Mom had heart attack today.

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I went to my job and my mom was alone (I thought my more capable dad was home) and he left to go to the dentist.
I took a break at work as per my boss's insistence to find 7 VMs that life alert got an emergency call from fire rescue and were transporting Mom from home (I live like a rat in the basement sleeping on the couch if I can consider it home) a major hospital further from them. I happen to be working 5 mins from that major hospital. That she activated the emergency necklace told me this was bad. That she was being sent to the major hospital w chest pains.

I actually ran out of work and flew 90 miles an hour (ok not 90) to the ER ad got there before her. When they got me to her she was surrounded by 20-28 medical staff. EMS was amazing and stayed with her. She did not recognize me at first because of the confusion.

I held her had as she had a second heart attack.

Having a severe headache, they took her to MRI to rule ut stroke.

Not a stroke.

Transport cath lab stat... open up any blockages and so forth.

My dad was not reachable for a long time. My cousin got hold of me and him ad agreed to transport him to ER and not tell him immediately that she had a STEMI.

At 95 we dont need him careening down the road in his town car hearse like vehicle. God love him.

I eventually get a hold of my other two sisters in neighboring states. One is a nurse and married to a cardiologist.

Meanwhile - code blues going off a few times in cardiac lab and floor.

My co worker - works as a nurse at the hospital. She showed up to sit with me because she knows my siblings really dont get what its like. Essentially - as many of you have experienced yourselves - you get hit with the bulk of caregiving and little to no respect, help or They have great lives and it sucks to be me.

She stablizes. One sister who was sobbing on the phone shows up with y dad after driving 2.5 hours to the area. Yaye.

I let everyone in fam know what was going on. I love my cousin but she left the hospital after abut 1/2 hour telling me not to go home unless someone was there to drive my dad home. ARE YOU KIDDING ME. That's correct. You know little to nothing about my integrity yet? I work in health care. . I cannot count the times I had been there with her om the last yr of her life when my cousin was not on the radar.

Nurse sister shows up after I had to hear he husbands interpretation of the status of my mom. Sure I appreciate his input. But then it was insulting that I am not a healthcare proxy for my mom. My dad was. He wasnt available. My sister is the second in command and she does NOTHING to help on a reg basis. I told ER doc to ask my mom what her wishes are before surgery if she is awake and alert (she was). In the absence of that, we would wait to speak to my dad or sister.

My sister forgot to take one of her anti depressants and left the new script back at her home. I said get an emerg dose sent here and I will pick it up.

I did. That nightmare can be told another day. CvS sucks.

I get home. I call my sister. She is w my dad getting food with my dad and other sister. Did they even call to ask if I wanted anything?


I get home to a disaster in the house and clean it up.

One sister is leaving tomorrow. The other is probably going to leave as well. Still no word on how mom wiill fare next few days.

They get back. I texted that I would be cancelling a long awaited and planed trip where I am running a race because they were probably going back to their lives. Neither had to work BTW. I did but clled out. If I dont show up I dont get paid. My sister is her husbands NURSE. The other has help in her dog boarding business.

SO I cancelled my trip, lost my deposit 250$ plus entry fees for race etc. due to cancellation. It is snowing here suddenly. So that sucks too.

I had no idea their plans and it was late. I had to make a decision re trip and work. Neither seemed to absorb the timeliness of the issue.

One says oh go ahead on your trip I will stay through sunday. I dont come back until Monday so that doesnt work for me. Dad will try to haul to the ER to see her and then she also has to return home if all goes ok. Or not.

The siblings come back home w dad. They yell down into the abyss basement - i dont yell. Talk like a human in lower tones please. Come down here but dont yell down and presume my lack of reply has to do with being mad...I simply refuse to yell and I was busy.

I go back up and one of them yells WHY ARE YOU MAD. I do not operate like this. It is not the time or place or manner in which one should be addressed. It is the scapegoat (me) role that I have no right to be treated with respect and made to feel like my feeling unhappy is ok.

I take care of BOTH parents and my retarded brother lives in a state home down the road and I visit him etc. Im not his proxy either and neither sister has seen him in years even when they come to visit. Thanks dad.

I wanted to vent


I feel like a doormat. I love my parents but these are dysfunctional people. I got help. But I need to take care of myself and not emote to any sibling and just vent here because I will always be the scapegoat with siblings.

I am not close with dad anymore as he hated me once I got divorced as I was a failure. I love mom...she is an alcoholic and a more or less (dad is an enabler which is part of why she had a heart attack) a dry drunk. Loving her while detaching for my own mental health is hard to do. I have a great therapist. And ACOA 12 step.

I fear I cannot continue this caregiving and unable to honor my promise to mom to die at home by not leaving and her having to go to a rest home. Long sentence. Anyways - my siblings are asshats. I have tried so hard and they have NO understanding of the real time daily insanity I live with. Ive been badmouthed and hated and gossipped about.

I just wanted to know why this dynamic is so common. Have you all experienced this same thing?
PS I cancelled my trip.

