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Feeling lonely as a carer around christmas

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 2:32 pm
by PandaPumpkin
Hi, this is my first time on here, I wanted to join as I've been struggling recently with feeling isolated.
A bit of background about my situation. I'm 27, work full time and live with, and care for, my boyfriend of 5 years. His health is complicated - he has issues with anxiety and depression, which he had from before we met. In the last year he's also become physically unwell, but we have so far been unable to get a diagnosis. We've dealt with Dr's who didn't seem to care, and some who clearly assumed he was making it up because of his mental health history. Some Dr's have been better, they've done all sorts of blood tests, scans and a colonoscopy and can't find what's making him so sick. He's constantly exhausted, sweating, getting chills, no appetite, gets stomach pain and has had severe bleeding with stools.
We're both so stressed out by not knowing what's causing it all. He struggles to get out of bed, and getting to appointments is becoming so hard for him. I try to help as much as I can - I do everything around the house, buy food and prepare meals, and go to all appointments and tests with him. But I still feel so helpless, I wish I could do more to fix him.
What makes it even more complicated is that his family live abroad, and most of my family is not supportive (it's complicated, and mostly unrelated to my boyfriend). My grandparents are the most supportive people but they live quite far from us and are getting old and more frail themselves.
I just feel quite isolated and lonely. It's so hard sometimes to deal with day to day life and on top of that worry about the future. If he weren't ill we'd be thinking about marriage, and maybe kids in a few more years but all of that's on hold. I feel like it's hard to find other people who understand the impact this has when you're still a young adult - when all your plans are suddenly changing. And friends and their partners can enjoy life while we feel stuck.
I love him so much, I know I'm going to stick by him, but sometimes it just feels so unfair.

Re: Feeling lonely as a carer around christmas

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 4:52 pm
by jenny lucas
The gut is called our 'second brain' and for a good reason. SO much of what 'we' are is tied up in a healthy- or unhealthy- gut. This is now increasingly realised by medics.

Has your boyfriend been referred to a hospitcal consultant specialising in gastrology? If not, why not?

Is he on any meds at all for his gut? Is he on a special died that is designed not to irritate or inflame? Has Crohns been considered? (I take it that's been part of the tests), or any of the other 'routine' gut conditions (eg, IBS, Ceolic, Glutan, intolerances etc etc).

Is he on as 'bland' a diet as can be so as to 'soothe' his poor insides??

As for his anxiety and depression (and remember, it's a two way street - being 'sick with nerves' is not just an expression, it's literally true!), is he on any meds for that either?

If orthodox medicine is calling a blank, have you considered getting complementary practitioners involved? Providing they 'do no harm' it might be worth considering, even if no one knows 'why' they work, if they do, then great!

Asre you on any forums or support groups for those with chronic gut problems? Again, shared info can point the way to improvement and managing the condition to be more tolerable.

How much exercise does he get? It's vital to not let the body 'run to fat and rot', even if he does not feel like it. Exercise picks up the mood no end - even a bracing walk.

Re: Feeling lonely as a carer around christmas

Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 4:09 pm
by PandaPumpkin
Hi Jenny, thanks for responding.

Yes, he's been referred to a gastro consultant, and they ruled out chrons and ulcerative colitis. They're planning on more tests but don't seem to know what it could be, he's got to have an endoscopy down his throat next :/
He used to be really active before he got sick, and ate healthily. Now his appetite is so low he mostly eats really simple food anyway as he just doesn't feel like anything else.
That's a good idea to look for gastro specific forums, I might try that.

Its all so overwhelming sometimes, and feels lonely. No one I know seems to understand how tough it's been on both of us. I put a brave face on at work, but I feel like I'm only just coping with everything.

Re: Feeling lonely as a carer around christmas

Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 5:30 pm
by jenny lucas
I'm glad he's with a proper consultant, and they are methodically checking for the 'likely culprits' (and good that it ISN'T Crohns etc).

I don't suppose he's got a chronic infection, has he? Not just bacteria/virus, but has he picked up something like a protozoan (single cells organism, like amoeba - some are parasitic), or even something like tapeworm etc?? 'Horrid' but you never know.

Also, is it anything 'tropical' I wonder? These days, both with us travelling abroad a lot, and with us coming into contact with those who have, or have been living abroad, there is more 'foreign bugs' in the UK than ever before (think of the resurgence, horrribly, of TB, coming in from India!)

I definitely think that joining gastro forums would be sensible - you'd be tapping into a wide range of experience and someone 'out there' might just have the same thing, and have had it diagnosed, and hopefully treated.

You would also find sympathetic companionship as well.

As for work, DON'T put a brave face on all the time - let them know you have an invalid partner, and that is that.