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My mother was recently put on Hospice. She has a collapsed lung, and a bad heart cause by a severe dowager's hump. She has been unable to walk for a year. She lives in a nursing home. I go visit her almost daily. She pleads for me to stay when I leave. I'm pretty burned out. But I'm the only family she has left. I moved her to be near me when we moved several years ago. So she also doesn't have any friends in the area. Dementia has mellowed her but she was a horrible narscistic mother growing up. My husband has a business trip coming up and wants me to go with him, then we would continue on, on a vacation for a total of 11 days. I really don't want to go. I don't want to leave my mother alone while she goes through this. I don't want to get a phone call while I'm away and have to rush home. She does have good and bad days and my husband only sees her good days. I think she rallies around when she knows he's coming. But then again it's not like a cancer diagnosis where the end is somewhat more predictable. There have been so many times where I thought the end was near and she has recovered. I know patients can go on and off hospice. If you were me would you go on vacation? If not how can I convince my husband it's not the right time to go on vacation?

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Keep, most people seem to wait until they are alone to die, at least in my family. When my grandma was dying, my mom was there everyday. My dad took mom for a ride in the country to relieve her stress, and gma slipped away.

Guilt? If you cared for her in life, the fact that you weren't there for her at the moment of her death shouldn't matter very much. Death is between Mom and her Maker. At that point, we're the 5th wheel, unneeded and unheeded. At least, that has been my take on things.

The watchword in my family, passed from generation to generation is " we don't do deathbeds. We do for each other in life".

In my mind, deathbed watches are the stock in trade of the narcissist, an attempt to control with guilt until the end. All that control? It's an illusion.
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Your mother is in a nursing home getting professional care. Why are you there every day?

There should be activities to go to and other people, both staff and patients to chat with. You should not be the only focus of her existence.

Do you want there to be a relationship with your husband after mom is gone? Then you need to honor your commitment to that relationship now. I have a sneaking suspicion that your husband asking you to accompany him is an attempt to break you free of your mother's narcissistic demands, often known as Fear, Obligation and Guilt.
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Keep, it's hard to judge this from a brief description of circumstances. Very good points made above. I will relate my experience however. I'm the sole caregiver for my failing parents who are still in the home and are 10 hours away. I've done all I can do for them. They refuse any in home help or moving to assisted living.

Each time the phone rings it could be yet another crisis, fall, trip to ER etc. I used to worry about traveling, that I wouldn't be available for an emergency. But I've decided I can't put my life on hold waiting for what may or may not happen. So I alert my contacts in the area, make sure everyone can reach me and call each day.

With my folks it could all crash today, tomorrow or next year. There's absolutely no way to predict. Your moms situation is probably much the same. She could go for a long time, even "graduate" from hospice, or fail very quickly. I would take the trip. Don't feel guilty. What happens will happen whether you are there or not.
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I care for both my parents living in their own home with the help
of my sister and a CNA.

When my son graduated college last year,
I had to travel to attend his graduation out of state and help
him resettle at his new job.

I was very nervous to go and made endless lists and
preparations. Then I went.

It was heavenly!! I felt a lightness I haven't felt in years and
I came back refreshed. Anticipating the trip is the hard part. Once you go,
it's pure joy. I encourage you to go.
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Another point is that your mom can die "alone" even when you're ten minutes away. That happened with me and my dad. I live 1.5 miles from the facility where he and my mom are. He was in skilled nursing with lung cancer under hospice care. They called me and told me they had just started oxygen and I asked if I should come. They said, "No, he's fine, we just wanted to let you know." I was planning to see him the next day (my mom had seen him that afternoon). They called me 90 minutes later and told me I should come. I got there, literally 10 minutes later and he was gone. And was probably gone when they called me. These things aren't predictable. You do the best you can and I took VERY good care of my dad. At first I felt guilty that I wasn't there when he died, but we all essentially make that final trip alone, whether people are there at the time or not.

So I'm another strong vote in the "go on the trip" column. Your husband is your first priority, no question. Your mom comes second, whether she wants that to be the case or not. And I wouldn't even call her while you are gone. Let the nursing home folks have your contact info and tell them they're only to call you if there's an emergency. Otherwise, you need to take a total break from your mom. You deserve it!
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You have received excellent advice. Go on the trip and enjoy yourself. If you have not mentioned it yet don't tell her till you are about to leave. She is not going to be pleased but don't give her a chance to pull any tricks. Mom will be as mad as wet chicken when you get back but so be it, she will get over it. Make sure you can be contacted but don't call all the time. By all means give her an itinaery and that should include times you will call her and it does not have to be every day. "Well Mom we will be at "X...." on Wednesday and that is a quiet retreat and we are asked not to use cell phones. Thursday we will be on the water fishing and cell service does not reach that far" You get the idea. Unless she has dementia she will figure out you won't be calling till late Friday. The other alternative is to not go and widen the gap with hubby and be guilty and miserable for the whole time he is gone. Just because she is on hospice does not mean she is about to die all it means is that she could within 6 months and you don't want to put her through any more investigations and treatments when they cause more distress than help and treatment would be useless or may even make her worse. That is why it is called "Comfort care" Now go any buy yourself some nice new clothes for the trip and don't forget a sexy nightgown!
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I've learned from past experiences not to tell her I'm going until the last minute. Her therapist told me to do that.

Wish reservations were refundable these days. That would make it easier to commit. But it sounds like everyone thinks I should go.

Thanks all.
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Keep, are you an only child? When my brother or I go on vacation ( if we are going oversees or just far away with bad cell service), we have the following conversation

" watcha gonna do if mom dies while I'm gone?". "Not call you and keep her on ice until you get back". In other words, we need our breaks. And we all know that at this point, nothing mom has is fixable. She's not on hospice, just comfort care, but we are firmly committed to no more ambulance rides and ERs. So there's really nothing more for us to do if "something" happens.
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Keep,

Honestly, my first thoughts were "Flip a coin" and "Clone yourself." But that's beyond insensitive. It's borderline heartless. But I'm really sorry for the civil war raging inside of you.

Your mother keeps bouncing back, your husband craves your company, and your body needs to regenerate. Go on the vacation. Together with the hospice staff, break the news to mom. Hopefully they'll keep her occupied while you're gone. Ask what kind of light social activities they have. Mom might not like it, but you need to have a life.

Worst case scenario might be your man starting to feel like a part-time husband and contemplating a long-term vacation from you. ... Go with him!!!
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Go on and go on the trip with your husband. I would not apologize to her for narcissistic people eat that up for it shows how much power they have over you. You wrote that she was a horrible narcissistic mom when you were growing up. She's not going to change because of all you are doing for her. However, your marriage could change if you don't focus on your husband and your marriage out of love more than being focused on mom out of fear, obligation and guilt. You're an adult who does not need to be afraid of mommy. You have your own life and are not obligated to obey her like a child. You have not done anything wrong that deserves guilt. If you feel that your mom is going to rule your life from the grave via guilt, then see a therapist and get free.
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