Me, Myself and Mom

Carol_TaffyAwhile ago I blogged about mom being switched off her anti-depressant because it wasn’t doing anything for her, in fact she was getting worse to the point I was starting to get worried.  Since them she has gone through the phase off of her old medicine and onto her new medicine. We were told it could take two to four weeks before the medicine took full effect. In fact, it was more like four to five days.

We first started hearing her sound more alive when we spoke on the phone. Even when we drove to Travis AFB for several appointments, she didn’t have to try to make herself feel good; she actually was sounding and looking better.

She took her cardiologist’s advice and got back out into the world and started back to her TOPS (Taking Pounds Off Sensibly) and started back to volunteering at her church and going to her sewing group. YEA MOM!!

Since then she has also been admitted for edema (excess body fluid) which they gave her a IV Lasix which is used to remove excess water along with Potassium. No, all is good. She took Taffy (her baby) back so she would be forced to get out and walk, plus I think she likes her. She still is seeing the psychiatrist to make sure the dosage of ant-depressant is okay and will not interfere with her current regimen of medicines.

She is actually talking about joining a biker church to help pack boxes of food for the homeless. She is still making blankets for the Children’s Receiving Home and has started going back to church after almost three months. She’s trying and pushing herself and that’s a good–no, great–thing. For now, all we can do is watch, take notes, confirm the medicines are doing their job, watch her weight to make sure it doesn’t increase by more than 3 lbs a day or 12 lbs in a week, and then pray everything stays within the numbers the doctor wants.

As for me, things are go okay, I guess. I am getting older; just found out I have “High Frequency Mild Hearing Loss” which they say is due to either shooting weapons or being near aircraft engines. Well yea, almost thirty years ago, I was a flight line police officer in the Air Force.  This apparently can happen at anytime or never; mine just decided to happen now along with my eye sight issues.

Anyhow, I have days when my own depression jumps out and wants to make itself known. Other times I just stay home and do nothing or do just the minimal amount of what needs to be done, such as laundry, dishes and the work phone. For the majority of days, I can function without any major issues, although I always have a lot of minor ones.

Of course taking the Cymbalta helps a lot. @Trish recently mentioned to me that in my dark period, there were days where she would come home from work and all the blinds were pulled, lights off and there I would be, doing what I was doing. On weekends she said I would be closing blinds and she would be right there opening them back up. Those were not my best days or my proudest moments.

I have a lot of things helping me to stay on the straight and narrow. Changing anyone of those would put me and Trish back into the “Dark Ages.” I added Trish to that last sentence because, as family caregivers, you when it comes to pretty much any long-term medical issue that involves depression, anger and medication, whatever the caree is going through, their families are having to go through it also.

I will be the first to admit, “There’s a whole lot of crap going on” here. I just so happen to be one of the lucky ones. I put spouse, parents, kids and family at the top of the list in my Caregiver’s Toolbox. Well, mine were over achievers and they were in every drawer or cabinet I could find in my toolbox.

I know my doctors, Fat Albert (my Internal Pain Management Pump), the medication, psychologist, back brace and more had something to do with it. But when you break it down the one tool, link in the chain, cog in the machine that kept me going was my family. There were times when I could have slept alone or not had anyone there when I got home at night. I would even dare say been divorced. But for some reason, which eludes me to this day, they all stood firm and helped me get through it all. I had good days and I also had really bad days and I know it’s no excuse but I know for a fact that if I had been on the pain management regimen I’m on now and had the pain management team I have today, those days would never have happened.

The moral of the story here is: Keep your doctors close and your family closer because one day you will need them, well, at least your family.

Now who has the pick up?

Pick Em Up TruckWhat were your dark days like and did you have help?  What did you do to get through them? I really would like to hear your stories. I’m sure someone out there may need the same bit of inspiration to get over their bump in the road.

Avatar of Richard

About Richard

My name is Richard (@kreisr1), I am a Tri-Fecta caregiver, for my mother who has COPD among other health issues. I co-care for my brother in-law who has epilepsy and co-care with my wife's for myself, I deal with Chronic Back Pain.entire life and now after living alone, in a care facility and a group home setting we had to move him in with us to provide him with the care he needs.  Finally, with my wife who is also my co-caregiver I care for myself, I have had chronic pain (mid-low back) for 21-1/2 years thanks to a drunk driver.  I write my own blog, where I share my pain with humor, as I see thing, "Pain Without Humor is Just Painful."  I am involved with in several ways, as well as participating in several of the weekly blogs, I also am involved in their Twitter chats, I also host the following groups, SPOT (Stamp Procrastination Out Today), A Task A Day, The Men's Group, Healthy Caregiver and several others.  I am also the moderator for the Quiz Show and have a seat on the bi-monthly Hot Topic's show. I'm here to not only improve Roberts life, the lives of those I touch on and but to find a way to improve my own live.

6 thoughts on “Me, Myself and Mom

  1. Avatar of EllysGdaughterEllysGdaughter

    I am so happy to hear your mom is getting back into life! What a wonderful turn around for your family! My youngest sister has dark times and is in the middle of switching medications. That is just such a hard thing to see her unable to function. I don’t have experience personally but my heart aches for her and those who go through the dark times. I agree with you about family, keeping them close is important!

    • Richard

      EllysGDaughter, thank you for your support and for reading my blogs. Family is so very important, I don’t see how one person alone can caretake for someone, with respites, apts, shopping, cleaning and the rest “burn out” would be right around the corner. It is painful and all you can do is be supportive until they ask, that’s hard.

    • Richard

      Pegi, thank you for you thoughts and prayers. You need to pat yourself on the back a few times for all you do and share, your an amazing person. Thanks again

  2. Avatar of PegiPegi

    Richard, what an amazingly wonderful change in your Mom! So very happy for all of you. Thank you for sharing your on experience. You hit it spot on, keep your good docs and family close. Family is what its all about.

  3. Avatar of CathyCathy

    OMG, Richard. What a timely post for me to read. I used to view people who took anti-depressants in such a different light. Then I was diagnosed with HCV. I am of that generation that needs to be tested. And even though I didn’t fit my doctor’s narrow profiling of who should be tested – I presented as a white, middle class, professional woman, married for a long time, etc…, I had the disease. I was fortunate to be able to see top specialists. I finally was treated in 2006. The combination of drugs used at the time (chemo, actually) were for a duration of 48 weeks and oftentimes in the process, patients got so depressed that they had to go off the treatment.

    When I was first diagnosed I formed a team – I wanted to live. One member of my team (my therapist) suggested that I get a prescription for an anti-depressant. Perhaps it was a prophylactic in the beginning. Best advice ever! Treatment was brutal. But I never got depressed or angry. And my other emotions weren’t dulled.

    When my mother got really anxious about her health and mild cognitive impairment, I asked her doctor about an anti-depressant. Within two weeks, the difference was night and day.
    When my aunt’s condition moved beyond her physical ailments and her short term memory began to decline, her PCP agreed to prescribe an anti-depressant. Again, it made a big difference. She still has dementia but she isn’t as anxious and upset.

    Long story, I know. Richard, I applaud you and Trish for both knowing how important it is to keep away the deep dark days and I’m so happy your mother is responding so well.

    All my best,

    • Avatar of RichardRichard Post author

      Cathy, Thank you for your response to my post. I also take a mild anti-depressant, in fact same as moms (Cymbalta) and I agree it is night and day. I of course didn’t see the depression even as mild as it was (Ha) and was hesitant to take it at first then after 2-3 weeks it was like live finally reopened its doors to me. Thanks to Cymbalta and to Trish for pushing to have me check to see if I needed it.


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