Awhile 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?
What 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.
- Podcast: Table Talk with Trish (caregiving.com)
- The Trifecta of Caregiving (caregiving.com)
- Co-Caregiving: Developing into a Team (caregiving.com)
- Video Chat Today: Co-Caregiving in a Marriage (caregiving.com)
- Need a Hand Up? (caregiving.com)
- Save the Date: Virtual Caregiving Conference on March 30 (caregiving.com)
- My Own Mission In Life (caregiving.com)
- Podcast: Table Talk with Trish (caregiving.com)