Sunday, January 8, 2012

Anxiety it's contagious!

Me and my grand nephew ! We just can't stop crying.
Among stroke survivors, feelings
of anxiety are common. Often, stroke
survivors suffer from both depression and
anxiety at the same time.

A stroke patient whose personality tends towards anger and depression, or whose personality changes radically, can leave care givers feeling angry and resentful. This anger at times turns into guilt ("How can I be angry at her? She's the one who's sick . . . ") which can result in increased stress and depression.

(The information above is copied from research on Anxiety.) Here's my take on it!

Mom didn't come to my house for Christmas this year. After bringing her for Thanksgiving, I finally decided that taking her outside the Wesleyan isn't worth the struggle. Taking Mom out for holiday events has become a problem. She has to be transported in and out of the car and the house.  It wears her out and she becomes too anxious. She doesn't enjoy it and because of this, I become very anxious. It's contagious!

 I paid to have Mom transported to my house in the Wesleyan van for Thanksgiving. This plan would solve the alternative of bringing her in my car and having family members get her in and out .

But the anxiety started days before the trip. "It's my bath day, if I'm not here, I won't get my bath." "Yes you will get your bath, I will let them know you are coming to my house and they will give you a bath in the morning." Mom shaking  her head , determined this would not happen,"My bath time is  at 2 in the afternoon, not in the morning." Over and over and over, we kept having this conversation.  Everyday, I would reassure her that she would actually, really , beyond a shadow of a doubt , get her bath in the morning.

Of course, they did give her a bath in the morning before she left.

Then we had to deal with,"What am I going to wear?" , "What will I eat?.", "What if I have to go to the bathroom?" None of my answers to these questions made her any less anxious .

I did forget one thing. Mom has to have a thickener in her drinks. After she got here, we didn't have it so I just gave her some milk. It was the thickest thing I had and if she holds her chin down, she can successfully drink it without choking. I gave her things to eat, like mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie.  She can eat soft things with no problems.  The plan was for her to stay 3 hours and she stayed for about 3 and a half. The person coming to get her was a little late. Mom got very anxious waiting for the van. This made me anxious so I called to make sure they were on their way. "Mom's becoming anxious, are you on your way/' I said... anxiously.

The next day, I went to visit Mom and several of the nurses told me that when she came back, her anxiety level had risen so bad, she was just crying and shaking all over.  I was told that she said I didn't give her anything to drink and she was so thirsty. She said that there was nothing she could eat at my house either and was left there way too long. One nurse (of whom I've never really gotten along with ) said bluntly to me," Perhaps you should be less concerned with having her with you for Thanksgiving and consider how your Mom feels about these outings."  I anxiously went out to my car and cried.

For Christmas, my family just went to the Wesleyan and visited her. This was better for Mom. I also talked to her doctor and they increased her anxiety prescription. This could be a good thing, or it might make her so relaxed she's zombie like and can't communicate. ( It's not my first walk around this block, ya know).

I ask Mom what her New Year's resolution was and she said, "Patience."  I said, "Mine too! " Isn't that a coincidence!

Happy New Year!

1 comment:

Christy (Hetzler) McCall said...

I've read this before, but never commented. I went through all this with my dad also. He had to drink the thickened drinks.
He never had the anxiety problems like your mom, though. He was just the opposite...he just didn't care about anything but himself. I should have been used to it, but it still hurt at times. My husband finally made the decision that it was too hard to bring him over to the house, especially since he had to do most of the moving and lifting.
We never really talked to my dad about it and he never really seemed to care. No matter what I tried to do for him, he could have cared less. So, I had kind of the opposite problem, and it hurt me, but he was who he was and I couldn't change him no matter how I tried.