Sunday, March 10, 2013

Caring for an Elderly Parent & Anxiety

Hello, All!  It seems like the last month has been a complete whirlwind!  One minute, I was excited the share the kid's school Valentine's with you all.  And before I knew it, March was upon us!  My Momma has been dealing with some ulcers on her feet and legs.  For a diabetic, wounds can be very problematic and slow to heal.  A few months ago, it started out as just one ulcer on the heel of her right foot.  After weeks of treatment at the wound care clinic, the wound was almost completely healed.  But, then she developed a severe itch on her legs after a vascular treatment.  The areas on her legs where she scratched, developed more wounds.  Her doctor at the wound care clinic was baffled as to how she could go from almost completely healed to pretty much back at square one.  After more testing, it was revealed that my Momma has a blockage in her left leg.  So, even though initially my siblings and I were all left scratching our heads (no pun intended) as to why Momma would scratch her legs raw, if she hadn't the blockage in her left leg might not have been discovered so soon.  Guess, it was one of those God things! :)
It's been difficult to see my Momma's health declining over the years.  In my mind, she's still the same formidable force she was when I was younger.  Growing up, I spent a lot of time wondering if she really loved me.  Her words at times could be more biting than the sting of her switch.  It's hard to reconcile the image in my mind with the frail woman she's become. 
My own health has been front and center lately as well.  Last month, I started experiencing a flushed feeling in my ears.  Dave suggested it might be due to an increase in my blood pressure.  My blood pressure has always been in the normal range, so I was taken aback when it did measure above normal.  It was a particularly stressful time at work - the whole working two positions, getting paid for one thing - and at home with my Momma's wound issues.  As things at work returned to a normal pace, the flushed feeling went away and my blood pressure returned to normal.  Until, this month when I started experiencing the same symptoms again.  As before, it's another stressful time at work.  This time, I went to my doctor.  The increase in my blood pressure appeared to be due in part to a reaction to an ingredient in an over the counter sinus medication.  However, I'm monitoring my blood pressure to see if further changes to diet and exercise may be needed.  I also had blood work done.  And, I did the one thing someone with health anxiety shouldn't do when they receive lab results - Google!  The iron levels looked high.  But, as Dave rightly pointed out, I'm not a medical professional.  I should speak with my doctor before diagnosing myself!  Plus, if there was anything of an urgent nature, my doctor would have called after reviewing the results.  Your prayers though would be greatly appreciated!
I've also started seeing a therapist to help me find effective strategies to deal with stress and anxiety.  I know some people scoff at the thought of therapy.  But, in the past I've found it very helpful to speak with someone not emotionally involved in the situation.  Sometimes, it takes direction from someone on the outside to get you back on the path of wellness and balance.   
Mary Ellen       


  1. Oh Mary Ellen, I can identify with this post so much! Prayers for your Mama and for you. :o)

  2. Praying for you and your momma's health :) I'm very glad to hear that you're addressing your health holistically - many people visit the doctor but don't address other ways to improve their health, like consulting with a therapist, nutritionist, or even just a mentor. So much of our health is a direct result of the circumstances we deal with at work or home. Kudos for addressing your health from ALL angles!

  3. I am really sorry to hear about your mom's health. I hope that you feel better and find the source to your flushing. I have been suffering to (family) anxiety latley to. It sucks. There are moments when I think that I will explode. Take it easy on yourself!!!
    Prayers sent.

  4. Sorry to hear about your Mom's heal difficulties and yours. High BP is nothing to play around with and I'm glad you're going to someone to help you deal with stress. I don't know if you have time to walk or exercise that does help also.

  5. Thinking of you and wishing the best for
    you and your Mom. Stay strong and take care of

  6. Stress can do a lot of things. I'm glad that you are taking care of yourself as well as your mom. Will be thinking of you and praying that both of you will soon be well.

  7. You and your mom are in my prayers. Very soon you will both be able to pull through this.