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Forums / Long term support over the journey / Feeling down due to fatigue & undiagnosed health issues

Topic: Feeling down due to fatigue & undiagnosed health issues

  1. Elizabeth CP
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    30 January 2019 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    I saw my psych yesterday. It was a very intense session with some tears. Reliving the stressful events of the previous 12 days & admitting my failures left me feeling very emotional. Rather than providing a solution to change things he told me I need to accept that my life is going to continue to be stressful with frequent difficult times. Learning to accept this & cope better is a real challenge!!! He tried to reassure me that my irrational thoughts & behaviour is reasonable given my previous trauma history. I still don't like it as it makes me feel stupid & out of control.

    I'm currently trying to lose weight & trying to get much fitter (not easy when I'm tired ,Stressed & the weather is so hot) which is taking a lot of emotional energy to keep going when I'm so tempted to give in & have a break. I don't know how long I can keep going.

  2. Croix
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    30 January 2019 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Dear Eizabeth~

    I'm glad you have a psych who seems realistic and knows your life is constrained by your circumstances. No good expecting things that are not going to happen. Also knowing that your thoughts are reasonable considering your history must be a plus. Events do cast long shadows as you know.

    Coping is something we all have to do to some extent, and the methods vary from person to person. Did your psych have any specific suggestions on what you might do to help live with these problems?

    Good luck with losing weight, I have to as well, and I - and many others -well understand temptation :(

    Croix

  3. Elizabeth CP
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    31 January 2019 in reply to Croix

    Thanks Croix, I find it frustrating that each time I try to set a goal that should help me (often with my psych's encouragement something goes wrong & stops it. It is hard to bounce back from repeated setbacks. My emotional energy is so low at the moment that it is hard to try again. This list of things I know I should be doing just adds to the guilt & frustration. For example I was supposed to try going out somewhere cool for a few hours each week to stop feeling trapped in my house & feeling useless. Last weeks forecast of extreme heat rather than motivating me made me feel so anxious & out of control I went to my friends for 3 days. While this was OK it is not a sustainable regular option & I now feel what's the point of organizing a regular 3 hour break if I'm going to panic anyway.

    I used to have my family around monthly but haven't for a while. I was planning to start again since most have time to meet together Sunday afternoon. Feeling so burnt out from recent events & so much babysitting I just don't have the energy to organise it. I want to get back to enjoying my family rather than feeling overwhelmed & guilty.

  4. Doolhof
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    2 February 2019 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Hi Elizabeth,

    Is there a phone place you can go to with your husband so they can see and witness his limitations and be able to assist with something suitable?

    I'm thinking it is time for me to get away for a day or a weekend would be lovely. I might look at some accommodation options. My issue is I can drive somewhere, then when I arrive I am exhausted and feel like I need a sleep before I can drive home again.

    Now the school holidays are over, accommodation may be a little cheaper. I'd love to have a caravan! With an air conditioner!

    Cheers from Dools

  5. quirkywords
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    7 February 2019 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Elizabeth,

    I am so sorry you have felt burnt out by recent events.

    You are such a kind person who gives so much others.

    I wish you would be kinder to yourself, and help rebuild your energy levels.

    I know this is easier said that done.

    Quirky

  6. Elizabeth CP
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    7 February 2019 in reply to quirkywords

    Thank you Quirky & Dools for your kind words of support.

    We have had some luck with the phone. We finally had a person from Vision Australia who specialises in technology visit & she went right back to basics teaching both of us how to use the phone using accessibility options. She got us both to practice in front of her until we were getting things right consistently & then taught us other things to do. Sighted people don't use these things so can't help. There are lots of different ways of flicking the screen with different numbers of fingers, different numbers of time really fast & in different directions each of which does something different. Before we were just fumbling around & mostly failing. It is good for me to know as I can write everything down so I remember & can help my husband when he gets stuck.

    I really need a break from the hot weather as it is really increasing my stress levels & I'm not sleeping properly. This tiredness is making it harder to deal with things. This month is very busy with a lot of appointments for my husband. I'm waiting for the builder to contact me to arrange to repair my kitchen Hopefully that will happen soon. I'm going on a cruise at the end of the month. I can't wait. It will be a relief to leave the country for a while & not be constantly triggered.

