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Major life stressors in addition to losing your love


Seabrook

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@Seabrook  Those early days are a whirlwind of busyness, just when you feel least like it, and more compounded if someone has to move.  I'm sorry you're going through this.  I'm glad your family is helping for now.  Maybe spend a set amount of time sorting, etc. and allow yourself the luxury of crying...it's not really a luxury, it's what we need in processing our grief.  And it helps to get some of it out of our system, I have a friend married over 50 years, it's been about five years since his death and she still has not cried.  She's not trying to hold it in, it just hasn't happened. It helps to have that release.  In all of the sorting, make sure to keep something intimate of your wife's to hold onto...for me it's my husband's bathrobe.  Many a time spent in that, cuddling, having our morning coffee, I miss him so much.  
And if no one has mentioned it, put an item with her scent in it, in a ziploc bag, the scent goes away in about a month...I found out the hard way.  :(

 

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Diane R. E.

Hello Seabrook; I am so very sorry for your loss. Welcome to this forum; it has been a lifesaver for me. I'm also so sorry about your housing situation. My husband and I had just moved from MN to AZ and into our new apartment when he went into the hospital six days later. After four weeks in intensive care, he passed away. Even though he was only in our apartment for six days, his presence is still here, and I don't think I can ever move. I can't imagine how difficult it is to leave where you spent 12 years with your husband. My heart goes out to you.

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On 5/6/2021 at 1:07 AM, Seabrook said:

In addition to losing my sweetheart, now I have to most likely move. We have rented this place for 12 years. It was our longest home together. It was where we lived and loved and had our family (fur babies, but it was a family to us ). We are/were both on social security disability and both had limited and low income. We were lucky to find this place. It is half of a duplex, but felt just like a house to us.  Well my income had now basically been cut in half. I am looking into options for help to stay in this place but it isn't looking good.

I wonder how Seabrook is doing now. I hope things are better for her. I am trying to see some light in my own situation. Hard to think about life stuff and moving when I just lost my husband. I just want to think about him right now.   

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tnd. I agree. It is so overwhelming. Another whole week has passed and I have hardly got anything done. Mess everywhere because I keep starting things and cannot finish. Short of winning the lottery there's no way I can stay here but it is so very hard especially when you already spend half the day crying.

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LMR: Exactly, LMR. I thought about you today and the move you are having to do too. I feel bad that you are going through this. I almost feel like it's some sort of punishment. It just all really sucks right now. I'm not really all that attached to our furniture but we had hopes of staying in this apartment indefinitely. I had spent a year researching apartments and this one kept coming up at the top of our list. It's a beautiful place and met all our criteria or what we called, "our wish list" and we absolutely would have stayed but...guess it wasn't meant to be. So now that I've got to part with all my belongings just adds to the sadness. I wish neither one of us were going through this. Still seems so unreal. It's like how much pain must be inflicted upon us?? I swing from crying to being angry. I thought I lived like how I should. I played by the rules. I worked hard and put up with a lot of crap and stress from people over the years and was always flexible and trying to do right. Not that I think I deserve any rewards for it but I certainly never thought my life would feel more like a punishment than a blessing. I do have moments where I think about the future and try to picture some happiness but when the moment is gone, I'm left in pieces again.  

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Yes this really sucks. I do hope you will be comfortable with your brother and your SIL. It is very difficult to be in some else's house. It isn't home.

I'm not too attached to the furniture either but it is OURS. I keep thinking circumstances may change and I would want it back, but that's not really it. It's just saying goodbye, the wrench. This was the place we had been the longest as well. 26 years, everything is infused with memories. When we moved here it was the first apartment we looked at, then we went all over town and nothing else came up to scratch and so we came back to this one. We have really loved living here.

 

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13 hours ago, Jemiga70 said:

Familiarity brings comfort to me now. I know these streets, I know these shops, I know the subway stations, the sounds, etc.

Jemiga70:  Believe me when I say I am sorry that you are going through the upheaval of moving. Especially while you are grieving. It's hard. Your decision to stay in the same neighborhood is understandable. If given a choice and out of convenience if not for some comfort, I'd probably stay in the same neighborhood, too. Sounds like you are fairly comfortable with your decision and the fact that you can make a decision like that I'd say is a real plus. Whenever someone on here shows some strength, it gives me hope. 

