I am my mom's only caregiver while she is on hospice. My mom is 75, and I'm 35. I am her only child. My whole entire life my mom has been my only family. Up until this point I was use to having it always be just us. When she retired 8 years ago, I moved away from my mom and became a flight attendant. I would call my mom 3-6 times a day no matter where in the world i was. I even visited her 1-2 times a month.
Six months ago, my mom was diagnosed with stage 3 kidney cancer, and the doctors believed there was nothing else that could be done for her, given her other health conditions. My mom had a heart valve replacement, she has COPD, she just wasn't in the best of shape, and we both agreed. The hospital staff after diagnosing her discharged her to a nursing facility for "rehab". They said she could no longer live alone. This gave me the opportunity to figure out what I was going to do, and to get a few things in order. Within a month of my mom being at the nursing facility, she developed a pressure sore on her lower back. The nursing facility decided it would be best if they treat her, until she could be released home. I was okay with this, since her insurence covered her stay. Otherwise, the nursing facility was almost $10,000 a month, and that just didn't make sense to me. I
I would visit my mom, called her all the time, just like she was at home. However as each week went by, I noticed she was losing more and more of herself. She no longer got dressed, she stopped eating meat, then solid foods all together. She stopped going to physical therapy, and one day she stopped getting out of bed. The most heart breaking thing was she eventually stopped answering her phone when I would call her.
The staff and doctors immediately said her Cancer must be spreading, this is "the process", and that she should go home to be on hospice. My original plan was to move my mom in with me, but her doctor convinced me of a thing he called "travel trauma". He felt the 7 hour car ride to where I lived would be detrimental to my mom's health. My mom was loosing so much weight, and each day becoming weaker and weaker. I even thought about her staying at the nursing facility, but I realized that wasn't what either one of us wanted. My fear became that she would die at the nursing facility. I took a leave of absence from my job, and after 4 months of her being in a nursing facility, I took my mom to her house to be on hospice. I got her entire house ready for her.
I have been taking care of my mom for less than a month, and my emotions have been all over the place. Our relationship is not the same. I have no friends in my moms small town, I miss my job, my friends, and more than anything I am just depressed from watching my mom get closer to death. Nobody releases me, I am with my mom 24 hours a day in her house. Hospice has reached out to me with volunteers to watch my mom for a couple of hours a week while I do errands. I'm also watching my mom's 14 year old dog, and he cries at times over my mom. It's just the most heart breaking situation for me, and I never thought this is how it would be. Seeing my mom's beautiful face each morning is a gift. But as each day passes, I feel I'm losing it. I get upset with my mom, then at me for being selfish. My mom is bed bound, barely talks to me, she bleeds from the cancer, she mumbles things, keeps her eyes shut the majority of the day, only drinks liquids. I'm just emotionally exhausted. I can only imagine what my mom is going through.
Hospice keeps pushing morphine on my mom, and I refuse it. I asked my mom weeks ago if giving her liquid morphine for her pain would be okay with her. He exact words were "absolutely not". My mom is not as verbal now. I want to cherish this time with my mom.
It's just so hard, and frustrating. I've video tapped her, wrote her a couple of letters, I play music for her, I tell her I love her every day, I kiss her on her forehead and tell her how thankful I am that she is my mom.
How do you cherish your loved ones, when time is not on your side? I Thank you for reading my story.