lazykat Asked March 2011

My mom has just been put into hospice care and is not expected to make it much longer. How do I deal with the mixed emotions I have?

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GIGGLEBOX Mar 2011
I found that prayers helped - cry out to God about your feelings. Journalling also helped me. My mom refused Hospice care so it made things hard. She lived for only a week in a nursing home after being in TCU for two weeks. I am praying for you. Don't feel guilty about the emotions! Talk to others who have been there and done that. This site is an awesome way to connect. PRAYING FOR YOU!
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rebecca139 Mar 2011
Thanks for the suggestion about Hospice. They are there for the patient but they are also there for the caregivers and family. I know I have mentioned before but the Gail Sheehy Book: Passages for Caregivers has been a life saver. As my father declines in mental clarity i feel like I need to be there more and am becoming more isolated with mixed emotions about that. Keeping contact with folks outside the house is so important. My friends will ask for an update then we are on to other things. It is so important to try and get out of the House mentally and physically. Sharing those feelings with the folks who understand the process is validating. Hospice, cleregy, social workers understand the process. My thoughts are with you as you undergo this process.
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CKOTYMIA Mar 2011
Hospice does provide medical support, a nurse comes to see my mom as often as needed but at least once per week. A social services person comes at least once per month to help you get through the emotional part and they will also provide clergy to assit you as well. Even though my sister and I have all of this great support you still feel so alone and your emotions go up and down like a rollercoaster. I have been taking care of my mother 6 days a week for the last 6 months and my sister relieves me 1 day per week. Though I want to be with her until the end it is extremely difficult for anyone to go through. The only way I can sainly get thorough this is to try and put the bad and sad things about this ordeal out of my mind and litereally be thankful for every day we still have her here. My mom is dying of ovarian cancer, however, she can hardly see, cannot hear us much if at all and she can only use her top dentures as the bottoms need to be replaced and she wouldn't be able to undergo the procedure due to her condition. There are days when she can be pretty ornery and it seems like everything you do isn't right or good enough but during those times I think of the things I put her through growing up and how she always was kind and understanding in helping me get through those times. It is a very lonely club we belong to and the only thing I can stress is get yourself some alone time as much as you can. It is the only way I can rejuvinate myself. I also have 3 dogs with me that need my attention as well, however, they are the ones that really save me. We go for 3 walks per day and just doing that helps to clear my head. Dogs won't let you get depressed. They force you to have fun with them and when you do feel down they sit by your side and put their head on your lap to comfort you. I wish you the best of luck in being a caregiver.
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cmagnum Mar 2011
I thought Hospice provided some support for family members?
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toadballet1 Mar 2011
Caregivers are put through a "gauntlet" of emotions in caring for loved ones. There is all the stress of day-to-day care, dealing with the medical community, and just watching them decline over time.
When the end draws near, there is just no energy left to give. You go from a caregiving mode to a greiving mode...in a weird way, it is like the brakes being slammed on. Then, there is the waiting for the inevitable. The human body is just not built to withstand this much emotion and grief. On the one hand, you do not wish them to suffer, on the other you are losing a connection to your past. I have lost so many elders in my family recently, and I realized that I not only miss them, but have pangs of nostalgia for when I was younger and everyone was vibrant and healthy. It is like things will never be the same again.
I don't know if I have all the words to console you. Please know that you did your best and your Mom knows it. Make her last days as stress free and loving as possible. If you are a person of faith, seek counseling of your church leaders.
Wishing you and your family peace.....Lilli
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NancyH Mar 2011
I myself am going to be facing this very thing sometime this year (unless God intervenes that is) with my mom. My thinking is that I will be spending as much time as possible with her and my dad. It is enormously wonderful though, knowing that my mother is a Christian and is totally waiting for the Lord to take her. Knowing that I will be seeing her again in Heaven takes some of the sting out of her dying. "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" I Corinthians 15:55
It may not be what you were looking for in your question, but that's how I'm going to handle it. God bless.
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