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Forums / Supporting family and friends with a mental health condition (carers) / Preparing my husband for inpatient treatment

Topic: Preparing my husband for inpatient treatment

18 posts, 0 answered
  1. Caringwife2021
    Caringwife2021  avatar
    10 posts
    11 January 2021

    HELP Preparing for Husband to go to Hospital !!
    First time poster not sure who to ask for this. Could bother his doctor or the hospital or even my dad who is a psychiatrist but I thought reaching out to people who have first hand experience in this as I doubt my dad usually takes note of what personal effects and how many pairs of socks his patients brought to hospital.

    My husband is going to hospital to sort out his medication and really get on top of his mental illness instead of limping along on horse tranquillisers and telehealth appointments every few weeks.He is very high function he works in management and does tri's. He is very very unwell with PTSD which developed into a major depressive episode and now also anxiety. he is going in for at least four weeks to Private Clinic in February.

    My question I want to do all I can to help him and make the stay as comfortable as possible so what do I pack for him ???

    SPORT
    Road bike and indoor training ( his doc is getting permission for from the hospital to set it up to continue his training)
    Yoga mat

    Clothing:
    3 sets of tracksuits, 3 short sleave PJS, 2 long sleeve PJS , 5 sets of running gear,3 sets of cycling gear, 5 pairs of pants, 7 tshirts, One set of going out stuff, Sneakers, Boots, Slippers ,Thongs/slids
    14 sets of sock and underwear
    I am labelling everything order cute iron on tags


    Toiletries
    , normal cologne ,beard wash, beard oil, hair wax, shampoo conditioner, body wash for sport, body wash and lotion ( lush sleepy for evenings) , face cleanser, moisturiser, facial scrub.
    Beard trimmer hair brush tooth brush tooth paste
    Room
    Own pillow, 4 picture frames, body pillow, soft toy models of his dogs
    Anything else that we can make it more homely ?


    Personal effects :
    Photo books of dogs, travel
    Books of 58 love notes I am having made
    Books of well wishes from 20 close friends I am compiling
    Activity books: colouring, dot to dot, maths text book for fun

    Am I missing anything or does anyone have any tips ??

    We live and work 250km away both with super supportive works and friends but i will only be able to visit 3 days a week. Also want to make it as comfortable as possible to give him every chance of success.

  2. Ggrand
    Community Champion
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    7933 posts
    11 January 2021 in reply to Caringwife2021

    Hello Caringwife2021..

    A very warm and caring welcome to the forums..

    We are so sorry that your husband is going into hospital..I hope so much that his stay will benefit him greatly....

    I had a hospital stay of 6 weeks and it did help me, with my mental health..

    The list you have shared with us here is very good..I can’t say if you’ve left anything out..I can see you have put your care and live into packing his bag...,

    If you have missed out on something you or your lovely husband discovers after his admittance, he could ring you so you could bring it on your next visit....

    What I did find very useful for me was small anxiety squishies...like stress balls and fidget spinners...That’s only me though as I also have high anxiety and it helped to calm me...

    I am wishing your husband the best care he can get as well as hoping so very much that his hospital stay is very productive for his mental health...

    Talk here anytime you feel up to it dear Caringwife...we are here for you anytime you need to reach out..

    My kindest and most caring thoughts..

    Grandy..

    1 person found this helpful
  3. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    2865 posts
    12 January 2021 in reply to Caringwife2021

    Hi Caringwife2021,

    Welcome to the forums. You've certainly picked a good username here! Caring feels like an understatement with the effort and thought that you've put into in packing this bag. He sounds very lucky to have you.

    I do have a few thoughts, although I can't speak from experience -

    Please be mindful that some inpatient clinics/rooms are strict with what they allow in rooms for safety reasons. This can be things like laces in shoes, or a beard trimmer for example. Each clinic is different so it's worthwhile checking with them or making a list of what you've packed so they can take something out if need be.

    Other things I've thought that you can bring: a blanket (especially if it's cold/plus homely), snacks, so many pens (or pencils/crayons), a notebook/journal (even if he doesn't journal sometimes it can be handy to write things down).