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11 hours ago, KayC said:

I live in the country mountains above Oakridge, OR, most beautiful place in the world, but my old mobile home is nothing to write home about. ;)  Still, George loved it, called it our "home in the mountains," 

KayC:  And there you go! "Most beautiful place in the world". Trust me, if you lived in Ventura you'd be dreaming about moving or vacationing at your "home in the mountains". Keep your old mobile home, you might keep a peace of mind. And I'm not joking about that. I know you fear dementia. From what you've written in other posts about your home and your yard and surroundings, there's a lot to fill up your senses and keep you on the good side of things. Lots to enjoy, explore and even play with. And Kodie gets to enjoy all that, too. 

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11 hours ago, KayC said:

with the repairs and upkeep, it's a lot on retirement.  I feel like I'm surrounded by ghost/memories.

KayC:  I feel that way too but I'll be leaving it behind in a couple weeks. But I will still have a lot to do as far as following thru with assistance and insurance, stuff like that. I dread it because I am so sick now and worn out. 

I don't know if you could qualify for another refinance to take some cash out for repairs, might be worth looking into if rates are low. And later on, when the time comes, don't forget that you have land or the lot that your trailer is on. You could probably sell that regardless of what shape your mobile home is in. 

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With what I owe right now it basically equals the value the land is...I would not qualify for refinance at this time as old as the mobile home is, they're not like real houses, it's not even on a foundation, when I sell it will be the value of the land minus demolition, anyway I don't want to owe anything past age 80, nor can I afford higher payments.  

I hear you on all the stuff you have to do, so unfair that grievers have all these things to tend to just when they're least up to it.

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Jemiga70
On 7/26/2021 at 8:42 AM, tnd said:

Whenever someone on here shows some strength, it gives me hope. 

tnd: Thank you but I don't know where the "strength" came from.  I am convinced I've been receiving help from the other side from my wife. There's no way I could be doing any of this alone.

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Jemiga70
On 7/25/2021 at 9:30 PM, KayC said:

My friend was talking about her $2,800 rents in Ventura area

KayC: Rents here aren't quite that high - yet. That's truly insane for rent. As you said I don't know how people manage. Sleep 10 to a room? Make 200K a year? Beats me. Your area in Oregon sounds beautiful. For me, being surrounded by nature is healing and helps me tap into psychic energy. I miss that.

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I love it here but right now there's fires and threats of them all around, we had lightening a couple of days ago.  My home is a 43 1/2 year old mobile home, not on a foundation, a piece of junk/money pit, but I do love the surroundings.

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10 hours ago, KayC said:

I love it here but right now there's fires and threats of them all around, we had lightening a couple of days ago. 

KayC:  I have been thinking of you and where you live...wondering how close the fires may be. That would be scary. Keep a close eye on things and the radio on. Don't hesitate to call somebody or leave. Fire storms are fast. As if you need more stress, right? This is when self-care and focus on ourselves becomes so important. Actually, it should always be important but whatever time we get for ourselves is the time to take care of ourselves through whatever means we can. Keep us posted.    

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Now I have the added burden that if they evacuate, I have to worry about getting my sister, not sure how I'll fit her, her walker, her Rxs & clothes into my car along with mine and my puppy & dogfood/water, let alone getting down there to GET her if it's closed!  Something I never had to worry about before.

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40 minutes ago, KayC said:

Now I have the added burden that if they evacuate, I have to worry about getting my sister,

KayC:  If you have to evacuate and get your sister, I would call the nearest fire station or search and rescue unit and tell them your situation with your sister. Maybe try the Red Cross. Whoever helps will probably want her evacuated by ambulance (because of her size). 

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Thank you for the suggestions!  I'm praying it won't come to that!  The way things are going I'm not sure how much longer she can continue at home but I'd still like to get her dentures and eyecare done first.  They did nothing to help her with them at the rehab place.

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Didn't get anything done today. Didn't sleep last night and then early this morning while still in bed, I had a panic attack about getting stuff packed and ready for my move. But I am almost at the point of just saying the heck with it. I will do as much as I can but if it's not all done and ready by the time my brother comes then oh well. He or my SIL can finish it up. I am just not physically able to. It's not emotional, my body just isn't cooperating anymore. It's the Sarcoidosis. I will try to do a small chore and after a couple of minutes, I need to stop and lean over the counter or sit down. I have chairs strategically placed around the apartment for this. But I don't think I should feel bad about not getting everything done in fact, I am giving myself a big pat on the back for even trying or getting anything done at all. Illness and grief at the same time really sucks. But then I feel so negative to say that. And I shouldn't feel that way. I'm alone here, sick and have been alone a long time and just lost my husband. If my brother and SIL can't wrap their heads around that then I don't know what else I could do. Maybe when they see me in-person they will get a better idea. But I am not going to allow myself to feel frustrated and start having panic attacks over things I cannot do. It's as simple as that. 

