Long story short I had to call 911 for Mom last night. I love our first responders.

Mom screamed out in pain like a screeching cat when they carried her to the gurney. I wasn’t sure if she was having a stroke, or what was happening.

She literally fell down twice while trying to walk in the ER and they admitted her, and all she could do was yell at me. “Oh MissusR, get over it and stop being so uptight at everyone.”

Ok, I’ll just be a robot. All I do is cry anymore and it’s so embarrassing.

This constantly losing my dignity in front of strangers is getting more humiliating by the minute.

The good news is one of my siblings flew out to help me. I lucked out somehow there.

I feel like a real heel...

Good for you!  When my first DH was near the end of his cancer, and someone asked me how he was doing,I burst into tears. I got the gamut of reactions, from 'That good huh?' to a huge hug and shoulder to cry on. Hugs were wonderful, but even embarrassment was ok.  I released my feelings, no pretense, and they were responsible for their own feelings/reactions.

911 calls are so stressful. And trying to answer all those questions quickly. I was SO lucky a week ago, when my aunt went to ER  ED? A friend and weekly helper heard the call on her scanner, and arrived behind the ambulance. I sat up front, and she followed in her car. 40 min. ride. She was so much calmer than me, and could easily say, no, that is not normal for her, etc. Rose was admitted, and Tues. went to rehab.
Now to get well myself!
Stay well, and congratulate yourself for being able to express your feelings.

You are not losing dignity but showing humanity even when being verbally abused. I hope you can communicate this to her at the appropriate time.

Trust me, they have seen EVERYTHING in the ER.

DH had 2 heart attacks 2 weeks apart last summer. He literally blamed me for the first one, while under conscious sedation he told the surgeon he had the heart attack because "My wife is too good a cook"....Dr laughed about this later and said he thought he'd heard everything by then.....

When he was admitted to the ER in one hospital and then ambulanced to the 2nd one, you better believe I hauled to the 2nd hospital, crying the whole way. I barely made it in time to say "good bye" to him as they took him to surgery. Then I really LOST IT. It was a Sunday, so the surgery waiting area was empty. I just sat there, all alone and cried hysterically. (I have to say that I had already walked up to death's door with guy many times--Liver transplant, massive septic shock post transplant, stroke, heart surgery, motorcycle accident that should have killed him and a couple of major falls from rock climbing then 2 heart attacks in 2 weeks)...I was an AM exhausted by his back luck/bad choices. My in town kids were all there within 30 minutes.

Most of my kids showed up..the out of towners were there within 12 hours. I cried and cried and cried. Kids were great. My big sons in law just held me in their arms and let me cry.

I felt like all I DID was cry. DH was "fixed" and sent home only to blow a stent in the 2nd week of recovery--but the 2nd heart attack was not so "awful"....I guess at some point you simply realize you are going to someday face this and they won't survive. I don't know.

I talked to the psych doc on rotation and he was completely chill about the crying. Said it was far healthier to cry than to hold it inside. DH was a real jerk for about 3-4 months post HA. We're still dealing with a lot of emotions he has--primarily the "why am I still here?" one. I can't deal with those emotions for him, he has to figure it out for himself.

The ONLY tears he shed were when he realized he was going to have to cut back on a of his favorite foods.. he wept on me when he realized he'd never have an enormous full sugar shake again. THAT'S what he cried about.

When I am overly tired I cry if you say Hi and it sounds harsh.

When my oh so loving family would give me grief about having my heart on my sleeve, I would say, I'm just leaking so I don't blow! It's so true, if we hold it in the pressure will build until something blows, whether it's your temper or a vain in your head or your heart. Far better to leak.

That you are crying so much speaks to the stress you are under.

Keep leaking! HUGS!

Amen to all these responses especially Mountain Moose. It’s ok to cry, it’s normal, you’re not a robot! Just a lovely person doing the best you can in a very stressful situation.

If you’re going to cry, the hospital’s an ok place to do that. And...outside the house while waiting for the ambulance after you’ve called 911. That was usually where I got started.

Oh yes, on the way home from the hospital too!

Best thing is after all this crying you’ll probably get a great nights sleep - you’re physically AND emotionally drained.

Chin up looks like help is on the way! Brother’s on board.

MissusR72, I know how it is dialing 911 for a parent... then waiting outside for the ambulance [other parent inside tending to the parent who needs EMT]... as soon as I saw it coming, lights flashing, I started to cry. This is a stressful situation for anyone to go through especially when you are not sure what is happening to the parent.

How wonderful that your brother is understanding what you are going through.

That's great that your brother came and has seen the situation first hand and can now understand. And showing you appreciation - priceless and wonderful.

So much to deal with. Sorry the ED seemed to be a bit accusatory towards you. Like you said, they didn't know but no fun to deal with.

Good luck!

Thanks everyone.
By some miracle the brother who came out to help deal with this said, “We need to make things simpler for mom and take the burden off you, and i appreciate what you have been doing all these years.”

I thought i was on Candid Camera or another planet, but yes, it exists.

He got to see what she’s like in the hospital, i purposely left him alone with her for a while, so he now “gets it.” Mom is beginning to rally in her recovery and I might actually get some help and respite.

I hope it stays this way. The trauma of the paramedics and the ambulance and the nosy neighbors and the crying and the repeating of information 10 or 12 times... And because she’s so bruised from the blood thinners but the ED not knowing that, pulling me aside and asking me questions about her safety and “how am I dealing with her.” Ugh. I could sleep for a day, straight.

Its the not crying that causes health problems. You need to let go every so often. Being a caregiver is stressful. You never know if what you do or the decisions you make are the right ones.

I understand not wanting to lose control in front of strangers. I was the same way. At a certain point I realized it's okay. Hospitals are where the best and the worst happens to people and their families. They weep.

The day after Mom died, Twisted Sister #2 had all us adult kids and grandkids tearing out Mom's belongings from her house to clean it out. (I think that was her way of dealing with Mom's death.) I lost control and just bawled. I didn't care if anyone knew it. And that's okay. I had just lost Mom after 13 months of being her live-in caregiver while living with stress and sleep deprivation.

More thoughts:
- It's not a loss of control. It's a healthy reaction. Even nonhuman animals grieve.
- You're not a robot; you're a thinking, feeling human being doing her best.
- It's okay to be emotional. It's a well-deserved release and it's NOT undignified. The expectation that we not allow ourselves to weep is a holdover from the old "stiff upper lip" days, and one holdover that just needs to hit the proverbial dustbin.
- If we all would allow ourselves the gift of that cathartic release, others might be inspired to believe it's okay to give themselves that release.

Best wishes from me, too!

Forget the embarrassment. Your dignity is in being there for your mother. You could strip stark naked and still retain your dignity while you are caring for your mother. Of course people will stare and be curious - we are all curious about something that doesn't look 'normal'. Some people will guess what's going on, some won't, and neither reaction matters anyway. You do what you have to do. Be brave and respect yourself for what you are doing. Best wishes from Margaret.

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