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Time is not healing loss of my best friend, my mum

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Comment by Mark Manning on August 21, 2012 at 8:29am
Comment by s l watson on August 21, 2012 at 8:00am

Sandra, thanks for the kind words.  My name, by the way, is Sara.  I tell myself all the things you have mentioned but in low moments, I question the justification for our actions.  I always thought I would get up one morning and go to her bedside to find she had quietly passed during the night.  But she was a headstrong, determined, independent woman so I guess I should have expected her passing to be drama filled with her kicking and resisting to the last breath.  She did so in her own way.  She had been in a nursing home but we were running out of money and when my employer offered me an early retirement, it seemed the heavens parted and light shown on me opened my eyes to the possibility that I could care for her better than the home.  I never had children and had never changed a diaper until I changed it on my mother.  When she came, she had a bedsore the size of a quarter on her tailbone.  With the help of a magnificant travelling geratric doctor, a home health nurse, and in home help from a local agency, the sore was healed in a couple of months.  She could do nothing for herself....I bathed, dressed, and fed her.  As you can see in the photo, I would let her sit on the deck in the sunshine while I gardened.  She didn't say much and much of what she said made no sense but I felt she enjoyed being outside and see the garden process going on because she herself was a terrific gardener.  As with many mother/daughter relationships we had a strained communication in our early years.  I was born late and she and I both came of age....her in menopause and me in puberty....simultaneously.  It was drama filled for a long time.  But at the end, I whispered in her ear that i know I wasn't always the daughter she hoped to have and I was deeply sorry for that, and she wasn't always the loving mother I wanted but I forgive her and am grateful for the good moments.  That is my one redeeming light in this nightmare.  I finally shared my deepest regrets and hurts so at least we parted with complete understanding.  At least on my part.

Comment by Sandra E. Byrd on August 20, 2012 at 8:56pm
To s l Watson,wish I knew your name but I feel like we share a lot in common regarding our moms. If you honored your mom by not artificially feeding her you did not bring her death on any earlier than God ordained. None of us live one breath longer than he allows. I am Christian and fully believe that entrance to Heaven is determined only by asking Jesus to forgive our sins which He promises to do. You can trust him to let you in if you do this. Watching my mom during her last week was so sad especially watching my dad say goodbye to his girl of 60 years. He could hardly believe it was really happening after seeing her decline for so long.He has Alzheimer's and is 86. I had help from aides in their home and hospice at the very end so I could give her morphine and Ativan but she hardly needed it. You spoke of needing to turn and change her. We had to do this as well as feed and bathe her for 3 years.I have Muscular Dystrophy but the Lord gave me the strength to do what was needed as long as she needed me. You and I went through uncharted waters but we loved our moms and did our best for them.Forgive yourself as I'm sure she would want you to. Keep writing .we probably have a lot to share.
Comment by s l watson on August 19, 2012 at 9:55am

Sandra, it was the living will that haunts me most.  Mama aspirated one morning when I gave her a juice box before breakfast.  The sound of the wet cough and wheezing was unbearable.  When the hospital gave her a swallow test, they found she was completely unable to swallow and since she was adamant about never being on a feeding tube, exercising the living will was our option.  She was sent home and I sat by her bedside under hospice care giving her drugs every three hours and waiting for her to dehydrate to death.  It was unimaginable torture.  The entire process took ten days and I still lay awake at night wrestling with those decisions.  I feel that someday I'll be standing at the gates of heaven denied entrance because I engineered my Mother's death. I'm told by everyone that she was 95....and she had a happy and fulfilled life.  Yet, I can't help but think of the many times she would say to me from her demented mind that she doesn't want to die.  I always told her that I can't stop her death but I would tell her that I was certain that that particular day was not her death day.  I guess when we get to death's door, we all fight to stay with the living.  AFter all, that is known and the other side is the complete unknown.  She was just so completely dependent on me and I feel I let her down.  She couldn't even turn over in bed.  I set my clock and was up every three hours during the night so I could turn her.  Many times when I got up to do that task, i found her and the bed wet, so the turn operation also turned into new sheets and new night clothes.  The six months I spent caring for her in my home put me in a position to be the sole responsible person for her care and i failed.  These are the demons I fight every day....even now, two years past. 

Comment by Sandra E. Byrd on August 19, 2012 at 9:31am
Thank you s l Watson,I really needed to hear fom someone who has "been there"..LBD is a nightmare disease that turned my mom into a completely unpredictable woman literally within hours.Anywhere fom manic to comatose having burned herself out from agitation. She was a proud independent detailed organizer so even in dementia she persisted in trying to run things and made lists of what she wanted me to buy.So frustrated! Death was such a welcome release for her and others who loved her. Her Living Will made end of life decisions clear and mynursing knowledge helped give me the reassurance I needed when she stopped drinking and responding.1 week later she died in her own bed easily during the night.Thank you for caring.
Comment by s l watson on August 18, 2012 at 10:13pm

Sandra, I'm so sorry you lost your Mom.  My Mom was 95 when she passed away in December of 2010.  She had been diagnosed with Parkinson's but the more i read and research, the more inclined I am to say her problem was lewy body.  Or maybe she suffered from both.  It was just so heartbreaking to see the strong, independent woman she always was become weak, broken and unaware that I was even her daughter and caregiver.  They leave such a void that can only be filled with remembered joy.

Comment by Sandra E. Byrd on August 18, 2012 at 7:52pm
It's been 1 year today without my mom.She was 81 and had 3 years living with Lewy Body.Dementia as well as a lifetime of Muscular Dystrophy which really stopped her completely in the last 3 yrs. I prefer to remember her as a wonderful cook,hostess,pianist,organist,seamstress and grandma ,gardener and animal lover. I felt helpless to stop her illness but thanks to her encouragement I became a RN many yrs ago so I was prepared to care for her at home for 3 yrs. I will be forever grateful for her guidance and look forward to joining her in heaven someday.I miss you mom.
Comment by Colleen Pasay on August 16, 2012 at 7:41am

1 Year ago today Dad. Missing your wisdom, your talks and most of all your hugs. I still find myself reaching for the phone to share a funny story with you..........Love you Dad xoxo

Comment by Karen Blanks on August 2, 2012 at 12:29pm

Andrea my heart and prayers goes out to u..... I know I could not be strong like my Mom. Not one time did she throw herself a pity party, my sis and bro did it for her. Saturday while we are celebrating her Birthday we will be raising money for Lung Cancer.

Comment by andrea aguirre on August 2, 2012 at 12:19pm

my heart goes out to all of you!!!I know the pain so well, it has been 2 years  and 8 1/2 months since my mom passed away  ... She was 78 and also died of  lung cancer ,,My Mom was also a extremely strong woman, I could only wish to be half as strong as she was ....  I miss her so much  and hate the void  her absenece  has caused ...

 

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