Caring for the Caregiver – Part 2

Last time I wrote about how important it is to make time for ourselves as we give care to our loved ones.  I was pleased that I had scheduled many preventive exams and tests with quite a few physicians during my first month back from my winter vacation.

This past week results of some of my medical tests have come back and they point to some problems and a need to take even more time to care for myself.  My bone scan showed more loss of bone over the past 2 years and a need to make more changes in how I respond.  In fact, two doctors, both my primary physician and my specialist called the same day to tell me the results and that I need to determine what to do next.

Unfortunately, there are no easy solutions to bone loss as we get older.  There are many different medications that are prescribed for this condition.  However, most have serious or even life threatening side effects in some cases.  I have been taking one medication for several years and before that I tried two others.  One of the two I tried was ineffective (and has now been linked to cancer) and the other caused severe stomach problems.

The current one has the potential for serious side effects but so far has not caused any problems.  However, I have not been as good as I should have been and have forgotten to take the pills once or twice a week.  This obviously limits its effectiveness.  I decided to change the time of day I take this medication as I am less likely to forget the morning medications than I am the mid-day ones.

My specialist discussed the options for treatment with me by phone and suggested I research 2 newer medications to see whether I thought I could live with them.  I researched them and determined that the cure could be worse than the condition, though in fact, it is a serious issue either way.  A hip fracture can lead to death in up to 20 to 25% of elderly patients.

As I researched on the web page of the Osteoporosis Foundation, I saw there was a huge emphasis on fall prevention.  Well, I decided, that is one thing I can do.  I can get more grab bars and work on an exercise program to improve my balance and prevent serious falls.  There are other things I can and should do around the house to eliminate items that might cause me to trip and fall.

I had been participating in such an exercise program before mom fell over 2 years ago and I became even more entwined in the caregiving web.  Since mom fell and I subsequently brought dad home to live near me, I had totally discontinued my participation in the exercise program, though I continued to take long walks.

Now I am determined to get back into this program which is like a Silver Sneakers program, that is designed for people over 55.  There is emphasis on using all the muscles, doing a little with weights and working on balanced, among other things.  It still is enough activity during 45 minutes to an hour to get me tired by the end if not before.

I went back to the exercise program this week and joined my friends and neighbors again.  The group had gotten small over the winter but doubled in size this week.  I guess I was not the only person to decide it was time to get back to regular exercise!

I still need to discuss these plans with my doctors, but I know in the end the decision is mine.  I just hate the fact that there are no easy solutions.  I know a broken bone at any age is serious, and as we age the probability of such breaks increases considerably.

About letstalkaboutfamily

I am a retired and was the primary caregiver for both my parents before they passed. I have children and grandchildren. This blog is an attempt to connect with other caregivers and share ideas and experiences. I hope you will let me know what worked for you if you had an experience similar to mine. The main issues I am going to talk about are elder care, death and dying, assisted living, family relationships and hoarders and hoarding. Other topics will come up as I address the issues and my relationship with other family members.
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10 Responses to Caring for the Caregiver – Part 2

  1. sspjlife56 says:

    I belong to this group also here, glad you went back, only because it deters your mind from care giving and gives you an outlet

  2. tersiaburger says:

    I have nominated you for the Best Moments Award. I hope you will accept. –

    • Thank you, Tersia. I hope I can respond in a timely fashion. I have been a bit slow to blog lately, but I am honored by the award. I have always enjoyed reading your blog though it was a very sad and moving story. I hope you continue to grow on your grieving journey. Blessings.

  3. boomer98053 says:

    Caregiver: put on your oxygen mask first: This article I wrote over a year ago is my reminder to you to take care of yourself first, and then your father. Does that mean he’s not important? Absolutely not; because he’s so important, you’re going to make sure to take care of yourself so you can be there for him as his loving, attentive daughter for many years to come.

    • You are so right, of course. But the busier I get with dad, the harder it is to pull out time for myself. I am thankful dad has been stable for awhile so I could schedule all of my own appointments. I want to finish all my necessary appointments and follow up before things go bad for dad again. Thankfully he is fine now, but at age 95, one never knows about tomorrow! Keeping myself healthy is one thing I do for both of us. Thanks for your comment and link. 😉

  4. I’ve nominated you for an award. Check it out.

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