Should I feel guilty?

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My mother became, what appeared to be, suddenly very ill. She was completely independent, self employed, etc.... Then we noticed she wasn't acting right. Got her to the hospital and she was critically hypertensive, going into renal failure and within four days was on a ventilator in respiratory failure. That was last November. Now on her third hospital stay since January 14th and third hospital, Johns Hopkins, no one knows "exactly" what her diagnosis is and she's now on dialysis, suffered a severe delirium of which she's still confused. We ride the roller coaster of good days and bad days where it seems like she's improving only to get worse and so much time has been spent looking for rare diseases and cancer that she doesn't have. She has diastolic dysfunction, extensive arterial stenosis, had an aortic bypass several years ago, pleural effusions and now her kidneys don't work. I had to quit my job and take over her business to take care of her, my kids and myself. It's a boarding kennel so I'm taking care of live animals daily. I have been to the hospital almost every day, sometimes twice, since this all started and I'm burning out. She gives me guilt trips when I say I can't come see her because my kids need me or I've got a job to do taking care of 18 dogs. Am I wrong for not going every day? It takes 4-5 hours out of my day to go see her. I feel like I'm losing my mind. I just want to crawl into a hole and cry lately. When the delirium kicks in she gets mean. I'm an only child so the full burden falls on me. I can't take the guilty feelings. I feel like I'm not enough to handle everything and fear I'll lose my sanity if I keep going like this. She wants to come home but the two times she did she drove me nuts, was noncompliant with her meds, diet and oxygen and ended up right back in the hospital. The doctors act like it's no big deal for her to go home in her condition. Um, it's a huge deal! She can't even walk anymore right now. I don't know what to do or how to feel anymore. Sorry for the long post.

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Thank you all. My children are teenagers and they do help but they're getting burned out too. It's not fair to dump too much on a 13 & 14yo. As for her wanting someone there, that's why I feel guilty. A couple of people have gone to see her but that happens few and far between. I get, 'Hang in there ', 'Pray for broader shoulders ', You're a get Daughter ', etc..... But, that doesn't help. I'm sorry, but I pray relentlessly, I'm not giving up on her, I just can't keep this pace but but when I try to slow down I'm overwhelmed with guilt and anxiety. Money is too tight to hire help and I'm up to my eyeballs in her medical bills. My Mom is 65, to answer that question. Took forever to get Medicare because she is the great procrastinator. I had to jump through hoops for that. Two weeks of bills that came before Part B kicked in. It's a mess.
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You should NOT feel guilty. Geewiz gave you advice that is absolutely correct. A good rehab facility will offer her therapy, care, and safety (from the delirium issue). You need to take care of yourself and your family - that is were your duty lies now. Find a close facility, visit often, and know that you are doing what is best for all concerned. I know that is easier said than done, but I have been in your position with both my mother and my husband (he is still at home, but I am completely burned out). I am looking into placing him. He is 59 years old, young for SNF or assisted living, but it's been 7 years of care for him, (massive stroke) and was 8 years before that with my mother (dementia) in our home. It is a horrendously difficult decision, I know, but from what you said it looks like the situation leaves no other sensible choice. NO GUILT. God Bless You.
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Before her next discharge, sit down with the discharge planning folks and tell them, firmly, that she can't come home without full time care. Explain her non-compliance with meds, exercise, etc. Ask for a specific diagnosis. Ask if there is a clinical trial that she qualifies for. Explain that you have children to care for, that you cannot care for a non-compliant elder. Stand your ground. she's goes to rehab and maybe she stays there. Figure out how often you can go to hospital. Every three days maybe? Does she have friends who could visit? Is there a chaplain at the hospital who could visit her? Ask for a psychiatric consult. In my mom's case, each time, the psychiatrist was the one who saw the BIG PICTURE and gave us the best advice, aside from the discharge folks.
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WOW, talk about having a full plate. You don't mention how old your mom or kids are or how far away you live from the hospital. Can you make your visits to her shorter? Arrive 30 minutes before lunch and leave when the meal comes. Don't say in advance that you won't be there to visit, anyone in the hospital with all of these issues would want someone with them. (Better to ask forgiveness than permission). Can you hire a helper for the short term to help with the kennel? It will be worth every penny to save your sanity Are your children old enough to help in some way? Doing their own laundry, making their own lunch ANYTHING to save you some time. If finances are available, throw money at the problem. Cleaning help, drop off laundry service, companions for Mom, etc. If she is on Medicare, she should qualify for rehab. Regardless of what she says, send her to rehab. Choose a good one that is physically near to you. The therapy will keep her busy for a few hours each day. She may actually need to live in a facility if the physicians can't come up with a treatment plan that works for her --- including the delirium. BTW is she getting sufficient fluid intake in the facility. Often they leave the pitcher but no one pours or offers it, dehydration causes delirium. Good luck
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