Jump to content
Grief Healing Discussion Groups

When will I feel normal again


Recommended Posts

I'm not holding up very well. I'm 29 and 2 years ago my mother, who's now 59, had a severe stroke in her brain and became permanently disabled. Only a short time later, she had a lower leg amputation because of a heel ulcer affected by her diabetes. She's permanently in a wheelchair, she's lost the majority of her speech, and she's in a nursing home. After this happened I felt like my world fell apart. My mom was my best friend, and my entire relationship with her was gone. I experienced tremendous grief, however, time went by and I began to form a new relationship with my mom in her current condition. Now she's at risk of losing her other leg to diabetes, and her vision is failing. I feel like I cannot take anymore. The thought of her having to go through another amputation is so crippling that I literally feel physically ill. I haven't been able to sleep in weeks, I have lost all interest in things I used to enjoy, and I've become completely withdrawn. Probably the worst part is watching my mom's personality change. Whether its from the stroke or depression (or both), she doesn't even act like my mom. Although I love her so much, I dread spending time with her because she doesn't even look like or act like the mother that I had 2 years ago. Before the risk of her 2nd amputation I felt like there was still hope...hope that she could get some rehab and still live a good life. Now I feel like that tiny glimmer of hope I had has just slipped through my fingers. I also feel so guilty because sometimes I wish that she never came out of the coma after her stroke. I feel so horrible for thinking like that, but I do. There's just been so much pain these last 2 years, and I just don't know how I can handle anymore.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites


What you're going through is anticipatory grief, plus the loss of your mother as she was before.  I can only imagine what she's been going through.  I'm very glad you are there for her, visiting her, that makes all the difference in the world.  Some people avoid the person because they can't bear to watch, but that only leaves them feeling abandoned and uncared for on top of everything else.

Going from a person who was independent to someone who is highly dependent on others to care for them is bound to affect how they perceive themselves and how they respond.  Is there anything she can do in her current state, crochet, write cards to people, read, etc.  I have a sister that became quadriplegic at age 25, she's now 73.  Her speech was horribly affected by their emergency trach so she has a very hard time communicating.  But she loves to read and do crossword puzzles (with help), so we keep her supplied in books and large print crossword puzzle books.  We take her out once a month to eat out, hiring my daughter to do the hard part as we're all getting older.  It gives her something to look forward to and helps keep her going.  

What you were feeling is not something bad, but very normal under the circumstances.  It is because of your great love for her that you wished to spare her all that she's going through.  When my MIL (and best friend) was dying a slow horrible death of cancer, I wished I could put her out of her misery, but of course, I couldn't.  This is someone I loved more than anything, and it was so hard to watch her suffer so horribly, day after day, after day (I was her caregiver).

Have you considered a grief support group?  You might call a couple and explain your situation and see if one of them would be a good fit for you.  Anticipatory grief is every bit as hard as having someone die...in a painstakingly agonizing way, it is very real and your feelings are very valid.

I hope you get together with friends for an evening out once in a while.  It's understandable you've lost interest in things, but I hope you'll make effort to keep trying.  It's the only way I know through this.  Perhaps give yourself an allotted time to "grieve"...I know it seems compartmentalizing, but it can help.  Say a 1/2 hour every evening.  Then try to focus on other things the rest of the day, keep busy, get out.  Just a thought.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...