Coping with stress? (XP) [Updated #15]

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AnnaRO's picture
Joined: 07/06/08
Posts: 7033
Coping with stress? (XP) [Updated #15]

So after thinking that my birth plan was pretty much figured out, it's completely uncertain now. Unfortunately, that is the least of my stress. My dad is in ICU in critical condition. He was admitted into the hospital 2 weeks ago with some issues and has since gotten worse and worse. After the doctors waited a week to remove his gallbladder because of some infection of unknown origin they finally decided to do the surgery. He got worse after that and now he's on a ventilator in ICU were he's tied to the bed for those in between moments when his sedation wears off. We don't know if he's going to make it at all and he's the sole provider for the household (himself, my mom and my youngest sis). DH and I just spent 3 days there (6 hour drive away) and just got back this evening. I didn't want to leave, but we just can't afford to stay there. My DH is also unemployed and we currently have no income coming in, so we are an a very fixed budget right now. It's all I can do to keep it together. I feel like I'm on the verge of a complete nervous breakdown right now and I'm supposed to be focused on preparing for the birth of my second child.

gardenbug's picture
Joined: 03/12/07
Posts: 2025

I am sorry to hear of your especially hard times and hope that you can anticipate your baby's arrival with joy.

I don't have any terrific quick solutions, but these are things I do: I get busy doing things that need to get done and try not to dwell on what I can do nothing about. I do lots of laundry and dishes, lots of weeding, knitting for the grandkids, etc. I also talk to other people about THEM and try to help others. This helps put things in perspective. Sports and exercise are of course the very best things.

As I age, I find that I learn a great deal from the experiences that I least expect or desire. This is what life is about after all!

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

I'm a Taoist so I'm all about balance, honoring the cycles of life & nature, and recognizing that everything is connected by a universal energy. My first response to stress is to not let it create imbalance in my life; like gardenbug I find other things to keep my mind & body busy, and I simply don't let myself worry about things I can't control. And as hard as it is to let people we love go, if this is his time to die there isn't anything productive that you can do but accept it; you have a new life coming that you need to focus on. People come into our lives, people move out of our lives, and sometimes it happens at the same time, but you can't let the gravity of the situation with your dad have a negative effect on your new baby. Which brings me to universal energy. Your baby needs a ton of good, positive energy at this time. Send your father a ton of good, positive energy, too, but don't let anything negative in to your baby. It's OK to be sad, but don't be negative, if that makes sense. Think about all the wonderful times with your father, focus on the good, start telling your baby stories about his/her grandfather. And remember, even if he doesn't survive this, only his body will be gone, his energy will still be with you. Almost a decade later, I can still feel my stepdad's strength in the ocean waves and in the wind. I can still feel my Nana's warmth in the sunshine and the fire on my hearth, and I can hear my friend's laughter in the birds & the trees. Their bodies are gone, and I miss them all terribly, but it would be terribly selfish to want them back the way they were at the end.

:bighug: I'm so sorry this is happening to you right now. It sucks, and I'm sorry. I wish I could give you a hug in real life.

AnnaRO's picture
Joined: 07/06/08
Posts: 7033

"Spacers" wrote:

It's OK to be sad, but don't be negative, if that makes sense.

It makes perfect sense to me. We are staying really hopeful that he will pull through and be okay. We've seen people come back from worse than this, so we're thinking dad could be the same. I just started thinking about how this situation impacts my plans for my birth, so now I need to come up with a backup plan for childcare for DD and some other things. I'm just trying hard to stay positive and not let my concern for my dad overwhelm me and I feel like I'm doing really well considering, but I definitely have moments where I feel like I'm going to break down. Hopefully, I'll hear good news soon and we can put that part behind us.

jolly11sd's picture
Joined: 02/02/05
Posts: 3327

I think what Spacers said was really nice and I can't word anything much better than that. In general I try not to stress over the things that I can not change.

Also like gardenbug said, keeping myself busy is also a way I deal with stress. During pregnancy I listen to hypnobabies affirmations and deepening tracks when I feel overwhelmed by stressful things or need to take a minute to breath. Just that 30 minutes of sitting quiet and letting my mind not wander to other things is such a help at times.

