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My father is 65 and has been ill through his life: arthritis w/ two hip replacements at 40, psoriasis, diabetes etc. We've always had a strained relationship, in the past good but he's often very unreasonable or even spiteful. He was a good father and always helped me out when he could.


In November 2016 his left artificial hip got infected and had to be taken out. He was in intensive care: the infection caused sepsis which spread to different organs and into the blood. He nearly died but they managed to clear up the infection and get him healthy again. The hip was replaced and he got out of hospital/care in the summer of 17 to have about one year of (relative) good health.


In Nov. 2018 he went back into hospital with pain in the left hip again: another terrible infection that went from the hip to various other organs and again sent him into a coma where he nearly died. Again they eventually cleared up the infection after months of treatment, and several episodes where they had to put him in an induced coma to treat him, all the time as he got weaker and weaker and often had episodes of delirium. Docs told me that there was extremely little chance of a 3rd artificial hip being put in.


In spring 2018 he was discharged before being sent to a residential care home out of the city to recover for two months, where he worked with therapists to get him walking a little bit on a frame and getting around the rest of the time in a motorised wheelchair. He got stronger and eventually went back to his flat.


Since then he has got much worse and in November 2018 was diagnosed with advanced liver cirrhosis. More than one dr told me that the chances of him getting a replacement were pretty much 0, and in fact, that they never even put him on the list. Since then he's been in and out of hospital again and again to have fluid removed from his stomach, living on his own for a while with carers visiting 3x per day but totally incapacitated. He has quickly become sicker and sicker. They told him there's no way he'd get his hip replaced.


All the while it's been me as the only son, and his gf (who has been truly fantastic) caring for him. His brother and mother visit from time to time, with his brother coming for 24 hours at a time (!) and doing basically nothing then going back to the UK (my father and I live in Germany) leaving me holding the ball. Now he's in a nursing home and at the end stages of his life.


I've been running around now for nearly 16 months from home to various different institutions, hospitals and homes, multiple phone calls everyday, bringing him anything he wants and visiting him minimum 3x per week as well as always being on the end of the phone to my uncle/grandma. I am absolutely exhausted. He is never easy to deal with, has criticised me several times for not doing enough and places increasingly unreasonable and unthoughtful demands on me. He's phoned me on holiday and given me a guilt trip. I'm working full time but have now been signed off work due to stress and im ill. I appreciate that he is needy and doesn't want to be in the situation but I just can't do anymore.


I try my best to stay patient, but has just become more and more demanding to the point where it's impossible to do what he's asking because his requests make no sense. I've spent nights at his flat where I've been able to get no sleep and had requests every 15 minutes all through the night.


I also feel guilty because when dr(s) told me he wouldn't get a liver replacement I didn't question it or beg, in fact I almost felt relieved that this wouldn't continue much longer - I feel really ashamed of that and feel like I could've done something to get him a transplant - but then I think, it's the drs responsibility to give him that option and after assessing him they never offered it - but still I feel very guilty like I should have pushed them to give him a new liver, but a big part of me wants it to be over. Maybe I'm just a bad person. Any advice?

Your father is 65 years old but experiencing health issues of a person who's 95 or older! He's been through more medical issues in his life than 10 people combined, yet here you are feeling guilty that you haven't done 'enough' for him at this advanced stage of the game? I give you kudos for all you HAVE done. For all the hoops you've jumped through. For all the sleepless nights, for all the errands you've run, all the phone calls you've taken, all the requests you've granted, all the trips you've taken back and forth, all the illness YOU'VE taken on as a result of the stress you've been put through.

You've done more than enough, my friend. Your father has reached the end of HIS life now, unfortunately, through no fault of yours. His chunk of time on earth is drawing to an end now, but yours is not. Please do not think of yourself as a 'bad person' but as a son who has done absolutely everything in his power to facilitate an easier and better life for his beloved dad. But the one thing you cannot do is extend his chunk of time here on earth. None of us have that ability.