  7. Croix
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    7 February 2019 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Dear Elizabeth~

    I'm very glad you were able to find someone to assist with the phone, there are so many options that could be helpful it can be a real pity if they are not used simply though lack of available advice and training. I do know Vision Australia does have courses on the subject, although a one-to-one is always better.

    One thing to bear in mind is that facilities are always improving, and whilst it may not be necessary to know how each one works it helps to keep abreast and have just a very basic overview of what continues to become available. That way if anything stands out as being potentially very useful one can make further enquiries.

    Are you taking your husband with you on the cruise?

    Croix

  8. Elizabeth CP
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    7 February 2019 in reply to Croix

    Yes my husband is going on the cruise with me. The first time we went on a cruise we were worried because my husband's balance was bad so we weren't sure how he'd cope. We hit some rough patches which I struggled to cope with as I couldn't walk straight. My husband laughed at me saying he felt normal (unbalanced anyway) so it was time I felt what it was like losing my balance!!!

    Once he gets used to where everything is he is fine on the ship. We avoid the buffet as I find it stressful getting both meals but the dining room is fine. I am looking forward to a break from heat,smoke, fires etc.

  9. Croix
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    8 February 2019 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Dear Elizabeth~

    That sounds a fine idea, particularly if your husband can cope. Being away from your normal environment with all its built-in reminders of all the things you feel need doing will be a tonic.

    Can you get the kitchen fixed while you are away?

    Croix

  10. Elizabeth CP
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    9 February 2019 in reply to Croix

    Thanks Croix, I am looking forward to the complete break. The first 3 days are at sea which will give me time to relax before arriving in port & feeling I have to make the most of every second!!!! I blame my parents. Holidays were always about doing & seeing as much as possible in the time available & we enjoyed it so I tend to be the same. It is really hard to just relax.

    As for my kitchen it is in the hands of the company the insurance have arranged to fix it so I can't see it being done while we're away.

    I saw my psych again yesterday. Once again it was intense as I needed to explain what has been happening lately particularly my intense over-reactions to some triggers. The message I got was that I need to just survive this period as best as I can. I need to get the courage up to explain to family members what is wrong so that it is easier for me to say no to babysitting & other demands while I'm so stressed. I'm unsure how much to say & how to explain it & talking about it stirs everything up making it worse. After the summer I will need to learn & practice some techniques to use when I'm really anxious to calm down but trying to do that now is unlikely to work as I'm too stressed all the time. It is helpful having someone who understands & is trying to help me learn to accept my condition & reactions

  11. Croix
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    9 February 2019 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Dear Eizabeth~

    I think your psych is on track suggesting you enlist your family's aid and understanding, and yes that may well make self-preservation acts like not babysitting easier. Getting though the hard patches needs to be made as easy as possible and that means getting whatever help you can .

    To put it in a nutshell, sincerity beats long explanations. Saying events in the past have left a deep impression on you and that the results come out in ways one might not expect could be enough to impart. Saying you do not wish to say more but thanking them for their understanding could round it off.

    Do you think this is doable sort of thing and might produce good results?

    Croix

  12. Elizabeth CP
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    12 February 2019 in reply to Croix

    I'm still thinking about how to tell the family & what to tell them. All my kids know that I'm scared of fire & know I was burnt out. They already know that if there are fires around I have to leave or if already out I don't come home. I don't know how to explain more because it makes no sense to me. My reactions prior to Black Saturday were at least logical. If there was a fire in the area I stayed away even if it was deemed safe by others. Since Black Saturday I react irrationally & can't predict what will trigger a reaction. It is hard to let others understand if I don't understand & trying to explain the whole PTSD thing feels overwhelming at the moment.

    At least it was cool today.

  13. Croix
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    12 February 2019 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Dear Elizabeth~

    I'm not sure that even attempting a logical cause-effect thing is worth attempting. The reactions from things in our past are not always intuitive or predictable. I am sure however in my own case saying exactly that was enough.

    Even something as mundane as not going to a movie can be understood by my partner as being because it raises ghosts I do not need, even if the film seems in no way related. It is sufficient they understand there is something. For a long time I had to get someone to empty the mailbox, while I guess there was a tenuous link to the past I never explained, just said it was too hard.

    Triggers suit themselves.

