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A Quick Update on my life

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
A quick update on my life.

We are almost complete with the ECT treatment (electro-convulsive therapy). My friend has not responded as well as we had hoped, but she is doing better than before. We will have a two week break, and then delve back into meds and talk therapy. She will be staying with me until she is firmly set in a routine with meds and therapy, so it should be another month or so before my house is my own.

She's doing as well as one can expect. She has memory loss (she's forgotten that she broke her back, and had a car accident; both this year) and has confusion (although not too bad; she knows where she is, and who I am...the rest is just details.), and seems to have developed a bad habit of yanking out her IV before she's fully concious (done this three times now). She has incredible headaches, and her self-care is shot (I have to remind her to shower and brush her teeth and eat, and so forth). She's made great friends with three of the 5, and Pengy tolerates her. Pie's weird, so it's only on Pie's rules that there is any interaction with my friend. LOL.

As for me, it's been incredibly tough. I've had to literally put myself on time-outs because she gets into these verbally poking, aggressive moods and tries to antagonize me. I know to not take it personally, but it's desperately hard not to sometimes, especially if it's been a hard day and I'm tired.

It's really hard; I'm in charge of all the meds, and she doesn't like that at all...she keeps insisting she can dose herself, and I have had to literally get the meds out of her hand. Sigh...

My patience has worn thin, and I am emotionally exhausted at the moment. I know that soon I'll be fine, but at the moment, it's very trying.

We've developed a routine that every other weekend she goes down to her house and stays with her husband (this is one of those weekends.). I stay at home, in my pajamas, call my family, and just play dead...watch movies, do laundry, love on my cats, rummage through the garden, work on my photography...and cram as much of that into my two day break as I can.

I've woken up more mornings that I can count with cramped jaws from clenching my teeth so tightly together during the night...I've had more nightmares than usual in the last month...I've stayed awake almost all night at least 10 times (when she's having a bad night, I worry she'll just walk out the door...) and have done on 2-3 hours sleep dealing with Drs and nurses at the hospital, and with her at home with her head throbbing and hurting and no meds touching it.

I have learned that prayer helps me a whole lot...and so does loving on the cats. So I'm constantly talking to God, and snuggling the cats, and while I'm tired, I know she must be moreso than me; and while I'm ready for this to be done, she must be moreso than me.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers for a time yet; we'll both make it...but it's hard. So hard.

I'm so tired.


post #2 of 11
Oh Michele, it is good to hear from you. You are such a good friend to help her through this.
post #3 of 11
Thinking of you, Michele, and praying for continued strength for you. You are one awesome friend to that person.
post #4 of 11
Michele, you'll come out stronger and better on the other side. And so will your friend. Remember that this too shall pass, and it won't be long before this is but a memory. to you, my friend. Remember that there are a lot of strong shoulders here to support you if you need it.
post #5 of 11
Noni, if you live in the Los Angeles area, or even if you don't, please know that you can call me if you need someone to talk to.

You will be blessed I'm sure, for what you are going through to help your friend. It sounds like she has a true friend in you, and I know you will both get through this. God Bless you.
post #6 of 11
I had wondered how you were doing. You are an incredibly good friend, I wish I had one that would go to those lengths for me if I were ever to need it. I cannot say enough about how much I admire your strength and compassion. It is so difficult to care for a loved one that is sick. I cared for my s/o's grandma, that was also a dear friend to me, she had Alzheimer's and could be very abusive. It is hard to remember that they do not mean to hurt you. Hang in there, sweetie, the world needs more people like you. I hope all the vibes and prayers coming from TCS is helping.
post #7 of 11
Michele, the sacrifice you're making for your friend is incredible, and both of you will be in my thoughts. It's quite understandable that the situation taxes your nerves at times, but just keep telling yourself that it's not forever. Stroke the kitties as much as possible - that really helps!
post #8 of 11
Oh, Michele, you have had a long hard time of it, haven't you? Best of luck to you and your friend!

Even if it wasn't a 100% cure, if she is improved enough so that now medications will work for her, it will make such a difference.

We should go out for a virtual lunch together. I've never been to California, but we should be able to find someplace that serves sprouts and lettuce, with a huge chocolaty dessert, right?!?
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. Yes, the comfort I receive here has helped a great deal. More than you all will know, and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

She's home now, and tomorrow, we will have the last of the index treatments and move to maintenance treatments, and consult with her Dr. tomorrow as well. I do think that she will become stable on meds and with serious, intensive counseling, and will most likely make it to the other side...which I couldn't say just two weeks ago (at least not honestly...).

So the treatment, prayers, love and vibes are working...and like I said, bouying me up and helping me help her. And that means you all are making a difference to her, too. And that is wonderful.

I am still so very tired, even after two nights of solid, 8-9 hours sleep...but I also know that it will pass eventually...and that's what I'm focussed on.

As for being a good friend, I always say that I try to treat others as I would be treated. This situation was just a test to see if I meant that. Seems I do...and that's a good thing. I am, however, learning how to relax from the cats....LOL! I'm loving on them as often as they'll let me. Nothing better than burying your face in a kitty belly...

Thanks again, you all. Very much appreciated. Very much.

post #10 of 11
Wow... Don't give up!!! You are an Is this because of the accident you stated? I am a little confused...Was there a thread before this one?
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Is this because of the accident you stated? I am a little confused...Was there a thread before this one?
Sorry, Erin, for the delay in responding.

No, it's not the accident. My houseguest/best friend suffers from severe clinical depression, with suicidal tendencies. I do have a thread somewhere here, but the quick story is that her illness got very very bad, and she decided to undergo Electro Convulsive Therapy. Because of the seriousness of her illness and her needing 24/7 care, her husband, Dr. and I brought her to live with me in July. She started the treatment in August, and we went a full 15 seizures. She got a bit better, then very much worse, and now she's moderating a bit *thank GOD!!*.

We completed her last treatment from the full index of seizures on Monday, and now she's working to get her abilities to function alone back. She's having significant issues with decisions, which is a common side effect and will pass, but this means that she can't be left alone at all yet. She is going to have maintenance treatments spaced out over the next few months, and will only need care for the first 3 days after those.

But she can't be left alone, and she gets upset at me not letting her have control over the car, her meds, and/or everything else. I give her as much control over everything else as I can, because I know what it's like to feel helpless...but always with supervision and direction. When it's time to start thinking about dinner, she gets to choose: eat in? Go out. If in, what does she want me to make? If out, where does she want to go? Sometimes these decisions can take 30 minutes to an hour to make...I let her choose which pain killer she wants when it's time for one: Tylenol or Ibuprofen? Soma or Vicodin? and I keep the meds with me. Sometimes these decisions take very long, too. There's no way she's able to drive a car, and because her memory is shot, she can't recall the Drs orders that she not drive, and so she thinks I am keeping her from driving because just I can.

It's just hard...my patience has evaporated and then came back, and it's been hard for me to keep my head on my shoulders, especially when she's getting aggressive (very ascerbic language, mean comments, very very rude, and actual arguments about things. It's just hard...and I get so tired. But it will keep her alive long enough to get the help she needs to get stable, so that's the goal. And that means that I can pick up my life later; right now, it's all about her.

Thanks for the love, guys. Between you all, the cats, her husband and Dr., and my Dr., I should emerge from this intact...

Hugs to you all, and thanks again for giving me a place to vent; and for the offers for phone calls. I'm rarely alone, so that's why I haven't taken you up on that...

Thanks again,
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