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Poor Mum

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Mum is nearly 89 but she is gravely ill. At Christmas last year she took pneumonia and I got the call from my brothers to travel 500 miles to the hospital. I stayed for a week, helping the doctors and nurses and singing to Mum (she was musical) - isn't if funny the things that make you smile - the duty nurse rushed in because she thought Mum's beeper had gone off - I apologised for my bad singing and stopped. With prayers from friends Mum pulled through and I returned home to my daughter, who is disabled and she missed me dreadfully, even trying on my creams to feel I was around.

So you see it isn't easy to go up to visit Mum and leave my daughter.

Last week I went up again, leaving me son to look in on my daughter's care.

Mum has had a stroke now, and has tardive dyskenesia - so she is paralysed neck down, but her head keeps banging and her mouth is skewn down and dribbling. She has a tube-feeder.

She is in an old folks home. My brothers and I visited her for 2 days and as Mum can't speak we talked loudly to each other. She followed some conversations and magazine pictures of the Royal family's baby. I made jokes with her 'Mum I'm wearing pink to make the boys wink.' and her eyes laughed. These are things the boys, my brothers wouldn't think to say. So it was special for me to share with her. Just before I had to leave her, they asked me to leave the room to fit a urine catheter - and this is the bit that hurts - I heard her screaming.

I wonder - did they explain to her - did they anaesthetise her bits - she looked so frail and franky terrified in her little bed. She dozed off - then she awoke and saw me next to her holding her hand - I saw her eyes smile - I told her I love her and I swear she mouthed 'I love you too' back to me.

I had to go back 500 miles, leaving her there - my brother looks in regularly and he is attentive, so that it some relief.

It''s just that on the plane home the rain came down the portholes and I felt overwhelmingly sad. I work at a cinema, and while watching the film, I became detached and deeply sad again. I have been treated for depression a couple of years ago and come through with help and support from professionals - do you think I need help again - or is this normal? I don't have any other friends as such that I can confide in and so am glad of this group.

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Hi, welcome to this site. I am dreadfully sorry about your mom, it's very hard to watch them suffer. I lost my own mom 11 months ago, and seeing her suffer was very hard to go through. She wanted to "go be with the Lord (and my dad)" and I kept assuring her she would soon, she'd ask "when?".

I'm glad your brother is near her and that you had a good visit in with her but I can imagine how hard it was to travel 500 miles home and leave her there. It's how l felt every time I left my mom at her dementia care facility, and I only live two hours away...multiply that 1,000 fold and that must be how you're feeling. :( About the depression...grief often brings with it depression SYMPTOMS but it's not true depression in the clinical sense. It's not a chemical imbalance, it's due to a situational experience. If you didn't have problems with depression just prior to this, then I would chalk it up to grief. Warning: Not all doctors are versed in grief and will often want to treat with antidepressants which may not help if it's due to grief...even worse, it can mess with your brain, causing permanent changes. Best to see a grief counselor who is trained in grief and let them make their recommendations to you. If they think it's more than grief, they can let you know and you can then see a doctor for treatment of depression. I'd just caution jumping into meds that may not be appropriate for the situation.

I'm very sorry your mom has been suffering. It's good to talk with the professionals that are taking care of her and ask them if they explain things to her before doing them. My mom wasn't able to understand things with the state she was in and it was very hard to see them do that to her, she was truly frightened and it hurt! I could only assure and comfort her afterwards.

My heart goes out to you, your mom and your family will be added to my prayers. It's good to express yourself here though, it helps to know you're heard by those who've been there.

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Hi KayC,

I just want to thank you for your warm and comforting reply. There is a lot of wisdom there which I shall take on board.

I am sorry to hear you lost your own Mum 11 months ago. So kind of you to relate your similar experiences with care.

Thank you once again Kay. Your words have helped very much.

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