Mum's best friend is dying....

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Tender Face, Jan 27, 2007.

  1. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Any advice appreciated....

    CPN visited mum this week and we have since spoken at length that biggest concern for mum just now is her sinking into depression (well known for mum even pre-dementia days:( ).....

    Mum's best friend of nearly 40 years (more like sisters) has maybe a matter of weeks to live ...... not so long ago mum was grumbling that said friend didn't visit so often and I explained as best I could that the chemotherapy her friend was having would be making her ill - mum had absolutely no concept of her friend's situation ('But, why isn't she visiting me when I've got all these aches and pains too?'.... )

    Suddenly now, mum has absolute awareness of the prognosis .... concerned, weepy etc ..... (understandably) heading towards devastated ......

    CPN and I discussed this is a phase of 'damage limitation' (for mum). With the friend's family's 'consent' I am taking mum to visit her friend in hospital tomorrow (friend's daughter said HER mum is only concerned for MINE! and despite all our concerns, we each know how much the other mother thinks of each other) .... on balance the 'gamble' is that it will do them both good to see each other however they each present) .... That's tomorrow kinda planned....

    My mum's friend is one of the loveliest people ever walked this earth and did so much - for me- my dad, not to mention mum over the years ... I love her and I'm gutted myself .... but any ideas how to help mum through this and beyond?

    To visit or not to visit? To face it or distract?

    Sorry to ramble on .... any ideas appreciated....

    Love, Karen, x
     
  2. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Karen, that's a terrible situation for you all......you,. your Mum, your Mum's friend, her daughter...........

    The main consideration is, does your Mum want the see her? You can prepare her for the tubes, the changes in appearance, etc, but it's still going to be a huge shock for her.

    But if she really wants to go, I'd do it. Although she's going to be shocked, at least she'll understand why her friend is no longer visiting her, and that will take away one source of pain.

    It will also prepare her for her friend's death, when it comes.

    But it's going to put a huge strain on you. Your Mum's going to need lots of support (even more then usual), right up to her friend's death, and beyond. Can you do it? Is the CPN going to help? What happens if she does become severely depressed?

    But all of these scenarios are likely whether or not you do it. I'd be inclined to say yes, but you know your Mum........

    Love and hugs
     
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,559
    Kent
    Hi Karen, Sorry to hear about mum`s closest friend and that it`s one more worry for you.
    However traumatic the visit, I can only say that if mum`s friend does look as awful as you`d expect, it might help mum understand that the end of her life is near. They have probably been through a lot together and may even recognize in each other the pain both are in.
    Afterwards, if and when your mother becomes upset about her friend, you will then be able to remind her just how much she was suffering when you visited.
    Hope you find the strength to cope. Love Sylvia xx
     
  4. alex

    alex Registered User

    Apr 10, 2006
    1,665
    Hiya Karen Hon

    You said your mum is quite lucid................i'm not sure if she would be lucid enough to connect the friend she once knew with the friend ravaged by chemo etc,.................but i don't think your gonna know that until you've visited, nor will you have any idea on what your mums reaction will be................its one of those situations that you just have to handle as it happens..............the very best that you can do is be there to support and comfort your mum............and when you need it, we'll be here to support and comfort you

    Take it as it happens honey...........your bound to be worried about it.........but it might turn out that they are a comfort to each other.

    We'll be thinking about you.
    Love Alex x
     
  5. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Thanks for the sentiment ...I'm afraid I don't live up to it ....... :eek: many years ago someone one told me 'God only throws at you what He thinks you can cope with' .... to which my response: 'In which case HE has got a lot better opinion of me than me!!!!!' :D

    Hazel, Sylvia, Alex, Tina - thanks all for your support ..... just spoken to mum - who is on an absolute 'high' ...... so excited about seeing her friend tomorrow ... she seems to have forgotten about just where we're going and why ... ho, hum... tomorrow morning might be different again .......

    I guess a lot of carers here have a degree course on 'Thinking on Your Feet'? - my turn to face a challenge tomorrow - but thanks to you know I've got support behind me .....

    Let you know how it goes.....

