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Too much too soon
I have been visiting this site for a couple of weeks now and have decided to dip my toe into the water and post.
I have always been inclined to depression and anxiety and spent some time in hospital back in 2001 when I suffered what would once have been called a nervous breakdown and I have always been a very shy sensitive type of bloke but for the past few years I have been going ok, at least up until August last year when the wheels started to fall off.
For the past few years I have been helping mum care for my dad who has advanced parkinson's disease,He was hanging in there and then he got pneumonia back in July spent five weeks in hospital and now it looks like motor neurons.disease.We have to hand feed him use a hoist and a shower chair for showers etc, it's just heart and back breaking.
Then just before dad comes home from hospital a painful boil appears on my forearmThe doctor lances and drains it twice . but it ain't going away and then an even nastier one appears on my finger
GP finally decided to do some cultures and it is mrsa After four months of bactrim and doxycycline I finally seem to kick the boils but in the meantime something worse has cropped up.
Around Melbourne Cup time I started getting dizzy spells and feeling very fatigued.
Turns out I have anemia with a blood count of 116 but my iron folate and b12 are all fine.Stool and urine tests are ordered but there is no blood..
Three months later another lot of bloods and blood count is still 116 " if you are really worried I can send you to a haematologist"One thing the last few months has taught me is you have to be assertive with doctors .
Visited the specialist on Friday he ordered more specific bloodwork and a ct scan of my spleen and If that shows nothing he wants a bone marrow biopsy .
Anyway while all this has been going on an older lady I have been doing some odd jobs for every Sunday and who became a close (platonic) friend, indeed my only social contact outside the house and who has an auto immune disease which while she is only mildly symptomatic as we speak could turn nasty at any time decides to move back to Sydney to be closer to her extended family.
My depression was already building but when she told me just before christmas it was like the straw that broke the camels back.I have been trying to put it to the back of my mind but as the day approaches i am starting to feel the isolation building and the depression is really starting to sting and burn
Hey Broken Biscuit,
Welcome to the forums. I'm really sorry to hear about your father and the recent developments with your friend and your own physical health issues. You have a lot on your plate and I know what it's like to have physical health issues alongside mental health troubles - not me personally, but I have a friend with surgery induced diabetes as well as endometriosis and it is so hard to deal with either physical health or mental health, let alone both...let alone of multiple people. Truly, my heart goes out to you.
Do you mind if I ask whether you are currently seeing any mental health doctors? I imagine there'd be quite a few doctors for your physical health, but our mental health really is just as important. We can't take care of ourselves physically if our mind isn't up to the task, and it does sound like you are in a very difficult place at the moment.
The other thing I'd suggest is you could maybe look for social groups relating to mental or physical health. Your doctors may know, otherwise I also look on the meet up website. I go to one in Sydney (where I met my friend) and it's nice to have a monthly social event. It just staves off the isolation a bit.
Hi, welcome, glad to see you finally post.
You have a lot on your plate. Among many things I've learned sbout depression is that when we arent depressed we get a false sense of security that its gone firever only to bite us again. Fir this reason best to accept your depressionas lifelong. Google
Topic: depression, a ship on the high seas- beyondblue
You sound run down. A break is needed even a few days. Money might be tight.
Topic: cheap recovery idea- camping- beyondblue
respite? Perhaps a visit to human services.
Finally a hard topic to raise but placing dad in a home should at least be discussed. There are limits for everybody and we all end up thete eventually.
Relaxation classes work.
I hope you feelfeel confident to post again.
Good to meet you, Broken Biscuit Blues. I am glad you decided to post and share your concerns with us.
It seems there has been a negative momentum build up in the last few months. It could have triggered another wave of depression. Losing your only social contact at this point in time would make coping a lot more difficult. Will you still be able to keep in touch (perhaps via social media) ? Of course, not the same as face to face communication...but it would help.
I agree with James. There is much stress and pressure weighing you down right now. It should require the same medical attention than your physical health concerns. No need to struggle alone with that side of the story. So please take good care of your mental/emotional self too.
There is no building friendly contact without mixing with people. Have you thought of signing in as volunteer to help out someone else in need ? It would be worth inquiring which agencies in your area could point you in the right direction. Perhaps a Community Resources or Neighbourhood Center, a Lion's Club... any Social Services org could help. There are lots of people out there who could use assistance with tasks around the house. It could be the beginning of another social connection. It would at least allow you to get out and about and start mingling.
