What's wrong with me??!!

SLCSueNovember 12, 2005

My Mom is failing quickly. Her usual pattern is a quick bounce back from a downturn; so much so that we have taken to calling her YoYo Ma. But Thursday night was different, and somehow I knew this was not going to magically turn around like all the other times. She is not able to speak, she looks at the people around her without recognition, she is restless and searching, but no one knows what she is reaching out for. Her hands are constantly in motion over the bedcovers, and she reacts to any noise or touch with that startled response you often see in infants. And I am not crying! I am not sitting heartbroken by the bed! my dd's and grandkids are teary-eyed, hugging me and each other and speaking in hushed tones, and I see her CNA's shed a tear as they help her. AND I SIT THERE LIKE A STONE! I am looking at everything, I am aware of the situation, but it is not touching me. Am I the worst daughter in the world?? I can't think of anything to say to her, I only kiss her or touch her hand when I come into the room, or when I leave, and that causes the jerk-start reaction, and the look that doesn't really see me. Here it is almost 8am, and I am still at home, still in my PJ's, and I should already be there, but I'm not. Why am I so unfeeling? My DH put his arms around me and cried last night as we were laying in bed, and I couldn't even react to that! I just hugged him and said sshh, sshh everything will be alright....what's wrong with me???

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My dear, nothing is wrong with you. Nothing at all. You have been preparing yourself for this time for a good while. If you had been hoping against hope that things would get better, perhaps you would feel differently. But you are being realistic about this, and no matter how sorrowful you may think you should feel, I think this is a healthy acceptance of the inevitable. You will mourn later. Don't fret about it. Others are depending on you.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2005 at 11:11AM
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You are stoic, because if you weren't, you would fall apart.....and someone has to be rational.
Don't fret....you are doing what has to be done. I have had to be the one in that situation before....it's OK.
Linda C

    Bookmark   November 12, 2005 at 12:20PM
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Nothing is wrong. Many of us have been there, with the same thoughts and feelings.

You have been, and continue, doing what needs to be done. I'm sure somewhere in your mind, you know that once you start, you'll lose it completely, and you really can't afford to do that now. And this may go on for a long time, then what.

You need to get through each day as best you can. Sitting next to her holding her hand is more than enough. She has always known how much you love and care for her, a grand, tragic scene won't make any difference. If she is aware, she's probably grateful that at least you haven't fallen apart.

There will be plenty of time to cry - the shower is the best place for that, too. It will sneak up on you when you least expect it, so be prepared when you hear a song or there's a familiar smell, you'll know. And you'll cry, because you miss her, and because you have good memories.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2005 at 1:30PM
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Dear Susan,
I believe what PB says is very true. You've known for some time that this time would come and I'm sure you spent many, many nights and days shedding many tears, feeling very sad with an aching heart. Now is the time for you to be at her side; a lot of words need not be spoken, just hold her hand and kiss her cheek and whisper "I love you Mom and I am here for you"...she will probably recognize your voice and that might give her some comfort. The tears will come later....you have my thoughts, prayers and my heart, Mimi

    Bookmark   November 12, 2005 at 11:05PM
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Just a quick update. She is still with us, tho no one knows how. Her oxygen saturation is in the low 70's, she has had no urine output for 6 hours. The time between breaths seems intermidable, 25-30 seconds, and yet she hangs on. I am still numb, but functioning; I washed her and changed her with the nurses today, there is no more startle reflex, the noises don't bother her today, nor does she react to being moved or changed, she stays in whatever position we place her in.
Thank you for your prayers and reassurances. Oh God, this is hard.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2005 at 10:38PM
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I remember how hard it was, but stay and care for her, in the years to come you will look back and say, oh the lesson's (good) I learned from that Journey.
Take Care

    Bookmark   November 13, 2005 at 11:04PM
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Hi Sue i too agree with PB, i will also admit i too have not shed a tear with all of Al's illness. a friend --and i use this team loosely, said debbie why don't you cry, well for one it's just not me, and 2 i don't know why. so one time i asked my doctor and he said probably, i did my "mourning" at some other time, and that when "the time" came, that the tears would come, and not to worry. also through Al's work we have a counselling service, which i used to go to and i will admit i did cry there, not for a long time but there were tears. also maybe you are like me, just not a crier. all people are different and they react differently, however, my thoughts and prayers are with you. debbie

    Bookmark   November 14, 2005 at 11:33AM
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Everyone reacts and mourns in their own way. I tend to lose it after everything is done. Shock? Denial? I don't know, but I don't process these things on an emotional level until the work is done. I also tend to break down when I'm by myself, meaning I do most of my crying in the car. You will grieve in your own way when you're ready.

My thoughts are with you and your family.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2005 at 11:46AM
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Sue, you've probably done a lot of your grieving already. That is not to say you will not do more, but right now you're numb. That's perfectly normal and is nature's way of allowing you to function and do the things that must be done. I grieved so much for my mother as I watched her decline and when she died, I did not cry very much at all. The tears came later, and still come at times because we always miss our mothers. Our first and primal relationship always stays with us.

She's not in any pain; as the organs begin to shut down, the person just gets sleepier and sleepier and eventually they do not wake up. I hope you are holding up okay.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2005 at 11:49AM
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