My Mom has been very ill for the last 3 years, both physically and with Alzheimer's. I was her primary caretaker, although we were blessed to have full time caretakers for her. We have always been very close and she was my best friend. It was really hard to let her go, and I feel that I selfishly made the choice to have her intubated at the end, because I just couldn't bear the thought of losing her. The first week after her death I was so busy with the details that while I did feel grief, it came in waves. Since the funeral is now over I've become paralyzed. I'm staying at my Mom's house and have barely left her bed. I haven't been eating either, to the point that everyone around me is bugging me to eat. I've lost 50 pounds in the last 5 months, initially using Weight Watchers, but then the stress set in and the appetite left. I saw a doctor for depression a few months ago, because I knew things would get worse before they got better and was prescribed Lexapro and Depakote. These do not seem to be helping at all, being that my depression seems to have increased so much since Mom's death. I am blessed to not be alone. I have 2 adult daughters and also a sister, who is grieving as well, but her relationship was not the same as mine was. I'm just lost and paralyzed. How long will this last? It feels like this pain will never end.
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replied September 24th, 2011
We almost had our Mother intubated at the end but she died before it became an issue. She went from my home to a rehab to instensive care at the hospital in the same month, then passed away at the hospital. I was her caregiver the last year or so and expected her to return to my home. It's so sad- you feel sorry for her as well as for your self. You're into this for 2 weeks which seemed a long ago for me. I mentioned in another post you replied to that I've been without my Mom for 7 weeks. There was significant improvement in my state of mind I believe, although I don't want to be over confident. Memories come to you out of the blue which trigger crying fits every day, but seem to be less intense now. I hope you find some comfort in what I noticed in my situation.
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replied September 25th, 2011
Dan1, thank you for your reply. 2 weeks into this feels like forever for me. I pray to make it to 7 weeks. As you said in your other posts, morning are the hardest. Once the consciousness sets in and I realize what has really happened. We had mom at home mostly until about 6 months ago, when she developed a bad bleeding ulcer in her abdomen, and it took us a couple weeks to figure it out. By then she wasn't eating and was very weak. She never came home. She spent her last months back and forth between a nursing facility and the hospital. We just couldn't keep her infection free, and the antibiotics worked less and less. Then came the 3 am phone call when she was rushed to the hospital because her oxygen saturation had dropped and by the time I got there she was intubated. That was only for 1 day, but that was actually the beginning of the end. Over the next few weeks she continued to decline until I had to make the decision to intubate her or let or go, which I couldn't do. However the vent can only be in for about 2 weeks. By then she was mostly unresponsive and I couldn't see torturing her by having them do a trach when she was unresponsive. So, we removed the vent, and she went early the next morning. I honestly don't remember getting home from the hospital that morning. A piece of my soul is gone. The biggest comfort is that I do remember that she looked so calm and peaceful, more so than I'd seen in a long time. I do find comfort in following you on this journey Dan1, already you've taught me that there is life at 7 weeks. Thank you.
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replied September 25th, 2011
The first 2 weeks I felt like I would never recover from her death. It was worse than the last weeks before her death because you are in a shocked daze dealing with different Doctors and nurses every day with conflicting prognosis. Your Mom's condition was similar in that she declined going from hospital to nursing home and back again and used oxygen- first 2 litres, then 5, then the mask, then the drastic decisions to save their lives. Even though it was obviously dire, you somehow expect them to get better like they did all of our lives. When the end comes you can't believe it really happened. I cried more in the last month than I did my whole life. Besides the usual advice to keep busy (which does help) and peoples' condolences (some help, some don't) I found that staying up late at night really helped the insomnia and brought my appetite back by having those late night snacks. Comfort food like peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and milk helped me to fall asleep and wasn't like eating a huge meal which wasn't appealing at the time because of the anxiety. I now have a calmer feeling about the trauma, even though it's very sad and will be worse around the holidays coming up I'm sure. The saying that they are in a better place actually makes sense now to me. I realize that nothing lasts forever, including ourselves and anything physical.
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replied September 25th, 2011
almost 1 am and I'm awake thinking about mom. What hit me after I wrote the 'history' of what took place, is that I think that I killed my mother by not realizing that she had the bleeding ulcer.....this is what started the major decline from which she never recovered. How could I have been so stupid?
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replied September 26th, 2011
Hi SonniDay,

I also lost my mom 7 weeks ago. I have been beating myself over not realizing that my mommy's breathing problems were far worse then she was letting on. I keep going over and over it in my mind ... why didn't I recognize the symptoms sooner. But as I continue to think about it ... God keeps bringing to mind all the doctor visits when they asked about her breathing. Not even the doctors recognized how bad it was until it was too late. My mom hated hospitals, avoided them as long as possible.

Honestly we aren't doctors, we don't have x-ray vision or access to the latest scanning machines ( I wish we did!) ... You weren't stupid, you just didn't know.
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replied October 24th, 2011
having lost mom 1 month ago now i know how you feel , the guilt and hoping that
they were not in too much pain my mom was talking with us two days before declining , she had two surgerys intubated than trach than intubated again and at the very end three days of dialysis but i know she would have wanted us to try so that helps but their still is guilt for trying . lost my best friend it is extremely hard she was a good woman who was their for everyone always , but we couldn't do anything for her i hate that, thats so hard for me
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replied October 24th, 2011
having lost mom 1 month ago now i know how you feel , the guilt and hoping that
they were not in too much pain my mom was talking with us two days before declining , she had two surgerys intubated than trach than intubated again and at the very end three days of dialysis but i know she would have wanted us to try so that helps but their still is guilt for trying . lost my best friend it is extremely hard she was a good woman who was their for everyone always , but we couldn't do anything for her i hate that, thats so hard for me
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