Meanwhile, why not keep talking with us ? Rest assured that you will be heard. The more we get to know you, the better we can support you along your journey of recovery.
Here for you.
Thanking all above for taking the time to reply it is much appreciated.The three of you have covered a lot of ground and it is impossible to cover everything in a single reply.
Dad will not be going to a home .I promised him that I would honour his wish to die at home, breaking that promise will not solve my problems, on the contrary I would carry the guilt to my grave.
Last night he asked me to hold his hand, I enquired as to whether he was in pain and he replied that he was scared that he would fall to sleep and never wake up,He is facing death he is scared he is depressed, he is anxious, he has mental health needs to he is not senile, needs that will not be serviced in a nursing home.
As for talking to the gp I have a hard enough time getting my gp to investigate my physical health issues.,A friend of my mums is a retired gp and she can't believe how casual my gp has been over the past few months especially with regards to the atypical anemia which is often a sign of something very nasty.I tried a different gp when the staph infection was raging and I thought she was even worse.
Thanks to the people above for replying to my post.The three of you have covered a lot of ground too much to deal with in one reply.
lots of issues grief loss and the knowledge that when dad goes it will leave a huge vacuum in my life.The end of regular contact with a genuine friend, and the fear that if something serious is going on with my blood I will have to fight it alone because mum is too old and frail to offer much support.
My friend left for Sydney yesterday, went around to collect some furniture she gave us, so sad seeing the place that has brought me so much comfort these last four years looking bare and lifeless.
Feeling very depressed and also strangely anxious, it's quite creepy actually. I might ring the help line later tonight.need to ta;k to someone.
One ray of light in a sea of gloom is I went to the gp to get the results from the tests the blood specialist ordered and my blood count has improved although I am still anaemic it is up to 125 from 116 so the blood bloke is going to hold off on the blood marrow biopsy and just see if my blood count gets back to normal (135 - 180)within the next three months.Also I tested negative to all the ghastly diseases he tested for.
Still in a lot of pain on my left hand side getting the ct scan in the morning, also for some reason my blood pressure is really low the top number is in the nineties bottom number in the sixties this is a fairly new issue never had problems in the past.As usual my gp is not the slightest bit interested in investigating why I suddenly have low blood pressure.
I applaud your decision to call the helpline. Unloading the overload sometimes becomes a self-preserving necessity. I hope you went through with it.
Thank you for sharing the good news re a better blood count and the elimination of possible "ghastly diseases". Some important sources of stress have been shelved.
Seeing your friend's place empty must have brought home the void her departure leaves behind. You are grieving the loss of closeness right now, so understandably feel low. Perhaps it has something to do with lower BP.
How are you feeling today ?
Hey BBB. Really sorry to hear about everything going on in your life. I admire your comittment to helping your parents. You are a truly decent human being.
Regarding your BP, it depends what it used to be?? But if you say it's in the 90's AND you're feeling crappy it's worth checking further. Are you getting out of breath at all? It doesn't take much to do an ECG to check your HR and rhythm in the first instance plus listen to your heart for murmurs etc, just to be on the safe side. I don't want to freak you out at all, but you sound like a guy who would appreciate the peace of mind of a thourough medical assessment given your GP's reluctance to do much...
I guess you had the CT done today, so you'll have the results soon. After that, depending on results I guess, I'd definitely try another GP. Perhaps make a double appt so there is time to cover both physical & mental health.
I looked after my mother in my home for 4 yrs. It was definitely not easy, but I'm so thankful I did. She was assessed as High care, but we coped. She did have occasional respite in a nursing home, as I had a toddler at the time, as well as a new business. Looking back, I don't know how I did it. I was too busy to think about it, just kept going. I find I'm better off that way, with less time to think (Depression is my companion).
Starwolf advice about volunteering is a great suggestion. It would be good if you could make enquiries straight away, as I can see that it might be easy for you to "lose" that time you gave to you're friend. Please try not to let that happen. Volunteering anywhere opens up so many ways to meet new people, as well as get feelgood feelings from giving back. You might have to push yourself to do it, but try to do it while you can.
I'm happy to listen & share experiences of homecare if you need. Good on you!