Wishing you peace moving forward from this difficult time of life, my friend. And wishing you all the very best.
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You are not a bad person, lets clear that off the table right now. There is no shame in wanting someone to be relieved of their pain. There is no shame in wanting a break from years of having to jump each time Dad has a medical crisis.

None of us can force a hospital or transplant organization to put our family member on a transplant list. The patient has to meet a health criteria to be added to the list.

My Aunt had a knee replacement go bad similar to your Dad's hip. She was very sick for a long time, on IV antibiotics for a very long time to clear up a C. Diff infection.

Mum had a cousin on a heart transplant list. He had gotten a virus that attacked his heart. Pat was only 54. They got him healthy enough to be on the list, then he had a recurrence of the virus and was taken off the list, as he would not have survived the surgery. He died shortly after.

It sounds like your Dad is a very poor candidate for surgery of any sort with his multiple maladies. It is sad, especially as your Dad is young, but it is not your fault in any way.

Is it Dad or your uncle who is now in the nursing home? If it is Dad, tell them you are taking a week off and will not be available to attend to Dad at all. They will have to handle any emergencies and can only call you if he dies. Then block Dad's number on your phone and allow others to jump to Dad's demands. You may want to let your Uncle and Granny know that you will not be answering their calls either. During this week, even if you are still working, carve out some couple time with your girlfriend. Go on a date night, dinner and a movie, or go for a walk, do something you have never done before. My son and I went to a local league hockey game on Saturday night. Never done that before and it was both inexpensive and a lot of fun.

It does sound like you need to put some boundaries in place to allow you to get the rest your need.

And yes, I will add one more chore to your list, even after saying you need to put boundaries in place. Please make sure Dad has all his paperwork in order POA, updated Will etc. If Dad has not done it, you will want to plan and pay for his funeral (with Dad's money) now. Believe me, it is far easier to do it ahead of time. Especially if Dad wants to be interred back in the UK.

If you belong to a Faith community, please reach out to them. Otherwise look into grief counseling, yes you can receive it prior to a death.
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brlbrl85 Jan 29, 2020
Tothill - it's my dad who's now in the nursing home. He isn't satisfied with the level of care they're giving him.

What I really can't let go of is that I didn't beg or question the doctor's decision about the liver transplant, or push them to give him one and that I actually - if i'm being 100% honest - felt relieved that he wouldn't get one...I'm not sure why, maybe because I knew what it'd mean if he did - months and months more, if not years of looking after him. I'm ashamed to admit that, but in some way I feel like I could've done more to save him. What do you think?

The liver failure is from a mixture of poor health/drinking when he was younger and strong drugs for the various health issues.

Both Dad & I live in Berlin, the rest of the family in London. Grandma is 93 and still coming out here to visit. Uncle has visited maybe 5/6 times in the entire 3.5 year period that he's been unwell (excluding the period of relative good health). Yet still Uncle rings me every day asking what's happening and thinks that miraculously something can be done to save my Dad.
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You are NOT a bad person, You did nothing to feel sorry for--and nothing to make your father's health the way it is.

It IS hard to know how to tread the waters of caregiving, when you have not been close to a parent. Sounds like he has brought some of this on himself (the liver damage--alcohol abuse? ) A liver transplant is not a walk in the park, my DH had one 14 years ago and it has been and up and down thing. There are not enough donor organs for the truly 'worthy' patients. Also, your father's overall health with the hip replacement and subsequent infections would have rendered him a very high risk patient for a transplant.

I don't know anything about the health care system in Germany. I can only address YOUR sense of guilt, which is misplaced. You can only do so much, and yes, you DO burn out.

With total liver failure, he will not live long. If that sounds tactless, I apologize, but the liver is one of those organs we have to have to live.

