Losing Steam with Husband Situation

I just don’t think I can take it anymore. :frowning:

I don’t know who all has seen my thread about what my husband is going through physically, but lets just say it’s long and complicated, with no clear-cut answers in sight.

That said, it seems I’m about to lose it in dealing with him and end up backsliding to the place I was before. Which was very dark indeed. The way things are right now, I can’t be depressed, I can’t be suicidal and I certainly can’t be agorapobic. But I honestly no longer know what to do.

He’s belligerent, refuses to face reality and hyper sensitive. He also suffers episodes of Hepatic Encephalopathy, which he doesn’t always take his medication for. All these things combined plus myriad doctor’s appointments, make each and every day a living hell.

I’ve finally convinced him to see a therapist, but he won’t talk about any of his issues. I started seeing one too, but because she’s an under grad student seeing me on a sliding scale who reports to some nebulous superior, I can’t continue. Because of my past problems, apprently I’m too high risk.

Anyway, Jaceson went out on FMLA at the beginning of October. We were told that if he had to transfer to disability, his (reduced) income would be continuous. Well, about ten days ago, we found out that wouldn’t be the case and he’ll be without completely for at least thirty days. Government disability, if approved, won’t be until the summer. If everything works out right. Now I’ve been off work since July to take care of him and thus far, I haven’t been able to find another job. Because of all the financial snafus, the only way we can survive is for him to go without insurance for the next six months (and me permanently, unless a potential employer provides it) and us to sell off everything we have left. Sadly, which isn’t much except for my car. It goes on Craigslist today.

Other last-ditch options available to us is taking on a renter (if anyone would be interested in our area / furnished room / shared bath / multiple pets), renting out our place while moving somewhere cheaper (although we have no experience doing that and our house is shit, plus due to our credit now [we’ve had to let everything go but pretty much just the basics – my computer’s new owner will pick it up in a few days], I have no idea if anyone would rent to us) or just letting the house go into foreclosure.

I’m clueless how we’ll even pay the utilities and groceries this month.

Talking to my folks about living with them is a no go and there is no one else.

So, that’s how things are and he’s gotten worse with his back (which is a separate issue than what all I’ve been posting about in the other thread – he had surgery a year ago September and now he almost can’t walk at all), despite trying to do everything I can for him. I do all the driving now and basically, he just sits / sleeps in front of the TV because it’s less painful there than anywhere else.

He complains about everything, which I see as understandable, but for someone who is only barely mentally stable myself, it’s wearing on me more every day. He’s completely helpless. He’s pissed off. He’s depressed and swears he’s not. He won’t take any initiative or help himself in any way.

I am at the end of my rope and feel my own sanity starting to slip. I cry in the shower, so he can’t see me. I listen to diatribes from my mother about what a piss poor job I’m doing (or not) with him and how he’s killing himself, but I try to stay strong in the face of that. I’m willing to give up any and everything that I’ve got. I’ll do whatever it takes, but I’m falling apart. I’m so alone that I can’t stand it (no friends to speak of in real life / no family that isn’t under my mother’s purview / no one else at all) and I don’t know where to turn but here.

If you’ve read this far, I thank you. I don’t know if I just need to get it all out and vent or what. If anyone has any advice, I’d love to hear it. And again, I appreciate everyone on the Dope who has ever supported me through this (and other stuff too) and helped me deal. I can’t say enough how great I think all you people are and I believe that karma will repay all of the kindness I’ve been shown.


P.S. I’m sure there’s crap I left out. If anyone has any questions about my rambling description of this mess, please don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll clarify the best my muddled brain can muster. But bear with me, I’m operating on not much sleep and a migrain. God only knows what all I’ve typed.

Don’t know what to say ff-I suck at giving advice on such things (or even commenting on them), just know I am on your side at least.

I am not qualified to give you advice but I can send you good thoughts. I am sorry that you are going through this.

