I Am a Stressed-Out Family Caregiver: Meet Brenndy

Denise

I Am a Stressed-Out Family Caregiver: Meet Brenndy

Denise
cloudofheart-1(Editor’s Note: We’re putting the spotlight on the stress involved in caring for a family member or friend and we’re sharing the stories of stressed-out family caregivers. Today, we introduce you to Benndy; you can connect with Brenndy on her profile page: @brenndy. Our questions and her answers follow.)

Caregiving.com: Tell us about your stress.
Brenndy: I am SO stressed out, I don't know where to begin.

Caregiving.com: What have you tried to minimize the stress? Tell us about agencies you've called, organizations you've contacted, individuals you've reached out to for help.
Brenndy: When I felt my stress level elevating to the point where I was unable to sleep or eat, among other things. So, I reached out to a psychiatrist that I had heard wonderful things about while I was employed in the healthcare field. I was hesitant to do so at first, mainly because of the stigma still attached to seeing a "shrink." But then I said to myself, because I know myself so well, Brenndy, you need professional help. She has been very helpful and is teaching me ways to think and act differently so as not to feel so overwhelmed. She is also well versed on mindfulness. I don't know if any of you know anything about it, but basically, it is all about living in the moment and not letting your thoughts and feelings jump ahead as to what could be.

She also prescribed a mild medication to assist with my sleep for without sleep, no one can function properly. I am following her advice also, in that I am making a concerted effort to fortify myself by eating three nutritious meals daily. Food = energy, and when you are caring for someone other than yourself who is unable to care for herself, you most definitely need lots of energy. I also consulted with my pain management physician, as I am disabled due to injuries sustained in a near fatal auto accident. This makes taking caring of my mother extremely difficult, in so far as lifting her, etc.

I was so fortunate to have been perusing the web and came upon this site, which has been a God-send. Everyone here is so very nice and supportive. They know exactly where you are coming from and that really helps.

I have also bumped up my relationship with God. Something that kind of faded away over the years. I now can happily say I truly feel his presence and know that he would never give me something that I cannot handle.

There are other things that are going on, but at present, I am to fatigued to write further.
I hope everyone is doing well with their own caregiving responsibilities. I know firsthand they are not easy. I pray for all of you.

Caregiving.com: How has your stress affected your family, your career and your health?
Brenndy: My brother, who resides 3,000 miles away, has been of no help whatsoever. Naturally, he cannot be of assistance due to his location, but he could, if he put forth some effort, be of consolation to me when I call him to give him updates on our mother. But, he is not even doing that. I've come to the conclusion he is in denial and cannot accept the fact that she is nearing the end. OR, and I hate saying this, he is a self-absorbed person who only cares about himself and his work, the latter which has always come first with him.

I am not currently working due to my disability so that does not apply.

My health is poor but I am working on improving. So far, 2016 has started off very bad. First, my mother fell and broke her arm and was hospitalized and then went to an inpatient rehabilitation center, where she really does not want to be. She talks about wanting to die all the time and now is not partaking in rehab nor is she wearing her sling. She wants to come home and die. This makes me extremely sad and I have to fight back the tears numerous times on a daily basis, as I do not want her to see me crying. I have to remain strong. Lastly, the other night a freak accident occurred. Somehow, I fell out of bed and when I awoke, my right leg was twisted way back around my left leg. I was in excruciating pain and I knew at that moment I most probably tore cartilage in my right knee. I had an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon today who confirmed by x-ray that yes indeed I did tear cartilage in the right knee, and that he wold like an MRI to confirm the severity of it. I have significant pain (feels like an 8 on a pain scale of 1-10). Walking is extremely difficult. So is stooping and lifting my mother. Because of the circumstances which I explained to him that are going on with my mother, he injected it with a steroid and a numbing agent. The pain is now bearable but still constant. Depending on the results of the MRI, it could mean that knee replacement is warranted. If that would be true, then I DO NOT KNOW WHAT I WILL DO.

Each day gets tougher and tougher. I'm afraid what lies in store for tomorrow. I haven't even had time to write out my bills yet and they were due to be mailed on the first of the month. I am never late mailing my bills. So all of this has me in quite a tizzy. I feel so overwhelmed, especially because I am receiving no assistance from my only sibling, my older brother.

Caregiving.com: What would help you most right now?
Brenndy: Assistance from my brother, improvement in my Mother's conditions, pain relief in my knee, and about 48-continuous hours of sleep.

Caregiving.com: What resource has been most helpful to you?
Brenndy: The men, women, physicians, social workers, rehab specialists, and hospice care providers who work at the inpatient rehab, along with my mother's cardiologist of 25-plus years.

Caregiving.com: What's it like to live with caregiving stress?
Brenndy: I am unable to put that into words at present.

(We’d love to feature your story–just complete our “I Am a Stressed-Out Family Caregiver” questionnaire. And, be sure to tell us how stressed you are in our simple survey.)

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3 Comments

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Elizabeth Miller

Sounds like you have some good support going with the counseling and renewed faith. I pray that your brother realizes how much you are taking on and steps up to help.

EllysGdaughter

Thank you for sharing Brenndy. I will be praying for you. Please jot a few things when you can to update us! We do care!

Mahjof5

I am so sorry to hear that Brenndy. I will keep you and your mother in my prayers. I hope you and your mother have a speedy recovery.\nLisa