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Old February 27th, 2005, 08:16 AM   #1
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any caregivers out there?

My husband spent last weekend (and the beginning of the week) in the hospital. He had a heart attack. He had been having some chest pains on and off for a couple of months, but usually during the night. He wouldn't tell me about it at the time, just sort-of after the fact: "I guess I've gotta stop eating (onions, cheese, whatever he'd had the night before), since I had indigestion and it gave me chest pain." WHen I'd ask why he didn't wake me up so I could get him to the hospital, he'd say it was because I was sleeping so peacefully. ARGH!!!

Saturday (a week ago), the chest pain happened when I was getting ready to fix dinner, so I called a cab (I'm visually impaired, so I can't drive anymore) and got him to the hospital. The punch line (when they did the heart catherization) was that one of his arteries was blocked in a couple of places; one of those places was 95% blocked!

The punch line is that he's had several medical problems over the years, to the point where I've become more and more of a caregiver. This last one really has cemented my "care-giving". I know we all have times when our health isn't good, but at his age (he's 18 1/2 years older than me) I know he may start feeling better, but he'll never be as healthy as he was, say, 20-30 years ago. He gets depressed about it on so many levels.

Anyone out here done any long-term care-giving? How do you cope?
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Old February 27th, 2005, 10:03 AM   #2
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I have to say "bless those caregivers"! I know it can't be easy, and maybe they aren't always reminded of how much their care is appreciated.

Hope he does start feeling better. I also hope you get some feedback from others here in that position, rjsfeminist.
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Old February 27th, 2005, 09:48 PM   #3
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rjsfeminist, bless you. I have a friend who is going though a similar situation. It's her hubby who has become more of her care taker. ( hopefully with this last surgery she will be able to do more for herself. ) I try to get over there often during the times she is not hospitalized. When I do that is the time her hubby gets out by himself for a couple of hours.
Being a care taker you need to have someone once in awhile come to your home and give you a break. This would help you keep your sanity in tact. Keep you from getting overwhelmed with the care giving.
Wish you the best of luck. Will keep you and your hubby in my thoughts and prayers. Please keep us posted.

Oh let me ask this question? Have you checked with his doctor about getting help in the house, so that you don't have to travel to and fro.
Ex .. visiting nurse/ PT/ .. also where you also have trouble seeing .. Can his presciptions be marked in a fashion to help ID them.. color coded/ bigger print etc.

Once again my prayers and thoughts are with you.
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Old March 1st, 2005, 12:14 PM   #4
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My hubby has been my caregiver for years now. Without him, I can say for a fact that I would be dead now. I thank God for him all the time. I am a part time caregiver to my father in law now. He's 87 and pretty healthy, but does need help with certain things. He lives at a retirement place where he lives independently, but has all his meals, maid service, etc. provided for him. I really have had the best time getting to really know him. We spend a lot of time together.
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Old March 4th, 2005, 03:33 PM   #5
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Thank you so much, Cod, Irish Eyes, and Brede, for your kind words and thoughts and prayers.

Things are going a little smoother now. Hubby is feeling somewhat better. He was able to go to the store with me late yesterday afternoon, and we're going out for breakfast Sunday morning.

This will be a fairly long-term deal, though. But it could be worse. At least he's now able to do a few things.

I like the idea of larger print for his prescriptions, Irish Eyes. I've also thought of getting one of those plastic segmented pill boxes so we can put his morning meds and evening meds in them.

Brede, I'm sure that there are times when you feel somewhat frustrated by your medical problems. I know my hubby feels that way at times. (I do, too, about my eye sight. Since I do have some sight, I expect myself to be able to do more...) But you're able to help with your father in law, which is fantastic.

Ya know what? I really appreciate having the boards here...
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Old March 4th, 2005, 04:14 PM   #6
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Dosettes are a wonderful idea. Most drugstores will print out a factsheet to accompany prescriptions. It outlines when and how to take medications, what the medications are intended to do, how they work, and side effects to watch for, including those that should cause concern.

Not sure whether these are available in large print, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

Wishing you much luck and strength.
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Old March 6th, 2005, 08:24 AM   #7
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Thanks, WA. I do tend to read the fact sheets from the pharmacy, though the first batch of pills came home with hubby from the hospital, w/nothing to read on the meds. (Except for the big possible side-effects, nothing about the milder or rarer ones.)

BTW...the thing you have in your posts (I'm not sure what they're called)...the person hitting her head against her computer desk...I've felt like that once or twice the past couple of weeks! (Just kidding...sort-of!)
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