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10 hours ago, tnd said:

I am giving myself a big pat on the back for even trying or getting anything done at all.

I'm glad because this is no easy feat for the well, let alone someone living with debilitating disease.

The original title talks about major stressors IN ADDITION TO LOSING OUR LOVE and I am hit with that big time, being alone to prepare for possible evacuation in addition to taking care of my dementia sister, no support/help anywhere, not even a call from my kids to check on me.  I'm doing my best and have to let go of the rest and the outcome, just as you are doing.  You are my inspiration right now, it's not what we're hit with, it's how we handle it, and if you can handle everything as you are so new in your journey, gosh then I should be able to!

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8 hours ago, KayC said:

if you can handle everything as you are so new in your journey, gosh then I should be able to!

KayC:  Thank you for the support and compliments but please don't compare yourself to me or to anyone for that matter. YOU are a great source of inspiration! But I think that just because I might be strong in some ways, there are a lot of areas that I am very weak in right now. I'm on the emotional rollercoaster ride. There is a song that pretty much said it all for me, I need to listen to it again. It's been a while. The song is by Five For Fighting and titled "Superman (It's Not Easy)". I have spent the better part of my life HAVING to be strong. Well, just once I'd like to be the weak one and to do it without my family or anyone making me feel like I shouldn't. 

I've been reading the news about the fires in your area. Please be ready and be safe! Prayers for you and your sister! I'm sure you are nervous and scared. I would be too! But you are smart and as we found out with that picture of the toilet plunger, you are also very resourceful! Just kiddin'...but seriously, go over your list and check it twice. 

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And it's okay to feel weak, if you can't feel that so fresh in your grief, then when!

Sometimes I get real tired of always having to be strong.  I so miss George, I always felt loved, protected, cared for, by him.  I haven't had that feeling since.

Here you go...

 

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I got woke up at 11 pm that I needed to get out RIGHT NOW, that the fire jumped Salmon Creek and is 4 miles from here, and to GET OUT NOW!  I had just unpacked the car because I need to take Peggy to the eye doctor today.  I packed it back up, came on line and tried to verify info and couldn't find anything, even the USFS link I looked at was blank.  Just got back to sleep and the neighbor called at midnight, telling me if I waited until morning I wouldn't be here.  Great, how do you sleep after that?  He was on his way to Springfield with his family.  I'd taken a sleeping pill at 8 and was really tired.  Kodie was very upset, wanting to sit on top of me.  Finally slept a while.  Went of FB Oakridge Chat this morning, getting conflicting reports but nothing from officials except for city councilors downplaying everything.  Of course, they don't want a panic.  But neither do they live up here on the mountain.  

If I pack our necessities, there's no room for Peggy's walker and vice versa.  If I leave Kodie home while we go to town, I may not see him again.  Horrid situation.

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Gail 8588

Cancel Peggy's eye appointment and take Kodie and your stuff out of there.  Lives, yours and kodie's are more important than the appointment. 

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Gail 8588
8 minutes ago, KayC said:

 GET OUT NOW!  

Kay, 

Forget about keeping the appointment.  These are exceptional circumstances. I'm sure they will understand the cancellation.  

Don't leave Kodie behind. 

Gail

 

Kay, 

Take photos of your house on your way out. It will help with insurance and or FEMA  later. 

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7 hours ago, Jemiga70 said:

Be proud of yourself.  Many people would've broken long ago.

Jemiga70:  THANK YOU!!  This is exactly the kind of support I need! I don't like being or even sounding negative. I am usually the "problem solver" but I just don't have a lot in me at this point. I've gone from being a cheery person to being a depressing mess. Before my husband passed I was working on living with my illness and the limitations it poses but, I felt I was being very positive about it. I was making progress. Then I lost my husband and everything I had learned or taught myself went out the window. I don't know how or when but somehow I need to get back on track with a better attitude. I know I will always carry the grief with me but I hope to somehow not let it prevent me from having some sort of life again. 