{hugs Kemi}

Can you get a home health nurse (or a relative) to come in so you can occasionally get a break? When I was caring for my husband, I couldn’t even take a five-minute shower unless someone was with him. He probably should have been in the hospital, or a nursing home, but no one considered or offered that option. (We were new in the area and his doctor was 200 miles away.)

Is your husband sick enough to be in a nursing home/care facility?

It sounds heartless, but you’ll do him no good if you collapse from the strain, so maybe you could ask his doctor about that. Tell the doc what you’re going through.

Auntie Pam is right, I think. Either your mental health has value to you, and is worth protecting, or it’s not.

He’s sounds a perfect candidate for full time care, which is where he’ll end up when you crash anyway. If he was in full time care you could be spending your energy, instead of doing the grinding caregiving, to bring the joy and sunshine. Let them do the heavy lifting. Take him dinner, visit often.

It reminds me of the oxygen mask speech. You will not be able to save/service your loved ones if you cannot put yourself first, when clearly required, for everyone’s best interests.

Is there not a social service agency, that could get him into an emergency placement, while you get sorted? Please seek out such resources, possibly through the church in your neighbourhood. They will connect you with emergency resources, but you have to speak up.

Of course, we’re all pulling for you. And sending you our very best thoughts and wishes. Here’s hoping things get better soon.

Kemi, I don’t have any advice to offer you - I’d be completely lost dealing with everything you’re dealing with, I think you’re doing an amazing thing keeping it together as much as you are doing! But I did want to let you know I’d read this and will be thinking of you and Jaceson.

(The following is thinking out loud and my be completely useless - if so, just ignore it… It’s meant with good intentions, rather than meaning to be patronisingly basic!) Are there any government (either local, state or federal) programmes that can help financially or through providing a healthcare or support service? Your healthcare and social services system is so different to the ones I’m used to, I can’t offer any specific suggestions, but if your financial situation is that tight, it seems like there should be some sort of safety net that the government ought to provide, even if its minimal. If there’s nothing governmental, are there any charities that could help? Are you religious, and, if so, could your church (or equivalent) help you out, with food at least?

Do you have a doctor that you could see about treating your own depression? You can’t look after Jaceson if you’re in pieces, so you need to look after yourself (and, if I might suggest, stop answering your mother’s phone calls, at least for a while - you don’t need someone else telling you how you’re fucking things up, on top of feeling like things are collapsing around you anyway.)

I’m sorry I can’t be more help - I’ll keep thinking in case I come across anything that might be useful for you. Be kind to yourself - you’re going through a ridiculously stressful time, try not to beat yourself up…

Thanks you guys. I knew I could count on you all to help me start feeling somewhat better. I’m do glad this board is here.

Now to Auntie and elbows: there’s no way he’d be able to go into a home at this point, he’s not in poor enough shape. If I can ever get him to use something to help, like a cane or walker, maybe it wouldn’t be even nearly as bad as it is. And I’m sorry to say, if he was in God awful shape and couldn’t be left alone at all, I still don’t think he’d agree to it. He’s simply that much into denial.

So I can leave him, I’ve just been staying close to manage all the doctor stuff, do the driving and all the chores so he doesn’t have to hurt his back further (or if it was a time when he’s experiencing other symptoms from some other diagnosis) or if he got too fatigued. That’s why I’ll hopefully be getting a job at night, so I’ll still be there for the important stuff and away while he’s asleep.

Also, we have no family that would of I needed them to. Mine is over two hours away and his son just got married, all while working multiple jobs. We’ll be out of insurance on the 20th, so I wouldn’t be able to get any home health care attendant. We’re not part of any church, but there’s several in the area, so I can definitely look around and see if anything is available.

You both are right that I’ve got to look after myself too. That’s why I took up with that one therapist and I am going to a monthly support group for caregivers. I guess maybe that’s why I posted this thread… is to try to get some perspective. And just like always, you guys show me that. Thank you.