Getting more in-home care for him and giving you a break might be an option. Refusing to answer calls for aid all night long is also something that has to stop. You HAVE to take care of yourself, or you will be of no use to anyone. Can you NOT spend the night? Again, not knowing the situation in Germany, I can't say what is available. Perhaps have a talk with his doctors about care options. And EOL care.

YOU couldn't do ANYTHING To facilitate getting him on the transplant list. It's a tough call for people who can be 'saved'. I know quite a few who were denied transplants, and they did pass away. There is a system in place that gives the 'odds' on whether the patient is a good candidate or not. Sounds like your dad's overall bad health was the deciding factor.

I'm sorry you are going through this. I totally sympathize. First, take care of you, then you can help him. Sounds like he does not have a lot of hope for a long life. 65 is NOT old, but he has had enough illnesses to last a 90 yo life.

I'd get the overall picture from his doctors (if you can) and plan for the future. No, it's not going to be what you want, but you need to be aware of what the future holds and have some kind of timeline, as dad is going to get worse. I'm sorry you're going through this. He sounds very difficult to deal with, but that's HIS problem.

No guilt, OK? You're not doing ANYTHING wrong. When people are sick they tend to lash out--not fair by any means, but understandable. And learn the fine art of cutting off phone calls, screening calls so you don't feel trapped, and walking out when he's unreasonable.

Good Luck.
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brlbrl85, I'm so grieved to hear of your father's seemingly continuous suffering and your emotional burden and now guilt. With you being in Germany, I can't recommend any practical resources, so I can only send you a virtual (((hug))) and tell you not to feel guilty. You weren't responsible for your father's illnesses and certainly not responsible for his cirrhosis. Also, we can't control the amount of help offered by other family members -- yours are no exceptions -- just read around in this forum to understand how common it is. You have done an absolutely heroic job of being there for your father! Yes, you are burnt out, so you need to do some self-care now. Are there no social service supports available for him? No care agencies to hire? Not individuals to hire? Even if your father has rejected these solutions in the past, you need to give yourself a long period of rest and just stop answering his phone calls for a while. Your being ill is a sign that you've crossed a dangerous threshold, so please heed the warning.

Also (and I realize this may be too late) there is such a thing as Mellatosis, which is a newly discovered reaction to the cobalt in some metal hip replacement parts. Stryker is the brand here in the US that is most known for this problem. There are probably class-action lawsuits developing. If you have the energy, you can research this and it may explain some of your father's problems with his hips. Just a thought. Wishing you peace in your heart, rest for your soul and improved health as you work through the complexities of life.
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Harpcat Feb 3, 2020
I wouldn’t bother researching that, you have enough on your plate! And to what end anyway? He’s not going to have another replacement.
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brlbrl85, I see below that your father is currently in a nursing home but is unsatisfied with his level of care. This is good -- you can take a break knowing he is not being neglected. That's as much as you (and he) can ask for. Let your dad (and Gramma and Uncle) know you're taking a much needed break to attend to your own health before it decline permanently, then don't answer his calls. Let the nursing home know you are available in case of emergency, just don't answer your dad's calls for a while, don't visit. Your father being in a nursing home is more than many caregivers have as an option! So, force yourself to take a break..you won't regret it.
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I don't think it would have made any difference if you begged them to put him on the transplant list. It does not work that way. It's a medical decision and it was not yours to make. You were smart to accept it as they have strict criteria and family member's pleas are not going to influence them. It was proper for you not to waste your limited time and energy on that. You'll be OK.