    I'm glad you have some respite on the heat

    Croix

  14. Elizabeth CP
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    13 February 2019 in reply to Croix

    Thanks Croix. My husband understands the situation. He attended a couple of sessions with my psych which really helped both of us Prior to that he would do things to avoid getting my upset but it often made things worse & lead to a lack of trust.

    I'm just unsure how much to tell my kids & whether it will help.

  15. Elizabeth CP
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    14 March 2019 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    I am feeling flat & unmotivated. We went on a cruise for 2 weeks which I'd been looking forward to as It would get me away from heat fires etc & I'd planned lots of interesting walks in each port which both my husband & I would enjoy. Unfortunately after 2 days at sea my husband woke in the middle of the night coughing & struggling to breathe. We eventually gave in and went to the ship medical centre & he was prescribed AB & some other meds (very expensive) By this point I was exhausted by lack of sleep & worry. After a few days of rest & meds he improved enough to do a little bit in port & on the ship but still needed another visit to a GP onshore to get a script for more meds & ventolin so he could manage till we got home. After a particularly nasty choking/coughing fit after the last port he seemed to get worse again. On sunday we arrived home & decided to go to emergency rather than waiting to see a GP. He was admitted after being seen by the doctor & having blood tests & X rays. He is improving but is still too weak to swallow so can't come home until he no longer requires IV meds & his chest is a lot clearer so he can breathe properly.

    Stress & worry & the interrupted sleep while he was on holiday have left me feeling really flat & unmotivated There are so many things needing doin. My garden looks terrible due to the hot weather & neglect but I can't be bothered. I visited my daughter & grandchildren on Tuesday which was nice but otherwise feel isolated. I feel like there is no point planning anything because things go wrong.

  16. Elizabeth CP
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    14 March 2019 in reply to Elizabeth CP
    Today received a call from the doctor asking to speak to me in person with my husband. This triggered a lot of anxiety. Ended up waiting for hours for the doctor. My husband had a bad episode this morning when he needed medical intervention to enable him to breathe. Now unsure of the future. May need extra equipment for home & medications to inject to save him if this happens again at home I don't know if he will recover enough to return to what he was like before. Struggling knowing who I should tell (family & close friends) & how much to say without overreacting.
  17. Croix
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    14 March 2019 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Dear Elizabeth~

    I'm afraid there are one step at a time occasions and this is one of them. Perhaps waiting for a while before saying much might be easiest. At the moment you are waiting to really know the situation and can't make plans, let alone give others a lot of detail.

    I'm glad you went and visited your daughter and grand-kids, I hope they were a lift. I only have the one but a visit can certainly perk one up.

    Please correct me if my memory has failed but do I remember that in the past your sleep was not as good as it could have been due to -was it temperature or background sound? - that your husband found uncomfortable. Can you at least get things set up for a day or so to get the best rest you can?

    Gardens, and all the things in the house are just that - things - and can be restored. There is no hurry. It is OK to be worn out and do the minimum.

    Croix

  18. Guest_1055
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    14 March 2019 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Hello Elizabeth, I have been reading in here to sort of keep up with what is happening in your life. Well I guess because I care about you.

    I really do not have advice or anything like that. It is just my heart goes out to you. You often seem so weighed down.

    I am sorry Elizabeth.

    I am guessing your family and close friends are sort of prepared in a way regarding your hubby. As sad as it all is , that would make it easier woudn’t it.

    I care and wish I could help you. Anyway I just wanted you to know that.

  19. Elizabeth CP
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    15 March 2019 in reply to Guest_1055

    Thanks Shell & Croix for your thoughts. My visit to my daughter was nice. Her older 2 were at school so it was quiet at home with the 3 yr old & the baby. Unlike last year there was just the one school pick up rather than kinder as well which meant more time to talk to my daughter. The baby is growing up & doing more although he didn't seem to remember me even though it has only been a couple of weeks since I saw him. Even the 3 yr old was quieter as he didn't have to compete with his siblings. On the way home from school the 8 yr old read his reader to the 5 yr old. It was lovely to watch them huddled together on the back seat so the 5 yr old could see the pictures while listening to the story. I then listened to the 5 yr olds reader when we got home. I wish my daughter lived closer so I could see them more often.

