A Visit with Mom

I haven’t talked about Mom in a while. It is just such a depressing topic for me that sometimes even talking about it makes  me down. How could it not, honestly. 

I saw Mom for the first time in a few weeks (major guilt bad daughter syndrome there) on Sunday and it was tough. She was chattering her teeth so loudly that I could hear it from 8 feet away. She has been sick with pneumonia so they have her inclined on the bed and they have been suctioning out fluid and phlegm via a patch in her neck. 

It was so hard to see. She is suffering. I pulled my chair to get as close to her as I could. I started to rub her hand, which calmed the chattering a bit. I tried to talk to her. Telling it was OK to let go. 

I had a conversation with Dad the other night about the letting go thing. He also told me that he had told her that it was OK to let go. She is so drugged that she doesn’t move much any more. It controls the uncontrollable muscle movements that being on the Abilify for so long gave her. (Damn those Abilify commercials with “Dementia patients taking Abilify……” gah!) 

She was diagnosed 12 years ago. It has been a long grinding road. This is the second time, since the feeding tube, that she has gotten pneumonia like symptoms and since she no longer goes to the hospital for that type of stuff, maybe that will be what finally finishes it.  She is suffering. She can’t talk. She doesn’t eat. She can’t sit up and even opening her eyes is hard. I just want her to be in a better place and finally to stop suffering. 

The guilt thing is tough. Between the guilt of putting the feeding tube in, which still plagues me and I know is wrong since given our options at the time, and that fact that I can only stay for 30 minutes at the most. It is just too depressing. If I miss a weekend, I feel it. It is overwhelming. If I don’t, am I a bad daughter?

Dementia is a horrible disease and to happen to someone as young as my Mother, breaks my heart. It has torn my family apart. 

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5 Responses to A Visit with Mom

  1. Pixie says:

    Oh Jen. It makes me cry every time I read about you and your Mum. I just want to say that I admire you so so much. I can't imagine what it must be like, and it is something which I absolutely dread. I hope that if the worst happens in my family, I have just some of the immense courage and strength that you show. Big hugs,xx P

  2. Angela says:

    Jen, I am so very sorry that you and your family are going through this. I can't imagine how difficult it is for you to see your mother this way and you are a very strong and brave woman. Prayers for you and your family.

  3. Sarah says:

    I cannot imagine how hard it is for you to see your Mum this way and I hope she doesn't suffer any more.I'm often thinking of you and your family.

  4. tymxgrl says:

    I just stumpled upon your blog. I've been through this with my Mom. It is heart wrenching. Please don't let guilt get the best of you. You do what you can, when you can. The last stages of dementia, I'm sure you can tell, she is already in a different place. Her body just doesn't want to let go. Be sure to take care of yourself and be there for your Dad. He's the one that needs you.Be strong.Hugs…

  5. Tina says:

    I am so sorry about your Mom. I know what it's like to watch a parent suffer (my father). It is so hard. Don't beat up yourself with guilt or for feeling overwhelmed. It's an overwhelming situation. You and your Mom and family will be in my prayers.

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