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7 hours ago, KayC said:

If I pack our necessities, there's no room for Peggy's walker and vice versa.  If I leave Kodie home while we go to town, I may not see him again.  Horrid situation.

KayC:  I'd leave the walker. When you get to the evacuation center or Red Cross, there will be people who can help her. Things will get figured out. But for now, worry about life and limb  -YOU, Peggy and Kodie!  Please let us know when you can that you are safe.  

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Jemiga70
5 hours ago, tnd said:

But for now, worry about life and limb  -YOU, Peggy and Kodie!

Absolutely agree. KayC -- appointments and walkers can be figured out later.

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Gail 8588

Kay, 

I've been reading all I can find on the Kwis fire in Oregon.  I hope you and Kodie evacuated.  

Take care!

Gail

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They haven't ordered evacuation yet.  Peggy will call 911 when the time comes so she can get out, they will take her somewhere.  She really needs to be in a care center.

I had a day from hell yesterday.  Drove 60+ miles to the eye doctor, sat in the car with Kodie for two hours while she was at the eye doctor.  I finally called and they said, "Oh, is her ride here?"  I said yes, I've been here the whole time, waiting right out front.  Got her into the car, drove way across town to get gas at Costco, my new debit card wasn't activated.  I had it printed, activated, and put in my pin when I went to the bank this week.  Grr!  Called the bank, they activated it so had to get gas elsewhere, $40 cents/gal. higher.  Had to stop at Winco and get her a diet 7-Up to settle her stomach.  (She'd been throwing up for two days but hadn't told me.)  Neither of us got to eat.  Took her to WalMart so she could get Depends.  Waited in the car with Kodie for over an hour, finally she came, someone helping her find my car (I was right out front where I said I'd be).  She "couldn't find the Depends."  I'd told her to ask the greeter. Left her with Kodie and the A/C running, I went in and got them, took but a few minutes although I had to go clear across the store.  She gave me $ for gas/Depends, but then must have put it back in her purse as it was not there when I looked again.  Had to stop at our local pharmacy and get something for her eyes the doctor said to take.  And phone calls I had to make on her behalf!  Poor Kodie in the car this whole time, Piled up 174 miles on the car.  He couldn't eat/drink/move/pee, although I'd taken him out once about 12:45.  He was a trooper, didn't cry, was so incredibly patient and good.  Not a life for a young pup though.  It meant having to take all my fire evacuation stuff out of the trunk and piling it up in the car, I'm so tired of moving all that stuff, every time I need something I don't know where it is, I'd had it organized in the trunk but piling everything in wherever I could get it to fit in the back seat next to Kodie, I can't find anything now.  

With taking the heavy walker in/out of my car so many times, I injured my finger, it turned white with purple bands on the knuckles, ice cold, no oxygen or blood flow.  It's swollen too.  I can't keep doing this.  I'm exhausted, hurting, worn out, broke, and it's just begun.  Now she needs cataract surgery before she can start on the macular degeneration or get glasses.  The surgeon will call in a couple of weeks.

Took her home, emptied her garbage, I'd brought her homemade soup for dinner, hoping her stomach settles down, put 7-Up in her refrigerator.  

Got home at 6 pm, gone 7 hours, poor Kodie.

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6 hours ago, KayC said:

I had a day from hell yesterday. 

KayC:  I'm glad you didn't have to evacuate but you most certainly DID have the day from hell. I think evacuating may have been easier than the day you ended up having. I feel for you having to take on your sister's situation. That is A LOT to handle. You're an angel tho for taking care of her. While I feel bad for my brother taking me in, at least I can still do most things for myself. I'm sure your sister appreciates it, even if she can't express it. Just think of what she was like pre-dementia. She probably would be profusely thanking you if she hasn't already. But I think about all the stress on you. Stress does affect our long-term health. I think I might be a good example of that with having the Sarcoidosis. I'm sure you've thought about it but at some point you might need to consider that your sister will have to go into a nursing home or assisted living. Easier said than done I know but you can't wreck yourself...I doubt your sister would want you to get sick. Well, enough of the lecturing. You already know these things. Please be kind to yourself tonite.   

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I told my sister she HAS to get someone else to drive her, I can't lift or have exertion on my finger, think it's nerve damage and not getting the oxygen it needs.  It's very swollen, sore, purple now and still cold although not as icy as the first night.  Trying to get in to the doctor today, have to call promptly at 8:30 am.  Also right thumb injured but not nearly as bad.