    Potentially you can look at entertainment devices, such as a tablet, ipod, portable dvd player, kindle - uploading things to use (the internet may be terrible) and chargers as well. Also headphones. Specifically listing these because sometimes phones aren't allowed on wards, so these can be good substitutes.

    Finally, I really want to share and remind you that given that he's not well, he may not have the mental capacity to use what you've given him. I know that some people in hospitals do struggle to shower, so the idea of beard washes and shampoos can seem quite overwhelming, or people may wear the same clothes everyday. The reason that I'm sharing this is because potentially with your perfect packing, things may not get used and that's okay.

    I hope this helps, like Grandy said if you were to miss anything or if there's something he needs, you can bring it on your visit - a lot of nurses and assistances can organise things as well. Feel free to keep in touch and let us know how you are both going.

    rt

    1 person found this helpful
  4. Caringwife2021
    Caringwife2021  avatar
    10 posts
    13 January 2021
    Thank you so much both for your support.
    That is a good point I will email the hospital. I understand he may not be in a state to wear anything or use anything I have seen him like that before but I want him to at least have the option. Currently working on craft project to turn a robe into one that can be used without the below trying to decide if Velcro/buttons are the best option.
    One other things I am getting ready for him is a book with get well wishes from about 30 of his close friends & family that he has told that he is going to hospital as well as work mates ending up being a long letter from each of them with photos. He has been really open with telling people about his illness & the need for hospital one because he like to always tell the truth, there is no way he could keep up a lie about where he disappeared to for our weeks. In the progress of getting talking to our friends to get these messages the words of support & love have been almost overwhelming. Even offers from work colleges to drive the 6 hour round trip to visit. We are so lucky to have such an amazing support network. I worry the book may be overwhelming for him at first with so much love but I hope that it will be of some comfort to him and be something he can look back at and draw strength from.
    I am also seeing if I can order some spinners and fidget toys and stress balls to add to the pack as well. Do you have any that you recommend I was just going to order a few of amazon.
    Your support is very greatly apricated my husband has been sick for the last 5 years with good and bad years. though it reached a very low point a few months ago were I was scared I would lose him, but we seam to slowly in the way to recovery. I know sometimes I haven’t been the best support but I feel over the last few years I have really matured and am handling it better than I could have hopped. I have appointments with a physiologist for myself in march to help process some of the trauma that has been inflicted on me when he was at his worst though generally my mental health is the best position ever which I am very grateful for.
    One thing I do worry about is the balance between caring from him and taking over in order to allow him to get better and protecting him from things and pushing him to be better and do things by himself and get back to normal pull his own weight. I worry am doing to much of caring sometimes if that makes any sense. Do either of you have any advice on finding that balance ?
  5. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    2865 posts
    14 January 2021 in reply to Caringwife2021

    Hi Caringwife2021,

    It's really good to hear back from you and I'm so glad it was helpful. Reading your post and thinking about that book in particular really moves me because I would have given anything to have something similar (or even now!). I'm grateful on his behalf for the work that you've been doing and your commitment to taking care of him. It sounds like both of you have some great support in place.

    It is really really common to experience what's called 'burnout' or 'compassion fatigue' and I'm not sure if that's something you can identify with? A big part of dealing with it and even preventing it is having some really solid boundaries and upping the self-care. Being able to notice that own point in you that's taking care of your husband even at the sacrifice of your own mental health. While you may be an incredible and caring wife, you are also a carer, and it's okay if sometimes that's exhausting or fearful.

    Could you give us some examples of what you mean when you talking about pushing him and getting back to normal?