    Yes Croix I do have trouble sleeping. I'e been allowing myself to stay in bed a bit longer than normal to rest. I struggle to sleep when it is hot. Stress & worry affect my sleep & when my husband is unwell & coughing/choking that keeps me awake & I feel I need to stay nearby to help him if required. When very unwell he sometimes doesn't think straight so needs reminders or help to prop himself up higher so he can breathe.

    In these situations I feel quite alone. My daughter lives 11/2 hrs away & works part time, my son works full time & has his own young family (he has been to visit his dad a few times & had me for dinner Sun night) My other son lives 2 hrs away & his wife is very difficult so I don't get to speak to him on his own. I don't have friends living nearby. I find everyone wants to know about my husband but I feel no one cares about me. My brother visited my husband but never bothered to ask how I was feeling. It is as though he feels he needs to do the right thing and talk to my husband to let him know he cares but he only speaks to me to check on my husband. My husbands brother rang to check on my husband & then asked if my husband could visit for a couple of days when he's well enough but I was not invited. I was friends with him & his wife before I knew my husband but now my husband is unwell I'm just the carer to speak to to make arrangements & provide transport when required not a friend or family member. This just feeds into my lack of self esteem providing evidence that I'm of no real value other than for what I do to help others.

  20. Croix
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    15 March 2019 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Dear Elizabeth~

    I think you are butting up against a foible of human nature. With your husband so ill people's attention will be on him, and yes, in the process you get ignored or taken for granted.

    This is made worse because you are very competent and resourceful person and many will not see below that surface.

    It's unfair and does make one feel like a drudge.

    I'm glad you have one son and a daughter who seem to be more caring.

    Croix

  21. Elizabeth CP
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    16 March 2019 in reply to Croix
    Thanks Croix.
  22. Elizabeth CP
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    20 March 2019 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Still struggling. psych asked me to come up with things to do for myself to keep myself going & have the energy to care for my husband. I'm trying but finding this difficult. The constant barrage of problems make it hard to feel any hope & be able to plan anything positive. Monday was spent on the phone to multiple people trying to deal with varied issues including the insurance claim for my kitchen, (the company assigned to the work have been useless & impossible to get answers to my requests for explanation re why nothing had been done & appointments broken without reason) The insurance company then assigned a different company to deal with the mould so now have very noisy machines going to clean/dry the air. The were further calls from the hospital & other health professionals to discuss my husbands condition. Then family members rang to check on him. Of course many calls clashed with other calls so I had to ring back. I finally decided to go for a walk to escape for a few minutes only to find a leak outside out property so returned home to find the number & ring the water provider to arrange for that to be fixed. I ended up staying up late trying to deal with other urgent tasks I hadn't done during the day. Yesterday was dealing with the mould removing company who came to assess & set up equipment & then returned to rip up my floor. They've taped up affected cupboards so I've had to rearrange cupboards & remove stools etc Went to make a drink & couldn't get spoon without moving the heavy equipment in front of drawers. I know they are little things but it adds up. The afternoon I had a psych appointment then visit husband & then to a meeting re the NDIS which I needed to go to find out info to help my husband. To top it off I was crossing the road when a car turning from a side road (he had stopped before I walked across) decided to take off straight into me. Fortunately he he hit just as he took off so at slow speed but my arm is very sore where it was pinned against his bull bar.

  23. Ggrand
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    20 March 2019 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Hello Dear Elizabeth,

    Im really very sorry to hear that you were in accident and I’m hoping so much that your arm will heal very quickly..Did the person in the car stop to make sure you were okay, did you get your arm checked out? Maybe would be a good idea if you did..just to be sure...

    A whole lot of little things combined do make for a huge big thing..can really overwhelm you...I’m really hoping that things start working out for you very soon...Please Elizabeth take time to breathe and rest a little if you can..I know it’s hard to rest but please try...

    You are an amazing person Elizabeth with the amount of innner strength you have...you’re such a huge inspiration and I admire you a lot..

    Love and hugs dear Elizabeth💜🤗.

    Grandy..

  24. Elizabeth CP
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    23 March 2019 in reply to Ggrand

    I am seeing my psychiatrist in a few days for the first time since early Nov. I am unsure how to use the time effectively as so much as happened since I saw him last including an exacerbation of PTSD symptoms due to the hot weather & high fire danger & multiple triggers throughout the summer. On top of that has been the issues with my kitchen which is still an ongoing stress (I'm now staying in other accomodation because of the mould) & there has been huge delays getting things fixed. Now I have my husband still ill in hospital. Each of these things are increasing stress impacting on my MH

    How do I explain things without spending too much time on the details so there is no time to work out ideas to help.

