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How do I keep a positive/happy mindset when I'm fielding constantly depressing phone calls re. my ailing father's health?

(14 Posts)
SleepFreeZone Sat 02-Dec-17 11:32:23

I've experienced this for six years now but it seems as though we are stumbling from one acute episode to another. I am trying my hardest to be the best daughter I can but I'm really failing horrible. My sister is doing a far better job than me in terms of practical and emotional help.

I have a young family and my DP has multiple sclerosis which has been really bad this week. I feel like the expectation is for me to keep flying over there but I can hardly cope with what's happening in my own house most days.

This morning I had dared to feel a little bit happier and more positive and then then phone rang and I'm back to feeling absolutely dreadful again. I think I'm probably being pretty selfish in my head lately as I'm in self preservation mode. I had a tragic event in September where I had to have a TFMR at 17 week and I'm still so mentally fragile from that. I'm trying so desperately to claw myself back to good mental health but I'm not sure that's even possible when you get regular bouts of this terrible news. It's so confusing 😫

FadedRed Sat 02-Dec-17 11:51:15

I was in a similar position to you until a couple of years ago, it's relentless and you are NOT being selfish to think like this. It will not be helpful to anyone if you become ill, physically or emotionally, by trying to do more than you can.
Just think if a friend asked your advice on your situation: a chronically ill DH, a family, grief for your lost hopes of a healthy new baby and the awful decision you had to make, the physical and mental strain of the procedure and your recovery from it, which is still so recent, and your failing parent, who is in another cup try so not close by.
What would you say to your friend? Take care of yourself, do the best you can but don't think you can do everything.
You are not superhuman, do not reproach yourself for that.

FadedRed Sat 02-Dec-17 11:52:45

Cup? country

SleepFreeZone Sat 02-Dec-17 12:15:27

Sorry by 'flying over' I meant rushing over, not literally flying. I am 30 mins away, same as my sister, and was over there recently but my mum needs more practical help on a daily basis now. I think she's at the stage where the next logical step is carers or a care home but she won't hear ifceither for financial reasons. I think if she said to me. I need you to be here on certain days at certain times I could arrange things to do that. But that's not going to help as right now she can't get my dad out of bed as she needs a hoist and is waiting for the rapid response people to arrive. I just don't know what I'm meant to be doing you know?! 😬

FadedRed Sat 02-Dec-17 20:26:17

We got to the stage where we had to insist that carers came, and DM was in no position to refuse. It wasn't easy and she never really liked them, but, at least, it meant that we didn't have to go every single day.
Do they get Attendance Allowance? If not, you need to claim as the money can be used to pay for help, cleaner, gardener, transport etc.

FadedRed Sat 02-Dec-17 20:51:04

Have you spoken to her GP for referral to the Community Occupational Therapist for an assessment of her needs? Also talk with Social Services to see what (if any) support might be available?
Sorry if you have already done this, but sometimes A third party like the GP can be more effective than family in getting people to accept support.
Age UK is good for advice.
Has DM got an emergency alarm call phone? (Not that my DM would wear the bloody pendant!).
There is an on-going "Elderly parents" thread that gives good advice and support that is worth reading, if you haven't already seen it.
But, as I said before, you must not feel guilty or reproach yourself for not being able to do 'everything'.

CPtart Sat 02-Dec-17 21:10:31

If they can actually afford carers but are just refusing because they expect you to jump, I would not hesitate to pull back. I will never understand the mentality in older age with money in the bank that people will not spend! What is it for by the time you get to this point? You are not failing them, they are failing themselves with their choices. It is completely selfish to expect you over there every day at set times.
I have every sympathy. My DM nearly had a breakdown running after my GM. My GM died, then my DM 6 months later! Please put yourself first. Their needs do not trump yours.

thesandwich Sun 03-Dec-17 19:24:10

You can also request a carers assessment for you- sounds like you have so much going on. I have found social services very helpful. Good luck but as others say put yourself first.

NewspaperTaxis Tue 05-Dec-17 16:53:33

Oh, I was in this situation. Found out the 'solution' too late.

I went to a local steam room sauna the leisure centre. Spent some hours there alternating between two, showers, drinking water with slice and lemon, and resting. Better than anything else and only a tenner. Really wish I'd thought of it earlier and not the week before my mother died.

Movies are too harrowing and cost even more.

SleepFreeZone Tue 09-Jan-18 22:28:00

Just to update this thread to say very sadly my Dad died just before Christmas.

SuperDiaperBaby Wed 10-Jan-18 08:38:57

I am so sorry to hear your news. I hope you have managed to cope with everything else over Christmas too and can help make plans for your DM. flowers

NewspaperTaxis Wed 10-Jan-18 14:50:46

Sorry to hear that, SFZ. I have to say I found it really hit my sister and me a month after my mother died, not that in the fortnight after her death it was any fun. It sounds like you did what you could. My sister and I really did everything for our parent... and it still didn't feel like enough, but then love is limitless I suppose, and it couldn't match that.

Needmoresleep Wed 10-Jan-18 18:42:50


I hope that you get a chance to rest , look after yourself and to build up your reserves. 2018 is going to be better isn't it!

I hope specifically that your DP stays well. MS on its own, let alone coupled with a young family, sounds like a pretty heavy responsibility. Be kind to yourself.

thesandwich Wed 10-Jan-18 20:59:17

So sorry to hear your news. Please be kind to yourself.

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