This morning was the breaking point for me. I've taken care of my mother now for over seven years, ever since she had heart surgery in 2009. There have been good times, yes. Times I shall cherish forever and ever. I wouldn't change a minute of times we've spent together. Including last saturday night in the ER of Marshfield Medical Center. All seven hours of it. It ended with me taking her home and being told by the Dr. on call that "your mother is in the final stages of this Congestive Heart Failure. There's nothing good at all about her situation. Nothing good at all" he stated again. Exept for the fact she has you as her daughter." I sat stunned... perhaps because this prognosis was coming from a Dr. that had not seen either one of us before but had taken time to read my mother's records. I suppose each Dr. visit, hospital stay, countless waits in waiting rooms, offices, phone calls, trips to pharmacies, grocery stores, trips back and forth to her house, endless days and nights taking care of her every need and care shone through on those records. Finally a Dr. in the system took the time to care about the caregiver. Cared enough to spend a few minutes at 1:00 am in the quiet hall of an Emergency Care Center to recognize how it was my mother had even made it this far in life with all she's been through.
A week has past since that long evening we spent in the ER. Hospice/ Home health care is helping us now. Sadly my mother's conditon is deteriorating rapidly. The past 4 days or so I've felt a kind of hopelessness and inadequacy about my role as nurse, medication dispenser, 24 hour a day presense required for her care. Not only that but I am totally physically and mentally wiped out. I woke up this morning and the tears started flowing. For the first time... I actually let tears flow. Trouble is now all day they have come in torrents off and on. The realization that this may be out of my hands and that mom may have to be moved to a facility has pulled the rug out from beneath me.
This huge change in life at the end of her life will rip my heart out. It has already been broken and I struggle now to keep some kind of strength about me to go through this.
Every one will say it's for the better. That may be so. The better for all who've not really been involved on an hourly, daily, yearly basis. Maybe there's not the same thought process from those who've decided to show up for visits this past weekend after seven years of mom living in her own home and needing visits desperately. I'm just saying. Time escapes us all. It has a way of turning precious moments into years. Caregivers can tell you that. Caregivers will tell you too that when the time eventually runs out for the one they've cared for... they will have NO regrets. That they would have done nothing different. "For the better" perhaps in the end for some. But the caregiver would keep on giving.... if it were physically, mentally and emotionally possible. I bet they would all tell you that. Cathy G