Widowed Village

A community of peers created by the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation

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Long-term illness

For those widowed by cancer AND other illnesses or long term conditions that required caregiving.

We now also have a "Long Term Illness" discussion forum in the PERENNIAL main forum. Questions? Widville@gmail.com

Members: 632
Latest Activity: 8 hours ago

Group Greeter

Please welcome Patience (Diane) as your group greeter.

Discussion Forum

Grief and release at the same time?

Started by Germaine. Last reply by Terry 8 hours ago. 32 Replies

I am aware of two different forces acting from within me.  One is the downward weight of grief. The other is an upward energy that comes from the release from caregiving.  After 16 years of part time…Continue

Retreats?

Started by katjames. Last reply by katjames Jan 18. 12 Replies

Has anyone been to any retreats in the last few years that were especially meaningful and good????   I know there is Camp Widow, but I'm wondering if anyone has any organization they can recommend.…Continue

I'm Lost

Started by MickeysLove (Sandi). Last reply by my roses Dec 9, 2014. 19 Replies

So, 4 days ago marked the 2 month period.  I had joined a support "group" where you go and sit with other people and talk about whats bothering you. I had went 2 times, I'm not going anymore - I…Continue

Looking to Put Together Resources for soon-to-be-widowed

Started by Mozzie. Last reply by MickeysLove (Sandi) Dec 3, 2014. 32 Replies

I found being the spouse of a terminal person very frustrating.  We were getting care at a prominent hospital, and there were social workers, but I didn't feel like anyone ever gave me useful…Continue

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Comment by Patience (Diane) on March 13, 2015 at 4:12pm
Hi Sue, I certainly understand how good things and wonderful people can come out of difficult times... Good for you for giving back to the community ...
Comment by only1sue on March 7, 2015 at 1:11am

I am so grateful for all the good people who came into our lives because Ray had the strokes and I looked after him for 12 years with the year in the nursing home.  I still attend a couple of the stroke-related groups and they still continue to support me as a widow.  Many bad things happened throughout his illness but a lot of amazing and wonderful people came into my life because of it too so I guess in the long run it all balanced out.

I still feel in need to put something back into the community because of the help others gave me so hope that is what I am doing by keeping in touch and being supportive.

Comment by Steve on February 22, 2015 at 5:03pm
Hi everyone. So sorry to hear about those back issues Cynthia. I know they are awful. Hoping you continue to improve Diane.
I'm so excited today, it's a very cool, fall day here for a change, blustery, low dark clouds looming by, and blowing by. Pretty bright blue skies inbetween the clouds. I'm hoping and hoping we get some rain. We are in severe droubt here, need the rain so bad and I would really enjoy a good downpour. I wish we could connect a big pipeline to the east coast and vacuum up all the snow and ice and extra water and syphon it over here. Every time it rains here, you see people walking out of their homes and holding their hands out, like in a bible movie, or something, or " the grapes of wrath" lol. I miss the change of seasons so bad, so whenever we get anything like a fall/rainy, cool day it's a pleasure for me. It's a roll of the dice if any water will actually fall from the skies, maybe a few drips here and there, but every once in awhile we come up aces and get some good rain. It's so funny to me, the news programs, because if we get any chance of rain, they treat the few rain clouds we have as a hurricane, "California braces for winter storm"! "STORMWATCH 2015!" They will send all the various mobile reporters out into the streets to interview all the "terrified" California residents, to see how they are dealing with the impending doom". If there happens to be a light 15 min shower, the reporters are out in their parkas and scarves, and umbrellas, giving us poor California residents all kinds of advice of how to deal with this disaster. If there is a slight hill of dirt, maybe 20 ft high, at a construction site, and the earth happens to move slightly down the little hill, they will send all their news crews, to film it in every direction as possible, so they can interrupt tv shows with "emergency alerts". "California is plagued with massive landslides". It's absolutely ridiculous! I have lived in California most of my life, short a 9 yr stint in Indianapolis, and it is not unusual for people to stay home from work or parties, or whatever because it might rain. I have had many lunch, dinner plans cancelled at last minute, because, "didn't you hear steve? It might rain tonite" !
Don't misunderstand me, there have been very serious landslides at time, in various areas, but this is when we have had days and days of rain heavy downpours and the like. There is more a chance of winning the lottery, or being struck by lightening 3 times in the same spot. Anyway, enough of my tirade this morning. Lol
Comment by Patience (Diane) on February 21, 2015 at 9:51pm
Thank you Cynthia-I'm sorry you have been through so much with your back...
((((Hugs)))).
Comment by goingon (Cynthia) on February 21, 2015 at 9:09pm