  25. blondguy
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    23 March 2019 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Hi Elizabeth

    Psychiatrist visits.....I hear you loud and clear Elizabeth....I have my annual medication revue coming up on April 10...and even though I am used to more frequent appointments....it can be a anxious wait sometimes.

    Can I ask how your husband is going? Is his breathing better?

    My apologies for not being attentive on your thread topic Elizabeth

    my kindest

    Paul

  26. Croix
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    23 March 2019 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Dear Elizabeth~

    >How do I explain things without spending too much time on the details so there is no time to work out ideas to help.

    I've always regarded you as an organized and resourceful person and think those talents can help now.

    You have a whole load of life bearing down on you at the moment. For someone who was physically and mentally in the pink it would be hard - just the mold problem alone is serious. So with a resurgence of symptoms, a husband in hospital, family demands and everything else I'd agree it is hard to know what to head for first.

    May I suggest you spend the days before you see your psych in two stages. The first being just to jot down in any brief and messy form you like each problem as it occurs - maybe 15 seconds each time, maybe less.

    The second stage of course is to reduce these to point form, grouped together as best you can, if you are feeling very organized give each point a numeric value of how much hassle it is.

    Whatever way you go share the paper (and if you can book and extra bit of time do so). Share and sit back while the psyche reads ALL and digests, then you have a basis for a talk. Maybe kick off with a discussion of priorities of waht to look at first.

    With so much it is easy for the psych to be overwhelmed and lost over everything and thus concentrate on just the one thing - easier and simpler. Not what you need though. You have a complex situation and need a comprehensive set of answers. Consider emailing the list with a cover note a day or more before.

    There are times you have to steer things, as you are the 'expert' on the spot, the one with the knowledge and realization of results and implications.

    It would be a bit hopeful to expect everything to be addressed, however some of the more important things might be, and it can be an ongoing tool for future consultations.

    I know, an extra burden on you when you don't need any more, maybe you can get some help wiht other's suggestions for that list. So what do you think?

    Croix

  27. Elizabeth CP
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    24 March 2019 in reply to Croix

    Thanks Paul & Croix,

    Paul, I only take sleeping tablets when needed but will ask for a new script. At the moment I need to have them to avoid going too long without sleep which then causes a further spiral. My husband seemed a bit better today. They're trialling some meds which help in one way but have very nasty side effects so are not sustainable. I'm feeling left out of the loop but wrote a note to the doctor & the speech therapist requesting a call from both to discuss plans I would lie the option of medication or equipment (with training) to use in an emergency when he comes home since an ambulance could arrive too late.

    Croix'

    My initial thought was Oh No!1 How can I find time to think through what to write & then write it in a logical way in the time available. Tomorrow is going to be crazy. Unsure about Tuesday but I'll need to get to the hospital to see hubby. Wednesday morning I see the psych.

    As I read the rest of your post I still don't know how to get the task done but it seems to be the best way to have an effective visit so I will do my best. Trying to explain things on the day will mean missing important information & risking getting sidetracked on certain issues without him seeing the whole picture.

  28. Croix
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    24 March 2019 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Dear Elizabeth~

    You are quite right of course, it is an extra burden, however it does provide a spark of hope, I'm glad you agree it is at least a logical approach.

    Can you lean anyone to help? Your husband remind you of a particular thing when you get a moment, another to help put in more things you might be enduring without thought and another to try to assist you sort, someone to type and print?

    No, the next-to-last thing you need is documentation, but it has done a lot of good for me, from listing dreams to frequency of symptoms.

    It is also not an all-or-nothing venture. If you miss stuff now there is next time, so please at least make an attempt.

    Good luck!

    Croix

  29. Elizabeth CP
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    26 March 2019 in reply to Croix

    Thanks Croix.

    I have written my list to take tomorrow. It is not perfect but it will have to do

  30. Croix
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    26 March 2019 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    First of all- you are a Star!

    Second of all - your idea of perfection is such that not much meets your standards, I'm sure it will be most useful

    -C

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