I am the only family caregiver for my two elderly parents, (although they do have part-time help at their home to do cleaning). They have had many health problems over the past 15 years, and over the last 5 years the problems have esclated, more doctor's appointments (several a week), picking up prescriptions, etc. My mother cannot walk and is in a wheelchair. It's not easy getting a person in a wheelchair to a doctor's appointment. I dearly love my parents but my question is, (although I've had check-ups, and my health is good), the next day after a day of helping my folks, I feel extreme fatique. I wake up just exhausted. I've been tired at other times (unrelated to helping them), for example, while working late, staying up late, etc., but the fatique of caring for them, it's a "different" kind of fatique, where I wake up feeling just totally exhausted and it lasts the entire day. Has any other caregiver reading my post experienced this incredible fatique? It's hard to explain, but it's a different kind of fatique from being tired. Would love to hear other people's stories on caring for their elderly folks, and the impact on their health.
The following user gives a hug of support to Leegh: Phoenix (05-25-2012)
Actually, I have experienced similar feelings/situations to what you describe. I am not sure what causes it but i have a few clues. i used to think it was that I did not sleep well at night. Recently, after doing research online I am getting the idea that it is possibly psychological factors as well(constant worry about parents state of health). It may be some sort of depression or anxiety. Its good to see a psychiatrist for a good evaluation.
You have physical AND mental exhaustion. I brought my husband home after his hospital/rehab time was finished from his massive stroke. I think I even suffered from the mental exhaustion more when he was still in there. Because I had to go a long drive to see him, and worry how he was whenever I wasn't there. My brain was just spinning and even my son who came home to help during the crisis found he was doing the same - we would sleep 12 hours. When hubby first came home April 6, I lived on adrenaline and fear of losing him the first month. Around May 15, he stabilized and began to get stronger, and NOW I feel the fatigue, because my brain is not full of adrenaline watching him like a hawk for fear I will lose him. BUT! There aren't good sleep slots since he got home, and I have to get it when I can, as his nights are fractured with getting up and down.
You are sufferiing from physical and EMOTIONAL. It's a heavy burden to care for your parents and it is often very emotionally draining. try to do something just for you and see if that doesn't help refresh you.
Please just keep your spirit up! Do not give up as you are the only family member helping them. I am also looking after my parents in their 80's. It is a long hard road. God Bless You and give you more strength .