    rt

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Caringwife2021
    Caringwife2021  avatar
    10 posts
    14 January 2021 in reply to romantic_thi3f
    Thanks for your heartfelt replies. I want to give back to this community that is helping me so much. I see others posts and maybe when I am through this and I can share a really good hospital prep list and packing list. Also set up a guide for other people who want to create one with info on how to ask people and even a little fund so i could pay for other people books to be printed.
    I am very lucky my mother inlaw who suffered her own mental health problems which lead to us supporting her is better now lived in a house we are now renoing. We moved in with us just as I was burning out struggling to maintain my job (13h a day), renos, housework , dogs & triathlon training plus being my husbands carer. She came in like an understanding angel taking a lot of the housework load and being able run errands for me so I could focus my energy on my husband. Until the end of last year his anger and depression had never been directed at me but when it was and he was trying to push everyone away it was the most awful thing I have every experienced so She is also there to Share a wine and laugh about how shit things are .She also has so much knowledge and experience having gone through it herself. She has also promised to stay during his hospital stay (4-6W due to rTMS treatment. She is glad she can help as we supported her and helped her for so long but I feel guilty using her but I know I will make it up to her!
    Examples doing all the: Housework ,Reno/ finances, Making excuses to get him out of things, Physical and mental care of him. Not talking about any of the hard things & creating a superficially perfect world for him.
    He is slowly getting better but I’m still doing everything and not reprimanding him for anything hurtful he does. 1st month it was damage control just getting him to the hospital stay but this month he has been improving &I worry I am not pushing him enough to do these & get back to normal. I am also really conscious that though I don’t mind being the career this isn’t the marriage practiced for the previous 8 years. We are team that shares the load equally I’m career women not a trad housewife( last 4 years I worked away a lot). He has said when he gets better and we move his mum out that we can get help ie:cleaner, gardener ect. He is also a wonderful caring man who still does acts of love when he can but I don’t want to end up doing everything forever and if I don’t push him to do things he may get comfortable and be permanent.
  7. 815
    815 avatar
    149 posts
    14 January 2021 in reply to Caringwife2021

    Hi Caringwife2021,

    I just wanted to post on here again to say thank you for your post on my thread. And also so that I can keep up to date with your situation.

    I think you are such a strong and amazing wife! Keep doing what you're doing!

  8. Ggrand
    Community Champion
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    7933 posts
    14 January 2021 in reply to Caringwife2021

    Hello Caringwife..

    You are doing an amazing job looking after and caring for your beautiful husband...I love the idea of the special book of love and support from your husbands friends...

    I think most fidget spinners are the same..I just use the ones the chemist sells...

    My stay in hospital was 6 weeks..and we had 2 group sessions each day..a morning meeting with the nurses..and sessions with the psychiatrists maybe 2 times a week....

    We had a dinner roster..where 2 patients had to cook dinner for everyone (12) under the supervision of a mental health Supporter and a mental Health Nurse...the other patients had to clean up the kitchen and wash the dishes and put them away...We had to look after our own room..changing our bed daily and vacuum when needed...I was taught to be able to care for myself again..I live alone and when in deep depression I can’t look after me...I am much better now...I’m thinking although I might be very wrong that if your husband is placed in a ward like I was..he will be taught to look after himself...We had morning and afternoon walks as well..and gratitude each night at dinner time...

    Your husband is saying “when he gets better”..That’s so good to hear..because he has a want to get better and a want with hope and belief...and a beautiful caring wife by his side...is a great start towards his journey back to wellness...

    My thoughts are with you both with care and very kind wishes...

    Grandy..

  9. geoff
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    geoff avatar
    13813 posts
    15 January 2021 in reply to Caringwife2021

    Hello Caringwife, you've had many wonderful replies from those above me and hope to join with them.

    As said each private hospital have their own rules, although not too dissimilar, as I was in a private clinic for 2 weeks and someone will look at what you've brought in and accept what they believe is suitable.

    Where I went no picture frames were allowed, especially with any glass and anything taken as being a possible threat to your husband also aren't permitted.

    What happened with me was that as we were 'locked away' from the outside world our mood changed, there were no phone calls, although you could ring out if needed, no immediate pressure that may have existed at home, three meals with a choice of what to eat are provided and a communal TV room, so life was very different, in other words when the family comes to visit, we are in a happier mood, making them believe our depression, anxiety and PTSD have vanished, as it appears to be the case, only until you get home and unless the hospital has helped you overcome these, then your mood returns, upsetting your family.

    I am truly sorry to mention this but that's what happened to me.

    Please let us know any time you're available because it concerns us.

    Geoff.

  10. Caringwife2021
    Caringwife2021  avatar
    10 posts
    18 January 2021

    Thank you Geoff, Grandy and 815 for you very lovely replies.

