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Does It Help To Give In To The Fatigue?


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Hi - I've been reading so many posts that have helped me so much, and I know that how I'm feeling is probably normal, but I need some insight on coping.

My mom died in March after a sudden illness. She was the rock and anchor for my dad, myself and my brothers. She spent the last two years caring for my dad, who is still recovering from a stroke. I spent the last two weeks of her life round the clock at the Mayo clinic, and was there when she died; I got to say my goodbyes, but dear God, I didn't expect to watch her die.

I used to be able to do so many things - I was the ultimate multitasker. Now I find that some days it's all I can do to shower and make sure my boys (ages 10, 13, and 15) get something to eat. I'll have a good day, then spend the next day taking naps and sleeping 12 hours at night. It's such an effort to take a walk, go to the grocery store, wash clothes or even brush my teeth! Should I keep pushing myself, or give in to the fatigue like I have been doing?

I try to count the small things as accomplishments; today I bought groceries, made a doctor appointment and logged into this board! I try to take one of my boys along if I have to run an errand; hanging out with them, even around the house, takes my mind off the heavy feeling. I guess I want to feel better RIGHT NOW, although I know that's not realistic.

Is spending the day sleeping a step backward?

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Julienne,

No, spending the day sleeping is not a step backward. You are taking care of what has to be done, and if you feel like sleeping in between that's fine. I also take care of what I have to, but have been taking more naps lately. I think total exhaustion is one of the most common reactions with grieving. And we all know how important getting enough sleep is, so if you have to sleep, sleep. This is a time when we have to take care of ourselves now, and re-group and heal. Sweet dreams.

Hugs,

Shell

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Julienne, I agree with Shell. If you are lucky enough to have this time to give your body what it needs, than do it. I remember I slept so much in the beginning. I was just exhausted physically and mentally. My body just hurt. It's all a perfectly normal reaction. Just one day at a time. Or just one minute at a time. Some days are harder than others. Give yourself the time you need to heal. We've all been there and are here for you when you need it!

Take care...Lori

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Even though I lost my wife not my parent, the feelings are very similar. I tend to agree with what everyone else has had to say. As long as sleeping is not interfering with your responsibilities as a parent or if you work then sleep on. I unfortunately didn't have that time, I had to go to work to pay the bills had to take care of things. What went on with me was I couldn't sleep at night but on the weekends I would sleep until 11:00. I had problems getting up in the morning. It took every effort in my body to get up in the mornings. Once I got up I was going a million miles a minute to keep from feeling the feelings I had. I finally had to go onto Antidepressants for awhile so that I could function properly. I stayed on the medication until around 8 months after Karen died and then something told me is was time I got off of them. I did get off of them and all of the things I ran away from I had to deal with at that time. Don't get me wrong the medication helped and I would do it again, it gave me the time I needed until I was ready to really deal with my grief. Take the time you need as long as it doesn't totally consume you. You are going through depression right now and that is normal and healthy. There comes a point in time where it is no longer normal and is unhealthy when that time is going to be no one knows, each person is different. I hope this helps in some way, I understand the feelings you are going through and wish I could take them away from anyone who is feeling them, I think I have felt enough of them this past 16 months to be enough for everyone. Unfortunately all I can do is be here for someone and to also pray for them that God will give you peace.

Love always.

Derek

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Julienne, As Derek points out, you are going through depression (which is perfectly natural) associated with grief. My daughter died Feb. 9 and I could barely do anything for a couple of months. I did a lot of reading about grief, so I understood that my lack of energy and motivation was normal, and so I gave myself permission to do whatever I needed to do to get through the day. When I felt able to set small goals I began making short lists of things to do--nothing monumental--just phone calls, returning books to the library, etc. Some days I only checked one thing off my list, but it gave me a sense of still functioning. I still don't have all my usual energy back, but I'm doing more around the house and yard. This gives me a sense of accomplishment without pushing me to be out around people. I still have a tough time going to the store and being places where I have to interact with others.

Deborah

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HI

Sleep is something I wish I could do.Up till 3 or 4 in mourning,than up bye 7am. Still can only work 3hour and now being in retail reps. are talking about the xamas season and dont even what to think about that, for mom is what made xmas, so it will not be this year.I find it hard to rember anything.

I got my lawn cut and that took 3 day to get to. The plants need water but that did not happen. I see the flower mom got last year and she did not see them flower this year, it kills me to think that she did not get to see them for she loved the flowers and this year she was able to plant some. It just hurts so much I want to turn the clock back. My dad died 8 years now and he to died in June.Both furnells were on the day before fathers day. I just dont know why i did not get mom out of the hospial befor it was to late.I let her down when she needed me the most. Now I have to live with that. The night are long and getting longer.Hoildays are just aother day now. Wish i could just turn my mind off or what is left of it. I cant be around groups of people I start to shack and find like their is not enought air if that make sense. When people come my store I just want them to get what they want and ge out.I was never like that. How do i go on.. Tracey

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Tracey,

Don't blame yourself for whatever it is that you think you didn't do right. You mentioned not getting your mom out of the hopital in time. Things happen the way they happen and sometimes we have no control over them. In hindsight we can say we should have done this or that, but we did the best we could at the time. Especially dealing with doctors, telling you this should be done or they need this medication or whatever...you just have to trust them and go along, unfortunately sometimes!

I had to go on an antidepressant because of anxiety attacks and it sounds like the shakiness and not enough air things might be anxiety. Talk to your doctor about it. Sometimes medication can help and do wonders. Might help you sleep too. But, of course, going on meds is a personal decision, but I know they saved my life.

It's a hard road to travel, grief is.And it changes your whole life, like holidays will never be the same again. We just have to try to make it different somehow I guess. Do a whole new thing for Christmas. It will still be sad, but it might help you get through it. Hang in there!

Hugs,

Shell

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julienne-

I understand your feelings completely! God Bless you, I know what you are going through, it is one of the hardest things you will ever have to do-

My mom and dad and I were so close, there was not a day that we did not take time after mom and I got home from work that we did not spend time on their back porch and talk..... I miss those days, but did not know I was making momories...... We were soooo close, and sometimes I think that it is not good to be so close- and have even tried to pull away from my daughter, I guess, now I am trying to protect her from the hurt I feel. Does this make sense.

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Thanks so much to everyone for their replies. You have no idea how much it helps to hear that I'm not the only one.

I had been on antidepressants before my mom died, and my doctor increased my dosage just recently. I still sleep a lot, but I noticed that the anxiety is much less, and I can do a few more things. Thanks to everyone's advice, I keep telling myself "one thing at a time." I don't tell myself, "clean up the kitchen," I congratulate myself, "Hey, I loaded the dishwasher!" or "Hey, I took out a bag of trash!" or "Hey, I bought milk and fresh fruit at the store!"

Tracey B, I know where you are. My flower beds are full of iris and lilies that I got from my mom's garden years ago. Sometimes I halt in my tracks and have to turn away because the grief it brings up is too sharp. I can't go into my dining room because the table is stacked high with my mom's stuff. I know I will be able to deal with it eventually, but right now I just do other things.

I appreciate you all so much.

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Julienne,

You have the right attitude! Congratulating yourself on the things you do and not berating yourself for the things you don't do. I'm finally starting to slow down and do what I can and not sweat the stuff I can't. As you said, you will get to things eventually, when you're ready. Keep up the good thinking!

Hugs,

Shell

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