    Much love and thanks, Karen, x
     
  6. alex

    alex Registered User

    Apr 10, 2006
    1,665
    Karen honey...............i've no doubt that most people have a better opinion of you than you do!!!!!!!!:eek: .............your coping brilliantly and you do live up to it!...........and you have coped with everything thats been thrown at you and you will continue to cope............because others depend on you coping............so keep up the good work and don't forget that we are here when you need us!;)

    Loadsnloadsnloadsoflovexxxxx
     
  7. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    And I'll third it! Alex has said it all.

    I'll be thinking of you tomorrow, Karen.

    Love and hugs,
     
  8. candymostdandy@

    candymostdandy@ Registered User

    May 12, 2006
    81
    west sussex
    Hi Karen,

    Mum's friend who she has known all her life has been in hospital now for 6 months and and her condition deteriorating everytime we see her, on top of her heart condition, blood disorder, kidney stones, she has also picked up MRSA whilst she has been in hospital, basically we saw her on Friday and she is a shadow of her former self, infact, it was only two weeks since we had last visited her but the deterioration shocked me. But mum's comments "she's looking so much better"..... she just doesn't appear to have picked up on how critical the situatio with her friend really is..
     
  9. mel

    mel Registered User

    Apr 30, 2006
    1,656
    Sheffield
    Hi Karen
    I've only just read your thread.....
    yes i do think your mum should visit.....otherwise it will just haunt you in the future.......
    You know we'll all be thinking of you and your mum tomorrow and I'm sure the visit from your mum will give her friend a great deal of comfort....
    Try to be strong....you can do it:)
    We're all here for you Karen
    Lots of love
    Wendy xx
     
  10. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    1,370
    Newport, Gwent
    Hi Karen

    I 5th it.............

    You can only play it by ear honey.........pre AD she would have been upset...........so if she is, well, I guess that is what you could consider 'normal'.

    You do a superb job..........dont doubt yourself now......and dont beat yourself up...........go with the flow at the time.......

    Will be here for you honey.

    Love
    Cate xxxx
     
  11. Kriss

    Kriss Registered User

    May 20, 2004
    513
    Shropshire
    Good luck tomorrow Karen

    You will probably get through every conceivable emotion and reaction over the next few days, depression through to no recollection. Just try to respond to each one individually.

    Kriss
    x
     
  12. Lonestray

    Lonestray Registered User

    Aug 3, 2006
    236
    Hereford
    Hi Karen, I have not been able to come on line yesterday and so just seen your post. Can't say I can add to what's been said already. I wish you all the best in your endevours when you take your Mum to visit her friend. Try to take on board my motto: Always expect the unexpected, and when you'er the other side of this great burden, you will look back and find strength you never knew you had.
    I sense a strength in you that a very special few have, walk tall, I'll be wishing you well and praying for you. Padraig
     
  13. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Well, I hope YOU all enjoyed that hospital visiting today - cause I swear there was a band of ‘Guardian Angels’ with me willing me on ….. :) (Checked in here this morning over coffee - didn’t dare go on-line in case I got distracted- what amazing support…. can’t thank any of you enough……)

    Like when I arrived to pick mum up and she had asked a neighbour to write down directions for me (Thanks, mum - I know you have no confidence in me - but I’ve had a dollop load of self-esteem thrown my way, thank you!) …..:)

    Like when we arrived at the hospital and she was desperate for the loo …. then asked me why we were going THAT way (to visitors’ loos) when the ward is the other way … ‘Well, you wanted the loo’ … ‘No I don’t’ … (sigh, stay calm, Karen) ….. ‘Well, just try …..’ (childhood memories there, huh?):)

    Like when she swore the ward was in a different building ….. ‘No, mum, look it says left here’ - ‘Well I KNEW that’, ‘Course you did, mum.’:)

    Like when we reach the ward and find we have arrived an hour early for visiting (at this point my self-confidence is rocked … timed it perfectly (I thought) to arrive well before 2pm knowing car-parking and especially disabled parking is at a premium …… allow time for walking the half-mile thru the hospital ‘linkways’ to the right place (thought I’d been ‘one ahead’ there knowing that she’d refuse the wheelchairs on offer!) ….. :eek: panic sets in …. this hospital has no café facilities for visitors … mum - in spite of her protests is physically flagging having walked a marathon already to get to the ward … but starts to 'pace' outside the ward ..... snarling at anyone ventures into the corridor ..... how the HELL do I fill nearly an hour? …. Some little Guardian Angel pipes up: ‘Go tell the nurses’ ….:)

