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Need Advice -- Let Myself Get Too Stressed Out

2678 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  christiane53
Today my 89 y.o. mom called me (from another state) saying that she couldn't remember anything and thought she was having a stroke, but wouldn't let me call 911 (if I did she said she'd never talk to me again). I was able to straighten everything out, but it took all day and I'm now a wreck. I feel bad that I let this situation totally stress me out. I know I totally overreacted and freaked out. My mom is now calm as a cucumber and basically said, "What's your problem. Everything turned out fine." She's absolutely right. I worked myself into a total lather and was a complete mess.This is likely to occur with my mom on a fairly regular basis given her age and health problems. Any coping strategies that you can suggest?
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GS I read your post in the Mtg Place and have some experience with manipulative prone folks. The thing that works good for me is actually preparing for the next crisis. I prepare my response when there is no current crisis. I plan out what I will do and mark my limitations clearly. I find I easily fall back on the plan when the next inevitable crisis arises, and my response is not full of anxiety. I find I actually respond when I plan. When I don't, I react and usually get too stressed. So planning my response out ahead of time, Not in the heat of the moment helps me tremendously. Those manipulative folks don't always care for my response, but ultimately, that is Their problem, not mine. Cold maybe, but keeps me from boarding the stress runaway freight train.((((GS)))) :love: BQ
GS - I too read your post on the meeting place. That would be stressful. I really don't have much advice in dealing with aging parents. Mine are still relatively young and healthy. But reading about all those that do sure doesn't make me look forward to the years ahead!As far as the anxiety - is this the first time she's done this? Do you think this was just a manipulation thing or was she really feeling these symptoms? I can totally see being anxious if you had reason to warrant that she was having a stroke and calling 911 is the right thing to do. However, if you think she's trying to manipulate by making "false alarms" you can be prepared the next time it happens by having a plan of dealing with it. I think telling her you will call 911 is what you have to do. If it is a true emergency you would not be able to get there from the next state quickly anyway. If she doesn't think it warrants a 911 call she is certainly capable of calling her doctors office and asking for their advice instead of worrying you so.
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BQ, Great advice. I've been working with the psychiatric nurse and my mother's caregiver to pull together a plan. I've asked my mother's caregiver to be on call throughout the weekends and may have her come in five days a week instead of three. I've also ordered some "pill organizers" and am having them shipped to my mom. My mom said last night she will never call me again in an emergency (as she doesn't want me to call 911). I doubt that that will be the case, but once we get her medication organized, she should feel less confusion and be able to think for herself.
Bloomers, Her psychiatrist called it manipulation, but what actually happened is that she got scared and confused and didn't know who to turn to for help, but me. Actually, she isn't capable of calling the doctor's office and they won't do anything anyways, except refer her to the ER. She has a MediAlert necklace, but won't wear it. It's all so frustrating, Bloomers, I hope you never have to go through this. People get so upset when they lose their parents at a young age like in their 60's, but they don't know what a blessing that is compared to dealing with frail, stubborn, elderly parents.
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My mother cried wolf so many times that I never knew when there was really a problem or not. I tired of it and got her into home health care because I could no longer deal with her whining.I think the hardest part for me was how she used to try and label me as a bad daughter because I didn't run and jump to help "fix" her every little problem.That situation got old. I guess my way of managing it was to be assertive with her... even when it meant that she was going to rant and rave because she didn't get her way. It wasn't easy.But I hadda survive.Evie
I agree with you, Gail. I rather see my parents die not so old but healthy as opossed to suffering and having a hard time with quality of life.
Gail, I'm glad you have the the professionals there to help your Mom. That is great planning. But what I wanted to say above I don't think I said too well. I meant to say I plan my own emotional response. I plan how how I will speak to the person; what tone (like a calming and relaxed tone) & even what words I will use at times. I practice "covering" the buttons that my ever-lovin manipulation prone folks like to push. It is excellent to plan the physical details of a crisis, like having help for her in her home, but I find it is just as important for me to plan my emotional response as well.Jeez I hope that made sense. My brain is filled with so much gunk, like packing/moving/closing/atty details etc lol I'm not too sure of anything I'm saying right now. lolHope you have a good quiet weekend. Resting today was a super idea for you. Great job taking care of you today. :love: BQ
Oh, BQ, I totally missed your point. Now I get it. I haven't tried that, thanks for the tip.Thanks Evie & Zakaya.I'm much better today. I talked to my therapist for an hour by phone (had a bad IBS day and couldn't make it to her office). I'll also see her on Monday.
It is very difficult to work with the elderly.they are going through a tremendous amount of stress because they know they are not in full control of their world like they once were.It's a scary place for them.Getting help to shoulder the load is a really good idea.Even the care givers need a little break once ina while to recharge the emotional and physical batteries so they can then return and cotribute their best to their loved ones.Take some time for your self a rejuvenate.and rmember, you mother may say she won't call you, but she probably will.It's their way of retaining some control of a life now out of control.Yes, patience is sometimes a big job.Hugs,Kamie
Kamie, You are so right. My mom is feeling very scared right now and not able to think properly. She's a very strong woman who is used to being in control of her environment and running the show. I am in the process of trying to establish a balance between caring for her needs and caring for myself.
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GailSusan ... I agree with BQ, planning is the key. I used to get so stressed when my dad would call with some disaster he wanted me to solve. I advised him, but he never listened and people used to take advantage of him. This also used to stress me out. I resorted to planning my responses, and maintaining an emotional distance from the problems. I learned this when I was caring for mom with Alzheimers. She needed total care like a baby. At first I found it extremely difficult to dress, toilet, bathe and feed my mother. I learned not to think of her as my mother - the mother I knew was no longer there. She was an elderly person in need of care. Somehow that got me through. I use that technique with some of the things I have to do for hubby. It is hard when you remember the person they once were, and try to do everyday things that they once took for granted. In some ways it hardened me and I don't like that in myself - on the other hand it keeps me sane. Please let me know how you get on ... especially after the emergency which has again taken you to her side. I pray everything goes well.Take careKristy
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