I am past burnout, feel unwell. I feel so guilty not to see her more!

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My mom is in rehab after broken hip, hospital, pneumonia, then C-Diff. FEEL SO GUILTY NOT TO SEE HER MORE! I call the nurses every day, sometimes twice to check on her condition, talk to physical therapist and doctor regularly, too. Have to deal with so much, including changing her insurance so she'll be covered and spending hours investigating that.

I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and am having a painful flare. It's Sunday (I saw her on Thurs, and she slept through the whole visit) and I just feel so GUILTY about staying home to rest and care for me. Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

7 Comments

Goodenergy, my Mom is in rehab/hospital and I know how you feel, you want to be there for as many hours as you believe you should be there.... but think about this, even if you were there 12 hours, would you believe you need to be there 14 hours? Etc.

My Mom bounces from hospital to rehab back to the hospital and she doesn't know what day it is or where she is. Vast majority of time she will recognize me and chat for 10 seconds then back to sleep. I know my Mom is getting the best care in the hospital and she isn't alone as there is always a nurse, tech or volunteer peeking in on her. I know I also feel guilty not being there but how long can you watch someone sleep?

Take it easy on yourself! YOU COME FIRST....Mom is second....

You are doing as much as anyone could possibly do. There is absolutely no reason to feel guilty. Remember, you can't help mom at all if you ruin your own health. It doesn't sound like she gets much out of your visits at point.
At this point........
Apparently, there is something that happens in childhood that makes some people feel guilt very easily. I do feel for you. I might try to use this opportunity to charge your batteries and gain strength to handle your health issues. That's an important thing to do if you are a caregiver. I wish you all the best.

This is a mental exercise that might help. Imagine you get dressed and go to the rehab to visit your mom. Envision you walk in and say hello, she looks at you and returns to sleep. You wait awhile and then leave. You drive home and then are able to say that you visited. The end result is that you are assured she is okay, which you can do by calling. And she doesn't remember you were there, which is the same with a phone call. So the end result is the same. I might weigh the pros and cons and try to approach it by looking at the big picture.

If you do go to visit in person, wear a mask. With your condition, you don't want to pick up something.
If you don't take care of yourself, you will be unable to watch out for mom. I too don't know what makes people feel so guilty when they finally reach the breaking point and finally simply MUST put themselves first.

Telling you that you shouldn't feel guilty is useless, in my opinion. I think your head already knows that. It's your heart that's broken.

Take care of yourself so you can go on and occasionally bring some joy to your mom's life. I hope you can see that you simply must do this.
Goodenergy, I know how you feel! Some of us feel guilt no matter how much we do. I admit I am one of them. I try to take good care of myself even if I feel guilty about it. Otherwise, I feel exhaustion, resentment, and anger which are even worse feelings than guilt.
You did not push your Mom down so she broke her hip (I assume). You did not cause the pneumonia. Certainly you had nothing whatsoever to do with the C-Diff.

This is Not Your Fault. (I assume that you know that, but a reminder might be worth while.)

I think no matter how you were raised or what your natural temperament is, caregiving generates a certain amount of guilt feelings. Or feelings we interpret as guilt. Personally, I believe in many cases the feelings are really frustration and helplessness, We want to be able to control the situation, and we can't.

But whatever the uncomfortable feelings are right now, you need to be able to push them waaaaay to the back of your mind and not let them get in the way of make reasonable, rational decisions. Right now that appears to be to use this opportunity to take care of your own health. First, because you deserve to be as healthy and strong as you can be for your own sake. And second, because that will ultimately be best for your mother.

Continue with the phone calls. Stay home when you need to.

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