Your dad is already living on borrowed time. He's like a cat with 9 lives! Any time he has left is a gift and if he squanders it, that is his choice. You need to take care of yourself and trust that he is being cared for by others. That's fine and you need to take care of your needs as well.
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@brlbrl85....First of all, stop beating yourself up. You've done nothing wrong. YOU ARE NOT A BAD PERSON! You didn't give him his sickness, that's on him. Even if you begged, he would probably not be a good candidate for a transplant anyway. Let nature take it course and don't let guilt consume you.
I still have my 95 year old mother living (at a NH) and let me tell you, she's a handful. Miserable, hateful woman. Has given me the worse case of guilt you could ever know. I've bent over backwards for her and all I get is kicked in the a$$. Frankly, I can't wait for her to die.
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jacobsonbob Feb 3, 2020
Bittersweet, to some extent I can relate. My mother, who incidentally turned 95 yesterday, is not hateful, but asks endless questions about everything, has great trouble hearing the answers, and then either forgets the answers a couple minutes later or asks followup questions (some of which are difficult to answer because they don't involve me directly). She has been in a nursing home for 8 years (1 1/2 in PA, 6 1/2 in OH). I visit for about 2 hrs every other day, and I'm tired and frustrated by the time I leave. (I'm tempted to shout "I DON'T KNOW!! and sometimes I raise my voice more than necessary.) She had been bedridden for 6 years. I retired almost 7 years ago (about 1 1/2 years earlier than originally planned) and moved 500 miles to take care of her and my father (who died over 5 years ago at 90 1/2 and was very easy to get along with), but it got to the point at which this wasn't possible for either of them (even with outside care for my father). She sometimes asks "Why am I still here?"--referring to herself still being alive. (I ask myself the same question, but with a different connotation!) I'm now 67, in good health, and want to get on with my own life (or perhaps I should say "get a life") while I'm still capable of doing so, but I would feel guilty about moving away while my mother is still alive or at least while she recognizes me. I'm just afraid she'll live so long that I'll be old or develop health limitations by the end of her life. Although I've saved money by living frugally (some would say minimalistically) during my working years, she is sufficiently well-off that the nursing home costs have relatively minimal financial impact on her, and she wants my sister and me to inherit it--although I try to put this out of my mind, I would feel guilty moving on only to come back to "pass GO" and collect the money (actually, stock), but I wonder if it will happen so late that it will just serve my own eventual care expenses if I live that long. However, I figure I would stay around for her even if there were no inheritance expected out of a sense of duty. Fortunately, she is in no pain, but she has no quality of life. BTW, a couple years ago she asked if I were "waiting for her to die" but not in a sarcastic tone, and I answered "I'm not here twiddling my thumbs and tapping my feet in anticipation of it, but I'm living here because you are still alive." Sorry if this is rambling or parts of it not relevant to your comment, but I can relate to what you are thinking although for somewhat different reasons.
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You are not able to force a doctor to provide a transplant, there is a lot of criteria that needs to be met to get on the list. Please don't beat yourself up over this. The doctors reviewed the situation and made a determination based on all the facts.

Honestly your dad could have fought if he wanted to pursue that avenue. This is his life and you can't care more than he does.

It is okay to be tired and just over all the pull on your life from years of caregiving, that doesn't mean that you are a bad person or have a character flaw. It means that you are tired and over all the pull on your life. That's it, no hidden issue.

Be what you can to your dad, not what he wants or demands, what you can.

None of us know how long we have, we aren't promised tomorrow, so forgive yourself and your dad, love him the best you can and be thankful that he got as many years as he did. Spend what time is left making good memories, it will be a challenge but it is possible.

It is okay to tell family that you are not going to continue daily updates, you will do once a week and call if anything happens. Don't own their guilt either, they can call him.
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Thanks for all your replies. I really just felt like I couldn't fight it anymore and couldn't motivate myself to even feel like I wanted for him to get a transplant. I felt so ambivalent and apathetic and I like I wanted it to be over. I didn't make a conscious decision not to pursue it, I just didn't pursue transplantation on his behalf as an option. Is that terrible? That makes me feel so guilty like, if i really loved him I would've fought for that.
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lealonnie1 Jan 29, 2020
We've all told you already that you are not a 'terrible person', but you are the one who needs to believe it. "Love" has nothing to do with being ready for a parent to pass away. Serious, ongoing & long term illness DOES. Who wants to 'live' like that? It's no life he has anyway. What is a new liver going to do for the rest of his issues?
Stop thinking with your heart and allow your head to take over; let common sense prevail!
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brlbrl85 - I'm going to make a point by examples. They may sound strange but please bear with me.

