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I have found myself totally obsessed with the heartbreak over my mother's physical and mental decline. She is in a nursing home and is now getting to the point where she can barely speak, and is not eating, or at least not much solid food. I can't accept the fact that there is nothing I can do for her, and I feel so guilty if I miss a day going to see her. I work a very demanding job, and I have some problems with my own health that makes me tired. How do I stop being so depressed over this situation? I don't sleep well, and I find myself crying and thinking about her 24/7. I would like to have a happy life, but how can I when she is in this condition? I feel guilty if I even eat foods that she once loved. Can anyone help me? I have even thought about ending my own life just to end the pain, but I wouldn't want to leave her and my husband.

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Mel, the pity party statement was out of line.
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When we are all going through what we all are going through, emotions are all over the place. I tend to be very sensitive and thin skinned at times. I hope to be more of a help than a hindrance. I appreciate everyone's comments, and just being able to "tell it like it is" is a huge help. If I ever get snarky...just ignore me! I don't mean it personally. I am just trying to figure it all out. Good thoughts to all of you going through your own trials. ((((hugs)))) I care about you.
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yes, it was mostly likely well intentioned,
but i felt the need to make my comment-
the need to connect is important-
k
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Jennysgirl -- nice response to what was probably a well-intentioned "tough love " comment.
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I thought this was a place where we could "let it all out"?
if we need to complain-vent- is this not a place that allows us to do just that?
do we have to watch what we say, so that we cannot just release the
negitives we feel, get a little relief and make room for the next crisis?
so we feel sorry for ourselves at times, so what? we are allowed- it isnt like we are going to abandon the ones that need us...
so, i felt annoyed reading that- however-this is the place to get out all those feelings- right?
maybe i am not understanding the situation-which happens at one time or another-k
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Melanie, I appreciate your comments, but the "pity party" statement made me angry. My pity is for my poor mother, who doesn't deserve to be in this condition. My husband is not supportive, even after I nursed him through a heart transplant two years ago. I need a medical procedure that he won't pay for, and I can't afford, so I don't really care about him right now. I have such empathy for my mom, it is just hard to deal with, especially when I get no support at home. If this sounds like a "pity party" I guess I'm having one. I'm glad you're so strong and able.
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Melanie I couldnt agree with you more and bless you for all you are, and have been going through. My Mom was also a fabulous nurturing mother and she will be with me also until the end. When she could understand and talk I told her she was a lucky ducky and she would laugh and repeat it, priceless! I am sure she knows though, I spoil her and sing her to sleep everynight laying on her pillow. I love that feeling that she is here and safe and happy inside.
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I had first my grandma and now my mother with me. They cared for me when I was helpless and then I returned the favor. I am also a single mom who works from home, a homeschool mom of several kids including those adopted with special needs, and a cancer survivor.

I can honestly say I have not been depressed. My mom gave me the gift of life and took care of me and nurtured me and she is with me and will be until she dies. Every day with her is a gift. She taught me how to mother. It is sad to see them decline. It is heartbreaking. But your response to this is of your own choosing. You might want to pick up a copy of Dr. Wayne Dyer's book "Your Erroneous zones". I have found it so helpful.

Celebrate her life and the fact that she gave you life. Make every moment a loving one. Be there for her daily. This isn't all about you. She is the one doing the suffering. You are just feeling sorry for yourself and your pity party is hurting you and your husband and rendering you unable to be there for your mom.
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What moving responses. I am so sorry for your situation.

I think everyone is right -- your mother would probably want for you to be consoled and strengthened by your love, and for you and your husband to have a good life now that this stage of life has been reached. She might even suggest that you enjoy life while you can --

One of the things that has helped me through this caretaking "adventure" is knowing how my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents cared for their own parents so lovingly, and how there came a point when they could do no more, and how hard it must have been for them, too. I imagine that if my ancestors all went through this, and survived, then I can too, with as much grace and dignity and lovingkindness as I can muster.

What I am trying to say is that your mother survived the aging and death of her mother, and your grandmother did to, on back to Eve. If you can draw on their strength, it may help you to work through your depression and health challenges to become a more resilient individual.

In yoga they say to practice ahimsa -- non self-harming. Please be as kind and gentle and loving to yourself as you are towards your beloved mother. And know you are absolutely doing your best for her by giving her a clean safe place where she can be cared for by professionals.

