I am a carer for my autistic husband and my 12 year old son (also autistic) aand 9 year old daughter who is being assessed for ADHD.
Both my son and husband are high functioning but have quite debilitating executive functioning difficulties which means that my brain also works for the whole family.
My son started secondary school last year so I am going the difficult time of trying to get support for him at school. He is now at his school full time as I am a part time key worker and as I’m struggling to home school both of the children at home they have allowed him to go in 5 days per week.
I’m just finding that I’m suffering with number of health problems which are really making my work life difficult and wondered if anyone else has had the same experience and has any advice.
My mind is so full I have a constant headache. I wake up with it every day. At best it feels like a pressure in my head, at worst a migraine. I have neck, back and shoulder pain ( I have really spoken to my gp about this), my memory is atrocious although annoyingly i seem to remember everything I need to for the rest of my family but nothing that i need to remember myself. My mind feels like it is racing all the time, I find it really difficult to focus on what I’m doing. When someone speaks to me I can’t focus on or remember what they are saying.
I returned to part time work 3 years ago as I was feeling trapped at home and I enjoy having my own money, however I’m wondering if I’ve made a mistake. I’m making lots of errors at work due to my terrible memory and lack of focus. I’ve tried everything, asking people not to distract me, moving to a quiet place but I just can’t stop making mistakes and I think I’m becoming more if a hindrance than a help. I’m not sure where this is all going to end and am considering handing my notice in. I sent an email to my manager today spilling everything out and asking for her advice. I just feel embarrassed every time I go into work and I’m considering leaving because I feel such a failure.
I’m so frustrated because I’m intelligent well read but I just cannot remember anything.
I never used to feel this way and I’m sure being a carer is wrecking my mental health. I try to make time for myself, take baths, watch films, read books but I just feel so wrapped up in everything that’s going on at home and at work.
Has anyone suffered with these awful feelings of mind fog or had problems at work due to their caring responsibilities?
My son has severe learning difficulties. I tried to get reliable consistent respite. Impossible. My health was in ruins. My GP told Social Services he HAD to become a boarder at his school. Best thing for me. Rest during the week, he was home alternate weekends. You are no good to anyone in this state.
Hello and welcome to the forum,
You do seem to have a lot to cope with. And as well as working and caring for your family you have had Lockdown and all that goes with it as well to cope with. I’m sure there are many others out there who feel like you do.
I’m sorry I cannot offer you much advice except - don’t hand in your notice at this stage. Instead take time off work if you possibly can, to give you some time to think things through. Take sick leave if necessary.
It sounds like you are extremely stressed, the migraines are a signal that you need to relax more.
I too get migraine headaches - only 3 or 4 times per year (but that’s bad enough!) I have read that increasing your amount of vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) can help reduce the frequency of migraine headaches.
I hope things get better for you.
And remember YOU are the most important one in your family, so put yourself first.
Thank you for your response. I’m sorry to hear you were having such a hard time but its nice to hear that you found a way to cope. I hope your son is happily settled at his school .
I will certainly try the vit B12. I was hoping the GP would offer me something to “knock them on the head” but no luck.
Thanks for responding to my post. I’m going to have a good think about what to do next and have a chatty with my manager and hope I manage not to cry.
Wish me luck!
My son is 41 now. It was incredibly difficult at the time, I cried buckets, but it was the right thing to do. I could recharge my batteries during the week and we really enjoyed having him home at the weekends.
I agree with Karen Dee, don’t hand in your notice just yet. I think you should go back to the GP and explain how stressed you are and why and see if you can get a sick note.
Talk to your manager too and make sure they are aware of why you are having problems.
At the moment the pandemic is multiplying your problems - helping your family members cope with constant change, trying to get your children support at school, home schooling, thinking for everyone and no time to yourself …
Do you practise mindfulness or meditation or walk or run or do yoga or anything like that? Difficult I know to often even get 10 minutes for yourself but doing so daily would give your brain a break.
When life returns to normal - husband out to work, children to school and your week a split of time at home and work you will feel less stressed and overwhelmed. Take time to recover and them start implementing strategies to help son and husband with their executive functioning through setting them up with routines, schedules, alarms/reminders etc etc