Thursday, July 05, 2012

Bewildered


Well, I believe that America celebrated my birthday yesterday with its customary fireworks and flags - thank you, USA. Grandson celebrated by crawling around, standing up and smiling and giggling, which was very nice. He brought his Mum and Dad with him. Son was also here. Daughter 2, alas, was in London.


It was lovely to see them but otherwise life isn't too good.

("See, world, this is my shoe.")

I used to have a colleague who, when life got frantic (as if you're a teacher, it frequently does) would declare in despairing tones, "It's too much - it's all too much!" Which is roughly how I'm feeling just now.

My mum was supposed to get out of hospital yesterday, though I was very daunted at the idea of nursing her at home because she can now hardly walk and is very incontinent. We had the chair-for-going-in-the-bath delivered on Tuesday. We had the handrail-for-getting-up-from-the-loo installed today. But yesterday she was very sick and deemed not well enough to be discharged then but was expected to come home today. Then this morning she had a mini-stroke, was unconscious for an hour, and the medical staff now think that she should be admitted to a hospice.

Mum, who remembers nothing of this episode and feels relatively well, is stoical but very disappointed and bewildered by this. I feel desperately relieved and desperately guilty at the thought of her being looked after lovingly but not by me.


20 comments:

Meg said...

Oh Isabelle, that is such a difficult split feeling, isn't it - guilt and relief hand in hand. So few of these decisions leave us comfortably sure that we have done the right thing (whatever the "right thing" may be is so hard to define anyway). We just muddle through as well as we can. My best wishes and prayers with you all.
On the other hand, I am glad you had most of your lovely family with you for your birthday and how sweet of America to add the fireworks and flags! Your grandson is gorgeous.

Rosemary Riveter said...

So sorry about your Mum's mini-stroke, and I completely understand the mix of relief and guilt, I feel it too.

I wish I could send you some extra California sun to warm your spirits.

Ali Honey said...

Belated Happy Birthday.
Grandson is looking great.
With your dear Mum, don't look for an easy or comfortable decision - there isn't one. It's so hard - hang in there.
Being at Grandson's stage in life is so much more pleasant than being at the old end isn't it? Glad you are seeing him regularly to give you a boost.
Hugs from Ali.

dianne said...

my mother has been in hospice since April 2011 ... i don't know about Scotland, but in Colorado, hospice is a service and not a place (which confused me to no end) and the Staff have saved me from myself (riddled with guilt and relief) repeatedly over the past year - all of them have been Supportive and There for Me, my Sister, and my Mother ... it has been a Long Goodbye ...... know that you are not alone, dear one.

jkhenson said...

Oh, Dear Isabelle! Such a sad way to feel! I understand your want to take care of her, lovingly, and your challenge of doing so in her state of health. Wow, a lot on your birthday plate! I am sending you birthday hugs and smiles, in hopes that they will reach you as you need them. May things get much, much better!

persiflage said...

Happy birthday. I feel relieved for your sake that your mother is to go into a hospice, as I know just how difficult and distressing it is when a person so close to you gets to this stage.. Home care is not always possible or, ultimately, the best solution. Don't feel guilty: you have loved her and cared for her for as long as possible, and your mother, all your gamily and you know how much you have cared for her and love her. You will continue to care for her needs while she is in the hospice.
Love and hugs.

Joan said...

Happy belated birthday wishes, Isabelle. I see the universe has bestowed sympathetic and sensible readers upon you to help you through this difficult time. And a treasure of a grandson!

Jennifer said...

Happy (belated) birthday! The guilt and relief will persist for a while - but your mother will be cared for in the hospice, and you will be able to spend as much time with her you both need.

Lucille said...

I am anxiously on the fringe of caring for two elderly and incontinent friends still in their own home as they wished it. It's not very satisfactory even with the rails and commodes etc. You have my sympathy and admiration for what you have done. It's demanding and specialist work and a hospice is geared up for that.

Dartford Warbler said...

Many Happy Returns for yesterday.

I planned to have my Mum home again after her stroke, but it would have been almost impossible and she was admitted to a ( good) care home on the recommendation of the Stroke Unit staff. I know the guilt that you are feeling, but looking back I also know that I had more energy and sanity to support her last year or so, because I did not have 24/7 care of a very dependent , sick person.

Take care of yourself at this stressful time and take solace in your delightful grandson. What a smile he has!

Relatively Retiring said...

I hope there was some happiness on your birthday, and I hope there will be some relief if your mother's care is taken on by professionals. It means you will be able to give her the best of your attention without having to struggle with all the less dignified aspects. Probably she would prefer it that way, too?

the veg artist said...

From what you've said previously, you've already coped with a fair share of things that your mother would never have wished on you. Far better that she is cared for now in a place that is geared up for it. I think it gives her more dignity and you will be able to enjoy her company without the exhaustion and stress that caring for her at home would bring.
I know. I've been there, many, many years ago, and the wishing for an ending causes a guilt that has never left me.

Jean said...

Oh, Isabelle, thinking of you very much. You will no doubt recall this as a birthday in one of your harder years. I have no direct experience of your situation, but my immediate thought was what several other commenters said: if you are relieved of the main responsibility for her physical care, these are better circumstances for you to give your mother your emotional attention and support.
warmest wishes to all of you.

Jee said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your mum, but I feel relieved that you won't now have to be a full-time care. I'm sure your mum is twenty times nicer than my MIL but it's an awfully hard thing to do even when you love the person. If she's got full tme care you 'll be able to spend time with her that isn't wrapped up in the day-tp-day problems. Thinking of you.

Thimbleanna said...

Oh Isabelle. I'm so sorry -- I was just worrying about how your Mum is doing yesterday -- knowing that she was to come home from the hospital and hoping that you were all doing well. I'm sorry it's made for a sad birthday for you. Oh to be that sweet, blissfully, unaware baby, yes? I'm glad he's there to cheer you up. Sending you VERY, VERY BIG hugs that you'll be able to take it all in and be comforted. XOXO.

Gillie said...

Dear Isabelle, they will be able to give her such good care but I do see how you must be feeling. Much love to you all, will be praying for you. Much closer to you right now, we are in Fort William.

Gina E. said...

Belated happy birthday wishes, and hugs from me too, in addition to everyone else here.

Marcheline said...

Yikes. I want to yell "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" in a very happy voice, but then I want to whisper, because when people are ill that's what you do. Sorry to hear about your mom's poor health, and don't beat yourself up about your feelings - everyone feels the same, especially if you're not a trained health care professional. I mean, my mom has been a nurse for 30 years, and it was still a huge trial for her to care for my grandmother at home.

You just do what you can do, and love her and do what's best for her, and that's all.

Hugs!

Fire Bird said...

thinking of you

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to you Isabelle. Sending lots of love and warm hugs your way

Clarissa