And don't forget -- as inappropriate as it may seem, laughter helps!
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I'm very sorry to see your pain but hope you can see thru that for just a moment to realize you are not alone. Think of that...so many of us are feeling the same this same moment in time. So many of us share those same feelings. One of the thoughts that help me is knowing that my mom, who herself cared for my grandma till her last breath, would be so very proud of me for trying my very best for her at the end of her life. You are a wonderful and loving daughter and deserve to have your own happy remaining days.
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Awe so sorry :( Youre Welcome, I hope it helps put things into perspective to some caregivers out there :)
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beautiful and true!
made me cry
i miss her so
thanks for that post..
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Jenny, of course there is something you can do, and she needs you more than ever now to speak to her and for her. My Mom hasnt spoken but a few words in well over a year, maybe 2 years, but its okay. Singing to her, rubbing her arm, holding her hand and just being there to touch her, and speaking for her is a LOT to do. Talk TO her, she might understand, talk FOR her, what would she have said, or liked? I make my Mom sweet potaotes, chicken, beef stew, waffles, etc, all in the blender (cusinart food processor) and freeze them into little containers. You could make her favorites and bring to her, microwave them and feed her what she likes, or hire someone to feed her. My Mom wasnt eating much until I realized it was just too much work for her to chew and gave up. Bring mini Ben and Jerry ice creams and feed her those. You know her favorite foods and food is love. You can blend anything! You can bring music or buy her a lawrence welk dvd, etc for her to watch. Please dont say you cant do anything, you can be by her side for her.Here is some saying I have framed and poems that I live by...
Alzheimers patients have the ability to read body language and voice inflections long into their illness.
They still feel frustration, anger, loss, happiness, sadness, joy and love.
But, they LOSE their ability to channel those feelings productively due to their brain.
____________________________________________________________
Just let me know you are with me
kiss my check and hold my hand
I'm confused beyond your concept
i am sad and sick and lost
I need you know to be with me
at all cost
Please dont cry for I cannot help the way I am
Although I will try.
Just remember that I need You
And that the Best of me is Gone
Please Stay beside me
Until my Life is Done
_______________________________________________________
Alz Prayer...
Dear Lord, I come to you in prayer as I need your help
You see, I used to be bright, intelligent and a caring person
I used to care for he sick , I was a wife and a Mother
I was the caretaker of all things
I was there when someone needed a shoulder to cry on
I was always loving and strong
I was there when someone needed a laugh
I was there to tend the hurts
I was there to make the world keep spinning
But you see Dear Lord, all of that has changed
I am now a little slower than I use to be
I still care, but what I sad comes out all wrong
I am still a wife and Mother but now they take care of me
I do the crying now
I dont know how to show my love and I have become weak
I still laugh but mostly at myself
Seems at times I cause more hurt than I can help
No matter what I do, I feel like I am spinning out of control
I am here to ask you Lord, I know we cant change things back to what they use to be
But maybe, once in a while, just maybe a glimpse of who I was
will appear, even if its just a twinkle in my eye
Let my family know that I am still ME, I just have a disease that has taken me to a place that is dark and full of shadows and unknown places
Unfamiliar faces and voices
Let them know that I NEED THEIR TOUCH from time to time
I need a hug or a squeeze or a kiss on my cheek
Someday I may wander into those shadows with no return
Let them know its ok, because where I am going
from here it a place where I will never forget
to remember again, I will never be sad or lonely
and I will have the biggest smile on my ace as I wait for
them to follow whe they come into the shadoes.
One more thing Dear Lord,before I forget, IF I CAN NO LONGER SPEAK, WILL YOU LET THEM KNOW I STILL LOVE THEM AND ALTHOUGH I MAY HAVE CHANGED, I AM STILL THE SAME ME.
With Tears,
Reverseroles
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I can relate so very well to this! I too was depressed and had thoughts of suicide last year, before getting help and support from the Alzheimer's Society. Don't suppress your sadness, and please get some support in the form of counselling, someone who will listen and help you monitor where you are at in the grieving process. Reach out for support from your husband, from friends, and just let yourself cry about this as much as you need to.
One thought that helped me to accept my father's condition and decline was that this is his journey, and he is faring as well as he is able to. We get caught up in trying to maintain a certain level of functioning of our loved one, and it seems that nothing we do can possibly be enough, but it is more than enough that you have been with your mom during all of this and that you have done everything you have until now, and that you are with her.
I too feel guilty about being able to have a life, when my father's life has disappeared steadily, his world has become small, and i have not been able to protect him as i have wanted to. There is something that you can still do, that you are doing, and that is to simply be with her, let her feel the comfort of your presence during every stage of her journey.
Please do get some qualified support, and know that it is normal, what you are going through. You will get over the depression and even the sadness eventually, but right now you are in the middle of grieving and you need to reach out for some support.
All the best to you! You are in my thoughts.
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Was your mother a good, loving, nurturing mother? Did she value your happiness? Did she try to raise you to be a strong, indpendent woman?

If she were in her right mind now and able to speak from her heart, would she want/expect you to give up eating foods she enjoyed?

What do you think your mother would want for you now? How can you best honor her?
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