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My mom has acute heart failure, she's had 3 occurrences of cancer, rhuematoid arthritis, diabetes, blood pressure issues, and the list goes on. There have been a few trips to the hospital for her heart failure over the past year and she was admitted again two weeks ago for heart failure and hyponatremia (extremely low sodium). Her thinking has been affected this time, she is displaying dementia type of behavior. The dr said it's some kind of mania, it may pass or could be her new normal.


I have taken an unpaid leave from work to be there for her and have been at the hospital every day from early morning til night. She expects me to be there 24/7 and help with all nurse duties. (I'm not a nurse) I'm also staying at her place because I live 3 hrs away. When I'm not at the hospital, my mom phones me to tell me she needs help. It's like a stab to my heart. Mostly she's just confused but getting 2 am calls telling me she's dying and they've disconnected everything is awful. She was so sharp before and this hospital stay, whatever is happening has messed with her mind. I have no idea at this point if she will be leaving the hospital or not.


In between all of this I've had to go to the notary, her bank, deal with her taxes etc.


I'm taking two days to go home to my own place so I can basically cry, process everything and pull myself together so I can be strong for her. I am totally on my own, no spouse or shoulder to lean on. I'm so stressed and I feel guilty like I should be there but I just needed to breathe and be in my own home for two days. I feel like hiding in bed and pulling the covers over my head but I know I need to keep myself going. I guess I just need to vent and know that I'm not totally alone. Can anyone relate? Am I horrible human for needing some time?

You are not a horrible person for needing time, you are a human person. Yes, cry and take a few days for yourself. My mom too has been hospitalized periodically for very low sodium and various other things. She always is in a worse state mentally than when she went in, and takes a long time when home to get close to baseline. I know the calls. Witnessing their decline takes the very breath out of you. Yet we must go on. You are not alone with any of what you are going through. Post here as often as you want. Many here understand.
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Reply to GingerMay
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I know exactly how you feel. It has happened to me twice. Once with my father and the last time with my Luz. I feel so guilty that I had something else to do.
sometimes I will cry that i was not here to hold her hand and say good bye.
Nothing is going to change that.
I hope there is a support group in your area to help you. If not there is always all of us here. We understand and will do what we can to help you.
Believe me there is nothing that your are guilty of except loving her.
God bless you.
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Reply to OldSailor
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GingerMay May 1, 2019
Just wanted to say it's nice to see you here OldSailor. Hope you are doing well.
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I am so very sorry for your loss.

I have heard, like others, of many who have passed on when their loved one was out, just stepped out for 10 mins even.

If your thinking is still I wish I had been there - if that is hurting you, is it possible to re-write that? I am so glad your Mom called you & you were there to answer at that time. I see that phone call as such blessing.
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Reply to Beatty
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Take care of yourself. Give yourself plenty of breaks, special “treats,” and kindness. Don’t overestimate the help that you would get from a significant other. Many of us haven’t had support that we had hoped for.
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Reply to ACaringDaughter
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You did nothing wrong, please do not feel guilty. There was no way you could have known that this was going to happen.

It was her time to go and as sad as it is, be thankful that she did not suffer for a long time. It is a blessing to her and all that loved her that it was quick.

Remember the good times and the love, mourn her absence, but know that she was exactly where she was supposed to be and it all happened exactly like it was supposed to happen. I know it is hard right now, but there was a reason that you were not there as well. Be kind to yourself and know you did right by your mom.

May God give you grieving mercies during this difficult time.

Hugs, you were a blessing to her, don't forget that.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Dear Friend, I am so glad for you and for your mother that her end was so quick and any pain was controlled by experts. I think most people who feel responsible, find something to feel guilty about in their death – I wasn’t there, I went to sleep, I should have done xy&z earlier, etc etc etc. You did the best you could, and like everyone else you had no way to know how quick things would be. Treat the ‘guilt’ as just an inevitable part of your grief, and know that your mother is now safe. She loved you and would want you to be happy.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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Thanks for the replies. Mom passed away this morning very suddenly. It happened so fast I didn't make it there in time. Now I feel absolutely horrible for coming home for a day. She was doing better the past two days and stable. She suddenly took a turn for the worse this morning. :(

She called me at 130am this morning and said she was in a dark room and alone, no longer in the hospital. I said mom you are still in the hospital, do you want me to call the nurse? She said you can check but my body is not there. Her voice was crystal clear like it use to be.

I called the nurses station and they checked on her and were comforting her, they thought she had a bad dream. I called my mom back to tell her the nurse was going to help and she was confused and mumbling.

The dr said she was awake this morning and talking. She went downhill fast and was gone within 30 mins.
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NeedHelpWithMom Apr 28, 2019
So sorry for your loss. My mom was always with her mom because my grandma was so pleasant and kind. You had a difficult situation to deal with and most people would have felt just as you did. You needed a break, which is normal. Please don’t feel guilty.

My mom never went anywhere. She was more of a homebody but her friends wanted her to join them for lunch. She agreed and that is when grandma died. Mom felt terribly guilty for not being with grandma. I think grandma didn’t want mom to see her die. I have heard others say the same, their loved ones died while they were away.
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Often elderly in the hospital get confused because they are kept awake day and night. Doctors add and change medications. Pain killers can cause confusion. Routines are thrown off.

Look at medications she was on before the hospitalization (check with her primaty care provider or pharmacy). Compare this to what she’s taking now. Check for bad interactions between drugs, compare to Mom’s allergies, read side effects. Are there new meds that she doesn’t need? Over medication is common during hospitalizations.

Take care of yourself. Take frequent breaks. As long as you need. Treat yourself with kindness and patience.

Dont correct your Mom. That will harm her confidence. Praise her. Don’t pressure her. Hug her.

Know you you are not alone.
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Reply to ACaringDaughter
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You are obviously a very caring daughter and far from a horrible human. Do not do that to yourself. This stuff is hard really hard. Take time out to look after yourself as you are important too. I find a good cry actually makes me feel better in the long run and allow yourself to have one, get under the covers do what you need to do, then don't allow yourself to stay in that dark place and pick up and carry on.
That said take it from me I definitely hear how you are feeling, I find it a bit of a roller coaster of emotions at the moment, but more good days then bad. You take care of yourself and definitely take time for yourself. xx
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Reply to kemahe
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No, you are finding your balance and that is a good thing to do.

She is being cared for in the hospital and this is the perfect time to go get your feet under you.

This is a difficult time, but you are obviously a strong person with a good head on your shoulders, you can do this.

Enjoy your 2 days and do whatever you need to do for you. Hugs, I pray her delirium is better when her electrolytes are back in balance.
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