Thursday, September 18, 2008

How Do YOU Handle Stress?

Stress isn't fun. I knew I was facing some serious stress yesterday when I could hardly get up because my body felt like a lead weight and it was hard to catch a breath. Not being able to eat and only drinking a half cup of coffee were sure signs that this was stress like I had never known before. I tried all of the things I could think of to alleviate it but nothing was even touching it. I knew I had to pull myself together because I had to get my Mom to an attorney's office to sign some papers.

I am quickly learning what a horrible disease Alzheimer's really is and my heartfelt sympathies go out to anyone facing it. While my Mom's first few days here seemed to be going well, the third day changed that. The phone call from my Mom wondering who was coming to take her back home to Tennessee was sad enough, but nothing compared to the call I got from the assisted living asking me to come ASAP. The previous night Mom had been hallucinating and trying to escape out the window. The part that really did me in was when she showed me that she had written HELP with her lipstick on the mirror.

In her battle with Alzheimer's Mom has never had those symptoms. I was very worried that her move might bring on a decline as a big change in lifestyle can be very difficult for Alzheimer's patients. I have been with her a lot and am trying everything I can think of to help her feel comfortable.

Anyhow, that is just a little glimpse into what brought on that paralyzing stress. Somehow I did get through it. We got to our appt. and then went out for dinner and to Target for a little shopping. I came back and sat and talked with Mom but it is so sad to have to leave her when she is so confused about everything.

As so often is the case, today has been a much better day. Starting with a shining sun and cooler air with no humidity.

Nothing like fresh air after a long, hot summer!!

What do you do when you are facing a lot of stress? Do you have any secrets that work well in really stressful times?

Here are some of the things that are helping me today

A long walk. It would have been longer, but Peanut was getting tired. I am determined to get that pedometer to 10,000 by days end.

Nature in it's fall splendor.

One beautiful fall leaf picked up on our walk.

Books and magazines that don't require too much deep thinking.

And, of course, a little chocolate always helps.
A few of my friends offered me their tips on managing stressful times ~ chocolate & ice cream seemed to be the most popular.


  1. Kim, I can't imagine how horrible it must be to see your mother like this. It is heartbreaking. I'm sorry to hear the stress is affecting your health. Going for walks are one of the best things for stress and it is a great time to pray which is one thing I do when I am stressed! Twyla

  2. Hi, Kim - I am so sorry. I've had some days like that this summer with my MIL, but nothing this acute, or this heartbreaking. I guess taking each day one at a time, not trying to guess what the next will bring, is the only way to go - being grateful for the days that go well, and knowing that the ones that don't soon will pass. I'm thinking about you, and hoping you soon find the normalcy and balance you need. Love, Barbara

  3. Kim sorry to hear about this with your mother. My dad went through this with his mother and I remember it was really hard for him. Take care of yourself and try to remember the good days. Stress can really be rough but I like how you deal with it. God will help, that will be the best medicine for stress.

  4. Hello Kim, I do know what you are experiencing. How do I cope...some days not very well. I call those down days. I'm slowly accepting that this is how it is and sadly growing somewhat numb to it all. My Mom doesn't always recognize me but most times she does and we connect but the bad days when she cries & wants to go home are the worst. All I can offer is, take a deep breathe & if you need a down it.
    Did the books help?
    Take care, DebraK

  5. So sorry that you are having to face this with your mom. My grandmother suffered from it. To see her was so depressing as she had been so vibrant and active prior. Sometimes we just have to get through the stress one minute by minute. I put my faith in my Lord and hope for the best.
    I am glad today was better.

  6. So sorry to hear about your mom - it sounds heartbreaking.
    There is always something about that third day for some reason that seems to be the worse day with things. I pray that things will improve for your mom.
    When I'm stressed the first thing that happens is that I can't eat - no appetite.
    Walking always helps me and praying and knowing that God is looking out for me helps too.

  7. Kim,

    Thank you for your comment on my blog. My attitude at this point is that you can't stress because it doesn't change the disease. It is what it is and so we need to embrace it and see what we can do to make our days better. Don't stress, it only makes you sick and doesn't change the situation.

    I love your gorgeous blog. I wish I had so much green around where I live. God Bless.


  8. Oh's such a horrible disease. I just want to go hug your mom. I know how hard it was to leave my mom...she always wanted to come with me. She would cry and say I didn't love her...that was so hard to hear.

    I would also go for walks...then I'd sit in a park and close my eyes and remember the good times. But then I always ended up

    Take care and have a great weekend!


  9. I like your choice of books & mag's...good stress busters. So sorry to hear what you are going through with your mom!

    Many blessings to you at this time, Judy

  10. Oh Kim, my heart goes out to you. I hope things go better with your mother. I will keep you in my prayers.

    I do the same things you do when I'm stressed. Take deep breaths and breathe in all good things.


  11. {{{{{ Kim }}}}}, I am so sorry to hear how things have been going with your mother and I hope these cyber hugs that I am sending will be a little comfort to you. Stress is such a hard thing to battle and yet so needed to do so. You can end up sick from it. I have not had anyone in my family with this but do remember the knotting and twisting of all my emotions as I watched my father in terrible physical pain from being wrought throughout his body with various types of cancer. I hated watching it and prayed each day that God would come and take him that very day. I can only imagine this is a little of how you are feeling. I hope things will calm down for your mother with time. Have you sought advice in the place she is now living? I must admit that I release everything that life throws at me into my quilts I make. It really does help!

    Hugs of comfort ~

  12. I'm so sorry this happened Kim! I hope she has settled in a bit by now. This happened to my mom too and they had to adjust her medicine. A year later she is able to take less never know what you'll walk into on any given day.
    Please feel free to email me if you need to chat or share stories.


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