I'm so glad to read other's comments as it's helping me to piece together a timeline for my 92yo mom. Although she lives with me, she was completely self-sufficient in Jun/Jul (meals, dishes, laundry, feeding the cats, meds), including still driving. Then she got a terrible case of bronchitis and was flat on her back for 3-4 weeks. Once she got over it she seemed back to her normal self, just a little fatigued. My son & I went to the East coast for 9 days in Aug, and her text messages started getting unreadable, and strange. She would text me at 1130pm her time to say she just woke up & took her blood & shot her belly (diabetic) and was having breakfast! So I would immediately call her to try to straighten her out. Once we got home it turned out she had stopped taking her meds (one was Namenda for dementia-but she had actually asked her Dr for it back in May because she was becoming forgetful). But the telltale sign of worse times to come were her severely swollen legs.
In Sep on the way to a Dr appt, she fell getting into the car and broke her ankle (hairline fracture). It was so difficult for her to walk so the Dr. ordered her a walker. But because of her swollen legs she also got a referral to a cardiologist who diagnosed AFib & Aortic Stenosis. In Oct. after an angiogram to prepare for heart surgery she had difficulty keeping up her O2 level in recovery, so home & portable O2 were ordered. Even with all of these physical setbacks she was still climbing the stairs to go to bed every night.
Now, after heart valve replacement (TAVR) Nov. 14 & a new pacemaker Nov. 16, she is not the same person she was before this all started. Climbing stairs is out of the question, so she sleeps in her recliner downstairs. But I have to sleep there too because she constantly removes her O2 & arm sling (to keep her arm at her side due to the pacemaker) & tries to rip off the bandages over her pacemaker. She can't do anything for herself, including bathing, dressing & going to the bathroom. She sometimes refuses to eat & can say such mean things. For example, after my telling her for the hundredth time to put her O2 back on she said she wanted to slap my face to make me shut up. Several times she has taken all of her clothes off & a couple of times when she goes to the bathroom & takes her pants & diaper off, when she puts them back on she puts her diaper on top of the pants.
Because she has said to her PT & Dr a couple of times that she wants a gun or pills to end everything, she was just prescribed an anti-depressant.
My mom has been my best friend since high school. We used to talk about so many things & loved watching the History & Travel channels together. Now our conversations are about her oxygen, food, meds, bathroom activities, and the date & time.
I'm learning that there are stages of grief when "losing" a healthy parent. I started out in denial, refusing to accept that any of this was happening. That quickly turned to frustration, which quickly turned to anger & I found myself screaming at her constantly. The anger turned to (I'm embaressed to say) hostility & I would slap her hands and once her face when she took off her O2 or ripped off her pacemaker bandages.
I was so ready to scream at her Dr.'s that I didn't sign up for this! I don't want to bathe, dress & feed her. I don't want to take her blood & give her insulin shots. I don't want to follow her to the bathroom 12 times a day only to have to change her diaper. I want to sleep in my own bed, get my nails done, take a shower (I don't want to say how long it's been), go out to eat, watch a movie, do something fun. But someone posted online that our mothers didn't get paid to take care of us when we were babies. And I think a switch was flipped in me to realize that she didn't ask for this to happen to her. She doesn't want to be a burden. She tells me she's sorry every day. She says she's trying to do the right thing. This is just as difficult for her as it is for me. So, now I think I'm at the acceptance stage of grief, but it's also accompanied by sorrow & I find myself crying at the drop of a hat because I miss my best friend-even though she's sitting right next to me, while at the same time trying to plan for her future, which will most likely be in a nursing home much sooner than I had ever expected.
So, while I'm ready to give up all of the stress & frustration of the past (very short) months, in a way I'm not, because it means I'm giving up precious time that I can never get back. I don't know what the next step is or how to get there.