I feel helpless, guilty, and frankly just a mess. For those of you who have felt like this, have you found a way to get grounded?

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My mom has COPD, is on oxygen 24/7, can no longer drive and doesn't leave the house. We have related living and my husband and I live upstairs. I love my mom and have always been close to her. I feel so helpless that she is in that condition and feel sorry for her. She doesn't always make it easy to be around her, doesn't want to eat, doesn't want to go to the doctor, tells me that she just wants to die in her sleep. It makes me almost dread being around her but then I'm extremely worried that her health can and most likely will get seriously worse and I'm worried how I will handle it when she finally passes. I feel helpless, depressed, guilty, frankly just a mess. For those of you who have felt like this, have you found a way to get grounded?

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I read somewhere that there is what is called Anticipatory Grief. I feel it most of the time. Each morning I wait to hear her move or cough. I feel guilty that I want that feeling to stop. I use to be so close to my mom and now I can barely carry on a conversation. I don't know what to talk about since now mom is passive aggressive to me. She has a wonderful personality with everyone else and I wonder is it me not her.
I keep busy and make time for my myself after I have taken care of her physical needs, her legal affairs and cleaning of her room. I excuse myself from being sucked into "sitting" and saying the same things over and over. Even writing that makes me feel guilty, but I cannot stay able to care for her if I don't take care of me. You sound like a wonderful daughter. May God give you the strength for each day.
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You take one day at a time. After age 80, every day is a gift. Try not to get too far past that. Start planning goals for YOUR life, your future and even your retirement.
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you might want to consider a check up by your doctor to see if you have any physical issues and perhaps counseling - your mom is declining in life & yet you have life to live that should be enjoyed and planned for. It is ok to love yourself as well as your mom
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I feel your pain. I wish we had the answer but it's just not fair and we have to deal with it. My mother and I have never been close she has lived with me for 17 years. The first 12 were through her manipulating me and knowing my hot buttons. Since then I have not just been helping but 24/7 caregiver. She doesn't like to be touched, has never been affectionate etc. I share this because the guilt is extreme. My feelings of self worth are lower than ever. Had to retire from Real Estate so have less than $1000 month coming in. That doesn't touch my monthly bills.
Well I could go on but only hope this helps you to know you are not the only one putting your life on hold. Please watch your health. Eat heathy try to exercise and meditate. I know the pressure and it is all consuming. Hang in and keep in touch.
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My mom had different symptoms, but was miserable. I got involved with her medical doctor and we got her to see a psychiatrist. She also went on meds for anxiety/depression. It really helped her and she feels better now, gets out more and seems to have more energy.

I'd have your momm checked out to see if meds could help her mood. Maybe, she's depressed. If you need meds, it's difficult to just will yourself to be feel better. I'd do the same for yourself.
Maybe, you need more sleep. Sleep deprivation can cause you to feel down, unmotivated, sad, etc. Working with getting your body feeling better can often make your mental health better. And try getting more nutritious food in your body. Not dieting, but, focus on good stuff.

I'll also suggest some things that may sound silly, but, they always pick me up. Granted, I don't suffer with depression, but, if you are just down and blue, I found that getting things accomplished around the house made me feel better. Such as cleaning and organizing drawers and closets, getting my finances updated and making a budget so I know I'm on track, painting a small room or wall in the house to add color, picking out a new shower curtain and decor for the bathroom, planting an herb garden on the porch, starting an exercise program. These are things that helped pick me up and made me feel more grounded, enthused and excited about my life.

Could your mom join you in any of these things? I know that her COPD might limit her activity. If she sees you feeling better, maybe, she'll get motivated.
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My mom passed in November at the age of 95. She suffered from severe dementia. In addition, she had always been a "drama queen" and this was intensified by her mental issues. She was the master of one sentence "quick shots", leaving the recipient of her words to deal with what she'd said. That recipient was usually me. I came to understand that, as one who had always been "in charge" she was certainly bound to rebel against the turn her life had taken. She took it out on the only one she could, me. It wasn't easy, but I came to terms with this by being in constant contact with the staff at her nursing home. I worked "behind the scenes" for her. I explained to the staff that she had no chachkees from home in her room because she didn't want them, not because I didn't want to bring them to her. I ran defense for myself. As long as she was safe and well-cared for, I was able to take care of myself. There was never any question of whether I loved her or not. I had to make peace with myself, and I believe this is what you need to do as well. Good luck!
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I took care of Tom at home. With Parkinson's he was cooperative. But when dementia set in, he got argumentative, ran out of the house in shorts & T-shirt, dragging his catheter bag behind him. He's in a nursing home now. Most of the time he's sweet and so sad. I feel bad I can't often cheer him up. Sometimes we have a really good day and I'm thankful, but always apprehensive about future visits. Sometimes I come home and just let out a blood-curdling scream. It seems to help. I see him every day for at least 3 hours. I pack us a picnic. I have no life of my own any more. Partly because I'm handicapped too. With my severe arthritis, I can no longer walk. I have a motorized handicap scooter. I recommend my scream therapy.
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My father had COPD, it is sad watching. He mostly watched tv and nothing tasted good. The dr said don't make him eat. We did get a drug that helped his appetite. he was 134 lbs when we lost him. He passed about a year and a half after he got sick. I was so afraid he would have a painful scary death because he couldn't walk 2 feet without suffocating. It is weird, he told me when he was passing. Took the biggest breath he had taken in years and the peace that came over his face was unreal. I was blessed to know he had found a better place.
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Shar -- Pamstegma is right that after age 80, every day is a gift. As someone who will soon be 86, my perspective is that every day is a gift as long as I can continue some of the things that make me myself, like expressing myself in writing to my friends. If I develop dementia, or develop constant pain, I hope I will die in my sleep. When my husband was confined to bed in a nursing home he told me that if I couldn't take him home to live, he wanted to die. I refused, because I couldn't care for him at home again without destroying myself. He died in his sleep a week later.
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Shar7222, I am so sorry you are going through this. Been there. This post sounds like you are describing my mom: she didn't want to eat, go out, she wanted to die, slept all day. My mom was depressed and had the beginnings of dementia. My mom had a stroke 7 years ago and my spunky, take control mom was no longer there. She became more like a child. My sister and I were her caretakers after her stroke, taking one year intervals.. We lived in separate states with no other family around for support so it made it very difficult. What I am trying to say to you is please, please, please enjoy your mom in whatever form she is in: alive. My mom passed 10 months ago and my life has come to a halt. How I miss seeing her or just talking to her about anything even if she didn't understand half the time. I wish I could still hold her and hug her and tell her I love her. I know this is selfish on my end because she had no quality of life. The guilt of wishing I could have done more, said more, not lose my temper, be more patient..... This I will have to live with for the rest of my life. Things that used to be important are no longer important. You only have one mama, once she is gone, she is gone. I feel like an orphaned child at the age of 52. Oh, how I miss her. Please tell her you love her every day and spend all the time you can with her. This may sound difficult, as it did when we were in the eye of the storm. Believe me, the advice I'm giving you I also received. I don't think anyone ever thinks they did enough. I hope this helps. Sending lots of hugs your way.
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