Can you lift a 10 pound dumbbell and and hold it out straight in front of you? No problem, right?
How about holding it for 1 minute? Doable.
How about holding it for 2 minutes? A stretch and strain but probably doable.
How about holding it for 2 hours?
How about holding it for 2 hours while jumping up and down and while someone yells and screams at you for doing a bad job? This is where you are with your caregiving responsibility for your dad.

You are burned out and can't wait to put down the weight. Who could blame you? None of us who know what it's like to be a caregiver.

I believe you love your dad and you want him to live. But your dad is not living. He is dying and he is taking forever to die, thanks to modern medical interventions.

And why would you want to prolong his dying process? And feel guilty that you wouldn't?

I wouldn't.
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lealonnie1 Jan 29, 2020
Love that analogy!
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I agree with everyone here - that you are not a bad person and you have nothing to feel guilty about. You've done more for him than the rest of your family, stood by him and taken care of him even while he's been ungrateful and increasingly difficult, and increasingly ill.

However, guilt is a powerful thing and hard to escape when it's very intense. You seem most worried about not pushing for a liver transplant. Others have mentioned that the docs would probably refuse anyway.

This is just an idea, but it might be a solution to your painful feelings:

Why don't you talk to the doctors again? Ask them under what conditions he would be a candidate for transplantation. If you find out that even if you were to push very hard, he would not be a candidate, you could put your mind at ease, right? You'd then know, factually, that there's no recourse. But you did what you could and could really let go of any guilt you're hanging onto.

It may seem really scary to imagine this, but try the thought experiment. And even if it does turn out that they might consider him, you STILL don't need to go through with it! But I'm betting that they'll refuse (again).

Just a thought. Either way, I hope very much that you can find some way to get the respite you need, including an easing of this guilt and shame. You really don't deserve that on top of everything else.
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This is just about your ‘guilt’ for not pressing for a liver transplant. You didn’t make the decision, the doctors did. There are no obvious reasons why the doctors would change their minds. Even quick research on the net says that there is a serious shortage of whole liver donors (always dead). There is the possibility of live donation of part of a liver, because the donor’s liver can increase in size and still function well. However it is a major operation on both donor and recipient, a team for up to 18 hours, and quite possible failure rates (eg death for either or both). Live donation is most common for parents with young children with rare liver problems. Transplant priority usually goes to young people who should have many years of extra life. Liver failure through alcohol abuse, even in young people who have stopped drinking, is not high on the priority list, and usually comes after cancer, hepatitis and AIDS, as well as rare diseases.

Looking at all that, and looking at your father’s past health issues, it seems most unlikely that any pressure from you would have changed the doctors’ decision. Stop blaming yourself for the past problems of your father and for the limitations of current medical options. Guilt, quite frankly, is stupid! Use your energy in coping with the other pressures on you. There are good suggestions here, particularly in getting more helpful behaviour from your other relations. Find yourself a ‘mantra’ or some other quick sentence to tell yourself about reality, when that ‘guilt’ pops up again.

