Suddenly new to caregiving | Caregiver Action Network

Suddenly new to caregiving

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Suddenly new to caregiving

My wife started becoming sick, looking back on it, a few months ago. But it had only become apparent about two months ago. It's hard to tell between simple, normal mood swings, and symptoms of an impending collapse. But alas, it came. She spent three weeks in the mental health ward of a (somewhat) local hospital. And my poor wife has become someone at once familiar, but very different.

She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder with psychotic features.

I often feel alone in her company, and worse, helpless to change it.

Her post-care support has been pathetic. She's gotten three days' doses of her vital medication in the last week. Hospital, pharmacy, and Medicare punting between each other.

We live, for now, in a rural community. Everything is an hour away. Facilities are underfunded and inadequately staffed with questionably qualified people. Don't get me wrong; they're typically very nice people, but drawn from a pretty shallow talent pool.

I've never had to deal with anything like this in my life, and it's taking both hands to keep it together; for her, as well as myself.