My mom was in my last 18 mo with the last month seeing decline in her health. She slowly stopped eating, lost weight, slept a lot. We did comfort care only and then hospice for one eeek. Last month two days in a row she was unresponsive, dusky, skin clammy then she woke up and talked with us. Over last few weeks she did sleep a lot but would wake up and have a few short words with us. Once hospice got involved they upped the morphine and she was less restless but slept more. She had started on morphine because when we thought she was dying those couple times she was very agitated and restless and I didn’t want her to be agitated. I can’t let go of the nagging question if we hadn’t done drugs round the clock maybe I’d still have her? Over past year we’ve had many tough days, days where I cry all way home and actually wished for a peaceful death in her sleep, it’s eating me up now. Can’t sleep, feel like I’m having heart attack sometimes and have gone from can’t eat to can’t stop eating. They gave me Xanax but am afraid to NEED a drug to get thru the day. My husband is retiring today and next week my daughter is moving 1000 miles away after graduation from college! How much stress can one do?

OBnurse, I am sorry for the loss of your Mother.

I am guessing that you work in Obstetrics, which deals with the "bringing of life into the world". And now you have had to deal with the other end of the spectrum: "allowing life to leave the world". Based on the questions on your profile, you have had a very difficult 3+ years during which time you and your family lived with your Mother. Maybe you asked the questions about hospice and the use of morphine because you don't use that in Obstetrics very often.

Watching a loved one die is hard. Being a nurse and watching a loved one die is harder. Being a daughter of a Mother who is emotionally abusive and living with her for 3+ years is even harder. And now your life is changing even more: your Mother died, your husband is retiring, and your daughter is moving miles away from home (and you). That is more than enough to stress out anyone.

You have had to deal with SO MUCH the past few years with your Mother. You wrote 3 years ago: "I never do anything right, never do enough, run too much, work too much, etc. I am to the point that I really don't even like her. Then I feel overwhelming guilt. I'm not gonna change her, how do I deal with this."

I would like to advise that you talk to a counselor about your feelings towards your Mother and her death along with your feelings about all of the changes that you are experiencing. Does your employer offer an "Employee Counseling Service"? If you feel that you don't want to talk to your employer about finding counseling, then ask your co-workers or the Social Service Department of the hospital or clinic that you work at. They might be able to give you the names of some good counselors.

You stated, "They gave me Xanax but am afraid to NEED a drug to get thru the day." Honey, you DO NEED medication to help you get through the least for now. If you think that XANAX might be too strong for you, maybe you can ask your doctor for something not as powerful...such a KLONOPIN (clonazepam) which has been used for panic disorders or anxiety. I know a couple of professional healthcare workers who have used 'clonazepam' and said that this medication did not make them as drowsy as Xanax nor did it impair their ability to perform their jobs as healthcare workers.

You may find that going back to work will be cathartic and that your co-workers will be quite supportive of you and your grieving. You may find that when you assist with a delivery of a baby that you start crying. That is okay. You are thinking about your Mother and how she brought you into this world (and while she may not have been the best of Mothers), SHE WAS YOUR MOTHER and you love her and miss her. Let yourself cry at the joy of a new life along with the sorrow of losing a "old" life.

Remember that God loves you and that He cares deeply about you and when you are sad--He cries WITH you. You may find that as each day passes, TRUST takes the place of questioning, HOPE takes the place of despair, and PEACE takes the place of sorrow. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." Matthew 5:4
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Reply to DeeAnna

Obnurse, my condolences on your loss. I second Basketball. You can't second guess because really, you don't know if it would have made a difference. My mother was admitted to in-patient Hospice at was late-stage congestive heart failure. Being a very social person (and now surrounded by visitors), she rallied to the point that it seemed as if we'd be able to check her out of Hospice and into a rehab and later home. I had even checked out various rehab facilities But the truth was she was very sick. She had a breathing episode one night, lost consciousness and never woke up. Thanks to Hospice her last hours were peaceful. Dying is not a linear process. I would consider those last few episodes of lucidity a gift. Hugs to you.
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Reply to Weary418

OB, many, if not all of us who have lost a loved one, a human loved one or yes, even a beloved pet, have guilty feelings of what we could have or should have done. Even if we prepare ourselves for their passing, and as in the case of dementia, it’s the “long good-bye”, death is sudden. While they’re still alive we are sure we’ve got this handled but then, it’s over and we’re left casting about, trying to figure out how to feel. And, while we’re grieving, there are times we think we’re totally losing it. We ask ourselves, is this the way I should feel? Am I doing it “right”? Add to this the other life changes you’re going through right now and you find yourself wondering what the heck you ever did to deserve all this. I felt the same way when my son moved to North Carolina. My husband was in the hospital at that time and I said goodbye to my son over Hubby’s hospital bed, him hooked up to monitors and I.V.’s. And watched my baby walk out the door. The was the end of an era for me. My son and I were soulmates until that day.

But I survived. So will you. Give your thoughts to one thing at a time. Hubby’s retiring might be a good thing. If he’s like mine, he’ll be a giant pain, but you get used to it. Nice having someone to talk to besides the dog. Your daughter? Well, kids have a rotten habit of growing up. There’s Skype, FaceTime, texts and emails. My son is back in town, married and just gave me a new grandson in April. We both “grew up” while he was gone and that’s ok. It’s how it should be. Mourning for your mom is a process. As baskethill1 said,you did the best you could. Your mom would not be happy if she knew you were miserable over your decisions. Remember her as a loving mother and for the wonderful times you had with her.

Take care of yourself and let us know how you’re doing.
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Reply to Ahmijoy

Im sorry about the loss of your Mother . What you have to accept is YOU DID THE BEST YOU COULD. It really doesnt help to second guess yourself. Its a terrible stressful , painful time and you made the best decisions you could with the information you had. You loved her and she loved you . She knows you would do your best by her and you would never do anything knowingly to hurt her. SEcond guessing is pretty natural...but really harmful
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Reply to baskethill1

OB that is a lot of loss in a short period of time. Have you thought about therapy. My guess is you employer has an employee assistance plan and you could talk to someone today.
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Reply to gladimhere

We had a family member on hospice and some family members really resisted the round the clock morphine because they thought it would speed her death. The fact that we waited until she was obviously in distress to give her the morphine still gives me nightmares...eight months after she has gone. So, in my opinion, your mom was going to pass and you made her comfortable. The morphine made her comfortable. You did the right thing.
Sounds like you have a lot going on.  Think about getting some support for your grief.  I was demented- and I use that word on purpose- for two or three months after my loved one died.  Losing someone can be very jarring.   Talking to people who are going through what you are going through can be very helpful. 
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Reply to Marcia7321

Obnurse, sorry to ask this so bluntly but when exactly did your mother pass away?
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Reply to Countrymouse

Oh and I’m due to go back to work on mon, can’t even follow most of my thoughts not at work
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Reply to Obnurse62