(I sound like my mother, who was a school teacher and far too good at telling people what to do. I’m hoping that it might help just to get told. If it doesn’t, please forgive me.)
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There are rules for qualification for liver transplants and if your father had fit the criteria, it would have been an option. He did not fit the criteria and fortunately no one was asking you to be a living donor. Your asking or pressing them would make no difference. If you are feeling guilty that you will feel relief when he dies, that is understandable although we all feel guilty to admit that. Your father is receiving all the care he is going to get at this facility. Too bad if he is not satisfied. Probably they don’t do what he wants and that makes him unhappy. It is really okay for you to put down the burden of making him and the rest of the family happy. Tell your uncle to stop calling you. If he wants to talk to someone daily, he can call your father. Block his calls if you have to but still to get off the hamster wheel where you are responding to what everyone needs and wants. Your father is in the terminal stage of his life. Yes it is too bad, he is young, younger than me, and he may not want to die. But all of his demands and complaints cannot stop this and neither can you. Try to find your own peace in this by doing what you reasonably can do and want to do. Stay in touch!
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Harpcat Feb 3, 2020
I agree! Tell the uncle once a week is enough or he can call the NH himself. Be frank and upfront and tell him it’s too much. Or say you will call him once a week with an update..or email, for God’s sake. Set those boundaries!!!
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My father died on Wednesday night. As well as feeling absolutely destraught over his death I am going crazy with guilt here. Mainly that I think I could've saved him by pursuing a liver transplant.

One doctor we spoke to, although she said he wasn't a candidate for a new liver, asked his age (65) and mentioned that there was some program in europe that gives livers for older patients from older donors. I didn't think anything of it at the time, especially given the overarching context of the statement, but now I feel incredibly guilty for not pursuing that avenue.

Do you think that if that had been an option they would've offered it to him? I have it in my head that by not acting I've just let my father die. If anything - and I hate to admit it - when she mentioned this over 65s thing my heart sank - I'm not sure why. Maybe because I couldn't bear to go through anymore? Either way I feel incredibly ashamed and guilty.

But surely it's their responsibility to offer livers to people - age not withstanding - and not the job of the kids to pursue it. I really don't know what to do here. I feel sick for having that reaction to her saying that there was special livers for over-65s - I should've been overjoyed to hear that. Not that she offered to put him on any kind of list and had previously said he wouldn't get a liver.
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AnnReid Jan 31, 2020
Please read over your own introductory letter my Dear Young Man, read what the doctors had told you from 2018 on, read what had happened to your father around the time when his liver failed, and then right up to the present.
Neither you nor the loved ones who surrounded him in his last days owe it to him to drape yourselves in guilt.
You did far more than many would have done, and attempted to fulfill every treatment offered to him.
When you read the course of care you described, if you don’t believe the first reading, read your words again and again, until you believe what we as anonymous friends to you know- no guilt on you, now or ever.
Memorialize him for what you and he shared that was good and special, then let him be the best part of your thinking as you move forward.
In time, you may find that the best of his Spirit remains close to you.
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I'm sorry for your loss. ((hugs))
I think that it is a normal part of the grieving process to play the coulda woulda shoulda game. The sad reality is that there just are not enough organs for everyone who needs one so transplant teams need to make hard choices based on who has the best chance and having a successful transplant. This decision wasn't yours to make and the burden isn't yours to bear, neither your mentally competent father or anyone else in his life made the choice to search for miracle cures.
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I agree with Willie, "they" say he wasn't a candidate. "They" didn't offer and option. Maybe they looked and saw that because Dad had such bad reactions to hip replacements and such he would have rejected the liver. Your Dad had a number of health issues. He may not have made it thru a transplant and the drugs needed.

Please, don't feel guilty. You did what you could for Dad. His life may have been one illness after another. One infection after another. The doctor should have never said what she/he did. It was a mute point.
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I don't know what would cause it, but I am pretty sure that someone who needs both hips replaced at forty has serious underlying health issues which in your father's case seem to be reaching their conclusion. Put all thoughts of missed opportunities with the liver transplant out of your head: pushing for it could have meant only false hope and prolonged suffering for your father, and - taking the wider view - a lost chance for a better candidate. Accepting your father's doctors' decision was the right choice, totally independent of and separate from your feelings about your own situation in your relationship with him.

This is one suggestion: you could treat the support you're giving him as a work project, limited in time but of unknown duration. Do yourself a schedule: allocate portions of your days/weeks to "work" to be done on his behalf. Outside those hours, make yourself unavailable except as emergency contact for his health care team.

