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ccox

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My mom was diagnosed in early June. One year before that she married her high school sweetheart. He had been recently widowed. He took care of his ailing wife (cancer) for nearly 5 years before she passed away. For obvious reasons my mom feels hugely guilty that he's "burdened" with another sick wife. He has jumped through so many hoops trying to convince her that he's right where he wants to be and loves her like crazy, in spite of her diagnosed.
She's still ambulatory with a walker, but wears out pretty quickly. She has a fabulous scooter, but refuses to use it. She can still eat by mouth without much problem (but not enough--is losing weight like crazy), has some slurring of speech, and can still care for her basic needs. She needs help with some small motor skill things (tying shoes). He badly wants to do some "living" with her while she still can. She feels so guilty about the entire thing that she wants to stay home and do nothing (which I'm sure furthers the guilt). In short, she's very depressed. I would be too!
She's seeing the psychiatrist at the ALS clinic today. I'm hoping like crazy that he/she will put mom on an anti-depressant.
My question to PALS or CALS--------Are there folks that just never come out of the depression? She seems like she's just wasting away. There was a movie a while back that had a line, "Get on with living, or get on with dying, but pick one....". I'm thinking she's getting on with dying because she can't stand the thought of her new DH doing this one day longer than he has to.
Your insight is much appreciated.
Carla
 

CindyM

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Hi Carla - I missed your posts! I remember the story of your Mom and her DH and found it very touching. Lets hope other PALS and CALS will have some insight. I hate to think of the poor gentleman not being able to help the woman he loves! Regards, Cindy
 

brooksea

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Hey Carla!

While visiting my SIS in Orlando earlier this year, I saw an article in the paper about a PALS that had a surprise party thrown for her. She was delighted that so many friends that she had not seen in a long time were there. She was able to celebrate that good time while she was not so debilitated.

Could your mom's husband pull something off like that, maybe with a theme of something she loves dearly, like roses or tea cups or birdhouses? Maybe that would help snap her out of it temporarily.

Or maybe he could secretly plan a trip to a place she would love to go.

It is very difficult for a PALS to stay positive. I hope her doc will put her on antidepressants.

My husband, Mr. Positive, is anything but that right now. I wish I could wave a magic wand...
 

Cdngirl62

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Depression

Hi Carla,

My heart goes out to you and your mother. I'm in the same (but different) similar situation - My husband and I met June 2005 and were married in December 2005. He loves me for marrying him even though he was diagnosed in September 2005 but he continuously tells me how he worked out all the time when he was younger, how much energy he always had, etc. etc. He always says he wishes I knew him "when"... To be honest with you: I'm soooo GLAD I didn't know him then because this would be a thousand times harder on me than it is...

I know he doesn't want me to have to go through being his caregiver - but that's just what I do.

Wow, her husband truly is an Angel right from heaven! To be with one woman who died and now your mother. Your mom is soooo lucky to have him because he's already been "there" and knows exactly how to handle this whole thing... LUCKY HER! LUCKY HIM TOO!

As for the depression, I don't know if they will ever "snap" out of it but as everyone tells me, take it one day at a time. Try to focus and hold on to the great times and don't let them get caught up in the "What's going to happen"...

Some simple things that work with my husband - (even if I can just snap him out of his depression and live in our relationship with him for just even 15 minutes...)

I Turn on his favourite CD and sing along to the music. He and I sat down at the computer one day and downloaded our favourite songs and then burned a CD - 1st song on the CD? Our wedding song: Making Memories of Us, by Keith Urban.

I turn on that CD and turn the volume way up and sing TOTALLY OUT OF KEY and we laugh! It FEELS SO GOOD to do that! :)

Another thing is pictures... I dig out the pictures and select about 10... I leave them at his place setting at the table and go through them with him and we talk about the funny or stupid things that happened when that picture was taken. I take a favourite picture and I display it next to his chair so he can tell his PSW's the story of the picture. At the end of the week, I change the picture next to his chair - gives him something else to talk about while he gets his massages...

Maybe that will work for your mom too?

Take care,
L.A.
 

Peg B

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Dear CCox,

I am so very sorry to hear your mom's story. I sincerely hope she benefits from seeing the Psch Doc. I offer my 2 cents as a caregiver. Number one I cannot see anything more important than caring for the people we love. It is very gratifying. The second thing is I hope I have the grace to accept the care that I may or may not eventually need. So here is my thinking.

My youngest sister died instantly in a car crash (age 22) in 1976. I remember thinking at the time that I would have cared for her forever if given the chance. (I know now that was selfish - but that's another story). My father died over a week's time and I was afraid I would not have the grace to take care of him if needed - a hard case) But then my oldest sister got cancer. Over 12 years I got real good and was truely honored to care for her and be with her when she was living with cancer and when she was dying of it. What a blessing to be able to do that. Then my mother (parkinson, dementia, 2 cancers) She always had to "take care" of my father as he was mentally ill, and they lived out of state. But I got 4 years of so to really care for her. I knew she was going to die soon but again what a blessing to make things as easy and fun for her as I could. It was the day of her first viewing at the funeral that we found out my sister's cancer had spread to her bones. Our mother was at peace and we prepared to help our sister. I tell you this because it is a gift to let people love us and take care of us. It takes grace and it is not selfish to be sick or hurt. I hope your mom finds acceptance and the courage to be vulnerable to her husband and others. I have other stories and so do others here. I will pray for your mom's acceptance and peace. God Bless you all. Sincerely, Peg
 

CindyM

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You are right Peg. Nobody asks to get sick or be in a position to need help. It takes grace to accept aswell as offer help. Cindy
 

marymn

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Hello Carla..

You have to be very great full to him.. I think your mom should accept what he is suggesting, he will be a real support to your mom and very soon she will get through the depression.
 
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