UPDATE*-Stressful event brings on symptoms--HELP - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 09-12-2006, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DH took a 1 1/2 yr hiatus from work to stay home with me a my son b/c my BPD was out of control. After much hard work, therapy, doing what the doc tells me, etc. I began to stabilize a few mos ago to the point we felt DH could return to work and I could return to being a SAHM. Everything was going great.

Then, my bipolar (unmedicated, untreated) gpa was dx with terminal liver cancer. He and my gma live a few houses down and I was doing my best to care for them and my family. Things reached a boiling point when my gpa refused to drink anything for two weeks (he is very delusional right now). The rest of my family (all in town) was too scared to intervene b/c my gpa has an explosive temper and can be very mean. I finally insisted on calling 911 and gpa was admitted to the hospital for dehydration. I stayed with him for 4 days in the hospital. I then talked him into going to an assisted living facility to "build himself up so he can go home". The first night in the facility, he went ballistic. He insisted we take him home and spewed all kinds of hateful things at us. Taking him home was NOT an option; he requires 24 hr nursing care and we had nothing in place to address this. I tried to get him to calm down and explain this to him, but he was over the edge. Finally, on the advice of the nurse, we told him he had to stay and left the room. He screamed my name and continued to yell as we walked down the hallway. It was *very* traumatic...I felt as though my heart had been ripped out and I was plagued with fears that I wasn't doing the right thing. (Again, I'm "family spokesperson"; my mom is also bipolar and very unstable herself right now). We called the nurses that night to ensure that he had calmed down, which he had. I visited the next day and he was very sweet, thanking me for leaving him there b/c it was for his own good.

My problem now is that I'm a wreck. My thoughts are very obsessive and I can't seem to get my mind to stay off my gpa for more than and hour or so. I've gotten pretty good at redirecting my thoughts, but I still feel depressed and very anxious. I dread going to see him b/c I know he'll ask me about leaving the facility (which he won't...he probably has less than 6 weeks to live). He also is very delusional and talks about how great he's doing and that he doesn't have cancer. And he continues to be moody and often is mad at the staff.

I feel such an overwhelming responsibility to "make everything right" (which is an integral part of my personality regardless of the situation.), but I know it's going to set me back mentally. I have to find a way to separate myself from these intense emotions and be realistic about what I can and can't do. I keep telling myself he's in a different part of his life than me, I can't place my emotions on him. And my mom and brother live here so they can help with visiting and some of the other responsibilities. My mom also has a brother 3 1/2 hrs away who has come twice to visit, but has pretty much "checked out" emotionally.

Thanks for reading this. I would love any advice you can give as I simply cannot backslide.
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#2 of 7 Old 09-12-2006, 01:29 PM
 
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I'm so sorry to hear about your grandpa and what you are going through as a result. I understand that you are obsessed with his condition and wanting to do everything you can to help him. But you won't be able to do anything for him if you don't take care of yourself. Your grampa has his only path to walk and you have yours.

I don't know what your diagnosis is, but I am bipolar and certainly understand how outside stresses can lead to episodes and disintigration of your sense of self. Again, you must take care of yourself. Make an appointment with your psychiatrist and/or your therapist ASAP.

I feel for your grampa amd for you. I lost mine to lung cancer eleven years ago and I still miss him terribly.

Be there for him, but also for yourself, for your sake and your children's sake. Don't be afraid of medication if that's what you need. Your children need a sane mother, even if that means weaning (I don't know if you have a nursling or not).

We are here for you.
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#3 of 7 Old 09-12-2006, 03:45 PM
 
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Get back in therapy and use medications if you aren't already. You can't make the bad situation with your gpa go away, so all you can do is make yourself able to deal with it well enough that you can function for your son.

Maybe let your son go to daycare parttime so that you can have some quiet time. I find that alone time really helps me be able to manage my moods better (although I am also on meds) so that I am not overwhelmed.

Being a good mom to your son takes priority over gpa.....so please, do what you need to do to help yourself as much as possible.

Btw, I think its awesome that your hubby took a break from work to be with you and your son!! That sort of loyalty really shows a deep love for you and I love seeing it! :-)

with smiles
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#4 of 7 Old 09-12-2006, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much, mamas!

My dx is BP II, but was dx with clinical depression, OCD and gen. anxiety disorder 20 yrs ago (I'm quite a package)

I do take meds, quite a few actually. I have considered asking my pysch if I could increase my Xanax from 2 to 3mg/day. I also see a therapist and she knows what is going on. However, when I stabilized a few months ago, I cut my visits from weekly to every other week. I have thought I should get back on a weekly schedule until I feel more settled.

I'm making sure to get plenty of sleep and using lots of thought re-directing. And, like both of you suggested, I'm trying to keep in perspective the fact that my gpa has his own path as do I. My responsibility is to my son (not a nursling so meds are no problem) and my DH. It's just so hard to keep from spiraling, kwim? I feel like its a victory if I can keep from thinking about my gpa's situation or my mom, etc. for an hour. I just try to lengthen that time. My DH is my rock and its so hard not to have him around right now.

Wifty: I think my DH is the bomb, too

It helps just to write this stuff out and I thank you again for reading and responding.
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#5 of 7 Old 09-12-2006, 05:29 PM
 
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It seems like you have a pretty good handle on things.....you just have to not think too much about the situation, so its not so overwhelming.

I am glad that writing helps. Its nice knowing that there are other moms out there that have the same, or similar, daily struggles that I have and that it is possible to be a good mom with a mental illness.

Keep us up to date with whats going on!

with smiles
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#6 of 7 Old 09-13-2006, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Mamas,

Just wanted to report that things seem to be leveling out. My anxiety level has decreased and its gotten easier to redirect my thoughts.

I've decided on a schedule for visiting my gpa so I don't put myself through the ringer every day. I'm going every other day. Gpa has been expressing concern about my health. He knows I'm bipolar and receive meds. Even though he refused treatment for his BPD he understands the difficulties of dealing with the illness. It feels good knowing he's concerned about my health and knows I can't jeopardize the progress I've made.

I've also been able to better put things in perspective. I have gone above and beyond the call to get him and my gma medical attention and remove them from the filthy environment they were in. At this point, its my "job" only to visit and try to provide comfort. I cannot solve all the problems involved with this situation. Nor can I worry about his moodiness or willingness to comply with the nurses and doctor.

So although my shoulders are still all bunched up from stress, I feel like I'm getting back on track. I've also had the realization that a lot of the stress comes from missing my DH and taking on the sole parenting role during the day (which I wasn't used to). And that is totally natural to feel.

Anyway, thanks mamas.

PS: Wifty: I noticed you live in Jeff City. I live in Nixa, near Springfield...just a few hours away I used to live in Columbia and commute to Jeff City daily for a job.
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#7 of 7 Old 09-13-2006, 12:30 PM
 
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familylove, Its a small world!!! I am from Seattle originally but have fallen in love with Missouri because it is so safe in comparision and people are so very friendly. I love that!

I am glad that you are doing better and I think its awesome that your gpa thinks about your health!!! My dad is VERY bipolar, doesn't take his meds, and he could care less about my health in any way - mentally or physically. I once broke my arm and although it was obviously broken, he refused to take me to the hospital and I didn't go until the next day on the bus. So, its nice that your gpa understands.

It sounds like even though your gpa is BP, he has it enough together to be making his own choices.....even if they aren't good ones or the ones you would choose for him.

Ask your hubby to give you a massage.....you sound like you could use it!!! Candles, some massage oil, soft music......and you are set for a relaxing and close evening! :-)

with smiles
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