His criticisms are unrelated to anything you're doing. They won't change whether you run away altogether or run yourself into the ground. He has reasons to be unreasonable, ungrateful, demanding, clinging - he's ill, he's dying, he may be in pain or afraid - but they are totally unconnected with your alleged "shortcomings." Therefore, since no sacrifice you can make is going to affect the source of his unhappiness and dissatisfaction, you should feel free to protect yourself.

If you can do something to cushion yourself from his attacks, you may even find that, although you still want his suffering to end, you will stop accusing yourself of wishing him dead.
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cwillie Jan 31, 2020
The OP has updated that his father has died CM, and he is unfortunately feeling guilt and remorse.
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Thank you, CW -

Brlbrl, I'm so sorry that I responded to your original post without seeing your update. What I said about the liver transplant, though, remains true. Your father was not a candidate for a liver transplant not because he was older (he wasn't more than borderline aged) but because of his longstanding ill health. Simply, even were livers freely available, such a procedure would have put him through hell with almost no prospect of success. His doctors will have gone through an assessment protocol. If they didn't go into details it was probably because they didn't want to depress you to no purpose or explore options they knew would be futile.

After all that you have been through at your father's side you are going to feel dreadful, but please don't let it be about fearing you didn't do enough. I wish you comfort.
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I am sorry for your loss.

May God grant you grieving mercies and wisdom during this difficult time.

HE is truly the only one that could have healed your dads body, his suffering is now over, please do not pick up the suffering and own it for your own. Shame and guilt will destroy you. That is not what your dad would want.

Live a life well lived to honor him. That is the best thing that you can do.
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Sorry for your loss OP but your father is in no more pain now. He doesn't seem to have had a good quality of life for a long time. The doctors would have assessed his possible quality of life with a new liver and may have decided that a new liver would not have added enough to the quality of his life to justify the rigours of surgery. You clearly did more than your best for a father who has been very ill for a long time.

Take some time for yourself now. Bereavement counselling might help you if it is available in Germany.
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Sorry for your loss but continually beating yourself up over something you’ve no control over is not healthy. But you seem bent on doing that. Please get grief counseling.
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You are NOT a bad person. It sounds to me like you did everything reasonably possible under the difficult circumstances and were a good caregiver. I cared for my mother and it was rough, the last 19 months the hardest. I still beat myself up over should have done this or that, when I know in the end it would not have made a difference and people told me I did so much. The guilt sometimes creeps in and I have to tell myself I did all I could. I am sorry for your loss, but know you did what you could given the difficult circumstances. I wish for you much strength and never believe you are a bad person for all you did!
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Reply to Katie22
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You are doing a great job managing all of this chaos! You did not create this for your dad. You are being dealt with some serious, ongoing difficulties that would cause anyone to want this over! It’s very traumatic to watch this happen to a parent. Plus you are trying to manage your own life being young. Please know, your feelings of burnout, guilt, and sadness are so very normal. You did what you needed to do. You took your dad to doctors and you were there during all of his health issues. Follow the doctor’s advice. You have no control over a donated liver transplant. Your dad may not be a good candidate based on his health not because you did not beg or research. There is a system to receiving donated organs that is out of your hands. You are a good son for even writing here and asking for advice. Some children of sick parents do not even bat an eye and would not think of putting as much thought and care as you are to your dad. God Bless You!
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Reply to Survive101
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I have been there and I'm sorry you have to go through this. I know of both exhaustion and guilt. My advice will bre harsh but you need to remember this: your dad is dying. His demeanor is probably due to him being scared also and turning to familiarity is safer than thinking about what is coming. Also, now is the time to say what you want your dad to hear from you. Tell him that you want your last days with him to be filled with comforting thoughts. Tell the other family to come find out for themselves what's going on. My family was also so formal and polite but i decided i wasn't going to regret not saying what i needed to say and you will be surprised that you will think the end came too soon.

We have to go through this, but you will not regret being there after he has gone. Be kind to yourself and your dad.