Right now I think I’ll go and take a soak bath and see if that clears my head or makes me feel less stabby. If anyone has advice on how to help with my husband’s moods too, I’d really love to hear it. Knowing what to say to him that doesn’t either incite / sadden / hurt him would be a wonderful tool to have.

I know I can do this and stay healthy. I just have to find a way.

How much room do you have?

Could you get someone to come in and help you in exchange for a free room? I know it is risky, but you seriously need someone to take some of the load off.

In terms of utilities, as it’s moving on to winter, I know my city has a Woodyard Fund - your might as well? It’s a charity that keeps people’s heat on.

nicole, you snuck in there on me while I was typing my reply. I should have previewed!

First, thank for your sweet thoughts. They are extremely appreciated.

Second, as I stated above, we have no church home, but as that was an excellent suggestion, I’ll call around Monday and see if there’s any help I can find.

Third, we will be trying to get some help from a local charity that has a food bank and does the occasional paying of utilities bit. Unfortunately, I’ve been told it takes over six weeks for their help to kick into effect. We’ll see though.

If everything hadn’t just gone to hell all at one fell swoop and we hadn’t been paycheck to paycheck too…

Last, the therapist that Jaceson has been seeing hasn’t, for some reason, been charging him. She’s the one who recommended the lady I went to. So when he sees her next, he’ll be finding out if maybe she knows someone else. Surely, that woman wasn’t the only one.

There are bound to be services out there to assist with this kind of stuff, but I’m a novice at knowing how to access them. A woman I used to work with hooked us up with an insurance agent who at least has explained a lot of stuff and given us some head’s up. We’ll be able to use one program he suggested when we go through Jaceson’s six month insurance dry spell.

It’s just a matter of time, gumption and faith. Like I said, I feel in my heart I can do this. Now I’ve just got to convince the rest of me that.

We could certainly try, as we have a two bedroom house and only need the master to ourselves. However, I’ve been all over Craigslist today and people seem mighty picky. They don’t want you to have pets, many want you to be “420” friendly (not that I have a problem with academically, I just don’t think the potential legal hassle is a good idea right now), need a separate bath, etc. Plus, I honestly don’t think I can get him to agree to anything so drastic. It’s still the denial thing, you know?

I’ve never heard of that. I’ll put it on my list of things to look for on Monday. Do you think they’d actually have information for something like that at the electric company? Or maybe city hall / the chamber of commerce?

Thank you both for your ideas. I’ll certainly be talking to Jaceson about this again tonight.

I know around here the newspaper is always publicizing it and asking for donations - I think it’s one of those things the Ladies Whatever Society started in the 19th century, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see them elsewhere.

Do you have an equivalent of the Citizens’ Advice Bureau where you live? http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ is the UK version - they give free advice on debt, housing, healthcare, social services - if there’s something similar where you live, that would be a good place to start. You should maybe also see if your social services office (I don’t know whether this is done on a state or more local level?) have an office you can go to, or a phone number you can call - there is bound to be someone who can talk you through your options. You might have to make an appointment for some sort of financial assessment or similar, but it would be worth looking into.

Your location suggests you’re in Texas (if I understand American acronyms properly… Not a given!) - you might want to look through something like http://www.texaslawhelp.org/TX/index.cfm and maybe specifically the public benefits and people with disabilities sections - they might have some suggestions for help you’re entitled to and where to start looking. (I have no idea about the accuracy of said site, but it looks legit enough at first glance…)

Oh, I forgot, you can call the United Way at 211 - it’s toll free and they work with you to get you to specific providers for the services you need.

Wait - you’re about to be without income entirely?! What? How in the hell does this happen? :frowning:

Ugh. I am sorry for what you are going through. If you want, my son would love to send you a card. Not much, but he’s 7 and that’s usually a cheery thing.

Kemi, darling - it hurts to see you going through all of this.

I don’t have much to add, I don’t know what support services are available in your situation. But I can add something from the perspective of someone who had a spouse with a long-term, undiagnosed, significant illness.