Again, I'm so sorry about the situation with your dad.

beccasweet's picture
Joined: 04/10/11
Posts: 679

I am so sorry you have to deal with this. I agree with previous posts. Personally, I found practicing my hypno helped me a lot to let go of the things I was stressing over.

tink9702's picture
Joined: 09/28/08
Posts: 2977

Hugs! I agree with PP that there is nothing you can change and keeping yourself busy should help. Also, honestly, give yourself time in each day to cry/breakdown if you need to. You and your family will get through this. Positive healing thoughts to your father!

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

I just have to take deep breaths and remind myself to calm down. I find now that with four kids under ten years old, working full time, being married (and a dog lol) I'm slowly losing my mind. There are days where I'm just so mentally and physically exhausted I don't know how to handle anything else around me. I don't want it to come to me needing to go see a doctor about it (lol) but some days I really feel like binge drinking...

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

Big, big hugs, and agree with PP on the advice.

I just wanted to ask, since you mentioned it, why is he tied to the bed? Is he having some mental issues at the same time as the physical ones? I don't mean to pry, but it just raised a flag because last year my grandmother went into the hospital for something minor, and they gave her a pain patch (fentanyl) that caused her to go COMPLETELY off the rails...like, paranoid delusions, violent, tied to the bed with guards at the door. Took them a while to figure out what was causing it, and it was really scary in the meantime! I have no idea if this is relevant to you but I just wanted to mention it JUST in case it was helpful! Sometimes seemingly innocuous things have some rare but very weird side effects...at any rate, I hope that he pulls through whatever he is dealing with and your family is able to have some peace!

gardenbug's picture
Joined: 03/12/07
Posts: 2025

How are things going? I hope better!

Joined: 05/31/08
Posts: 1131

I'm so sorry, I hope things are getting better. I find spending some time outside helps lighten my mood and clear my head. When you're feeling overwhelmed and down (not to mention pregnant), it can be hard to motivate to go for a walk, but it almost always makes me feel MUCH better when I do. Won't solve any problems, but it might help you feel better. And it's free. Make sure you take time for yourself in all of this and do what you need to do.

AnnaRO's picture
Joined: 07/06/08
Posts: 7033

Thank you ladies for your concern. Things have only gone downhill with my dad. He was moved to a bigger hospital and the next night they told my mom that he was unlikely to survive the night. He did and is still fighting, but his organs are shutting down slowly and they have him on dialysis now. He's completely unresponsive now and is not under any sedation.

gardenbug's picture
Joined: 03/12/07
Posts: 2025

:bighug:

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

:bighug:

AnnaRO's picture
Joined: 07/06/08
Posts: 7033

Thanks for your support and prayers. My father passed away this afternoon. It doesn't seem real at all to me yet, so I'm not real sure how things are going to go the rest of the week. It doesn't seem possible that my dad could possibly not be here.

gardenbug's picture
Joined: 03/12/07
Posts: 2025

He'll be in your thoughts forever.

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

So sorry for your loss, Anna.

Joined: 05/31/08
Posts: 1131

I'm so sorry for your loss.

emansmom's picture
Joined: 03/24/09
Posts: 752

So sorry Sad

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

I'm so, so sorry for your loss.

My DH's grandfather died when his mom was only two months old. No one alive in the family today ever even actually knew him, yet we were just talking yesterday about what a strong presence and influence he has been on everyone who came after. His spirit lives on in ways I'm sure he never even imagined, but are so real and deeply felt. Your father will be with you and your children always. I wish you all comfort and peace as you move through this difficult time together.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

:bighug: I'm so sorry to hear this. ITA with the others, he's always going to be with you & your family in another way. Thanks for letting us know, I'm sure that was incredibly painful to write but hopefully you'll be feeling all our love & support for you in return. :bighug:

hiddenblue's picture
Joined: 03/27/07
Posts: 67

I am so sorry for your loss.

Joined: 04/30/09
Posts: 2257

:bigarmhug: So sorry for your loss. As Gardenbug said, he will always be with you.