Edit: I am truly sorry for your loss. I hope you shared a moment with your dad before he passed. There is no need for guilt. Remember, people who don't communicate or understand their emotions turn to anger, they are emotionally handicapped in a way so don't take it personally.

Take care of yourself.
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Reply to Onlychildorphan
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Guilt assumes that you did something wrong. Seems you have gone above and beyond the call of duty. You did not cause your father's health problems. You have been caring for him (a full time job) as well as working (a full time job).

You need more rest and a more realistic, workable plan. Take some time to consider what would be the "ideal" life - caring for dad, working full time, and having time to care for yourself. Then consider what would the "worst case scenario" life - dad with worsening health and increasing irrational demands (liver failure causes confusion and irritability) and working full time... but include time to rest and have time nurturing yourself. You'll find that your life can be enjoyable with a little more balance in the direction of self-care - even with your dad's issues.
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Reply to Taarna
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Do NOT feel ashamed. After a certain age, some organ replacements are not viable. I would have given my father a kidney but was told that at his age, a kidney transplant was not a viable option.

You are NOT a bad person. You are stressed beyond belief and burned-out.
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Reply to RayLinStephens
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My condolences for your fathers passing. My respect for your sacrifices that you made with your own self and life before he passed. You are an exceptional person and a very loving son. You accepted a role that was one of the most challenging, isolated and misunderstood (by those who haven’t been there done that) that you will ever have and you did so with competence and compassion without having any previous experience or exposure being a caregiver. A bad person? On the contrary, my friend. You are a VERY good person. Caregiving is difficult, especially when caring for a family member. The feelings of burnout and wanting it to be over do not make you a bad person; those are very normal, common thoughts and feelings of those who have been there. Try to avoid second guessing yourself or wondering what if regarding decisions you made; instead, take the time to grieve, maybe get some counseling and to give yourself due credit for surviving and keeping your sanity after your daunting role as the caregiver. You will find lots of unbiased support and luv here from some of the most awesome people you’ll never meet. Take care.
susan
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Reply to OUHyperop
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Do not feel guilty about not pushing harder for a liver transplant or any other complicated interventions. When bodies wear out, they wear out; over-treatment is difficult and expensive and ultimately ineffective. Your father's doctors are on the right track in not offering a transplant or another hip replacement. Set limits on how often you are available to visit or bring him things. You father is no doubt angry and depressed about being I'll and incapacitated, but to are not a magician who can everything he wishes could be fixed.
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Reply to RedVanAnnie
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The doctors have to make the decision about him being a candidate for liver replacement, not you. His overall health determines what they can do for him. You've done what you can all these years even though you are second guessing yourself on if you could have done more.

Ask yourself if you really could do anything at all to make him happier and I think you will find that what you've done already is the best you could do. You might want to talk this over with a counselor so that you can accept all people are not created equal. Some glide through life with no health issues and others don't. I'm sure this is not how your dad thought his life would turn out, but it did. You happen to be the only person he can share his own anger/unhappiness with.

You are a good son. You were there when he needed you.
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Reply to my2cents
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Exhausted -- criticised -- increasingly unreasonable and unthoughtful demands -- given me a guilt trip -- I'm working full time stress and I'm ill.

These are all words from your post. They all add up to "no guilt." It's easy for me to say you have nothing to feel guilty about, but it's easier said than done. All you can do is constantly remind yourself of the words above -- your words -- and tell yourself over and over that "unreasonable" is UNREASONABLE. There's only so much we each can do. And many things are out of our control. You've done the things you COULD control and that's all that we can expect of ourselves.

Don't EVEN think you're the only person to think about wanting it to be over. There are many others in these situations who feel the same. That's not an entirely selfish thought. He is in a place where he's being cared for and you need to reduce your efforts to what you can do without ruining your own life. His needs are being met. Take care of yourself. Leave the guilt behind. Best of luck.
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Reply to SisterSue1949
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