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Author Topic:   My Mother
Ada Kay
posted 08-29-2003 02:30 PM           Edit/Delete Message
Some of you are very familiar with my situation including Gail, Prairie Gal, Dee Fee, and the many other caregivers who I have chatted with over the last couple of years and who have helped me so much. However, for the ones of you who are not familiar with my situation, Iíll try to give a brief summary. When I retired from my job as a school counselor in 1996, I moved back home with my mother who was beginning to need assistance in order to remain in her home. I became a caregiver for my mother in March of 1999 when she had complications from carotid artery surgery, which left her with a partially paralyzed tongue and very poor balance. She also had osteoporosis and several other age-related problems. During 2000, she had three lengthy hospitalizations due to fractures, two of which werenít even the result of falls. In September of 2001, she fell and broke her hip. I then became a 24/7 caregiver. She was never able to walk alone again. She also needed assistance to get in and out of bed and to transfer to her wheelchair, etc. She also had many other problems common for those age 90+ such as high blood pressure, constipation, urinary problems, visual and hearing difficulties, etc. In spite of all this, we were coping pretty well, except for the fact that she was in pain often even with pain medication and the fact that I suffered from watching her continuing deterioration. On January 20, 2003, I was helping Mom change her gown when her elbow caught in the sleeve. She gave a little push to free it. When her arm went through, it gave her a little jerk; she got a spinal compression fracture. She was in severe pain. We went to our usual hospital, which is located 50 miles from our home. When she was dismissed from the hospital a week later, she wasn't mobile enough that I could take her home. She went to a skilled nursing facility in the town where the hospital is located. I got an apartment there also. She improved some, and I worked with the physical therapists toward the goal of being able to handle her at home. We had plans to return home on March 6, but on March 4 she developed some soreness in her rib area. This increased the difficulty of handling her just enough that I realized we could not make it at home at that time. On March 11, she started experiencing severe pain in her ribs and chest. She had new fractures of the ribs and the sternum. Nothing specific happened to cause this. It just came from having to be helped to transfer from bed to chair, etc. Her pain became so severe that we returned to the hospital. Her pain was more severe than it had ever been. By using a duragesic pain medication patch, they were able to make her comfortable. After that injury, she was never able to improve any. She wasn't very aware of much that happened after that. When she was released from the hospital, we came to a nursing facility in our hometown. I was with her as much as possible, but she mostly just slept. At least, she didn't seem to be in pain. It was the longest and the saddest three months of my life. She died on April 29. I am just so glad that she is out of all the pain and suffering. Iím sorry that it has taken me so long to get in touch with you and that I didnít keep you better informed, because this site has done so much for me. However, when we were staying in another town for six weeks, I didnít have access to a computer. It was a very difficult time for me, because it was the first time I had ever had to leave her alone over night. I had always been able to stay with her in the hospital. When she was in the nursing home here, it was also a very difficult time for me, because I knew she was never going to be any better or able to come home again. Since April, I have been busy trying to adjust to a new lifestyle after being a caregiver for four years. It still makes me very sad to go over these events, and I had just been putting it off, but I did want you to know why I disappeared and how much this site has meant to me. Especially during the early days of being homebound, I donít know how I would have made it without the support I received through the chats and the Empowering Caregivers Site in general. I hope you will continue with this good work. Iíll always be grateful to you. Thanks you very much. . . Kay


posted 09-04-2003 06:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GRM4LOVE     Edit/Delete Message

I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. I cannot tell you how much you have been on my mind. Had missed you in the chats.. even spoke with Dee Fee a few times, saying that we hadn't heard from you...

I pray you aren't feeling guilt for what transpired in January with the spinal compressions... 90+ was a wonderful life and her frail, sedentary body had it's own way of slowly taking her...

Your mom was so blessed to have you caring for her as you did. And it was a gifted time for you to be with her. Leaving your job to care for her was a huge decision and while it may have been difficult for you, you met each day with loving compassion for her. I believe you will always have these loving times with her in your heart.. be gentle and nurturing with yourself while you are healing... allow yourself to grieve in your own way and heal in your own time... for there is no right or wrong way.

I read some where that "death was like removing a tight shoe".. your mom was in pain and she is free to soar.. I know her transition was a huge healing for her... I keep re reading your posts and am feeling your pain and sadness.. you did so much for her, moving into the apartment.. working to have her return home... you are so remarkable Kay... I am fortunate to have you in my life as well...

I hope that you will return here as you need it for support... try to take some time to get away... to be out of the house and in a different space.. one thing we do learn is at the end of caregiving, we must truly allow ourselves the time to recreate how we shall live our own lives more fully... and for you, this will be a new, wonderful experience, when the time is right.. richest blessings angel...



posted 08-13-2004 07:48 AM           Edit/Delete Message

Oh I am so sorry to hear of your mother's passing...sorry too I am late in responding...
I remember many of our chats...your caring and serenity...your mom was so very lucky to have you...as you were to have her...
My heart goes out to you...I know so well what you went through and how hard it was to lose her...I know she is watching over you now, just as my mother is for me..you will feel it..and it will give you comfort...
I do hope you will post occasionally to keep in touch and let us know how you are doing...you meant a lot to us and I wish you the very best...

take care


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