I guess I think that I can do whatever I set my mind to and that my body and abilities will fall in line to make sure it happens. So I strive to be the best manager, employee, mother, wife, caregiver, and friend, I can be. I want to take care of everyone’s needs and solve all their problems and still have energy afterward to take care of our home and personal affairs. Well, today I reached my saturation point and had a meltdown…and so did Lynn…
If you follow my blog, you know that I offered to start an online “virtual” support group. The plan was for those who were interested to call in and we would have a conference call support group. I announced that if there was any interest, I would get it started. I had a few interesting responses so I created a Skype account and ordered a webcam. The only problem is, that I didn’t have time to learn how to use them properly. I got everything loaded in advance but hadn’t had time to do a test drive, so, I was a little nervous about having the conference call today.
What also didn’t help was that I was up till 2 a.m. after working till midnight on some reports for work and then getting Lynn and me ready for bed. I slept in till 10 a.m., but I still should have had time plenty of time to see to the test before 2 p.m. when the call was scheduled.
Only it didn’t work out that way.
Each time I would sit down to pull up the program, Lynn would need something. Then just as I was going to lay him down for a nap, my son and his girlfriend came over to see him for father’s day. I haven’t seen either of them in a while and my son had been out of work for a week due to eye problems so I wanted to spend time with them. While they were here, I put Lynn to bed for a short rest. Suddenly I realized it was getting close to conference call time. I put my conversation on hold with my son and went to get Lynn up. Realizing I was most likely going to be late for the call, I sent an email to the other participant (I ended up with only one person interested in attending the conference call) to say I might be running late before going to get him up. Sure enough, I was about 15 minutes late getting back to my computer after he finished with all his requests. By that point, the other party was not answering the call (I’m sure she had given up by then and if she’s reading this, I apologize for being so late!)
Since I could not get through on the call, I decided to test the connection and see how well the webcam worked. I called the computer in the back room where Lynn was and tried to talk to him. The audio didn’t work well at all and he could not see the video. So I tried to figure out how to make the equipment work properly for about thirty minutes, getting more and more frustrated as I did because the instruction book was so difficult to figure out. Before long, I was ready to through the little camera away.
Then Lynn needed me to turn off his camera because when he closed down Skype, the camera stayed on. Well, it didn’t have an off button and I couldn’t find an exit menu for his software. After spending ten minutes pushing more buttons, I finally decided to just unplug it.
By that point, I was in tears.
When I get upset, Lynn gets upset because he knows I’m so overwhelmed with all I have to do. He tries to encourage me but all I want to do is cry. So, I do, and I feel better, but that’s hard for him to understand.
Then it’s Lynn’s turn to have a meltdown…
Afterward, I get him settled in his peddler, go fix some lunch, and go dig up some tomato plants that grow naturally near our house and transplant them into a pot on the deck. I come inside and start to cook Lynn’s dinner when I hear something hit the floor hard in the bedroom. Doesn’t sound big enough to be him but something obviously hit the floor. I take off for his room and he’s heading my way in an obvious “mood.” He looks like a thunder cloud rolling in from the west. (Remember, I left him attached to his peddler which is obviously not attached now.)
“What’s wrong?” I say. He bellows back, “This !%##$%$% seat cushion is tearing up my @### and I have to get off it.” Then he adds, as he rolls over some of the things he has knocked onto the floor, “I’m so #$%^ tired of being sick and feeling like %^&*(!” Then as he pushes his way to the bed so I can take him off the chair, he runs into the bed, knocks it off the blocks it sits on, and out rolls the knob to this wheelchair I knocked off earlier in the week and couldn’t find after searching for an hour! I yell at him, he growls, …. and then we fix the disrupted room …and our tension deflates.
It was bound to happen. Being sick for long periods and being confined to being with someone who is sick for long periods takes a serious toll on one’s emotional stability. Our relationship is like a see-saw. If one is down and the other is up, we keep moving forward and it works. But when both of us are down, we’re not at a standstill, we’re broken. Something has to give to take away some of the pressure pushing us down. For me, it was torn and for him, it was banging into things and cursing. He needs a punching bag but he can’t punch so his chair and his mouth are his only outlets. All that pent-up energy has to go somewhere!
So right now we both feel better. We both “blew” in our own way or got our pent-up emotions “wrung out” of us by situations so we’re stable again….and everything’s good.
Back to the conference call. I’ll try it again on July 14 at 2 p.m. eastern standard time. Send me your Skype contact information in advance if you want to be on the call. I have some concerns about whether this is actually going to work or not. I realized today that Lynn’s needs can’t be put on hold while I talk on the computer so being able to set aside a particular time might be a challenge. Plus I’m a little concerned he might overhear my comments and I don’t want him to do that…Just some nagging concerns I’ve been having. Let me know what you think, too, about it–honestly.
Till next week,
6 thoughts on “Reaching my Saturation Point – at least today”
Donna I am so sorry your day went in the direction it did.I am interested in the call too, but could not do it yesterday. I hope to be able to do it next time. Until then hang in there. Our caregiver is off for 5 days and I am right in the middle of that. The caregiver is a whole new can of worms.. On top of that I broke out in a case of hives yesterday. Took LOTS of benadril , big mistake. Could hardly get Tom into bed. Was like I was drunk. We made it somehow, and today will be better. Hang in ther
Thanks for your kind words. We all have days like yesterday but today is much better so far. Gotta watch out for that benadryl! It’ll knock your lights out for sure. Look forward to talking to you next month when we’ll try it again.
Thanks Donna for your honesty– setting up webcams and setting time aside from caregiving can be incredibly stressful. We use Google+ hangout, it is a lot easier to use than Skype. If you have the camera already set up you should be fine. Plus you can invite as many people as you want. Hope this helps!
Thank you for sharing such a frank entry about ‘trying’ to step out of the box and the way things can get snowballing on any given caregiving day. Conference calls, etc I for one have always found insurmountable. Bless you for trying.
Caregivingly Yours, Patrick
I admire your generosity. I think the virtual support group is a very good idea. I’m interested in participating in the future, but on July 14 at 2 p.m. I have another appointment and won’t be able to attend the conference call. It sounds like your Husband’s condition demands your constant attention and it might be difficult (if not impossible) for you to simply close the door. Would it be easier for you to talk at night when your husband goes to bed?
Our current situation is less difficult then yours,- I work full time, leave the house early in morning and return in the eve. My husband is still able to take care of himself for the most part and even cook. His illness progresses – feels like it’s at least one step ahead of us. Every few months he can do a little less ..
Please, let me know if the virtual support group continues, I will make sure to participate next time. I use Skype regularly.
I’m wishing you all the best to you.
I look forward to your participation. The group is just getting started and still working out the bugs. Lynn does demand my attention but he also wants me to be able to do this so I think we should be able to carve out an hour for me to particpate. If I have to step away, others can continue to talk so we’ll see how it goes. Take care!