My 82 year old mother had a hemorrhagic stroke last week. My mother is a fiercely independent woman who until the stroke, was driving, still working one day a week as a consultant, volunteering, and living her life with grace and purpose.
Right now she is confused, highly verbal but slightly out of it, eyes stay closed but she is talking a lot. (undoubtedly from the stroke but also the meds they keep experimenting with to manage her agitation). She has slight hallucination moments, but also very lucid moments. In the lucid moments she is screaming bloody murder - about how she wants none of this. When they had to catheter her, she cried and screamed for me to help her, help her. She said this is not the life she wants to live.
I keep trying to explain to her that we're trying to help her, trying to get her into rehab so she can regain her independence. She said she just wants to die. She had the nurse call me at midnight and my mother literally begged me to take her home - they are hurting her and violating her very being. She is pulling at her tubes and they are trying to not restrain her - it's my idea of hell.
It doesn't matter that I know this is temporary and necessary. HER truth is that this is torture and she is not wanting any of it. My father and my brother and I all know that this is the very last way she would want to live. There's no solution to this, except time and trying to get her to embrace rehab, but I am not coping with this well.
I guess my problem is that I'm home right now, sitting in my lovely home, in my comfortable chair, and I don't know how to exist here without feeling sick to my stomach knowing my mother is alone, miserable, in pain, confused, scared, feeling abandoned and tortured - that is her truth - and I'm just sitting here in my house. I can't balance that and it's driving me mad. I spent 12 hours there yesterday until they kicked me out. It's a soul crushing experience trying to soothe her and watch her scream with each and every little procedure they do. Yet, going home is worse, my mind wanders and I just can't explain how lost I feel. It's worse than guilt, every second I am imagining her screaming and crying and feeling desperate.
Does this get better? How? If my mom is wishing for death/peace for years to come, do you just become numb to that?
I feel like I can't breathe my heart hurts so much being here and she's there. And I'm not feeling this way because my mother and I are super close, but because I feel so responsible for her, she's my mother! and in every way I feel like I'm failing her wishes, failing to protect her, failing come to her aid as she literally begs me for help.
I'm the person among my family and friends that people turn to for help with they're in trouble - but right now, I can't even help my own mother and I just feel lost.