Diane - Reading about your back problems, and the sciatica, well, been there, done that!  I had a minor surgery in 2002, a laminectomy and discectomy; still had pain.  I had several rounds of epidurals, trying to manage the pain.  They'd work for a while.  One year, I'd have 4 and they don't like to do more than 3 in 6 months, and the doc who was doing those told me I'd have to have the surgery because they weren't helping.  So in 2008, I had a lumbar fusion - fused the lowest two lumbar vertebrae (or so I thought).... I still had on-going pain, was referred to a neurologist who referred me for more epidurals... they would work for a few weeks, but not much more.  I was in terrible pain to go through that again.  I kept telling my surgeon it still hurt and the sciatica was still just as bad; I had to stop a lot of activities I loved - like gardening.... and he said the fusion had taken, and all he could suggest was removing the hardware.  Eventually I moved to Flagstaff, so, 6 years later and a move, and a doc here looked at my recent scans and x-rays and said "well, your fusion isn't fused...."  I was a just a bit pissed off.... so he suggested the only thing at this point was another fusion.  He told me I had other discs higher up that would need fixing in 5 - 10 years. Well, I'm 62.  I told him, if you're going to do surgery, fix anything that needs fixing because i'm not going to do this again.  So now I'm fused from T-10 all the way down, including a pelvic fixation.  It seems to have taken care of my sciatica, but I do get an ache in the back of my left thigh that the physical therapist says is the sciatic nerve; but it's not the sharp, constant aching it was before.  It comes and goes; if I sit too long (like for 2 - 3 hours in a car) then it aches and gets stiff.  But, overall, the majority of my pain now is muscle pain from the surgery.  I have to strengthen the muscles.  I tend to overdue it P.T.; so I have to talk to the physical therapist about that, and I'm swimming when I can to try to strengthen the lateral muscles.  I still use a cane, because when I don't, I get more pain; weak muscles.  I don't know why I'm telling you this; there are a lot of alternatives to fusion now.  There are disc replacements that are FDA approved now.  Physical therapy can help a lot, and there's never ablation, too.  Before you have any surgery, do a lot of research and see what alternatives are available  to you!  Not that you haven't already thought of that.... in any case, good luck with it! The hardest thing for me was going through that surgery without Don here with me.  I went to rehab for a week after the hospital; then hired a nursing student to help me at home for a few weeks.  Neither of my daughters were able to come; one had a baby, the other one, well, that's another story... But if I ever have to have another surgery, I'm not doing it unless I can have a family member come and help me.  They overdosed me in recovery, and I just wanted them to go away and let me go!  But they didn't.  And I have a DNR on file.... oh well.  So here I am, trying to figure out why.  Take care of yourself.  Hugs. 

Comment by goingon (Cynthia) on February 21, 2015 at 8:55pm

Steve - as a therapist I saw so many people who were bipolar and I'd refer them to a psychiatrist for evaluation and possibly meds.  What would happen most commonly was they felt better after being on the meds, and then since they felt better, they'd stop taking them, then complain that they felt lousy again. So I'd always ask, are you still taking your medication?  And of course... "No...."  and I'd try to explain that it's kind of like if you had diabetes, you'd have no problem staying on your insulin, and it's the same thing - your brain just isn't making the right chemicals it needs to function at it's best, so doctors prescribe medication to fix the chemical imbalance...but there will always be people who prefer to self-medicate; Rx meds don't give them the high that illicit drugs do - like cocaine and crack and smack do.  But they'll never get the same high as they got that first time because of how the receptors in the brain works, and they keep looking for it, so they get addicted because they keep using, looking for that first high... it's so sad and I'm so sorry for Mike's nephew that he can't get out of this cycle.  But you're right - there is nothing you or anyone else can do.  When my daughter was dating her now-husband she emailed me from college and told me she was worried he was an alcoholic and how could she help him?  I told her she could go to Al-anon, but that was it. He had to want to help himself, and she couldn't do it for him.  Well, you know the rest.  He's still an alcoholic and he still drinks, but now they have two kids who will someday have to deal with this hereditary illness.  Nothing I can do.  Sigh.  

Comment by Patience (Diane) on February 21, 2015 at 8:40pm
Steve, so sorry to hear about Josh and his struggles.... Praying for a miracle for him too.... And thank you for your wishes for a pain free night! ((((((Hugs)))))
Comment by Steve on February 20, 2015 at 8:11pm
Thanks Diane. Just recd a call from mikes sister in Indpls, we are very close and speak daily via txt and phone. Sadly her eldest son is a heroine addict and she is having a hard time letting go of him. She has been trying to help him for 6 yrs and has gone into debt over 100,000 in 2nd and 3 rd mortgages, has combed the streets of downtown cities for him countless times and has to give up. He just refuses to get help, been thru treatment centers, even though he has died twice from overdose. Sadly it's hopeless at this point and at 23 he is bound for really bad things, possibly death. Mike suffered from severe depression, bi polar issues, and I dealt with addiction problems w him for our yrs together too. Josh reminds us so much of Mike. Personality, temper, the whole thing. Josh has been diagnosed bi polar, but he hates the meds prescribed. So, it's a rough time. What's so bizarre, is that both Mike and josh both are such wonderful people, so loving, kind, sweet, when they are balanced w their meds, but getting them to take them and stay on them are very difficult things....
Anyway, I look at it as its out of our hands, and we just have to appreciate the wonderful times and heavenly times and forgive them for their disease. Hope a miracle happens for josh, that somehow he sees the light and accepts help and love that is waiting from us all. Thanks again and wishing you a pain free night.
Comment by Patience (Diane) on February 20, 2015 at 7:44pm
Steve, thinking of you today on Mike's 56th birthday ..... (((((Hugs))))))
Comment by Steve on February 20, 2015 at 6:39pm
Hi Diane and everyone. I'm so sorry to hear of your back issues and I hope you feel better very soon. Been staying busy today, as its Mikes bday today, he is 56 today. I'm reminded of the very first time I set eyes on him in early December of 1978, he was 19 and I 16. I thought he was the most handsome guy I had ever set eyes on and I felt such a connection to him as we spoke the first time, as if we allready knew each other. Anyway everyone take care
 

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