Peggy told me last night she's considering hiring someone who is already working at the store!  Are you KIDDING me!!!  She will be working when Peggy needs a driver!  I told her doctor's don't work around your caregiver's schedule!  I'm not doing it, I can't, I need to heal.  I'm exhausted, injured, broke, nope!  I'm about to call someone on her to haul her off if she doesn't employ someone properly.  She threw up on her shoes and went to the eye doctor like that, didn't even clean them off.  She can remove her shoes and clean them, good grief!  She does NOTHING for herself!  I could not live like that.

17 hours ago, tnd said:

I'm sure your sister appreciates it, even if she can't express it. Just think of what she was like pre-dementia. She probably would be profusely thanking you if she hasn't already.

Peggy assumes it.  Predementia she was the same, she just has even less of a brain now.  She has NEVER taken responsibility for herself, never gotten any exercise or eaten healthy, but it's all worsened.  

Last night I slept 8 hours straight.  This morning my BP was 118/73, see what "letting go" does?!

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Gail 8588

Kay, 

I think you are on the right track. You have to protect your own health at this point.  It is not that you are unwilling to help your sister, it is that you are unable to do what she needs. 

Glad you got some sleep. You need that to heal. Glad your BP is down. That is a good indicator that you are on the right track. 

Gail 

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Diane R. E.

Kay; I'm praying your finger has a full and speedy recovery. You are right to put your own health and safety first.

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6 hours ago, KayC said:

She threw up on her shoes and went to the eye doctor like that, didn't even clean them off.  She can remove her shoes and clean them, good grief!  She does NOTHING for herself!  I could not live like that.

KayC:  She either chooses to do nothing for herself, knowing that you will help her or, could be that she's in a mode where she sees it and knows it but unable to care about it like me and you care about things. It might be the dementia and it's giving her a "do not care" attitude. Either way, I hope you decide for yourself  (and not let her situation decide for you) that you have your own health issues now that need taken care of. It might be time for you to help her find a facility to take care of her or hired help. I think it is one thing when someone needs help and we help them but quite another when the help they need is beyond what a family member can give. She's need professional care.  

6 hours ago, KayC said:

She has NEVER taken responsibility for herself, never gotten any exercise or eaten healthy, but it's all worsened.  

KayC:  So you can't assume she is one day going to wake up and take responsibility. If she hasn't yet, she never will. 

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I am too tired to even look for a facility and fight with her about it.  I'm exhausted from the stress.  My family can do something if they want.  

Peggy putting great pressure on me, wants me for her slave/handmaiden, no!  I'm fighting back against it, but it's more stress I don't need.

While she was gone yesterday I bought dinner and put it in her refrigerator, took her garbages out, cleaned the vomit off her floor from Tuesday, washed the dishes, counter, sinks, etc.  Instead of being happy with what I DID do, she started pressuring me that night to keep driving her.  NO!  I cannot.  I've explained time and again her need to HIRE a caregiver, that she has a LOT of appts. in her future, I cannot afford to keep piling the mileage on my car, she thinks paying for gas is sufficient, but there's depreciation, maintenance, wear and tear on the car, my oil changes are 3 1/2 times what my former Civic cost, and now the gov't is talking about billing us PER MILE to pay for infrastructure!  NO, NO, NO!!!

I went to the doctor yesterday, good news, he thinks it'll heal although he said if he'd seen it that first night he would have sent me to the ER for testing (another trip out of town and I can't drive at night), because he'd never seen a finger go totally white and ice cold with purple bands around the knuckles/joints!  Now it just looks swollen and purple.  It's still cold but there is some pink at the tip so that's a good sign.

Peggy never even thanked me for the soup I brought.  It's like she thinks I SHOULD just do all this!  No.  I do not owe her anything.  She said, "But you are YOUNGER than me!"  What the hell has that got to do anything!  I told her at my age (actually the last 28 years) she just SAT in her chair and read or talked on the phone.  Seriously.  No cleaning, nothing.  Nothing says I'm her slave because I'm her sister.  She didn't even bring me to the hospital when my husband was dying, choosing instead to go gamble at the casino (I'd ridden to the coast with her for sisters' weekend, not knowing my husband would have a heart attack).  It was TWO DAYS before she took me to the hospital and dropped me off...I never got to have that "last conversation" with him.  She tried to rewrite history about that, I would not let her.

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