    Grandy; Thank kind of hospital stay where you can cook and help out I believe would be good for him as he is not good when he is ideal. Over the weekend and last few days i have spoken to friends who have been in hospital emailed his doctor and clinic.

    I email the clinic with my list of questions in regards to packing,

    Visitation currently no visitors hoping will go to 1 hour twice a day and no leave. Which for him wouldn't be good his mental health going in quite functioning socially and use to busy work days and lots of iteraction. The worry is him being in hospital isolated he may recede from people and normal life being cut off. I have to take him to a relationship counsellor every Friday so that at least gets him out and into normal life once a week. Also asking about diet and food as we worked out a strict super low sugar meal prepped healthy diet that work.

    Most worried about weekend as this is non-productive time as everyone is away but he is trapped in there. I am worried like Geoff said that by not being in society he may improve on things like his meds but loose that great routine we have worked so hard to maintain & which forms a huge amount of his treatment. His doctor wants me to join in the next appointment so i can discuses these things.

    Also at husbands request doing up a doc with the plan and on going treatment routine so he doesn't have to keep repeatingit.

    will include

    TMS treatment ongoing plan if it works ie not going into hospital 6 weeks a year destroying his bright future but either treatment outpatient at a local clinic or a four day stay over a weekend at clinic ( syd or melb) every 3-4 months.

    Psychologist; ensure he is treated either in hospital or externally near by multiple times a week to work through trauma with someone that he can continue treatment with via telehealth post stay.

    Sport; Sticking to coaches custom program which is customised to the equipment available and we are allowed to bring. Comes with feedback & accountability .Formalising this as part of his treatment plan as his doctor has said makes nearly the same difference to him as his meds.

    We have been having a few good weeks & even some good evenings which is huge he is being really lovely to me & talking more about getting better. Recently changed a med which helped.

    Saying this in the last 30 hours he has had a bad tummy which is stopping his meds and it is going south really quickly.

  11. Caringwife2021
    Caringwife2021  avatar
    10 posts
    3 February 2021
    Having good days and really bad days, got over the tummy bug with some antibiotics that worked after looking at my results.
    Goes in on the 16th doing ECT now which though worries me a bit, my dad has done a huge amount of ECT and really believes in it and its success and knowing that he trusts and uses it makes me feel so much more confident also super useful having parents on doctors on speed dial l that can answer my every worry.
    Getting a MRI done and looked into a second option before admission his doc said impossible in to get in weeks but my dad found some that could get him in but spoke to hubbyto make sure this was what he wanted and decided it wasn’t it was more outside people pressuring him he believes and trusts in the treatment and any opinion would delay things and they need to be sorted out now. Which I agree with completely.
    It is so up and down some day he hates me says the most awful things gets angry for me being positive wants a reaction out of me other days. Got so bad yesterday I had to leave work as I was so worried and upset by what he was saying. So hard you have to answer his messages/calls because he is so sick and you need to calm him but they can be so hurtful and distracting at work!
    Book arrived all 64 pages of amazingness made me cry so many beautiful messages really recommend to everyone who can to try doing one for someone. I am just so overwhelmed by our support in our lives makes the worst days where I question the future so much more bearably.
    Doing a big tri this weekend and it is his birthday which will be nice hopefully it will go well he has been known to have panic attacks during the runs and this one has a 20km run, I will be doing it to so hopefully I can help and he will get some of the runners high.
    Thanks again everyone for your support it is good being able to share. Trying not to worry about hospital as it really scares me how he will go and what he will be like at the end of it hard it being 250km away.
  12. Caringwife2021
    Caringwife2021  avatar
    10 posts
    3 February 2021
    Having good days and really bad days, got over the tummy bug
    with some antibiotics that worked after looking at my results.

    Goes in on the 16th doing zapping brains happy ( what we used to call it as kids and i much prefer that acronym) now which though
    worries me a bit, my dad has done a huge amount of zapping brains happy and really believes in
    it (when administered right and for the right people) and its success and knowing that he trusts and uses it makes me feel so much
    more confident also super useful having parents on doctors on speed dial l that
    can answer my every worry.

