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Question
Posted by: Liza | 2010-03-08

Severe stress

I''m currently feeling like a zombie. Things are just spiralling out of control. My flatmate had a ''nervous breakdown'' and is being admitted as soon as a bed becomes available. She also told me that she was resigning and that I have to start looking for another flatmate since she doesn''t know whether she will be able to pay rent because she won''t have a job. At least she''s willing to move out.

My dad is still in a coma. His brain was bleeding, but he survived the op to stop the bleeding and they removed the blood clot too. The swelling has also gone down considerably and he has shown signs of starting to wake up. He started breathing on his own again yesterday morning and they were able to take him off the ventilator - although he''s still receiving oxygen to make it easier. His eyes started moving yesterday when my brother started talking to him, although the doc isn''t sure whether it was just a reflex. He has also started to swallow against the feeding tube - although this could also be a reflex.

I went to see him, but he looked so bad that I practically ran away in tears. I just can''t handle seeing my dad like that. I''m sitting at work this morning - an inch away from bawling my eyes out. But I know I can''t concentrate. And our clients from Joburg are arriving this morning so that we can work together face-to-face and get the work done much quicker. I''m supposed to be working overtime today and tomorrow. I just hope that my work will consist of mundane tasks and that I don''t run into problem tasks that require intense concentration.

I don''t know how far I am from breaking point. I''m trying very hard not to think of my dad so that I don''t cry. Unfortunately this causes me to not feel anything. Anyone know about a third choice besides intense grief and disassociation?

Liza

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

So sorry to hear about this combinaton of problems, Liza. The room-mate, if I remember properly, was a problem whether there or not. It creates the immediate hassle o finding a new flat-mate but as I gather she wasn't pulling her weight or paying her way anyway, any new sharer is likely to be an improvement.
And as she sounded as though she needed help, at least now she is safely in others' hands, and not a further drain on your own skills.
Facing the loss of a parent is never easy, of course, as you well know. And whatever you know in a theoretical sense is severely challenged by the reality.
What you describe of his progress sounds rather promising, though of course one hesitates to be too hopeful in such a situation. I had two uncles who died of a similar bleed, and if I remember accurately, the highest risk period is one your dad has passed, as they died very soon after the ops, and never got as far as he has. Even realistic progress is unlikely to be faster than you describe.
As intense grief at this stage may be more than the situation deserves, and is basically unhelpful right now in most ways, maybe some dissociation isn't a bad choice - dissociation / Denial gets an unfair bad rap, as I think of it as a valuable psychological ointment or balm that can be very helpful is proportionate.
Maybe it'd be wise to welcome the clients warmly, but briefly describe the situation you're in, worrying about your dad, saying that you will give all you can to their needs, and are grateful for the chance to keep usefully busy at a time like this.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

3
Our users say:
Posted by: Liza | 2010-03-08

I''m on medical aid that pays - only problem is that my next appointment is on the 22nd (yes, on the public holiday). Couldn''t get one earlier, because my doc is pretty busy. Posting on this site is therapeutic for me and hopefully that will be enough for the next 2 weeks.

Reply to Liza
Posted by: Maria | 2010-03-08

(((HUGS))) Liza. You desperately need to talk to someone. If you can afford it, book a couple of sessions with a psychologist who can help you come up with a strategy to deal with the stress. Alternatively call Lifeline, they provide free counselling over the phone and face to face.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010-03-08

So sorry to hear about this combinaton of problems, Liza. The room-mate, if I remember properly, was a problem whether there or not. It creates the immediate hassle o finding a new flat-mate but as I gather she wasn't pulling her weight or paying her way anyway, any new sharer is likely to be an improvement.
And as she sounded as though she needed help, at least now she is safely in others' hands, and not a further drain on your own skills.
Facing the loss of a parent is never easy, of course, as you well know. And whatever you know in a theoretical sense is severely challenged by the reality.
What you describe of his progress sounds rather promising, though of course one hesitates to be too hopeful in such a situation. I had two uncles who died of a similar bleed, and if I remember accurately, the highest risk period is one your dad has passed, as they died very soon after the ops, and never got as far as he has. Even realistic progress is unlikely to be faster than you describe.
As intense grief at this stage may be more than the situation deserves, and is basically unhelpful right now in most ways, maybe some dissociation isn't a bad choice - dissociation / Denial gets an unfair bad rap, as I think of it as a valuable psychological ointment or balm that can be very helpful is proportionate.
Maybe it'd be wise to welcome the clients warmly, but briefly describe the situation you're in, worrying about your dad, saying that you will give all you can to their needs, and are grateful for the chance to keep usefully busy at a time like this.

Reply to cybershrink

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