Exhausted and unsure...

Discussion in 'End of life care' started by Ionna, Jun 17, 2015.

  1. Ionna

    Ionna Registered User

    Jan 19, 2014
    35
    Surrey
    I've been awake for past 4 hours with my mother who is (I was told in April) in the finally stages of her illness. I realise that this could continue for weeks, months or longer and this makes me feel weary.
    As my mother has been awake for so long today I assume that something is wrong. She's not in distress, but can not communicate so I'm finding it hard to understand what she needs. I've tried to adjust her pillows, massage her legs and she has had more to drink in the past few hours than she has in the past few days. I don't know what else to do for her. I keep thinking she might be hungry, but I'm told that as her condition worsens she will not want or need to eat. As mom has not really eaten much in the last week I'm not sure what to give her at this hour. Any ideas? She used to have cereal, but I'm assuming that milk may not be the best thing. She can not manage even soft foods so I make soup out of everything just in case there is a chance that she is awake long enough to swallow something.
    It's a very difficult time and I'm not sure what to do for the best. I'm nearly running on empty at the moment and feel very alone as mom and I have been keeping each other company for such along time. Now the house is so silent as she sleeps most of time (this morning being the exception!).
    I realise that my friends do not call. My family don't visit as often as I thought they would. Usually around school holidays so I have to wait months before I can get a break. It's a strange time. Sounds awful, but I'll be glad to return to some level of normality when this is over - not sure what normal is anymore.
     
  2. mrs mcgonnagal

    mrs mcgonnagal Registered User

    May 9, 2015
    153
    dear Ionna,
    you are going through a very difficult time, and I just wanted to say I am glad I read your post and send a message of support although I don't know how to help. Do you not have a district nurse or anyone calling in? thinking of you both this is a terrible time
    x
     
  3. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    58,720
    Female
    Dundee
    I'm sorry things are so bad for you.

    I was wondering about nurses as well. Towards the end I had district nurses coming in twice a day to bathe and turn mum. I was also given night sits from Marie Cure nurses so I could get some sleep. This was organised through the district nurse service.
     
  4. meme

    meme Registered User

    Aug 29, 2011
    1,955
    Female
    London
    ...You being with her is enough. My mother died at home and stopped eating for some months...just be there to offer water or anything she may want to comfort her as you are already doing. Your mother not being in distress is good, my mother was not either untill the last couple of days. Be strong and hold her hand, thinking of you x
     
  5. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,566
    Female
    Scotland
    When we sat with my dying brother in law he wanted to drink but couldn't so I got my husband to just dip his finger in the orange squash and brush it on his lips. BIL seemed to relish this and licked with the tip of his tongue. When he died shortly after he slipped away peacefully. Best not to try too hard at this stage.
     
  6. AlsoConfused

    AlsoConfused Registered User

    Sep 17, 2010
    1,958
    If you just feel you want to talk to somebody and there's no friend or relative you feel happy 'phoning, then try ringing the Samaritans. They help anyone in need of a listening ear - you don't have to be suicidal to call. The Samaritans may also know of other organisations providing a friendly, sympathetic "listening ear" to callers struggling with near unbearable circumstances.

    Good luck and heartfelt sympathy.
     
  7. Ionna

    Ionna Registered User

    Jan 19, 2014
    35
    Surrey
    Good evening Mrs M. (hope it's alright to call you that), thank you for your message. Not sure there is anything that can be done at the moment. Can't believe mom has been awake all day! The District Nurses come daily to change moms dressing (her breast cancer is advancing quickly at the moment). Poor thing has just nodded off. Thankfully it was my afternoon to escape as I get 3 hours respite a week. Still it was nice to see the day from sunrise to sunset. I think I just need to try and relax and go with the flow. Easier said than done, but I'll give it a go.

    Hope all is well with you and I appreciate you taking the time to respond :)
     
  8. Ionna

    Ionna Registered User

    Jan 19, 2014
    35
    Surrey
    Hello Izzy - It seems that God is smiling on me today and yes, the DN's have activated Marie Curie and apparently they are coming on Saturday - yeah! It'll be weird having someone in the house, but I welcome the support. I think I'm just getting myself worked up as it is all out of my control and all of the personal care, cooking, cleaning and making sure mom is comfortable isn't going to change anything.
    Thanks for your reply, it means to lot to know that you are all here.
     
  9. Ionna

    Ionna Registered User

    Jan 19, 2014
    35
    Surrey
    Hello Marionq - I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your brother-in -law.
    I have been thinking about what mom would like to drink - a sort of memory...and back in her youth she was a Cherry B drinker, so I thought I would give her a treat. Not sure it'll work well with her meds, but with everything she's on - if she can stay awake through that she'll probably be fine.
    I know what you mean about trying too hard. I hope mom has a peaceful exit.

    Thanks and take care x
     
  10. Ionna

    Ionna Registered User

    Jan 19, 2014
    35
    Surrey
    Hi meme,

    Thank you for your words of support. I often forget that just being there is sometimes enough. Also sorry to hear that you have lost your mother - it must have been really hard for you.

    God bless and take care x
     
  11. Ionna

    Ionna Registered User

    Jan 19, 2014
    35
    Surrey
    Good evening AlsoConfused,

    These are very difficult times. Good idea about the Samaritans - hadn't thought about them! Thanks for the advice.

    Hope you have a pleasant evening. I'm about to hide under my duvet for a few hours though mom is sleeping with her eyes slightly open so I may not be able to stay for long...

    Look after yourself x
     

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