My stupidity

Pearl53March 31, 2005

This past week I reached the point of total exhaustion. I went and had a talk with my brother explaining to him how tired I was and that I just couldn't do it any more. We made a decision after a rather unpleasant discussion to put Mother in a nursing home. I don't see any other way. I would give anything to keep her at home. That may be selfish on my part. I don't know. But the emotional roller coaster I am on right now is unbelievable. One minute I am thinking maybe I should do this and the next minute I am thinking maybe I should do that. I see I made a BIG, BIG, BIG mistake by never taking any breaks and getting any rest in the three years that I have been taking care of Mother. It made it too easy for my relatives and now they don't understand why I am as upset as I am. I pushed myself too hard.

Even after everybody in the world tells us to take care of ourselves, it is still up to us to do it. No one can do it for us. And I just haven't done it and now I am reaping what I have sown, health wise and in my relationship with relatives over this.

A lesson learned too late.


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No Pearl, you are not being selfish. You have given 150% of your life to your mother for the past three years. Don't beat on yourself. It is better that you came to this realization now, then never to have come to it at all. What would have happened if you had driven yourself into the ground trying to do it all? Your mother AND you would have suffered.

You will recover, mentally and physically. Just give yourself time and BE GOOD to yourself.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2005 at 10:56AM
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It's not too late, Pearl. You'll be busy with your Mother's transition and making her comfortable, but the important thing is that you really are doing this. I have never yet heard of anyone having a giant clock on the wall that tells us exactly what the proper "time" is. We all guess at it. We all wear ourselves out trying to put things off. It's normal.

I think that one of the key things you said was that you made it too easy for your relatives. Wow---there is a lesson to be learned from that.

Yesterday I had lunch with my 95 yr old Mother, and I asked her if she had heard from my 3 brothers at Easter, a call or a card. No, she said, I guess they think I'll live forever.

You are doing the right thing, and you'll have peace in your own heart knowing that you've done all you can. And it's never too late, Pearl.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2005 at 11:02AM
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You need to breathe.............. what you are feeling is normal, but you are making the right decision

You are not making a mistake. If something happens to you, your mom would have to go to a nursing home, and take what ever is available, at least this way, you have some time to find a good place. Don't let family/friends who haven't been involved in her care try to lay a guilt trip on you, either.

Nursing homes are mostly good places run by caring, compassionate staff. There are trade offs in moving her to a nursing home, of course. There are things you do that won't be done the same way, but there are plenty of things, such as social activities, medical and rehab attention, that you can't give her, that they can give her. And they can do it 24 hours a day, you can't. And they are not as emotionally invested in her, as you, rightly, are. That means your visits can be a pleasant experience for both of you.

My sisters and I went through this with our parents, it was wrenching, but it was a good decision, and worked out well for both of my parents, and my sisters and me. We offered to have my parents live with us, and my father, bless him, said no. We all visited every week, and made it a special visit, taking Mom or Dad out to lunch or for a drive, or home for a visit. The staff took such loving care of them, and we all cried when they died. The anguish at the start was replaced with confidence that we made the right decision.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2005 at 11:02AM
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You are doing the right thing. It's hard to take, but sometimes, people do better in a NH than they do at home. There's no way you can put a value on the good that they get by be around a lot of other people. Even if they don't like the surroundings, the interaction of others stimulates the mind and the mind stimulates the body. The person in a private home with few contacts becomes isolated.
Take care of yourself FIRST and then your relationship with your mother will be of benefit to both of you.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2005 at 12:15PM
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I faced my decision unexpectedly, dad lived alone, I checked on him 2-3 x a day, he seemed okay. When I realized he was not okay, the only choice was a nursing home. Luckily I found a good one, and PeaBee is right, he did much better there than being alone. He had constant care, and rehab, therapy, were all available.
I hope you find the perfect place, and do what is best for your mom and yourself.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2005 at 12:27AM
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Pearl...the emotional roller coaster finally takes it are so right that it is easy to say...take care of yourself...but the truth are the only one to do just that....just my personel that has not stepped up to the plate and given support and help...just don't know and really do not have a voice...where were they when you needed a is easy after the fact to give advice...don't let anyone make you feel guilty. You have and are a blessing to your will continue. God Bless You. Nora

    Bookmark   April 1, 2005 at 7:54AM
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Pearl, I'm facing the same decision you've just gone through. Like you, I believed I could have my Mother with us right to the end, and pictured her slipping away in her sleep one day, safe here at home. That was idyllic of me, and far from how it really is. You and I both know, as do many others here, that we're only human. We're not super-Moms, super-wives/friends or even super-daughters. Pushing ourselves to the limits of our health, patience, to the exclusion of other members of our family isn't smart. And it's taken me a very long time to see that.

I'm happy for you, that you've reached that decision to place your Mom, and that you have support for it, also.
Trying to find the "good" side of all this, I would look forward to more rewarding visits with her, having lunch together, bringing her treats and gifts, and leaving the mundane duties that frustrated us both to other caring individuals. Maybe it's my rose-coloured glasses again, but I can't help but think that we were never meant to push ourselves to our own ill health...that our Mothers have had wonderful long lives, and now it's our turn to enjoy what time we may have left with our husband/children/friends.

Blessings, Pearl

    Bookmark   April 1, 2005 at 9:36AM
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Hi Pearl...along the lines of what Linda has said...a social worker once told me that if I put my mother in a nursing home, I could then be her "friend"...for lunches, treats, things to look forward to, as well as someone to "vent" to about what she was dissatisfied with. Someone else could do all the tedious stuff and be the "bad guy" when necessary. Food for thought, I guess. You just have to find the good fit for you and your mom. Derry

    Bookmark   April 1, 2005 at 6:19PM
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