Does anyone have any constructive advice for someone who has PTSD after witnessing her mom die in a Hospice in a hospital setting?
Putting my mom in Hospice was THE worst decision I have ever made. She suffered tremendously...screaming out in pain while unconscious (if that makes any sense). The staff said they have never heard such screams. I, her daughter, stayed with her day and night...pulling two hospital chairs together to lay in. I was scared to leave my mom's side because I kept having to get the staff to administer more medication due to my mom's incredible pain. If I weren't there...she would have suffered even more (if that were at all possible!)
My poor mother died a slow, agonizing death...for 14 long, excruciating days and nights. She passed on Christmas day. It was a nightmare I still re-live over and over again...each and every day and especially at night. I can't imagine the pain she was in and wonder if she weren't "unconscious" but just medicated enough to not be able to tell me what she needed.
I have tried counseling to no avail. I have tried supports groups. I have tried reading all about it and the possible remedies for same...but nothing is helping. I can't help but feel guilty for agreeing to put my mom in this horrific hospital hospice. If I had known what it was like, I NEVER would have agreed to same.
To make matters worse, when my mom passed, I witnessed the staff stuffing her in a grey body bag (which I can still smell!) and slapping a toe tag on her big left toe. For them it was just "routine"...but for me...it was a huge ordeal. I can't stop seeing those images over and over again in my mind.
My mom showed no sign(s) that she knew I was there. There were no tears or anything. When she passed, I was standing over her bed, holding her arm (her hands were so terribly swollen and painful), singing her favorite song to her, telling her it was okay to go as we would all be okay and she was going to a beautiful place with no pain. I stroked her head and moved her hair aside. I then kissed here cheek and I witnessed her take her last breath and then...to my surprise and shock...tears streamed down both cheeks. I pray that this was a sign that she knew I was there with her but people have told me it was "just natural reflexes". Does anyone know if this is true or has anyone experienced this? It haunts me each day to think that my mom thought she was alone, dying.
Any help or advice would be most appreciative.