The nurse sister actually left when caring for my sister in the last stages of cancer - to go on a trip. Death was imminent and she left. Thats the mentality. My sister was not old. She was very sick. I would not do that to my mom. I could never live with it. I dont understand the mentality.
You need to vent and we are listening

You are a hero by the way
1. Sorry this is happening to you and your folks!

2. Either get yourself out of the basement or fix it up so it does not feel like a rat hole.

3. Do what is in your heart to do for Mom and Dad, and take some positive pride in it - focus on the positive that you are doing, and not on the negative of what you wish your sibs would do. The sacrifice of cancelling the trip is huge and real, but hopefully meaningful to both of you. They probably have no clue why you are mad and unhappy or what living in the basement and being yelled down to means to you, and possibly did not get the message you were trying to send with that text - they could have either felt insulted by the "going on with your lives" part or maybe they thought you were announcing you had already decided what you were going to do, rather than that you wanted to ask them to cover so you could still go (but is that what you wanted?)

4. Wait, you are just venting and here I am analyzing and therapizing as usual. But yeah, this happens all the time, that things suck, and we can't just say what we really want or do anything for ourselves without feeling guilty, and that siblings play pre-assigned roles and live up or down to expectations instead of being real and pulling together in a tough situation. Family dynamics are often pretty entrenched and really hard to change.
Scaredtaker, that is a cracking great Post, and I can so relate to so much of it too. You are an Angel of Mercy, and good will come to You. Enjoy every moment, as this time will pass much too soon and all You'll be left with are beautiful memories to savour. Your great humour will pull You through. I think You are brilliant. {{{ Hugs }}} and Every Blessing to You from John Joe.
Scaredtaker, I can relate in a lot of ways with your post. My dear, beloved Mom is now gone but during the last two years of her life I was pretty much left with most of the responsibility of making sure her needs were met. I had been doing the little things up till then,like picking up her groceries, her prescriptions, accompanying her to her doctors appts. No one asked me to do these things. I just did them because I adored my Mom.

But when her health took a drastic decline, I reached out to family members. It was not met with a positive response. Disinterest almost. The day I discovered my Mom sitting on her couch talking to her self because she was in a state of delirium brought on by a severe kidney infection that turned into sepsis I phoned my sister and asked her to come over. The response this was met with was a heavy sigh and "well, if you can't handle this by yourself" Like I was inconveniencing her. When she arrived, husband in tow, they both ignored me, like I was invisible. I guess I ruined their busy day.

That was the beginning of the most stressful two years of my life made even more so by the lack of any real one on one help by most of my siblings.

So yes scaredtaker I do understand and empathize with what you are going through. I would like to tell you though to always remember that you are the strong one, the kind one and the one who God looks down on with love. So take a deep breathe and feel good about yourself. At least you can look at yourself in the mirror and say "you done good"
I'm so glad that your mom is getting good care, and that she had the presence of mind to "push the button"!

In all probability, mom will be sent to rehab after her hospital stay. DO NOT allow her to say no. Get the doctors to tell her that she absolutely has to do this to get strong.

Do some research now about rehab facilities that also have Assisted Living facilities on campus. It sounds as though your parents are at the point where living alone, even with you in the basement, is no longer a good choice.

Your anger and resentment at your siblings may be justified, but it's really only hurting you--your body, your spirit and your mind. It seems to me, from both watching my extended family and reading on here, that the child who moves in with elderly parents to help is NEVER seen as the hero in their own family; they are seen a freeloading. If only they knew!

Make plans to secure your own place. Step back so that the others have no choice but to work together and step up. "I can't do this anymore", "no" and "I can't possibly do that" are all complete sentences.

We hear you and feel for you. Good advice here. You are a hero but please also be a hero to yourself. Doesn't look like anyone else in the clan will.

Mom is in a good place and will receive care for a while. Spend quality time with her when posible. These could be final weeks or months.

If there is any possible way to move out, do so as soon as possible. This is an important step in taking your life back. Any friends who might home share with you and rent you a nice room at a rate you can afford? It's a good interim step before securing your own place.

Given your clan, you are an amazing daughter.

If your mother has a heart condition, then it's time your sis the cardiology nurse takes over her care. Walk away. It's their turn. You can always go visit your mother once in a while.
Scaredtaker, that can be frustrating when there are other family members and very few, if any, raise their hands to say that they will help.

It took me a while to realize that not everyone does well in a medical emergency. Anytime my Dad was sent to the ER via 911, my sig other would drive me there and leave me off at the door, and then head home. Oh how that irked me as I would have liked to have had his support. He hated hospitals. My ex was the same way.

If someone doesn't like hospitals or rehabs or assisted living facilities it is better they stay home, otherwise you would be dealing with two patients.... one needing actual care... and another whining that they feel like passing out.

Here's hoping your Mom recovers well after her heart attack. My Dad had one 7 years ago and after physical therapy he was doing well.

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