For the last year or so I have been suffering from anxiety which is really starting to affect my life. My granddad had quadruple coronary bypass surgery over 30 years go (when it was still experimental here in the UK). During the operation he suffered a major heart attack and fell into a coma. Doctors said his chanced of survival were 60/40, four days later he woke up, thankfully. 30 years or more have gone by now and he isn't in very good shape. He's had at least another 6 heart attacks since the initial operation, he has chronic arthritis in his neck, a broken vertebrae (awaiting vertiboplasty procedure, although it is unlikely his heart will be strong enough), osteoporosis, an implanted defibrillator, excess water building up on his lungs and ankles due to his heart, and a whole host of other problems. (As well as taking around 18 tablets a day).
His cardiologist has said that his heart is working at around 40% and that is the reason for his shortness of breath etc. I have been caring for his for the last few years, although he is mobile he just needs help lifting heavy things and just some general day to day things when he's feeling under the weather. Because of this I find myself worrying about him constantly, I can't keep still, I'm nervous, always on edge with sweaty palms and just generally not happy. Because of this anxiety it plays havoc with my sleep. I work 10 hours a day 5 days a week so sleep is very important to me. The worry and nervousness is keeping me from sleeping and eventually when i do fall asleep I never wake up feeling refreshed no matter how many hours I've had to sleep. This is also similar in the day, I feel like I can't concentrate and that I'm worrying about what might happen to him. We have such a good relationship and he's been like a farther to me,
What do you suggest I do? Sorry about my punctuation, it's 1:40AM and I can't sleep yet I'm exhausted.
Thank you all so much,
The following user gives a hug of support to DazOwen: Flaurel (10-21-2011)
It is obvious you are quite close with your Grandad. Also, based on the circumstances, you have every right to feel this way. This is a tremendous amount of emotional stress. I think anyone who loves someone and that person is ill, will have some level of worry / anxiety.
In my opinion (again just my opinion - I am not a doctor), this is not an anxiety disorder issue as you have a justifiable cause for your anxiety. The frustrating part is the the anxiety inhibits your sleep, but you need your sleep to help reduce your anxiety!!
I would suggest seeing your GP and discussing exactly what you wrote here. The recommendation may not be pharmacuetical, but more cognitive. Talking about your concerns with your Grandad and coming to peace with the fact that life will take its course and all we can do is love and support one another. Once you get back into a regular sleeping pattern focus on what you can do today with your Grandad and enjoy the moment now (not worry about the future), I am sure your anxiety will reduce.
I too agree with TY, life is hard and right now you seem to be handling a double dose. So I believe it is important to make an appointment with your doctor. There is an answer there for you. Just remember each day as close as you are to understand how much extra time you have been granted to be with him. That extra time is a blessing even if it is not under the best of circumstances.
I am going to tell you a personal story and try to say in way that maybe you will understand what I mean. I'm not always good at it. So bare with me. My Grandma, who wasn't my real Grandma were very close. She was a very Christian lady and always believed in giving to everyone. She always had a hard time accepting gifts from others. She had been sick on and off for years and during all that time had sold a very successful business that had began to decline. Anyway eah year illness had just kept piling on. She would be Ok for a few months then down again. Well finally her financial situation also had declined too. Yet still not willing to accept from others. Finally I had told her it was time for her to have new carpet and I wanted to get it for her. Naturally she declined. A month or so later I called her again and told her I had saved the money and to get a quote because I really wanted her to have it. Well on a Thursday night we talked, she actually got the quote and I told her Ok that I would be there to visit in a couple weeks and we could do it. The following Monday morning I got the call that she had passed. Well I said all of that to say this. I really think that sometimes people that we love so much, like I loved her, are held here. They are held here because they feel like they need to be here for us or there is something they need to accomplish before they go. For my Grandma I believe it was 2 part. One was it was the first time she really allowed someone else to help her the other was that I was ok. I was in good enough shape that I could turn the table and give to her. If I ever would have thought that in her mind she would not leave because of her love for me and she was going through all of that illness, I would have been praying to God to give her the OK. So slow down with your worrying about him. Please be just so thankful for your time and enjoy every moment. In the meantime, see your doctor so they can help you handle this stress. I pray that you are able to have more time with him.