    Like when I find the nurses’ station - three people each with the prospect of fulfilling Cathy Bates’ role :eek: tell me I must have looked up the wrong ward on the website….. (what - you all at knocking my confidence too?!) …… Strictly no visiting before 3pm …… Mouth opens and another Guardian Angel speaks from it: ‘I have brought my mum to visit her friend believing visiting was from 2pm …. My mum suffers from Alzheimers and is already becoming very agitated at having to wait ……’……. ‘Oh, just go thru then….’

    Result!:)

    Mum spent most of the visit gripping her friend’s arm (and worse) moaning about having to wait to get on the ward … absolutely no concept, no understanding of her friend‘s situation…… we were barely off the car park when mum asked me whether it was Arsenal or Chelsea played this afternoon????:eek:

    It will come in time, I guess …. and yes, next plan of action is how to ‘divvy up’ more hours in the day to support mum as, when and if realisation dawns from time to time ……

    Perhaps, most importantly mum’s friend was overwhelmed …… in her dignified and serene way of demonstrating ‘overwhelmed’ …… so appreciative of the effort the visit had taken, asking about me, my hubby and son … so accepting of her own circumstances (they can’t do anything for me now) … not lost on me that she said and asked all the things I wish mum would remember to ….. but today was for HER …. and I’m so glad I did it …if I can never do anything for her again ….. … and thank you all for the support and encouragement that I DID do it -and with confidence! (not to mention a few wry smiles!):)

    Hugest love and thanks to you all…..

    Karen, x
     
  14. angela.robinson

    angela.robinson Registered User

    Dec 27, 2004
    520
    WELL DONE KAREN that went as well as it could do under the circumstances,it is surprising how helpfull people are(hospital staff)when made aware of the situation ,it knocks our pride to bring it into the open ,but by far the best course in my opinion ,hopefully this visit will be water of a ducks back for mum ,it may not have any bad lasting results ,take a deep breath now , another hurdle over .ANGELA.XX
     
  15. alex

    alex Registered User

    Apr 10, 2006
    1,665
    Hiya Karen

    I'm pleased it went as well as it could have done..............i've no doubt it was exhausting for you but i'm sure you, your mum and your mums friend will all be richer for sharing the visit.

    Love Alex x
     
  16. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Well done, Karen. You're a candidate for sainthood, managing to stay calm and overcome all obstacles.

    I'm sure it was good for your Mum even though it seems not to have affected her. The reaction, good or bad, may come tomorrow.

    It would have been good for your Mum's friend too. She sounds so lovely, and I'm sure she appreciated the visit.

    Hope you don't have too much of a reaction tomorrow.

    Love
     
  17. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Yikes! Skye, thanks for your support - but me, sainthood and calm just ain't buddies!!!!! I know when I meet my maker He's gonna send me to off to try dancing with the devil - and I'll get booted outta there too ... coz I swear I could make the devil look calm at times ..... so he ain't gonna like me either!!!!!!:D

    Joking aside, had a call from friend's daughter who is THRILLED about the visit - she's seen her mum since ..... who is delighted at (and both understood) the effort and time involved for what was a brief bedside visit, the emotional boost it's given her mum ... so yes, for this evening .... I'll wallow in a little 'feel good factor' ..... and thank you all again for helping me get through a difficult day and inspiring the confidence to meet each next challenge on this particular problem....

    Much, much love to you all, Karen, x
     
  18. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Well done Karen,
    Your mum may not remember, but I think that you gave her friend a great gift.
    Love Helen
     
  19. mel

    mel Registered User

    Apr 30, 2006
    1,656
    Sheffield
    Hi Karen
    well done......some of the things you said reminded me so much of taking my mum to see dad in hospital......each visit can be exhausting and fraught:eek:
    You done good kid!!!!:)
    love Wendy xx
     
  20. Kriss

    Kriss Registered User

    May 20, 2004
    513
    Shropshire
    I'm a big believer in the power of thought, and there was plenty of that here for you. Well done to you (and your Mum :) )

    Kriss
     

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