First of all, I just want to say how grateful I am to have found this group and how comforting it is to know I can come here and vent.
My mother has been going steadily downhill for the past few weeks. For those who don't already know, here are the fast facts: She's 84, had a stroke about a year ago, in a wheelchair since, has 24/7 care at home, bounced back pretty well, wanted to go out for dinners and theater whenever possible, and was making very modest, but meaningful gains in regaining some standing and some strength, which was good for her morale.
I don't know what happened that triggered her sudden decline, but she has hardly any appetite now, has a bedsore, and wants to be in bed most of the time. A nurse practitioner came today. Her vitals are good, the bedsore is under control, as long as she agrees to lie on her side frequently, which she is not crazy about. They will do blood tests and see if they can identify what's going on.
The nurse talked to me about hospice, because that covers a lot of care. I knew that was coming, but it has just put me over the edge. I can see that my mom is slowly surrendering and it is truly killing me. I am an only child and my father died when I was 7. I am divorced, with 2 wonderful girls, 20 and 16. Every single day since my dad died, I worried that my mother would die. Every. single. day. She has always bounced back from uterine cancer, breast cancer, hip replacement, fractured vertebra, etc.
I have friends and daughters and family, but I am the only one who is this close to her and fully responsible for her. In addition to the unfathomable emotional pain of losing her, I am worrying about the practical stuff. She rents her apartment and I believe they have a policy that when a tenant dies, the apartment must be vacated within a week. My mother has lived there for 35 years. She has a baby grand piano and closets filled to the brim. How on God's green earth will I figure out what to do with all that, in the midst of being flattened by grief? How will I go to work and keep my job? Be a mom to my (fortunately grown) kids? How, how, how?