    Getting a MRI done and looked into a second option before
    admission his doc said impossible in to get in weeks but my dad found some that
    could get him in but spoke to hubby to make sure this was what he wanted and
    decided it wasn’t it was more outside people pressuring him he believes and
    trusts in the treatment and any opinion would delay things and they need to be
    sorted out now. Which I agree with completely.

    It is so up and down some day he hates me says the most awful
    things gets angry for me being positive wants a reaction out of me other days.
    Got so bad yesterday I had to leave work as I was so worried and upset by what
    he was saying. So hard as you have to answer his messages/calls because he is so
    sick and you need to calm him but they can be so hurtful and distracting at
    work!

    Book arrived all 64 pages of amazingness made me cry so many
    beautiful messages really recommend to everyone who can to try doing one for
    someone. I am just so overwhelmed by our support in our lives makes the worst
    days where I question the future so much more bearably.

    Doing a big tri this weekend and it is his birthday which
    will be nice hopefully it will go well he has been known to have panic attacks
    during the runs and this one has a 20km run, I will be doing it to so hopefully
    I can help and he will get some of the runners high.


    Thanks again everyone for your support it is good
    being able to share. Trying not to worry about hospital as it really scares me how he will go and what he will be like at the end of it. it is also so hard it being 250km away giving up the control and leaving him there what is he is scared and confused after treatment i can't comfort him. Or what if it goes bad during the week and no one pick it up. What is something happens as it is such a long drive.
  13. 815
    815 avatar
    149 posts
    4 February 2021 in reply to Caringwife2021

    Hi Caringwife2021,

    It's nice to hear an update from you. I am glad that there are good days. I guess we have to take the bad days with the good and hope that more good days come over time.

    Good luck on your tri this weekend!

    I don't know much about hospital stay or what I can say to help you. I can understand how worried you must be. I guess you need to just take it a day at a time and see what happens and trust that it will help him (and you). We are always hear for support even if it is just to read and let you know that we are here hoping for the best for your situation.

    Take care.

  14. Caringwife2021
    Caringwife2021  avatar
    10 posts
    10 February 2021
    Thanks 815
    The tri went really well on the weekend even with everything working against he forgot his meds & Hurt his leg really bad at 8km mark and had to limp last 12kmWe had a great time together and he said the new antidepressant is starting to work. He is talking that he wants to do it again next year and improve his time which is a great sign!
    Did so many acts of love as I was in a much worse state post race. Running me a bath , lighting candles , driving me home even unpacking and sorting the washing as well as just being affectionate and lovely haven’t seen him that good in 3 months !
    Tuesday was first day back at work + Dr appt and sorting out details. Doctor said going to be 6 weeks now and the first week he goes in on like the Monday but may not start ECT until Friday or Monday. Which seems like a waste of a week but hard getting beds.
    Little confused re 6 weeks get the ECT course he thought we couldn’t do day patient ECT but dawned on me that it would be so much easier once the first 4 weeks are up at he has sorted his meds and really utilised all the other in patient therapy. It only 2 days a week 3 hours and they want him in for the whole week just for that as its far from home. but his mum and I are planning on doing the drive to visit him at least 3 times a week plus organising accom to stay 5 days a week. So driving him to and from for that treatment would be so much + we have a house we own finished then that is only 90 min away. So pushing to have that in place if they feel he is ready or wants out as he is starting to panic about such a long stay.
    Worried about him being in so long. Like I know he is really sick & we need long term solutions not just meds but he isn’t suicide/self harm risk , still works at a really high level & trains 10 hrs a week . Average hospital stay is 20 days & they want over twice that for him which seems nuts his state. So worried about him going backwards being isolated for so long I am also getting really anxious about him going. We have been apart before I have worked FIFO& we have both done long work trips but really going to miss waking up next to him & not being able to comfort him. Also spending every weekend in the city. I have all my friends and family & we are usually away every second weekend anyway doing sport being social going on adventures but will be so different being alone and having to be grateful and work around people for so long. Wish I could fast forward until it is all over.
  15. 815
    815 avatar
    149 posts
    15 February 2021 in reply to Caringwife2021

    Hi Caringwife2021,

    I'm glad to hear the tri went well and that you are considering doing it again next year. All his acts of love towards you afterwards made me smile.