Jaceson is bitching and complaining to you, at you, about you, because you’re there. He’s angry, frustrated, ill, scared and facing his own mortality. If he’s anything like my ex, he’s absolutely disgusted with himself for being unable to support his wife in her time of need, and for being the cause of her time of need. He’s trying to lash out to deal with those feelings, and because you’re there all the time, doing everything - making doctor’s appointments, making him go to therapy, making him take his medications - you become the focus of that impotent rage. It’s not right, and it’s not an excuse, but it’s a reason.

If you can, try and become like a customer service agent. He’s not angry or upset at you, he’s angry or upset at the company (the situation). Try to just take those things he says with something mild and bland like “I’m sorry that’s how you feel but this is what needs to happen” and continue on.

Try seeking a chronic pain support group as well, if you haven’t already. There’s a large sub-set of mental problems that come with chronic pain, and often times the people in these groups are well-versed with them, and they and their families have come up with coping strategies for these sort of situations. If nothing else, you may be able to find a shoulder to cry on with someone who’s been there, or you may be able to find someone who can either help you with the day-to-day stuff, or be able to provide more resources to people who can.

Do his doctors know how desperate your situation has become? I would call the doctors’ offices asking if they have any resources on how to get more help with caregiving. I’m sure that’s a situation they see come up pretty often. If there is a social worker affiliated with the office they may know of community resources that you’re eligible for.

I also wouldn’t shy away from asking his son for any help he’s able to give. Even though the son has his own problems with being newly married, if he has a decent relationship with your husband he would probably want to do something to help if he’s able to. It might be better to let him get involved now than before things get any worse.

Oh man.

The only advice I can give you is hook up with someone or some organization that is really hip to all the different social/charitable programs out there - many are hard to find, even online or in the phone book. Maybe United Way or the link nicole1912 posted. Try everything.

A neighbor of mine, older lady, lost most of her benefits in October and is basically penniless save for a little food stamp help. So far she hasn’t found a job but I talked to her today; she took in some renters and that’s at least allowing her to make her utility payments. And, she’s in a tiny old 800 square foot house. Not ideal but it’s working for her right now; don’t give up on the renter/boarder idea!

Take care of yourself first, hold onto that frontier Texas gumption and guts…

I am so sorry for what you are going through. I’m going through some major stuff myself. So I feel for you. At least you have each other, for what it’s worth.

I have plenty of room in my big house and I’m all alone, but I’m in Ohio. :frowning:

Oh my God. You people are incredible. I don’t know where to begin, but I’ll try to remember to go in order.

Zsofia, I’m in the metroplex in Dallas. I’ve lived in and around this area my whole life and unfortunately, I’ve never seen or heard of anything like this. However, I have one high-falutin’ distant aunt who really knows her way around charities, so I can pick her brain to see if she’s ever known of something like that. Plus, the United Way is an awesome thought too Thank you for the suggestions.

nicole, I’m going to poke around online whenever I get done with this post and see if there’s something equivalent here to what you’ve mentioned. I do know that there’s pro-bono law services in these parts, it just never crossed my mind to seek them out. < smacks forehead > And yes, I’m in Texas. You were spot on. :slight_smile: Thank you for your help.

CitizenPained, I was pretty much completely agoraphobic for over the past decade. I just got ‘well’ enough to hold down a part-time job in late 2009. I held that until I left in July to take care of Jaceson. And as a side note, I do really miss my Meals on Wheels folks. They were terrific. :frowning: Anyway, they made him leave work around the first of October, saying it was FMLA until he got well. If he didn’t, he’d transition to short- and then long-term disability seamlessly.

Well, they were either misinformed or didn’t know what they were talking about in the first place. We only found out last week there’d be a gap. Then we found out about the insurance we wouldn’t be able to afford and I haven’t found a job yet, even at a fast food place. Plus like I said, we’ve always been hand-to-mouth anyway, so this sinks us. However, we’d love a card from your son! I’ll PM you with it. Thank you both.

Okay, this is getting to be a pretty long post, so I’ll stop here and continue the rest in another.