apples, carrots, and oranges for your family and drink fresh juice daily if you aren’t already. It is inexpensive and does wonders for your health! It has been known to cure certain cancers…

 

It is wonderful that you have your MIL to help. How is she holding up? It is so heart-wrenching to watch a loved one suffering. Could she help you out in the respect of a day off occasionally so you can get away? It sounds like you need a respite...

 

Meanwhile, some things which help are: to take a walk, meditate, breathe, read a book, drink hot chocolate, eat comfort food, etc. and just enjoy the moment.  Also, do look for groups or organizations which support caregivers. There may be local churches or support groups that can assist you in locating or providing those resources. You are not alone…

 

Hang in there dear heart, your wife is blessed with you and just know that you are loved and appreciated! We are here for you!

 

Hugs, Glenda

Hello just wanted to welcome you here from what I understand you take care of your wife,Im so sorry if you are having trials,I ahvethem all the tie and Im so thankful for this site I would be so lost not being able to express myself to people who truly understand,Advice above take it  they are great to talk to and will help . If you ever need someone to express yourself feel free to contact me , I have been taking care of my mother for ten years and myself am soooooooooooooooooooo tired im going crazy and starting to be real depressed/ anyway be goo d to u and take time for you hard to find time for me/ take care Sandy

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