Val describes how it felt to be so stressed.
I think you sleep less and less, and the anxiety gets more and more, and the burden gets more and more. And sometimes you just have this overwhelming palpitations in your chest. It’s just like—you can feel it. You feel you can feel the pounding of your heart. You think your chest—you have pain in your chest always on the left side. You think it’s a heart attack. You go to emergency and they do their tests and they say, “Well, you know, it could have been oesophageal pain, it could be you know stress.” I also got an itchy rash. Both my arms broke out in some kind of hives or something, and I had to get medication for that. And that, I was told, it was just stress induced. Of course it’s itchy and horrible and prickly—and the nausea and vomiting it just comes and goes. One day you feel like you’re going to be able to eat, and then you, you just can’t eat all day, and you don’t know what’s wrong with you. And people would say “Well, just eat.” And it’s just a feeling of, like when you’re pregnant and you just have the nausea there and you don’t want to smell anything, you don’t want to look at anything, you just don’t want to eat.
And then there are the days that you can eat all day long. And I gained 60 lbs in the six years, so I guess its 10 lbs a year for me. Dave would always have me, when he was maybe two years into the disease, he would always have me pull him, pull him up. I’ve got over used biceps—very painful—and my back also suffers. There’s just chronic back pain. There’s just so many things that will happen to your body. I wasn’t about ever to tell him, “No, I wouldn’t do it,” that I wouldn’t lift him, that I wouldn’t pick him up push or pull him. But it took a lot on my body, bending over the bed, bending over the bathtub. It’s a lot.
More from: Val
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- Impact on health – ValVal describes how it felt to be so stressed.
- Home care and live-in caregivers – ValAlthough Val is very satisfied with the homecare services, last minute cancellations can leave her in a difficult position.
- Effects of care recipients’ behaviour – ValVal thinks her husband was in denial. He never understood how much work it took to care for him.
- Challenging emotions and feelings – ValSome days are a big struggle, and others are filled with joy. For Val, all these feelings are normal.
- Becoming a caregiver – ValAs a last resort, Val brought her husband to a private U.S. clinic to get a diagnosis