    I guess tomorrow is the day your husband will be going into hospital? I am thinking of you and hope it all goes well. I can only imagine that it is all very daunting and not knowing what the outcome will be. But I think you are being very strong and caring and loving. He will appreciate that.

    Let us know how it all goes. Take care.

  16. Caringwife2021
    Caringwife2021  avatar
    10 posts
    23 February 2021

    Hi everyone

    he is in went in Thursday, had first ECT Monday went super well texted me within 25 minutes was out dressed showered and visting his mum in 90 minutes. They are putting it down the sport use to putting his body through hell and recovering. So much so he had hard workouts on the same days as the next treatments. He is improving as well he is brighter and more attentive. so great to see. I was there Thursday to Saturday as had a tri I was organising Sunday then his mum went down Monday and is going back down tomorrow. Had other visitors every day or twice a day, honestly have the BEST friends no hesitation all visiting on the way home from work even though never even seen a mental hospital before all making it their daily routine: which is amazing as we are so far away and then letting us know how he is going. Very very hopefully this will continue to have such a great response.
    keeping him busy with puzzles , building electronic robots, suduko and lots of other things and he is doing these with the friends when they visit which is great.

    so proud a lot is down to him he said he woke up from ect and was like I need to get up and and out as soon as possible I know the guy next to me will lie about all day but that isn’t me I need to talk walk eat push hard through and he did and couldn’t be prouder I know this may not happen the next rounds but we are making sure one of us ( me or his mum or one of our super close friends later one ) is there first visit after to motivate him and it is working. He is really driven maybe down to me cry an cry and worry about him losing that focus and drive and functionality he seems to have the rocket up his bum I know super super early days:

    ok me I failed and failed bad I have been so so strong but lost it last week lots and lots of anxiety crying panic attacks even threatened to sue his lovely doctor wasn’t good. Made my self sick I just couldn’t stop worry i still am a lot but hopefully on the up ward now, I hate hospital even from a family of doctors I don’t like them I feel helpless and visiting them and sitting helpless in a court yard watching all the other people makes it worse. So bad I habit. To get a script for anti anxiety medication in case it happens next visit. Really hopefully I can work through this this weekend I am taking the dogs and we have been given a area for them away from people so should be good and hopefully I can see in person these changes that he has made:see my husband Alive again

  17. Ggrand
    Community Champion
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    Ggrand avatar
    7933 posts
    24 February 2021 in reply to Caringwife2021

    Dear Caringwife..

    You’re husband sounds like he is doing really well in hospital...It’s really lovely to hear that he has been having daily visitors by his friends...Having caring friends visiting shows how much he is loved by them and you...

    Now that your beautiful husband is being cared for....It’s your turn to care for yourself by being gentle and caring towards you....

    Its okay you cried lovely lady...You have been a tower of strength for your husband through his mh illness.. then seeing him start improving, was all you needed to let all that built up anxiety out of your system by way of tears....I feel our soul and heart has to release lo the built up anxiety, stress...that you’ve been going through for a long while while....crying is the way that our soul can release all of this....

    I am happy to hear that you will speak to your Dr. about anxiety meds...

    I hope the weekend went good for you both..I think it’s beautiful taking your fur babies in to see your husband....I hope it went/goes good for him....

    Sending you a gentle warm hug.🤗.....if that’s okay ..and a big giant get well card for your husband..

    Grandy..

  18. 815
    815 avatar
    149 posts
    1 March 2021 in reply to Caringwife2021

    HI Caringwife2021,

    I am so glad to hear your positive updates.

    I totally agree with Ggrand. Your husband has lots of support from you, and his family and friends. And it sounds like he is doing so well.

    But you also need to look after yourself. I think it is only natural for you to feel the way that you do. I think we go into survival mode when we are caring for someone we love, and once there is some relief, the flood gates to our emotions just open up. I have been through the same in the past few weeks. But it does get better. Time heals.

    Take care of yourself. Stay strong and hopeful.

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