Author Topic: I am the daughter  (Read 1746 times)

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Offline not like the movies

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I am the daughter
« on: July 21, 2011, 08:45:48 PM »
My mother went to the ER Monday and was admitted to the hospital. I have been trying to balance work, my mother's hospital stay and checking in on my 91yr old father. I am tired and stressed. I am thinking a lot about what it is like to be a daughter to elderly parents needing help. What a time in my life. Troubles with my own daughter while examining my own role as a daughter. My life seems very complex right now. Taking it hour by hour. Oh an trying to have a relationship with my husband. His father just had prostrate surgery. We both have been pulled in two different directions trying to do the best we can. We fall into bed at night exhausted saying hello and goodnight. We still keep laughing though. Then he says "better days are ahead".
When you pick up a stick you get both ends!

Offline Pen

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Re: I am the daughter
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2011, 10:09:45 PM »
I'm glad you have a good DH by your side during this time. It's OK for you to take a little time for R & R when you can. Take care! We'll be thinking of you.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline luise.volta

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Re: I am the daughter
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2011, 07:55:50 AM »
How well I remember. My father lived with us when we were at the peak of our careers, our youngest son was unstable (just out of college and just married) and my sister moved close because she was diagnosed with inoperable cancer. There is more but you get the picture. We couldn't change anything…all we could do was hunker down, give our best and hope we survived. Just like you are.

What we could do, and you can, too, was to break the pattern and see to it that we didn't pass on the same kind of crisis and pressure to our kids.

We have kept that promise to ourselves and, silently, to them. When we were still healthy and productive, we picked a CCRC. That stands for Continuous Care Retirement Community. We didn't even consult "the kids." We divested outselves of the accumulation of stuff that wouldn't fit and we moved ourselves.

Healthy, happy and able…we signed up to volunteer for various tasks that interested us…together and separately. Since it is a nonprofit facility, the residents here put in over 38,000 volunteer hours a year to make it their community. No one has to volunteer, it just becomes an extended family for most of us. And we were surprised to find that the life expectancy is higher here and is believed to be tied to being useful. Sitting around waiting to die makes people crabby and/or sad.

There is also a lovely low income section (HUD) here. It was necessary for me to move there last year when my husband went into nursing. Besides nursing there is a boarding unit for those who want their meals prepared for them and an assisted case unit for those needing more care but not needing nursing. There is everything here for independent living from double-wide manufactured homes to 400 sq. ft. efficiency apartments.

Our families care. They come and visit. But…they are not responsible around the clock. The community feels like an extended family. Parents who say they are still "fine at home" and don't need to go to "that kind of place, yet" need to know that when they do need to go, it will be too late to be able to make the choice or engineer the move. Many people come here directly from retirement and even make it their home base while they travel.

Learn from what you are going through and decide not to let it happen to you and your adult children. Mine tell me that they are the exception to the rule. Most of their friends are going through what you are. And typically, a move to a retirement community is under pressure when it's too late to have it be a positive experience. Most facilities also don't have nursing homes, so when people need their friends around them the most…they are shipped off to someplace where they don't know anyone.

There are other ways to do what you are doing. I am 84 and my husband is 99 and we are doing it our way. Sending love...
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

Offline Pooh

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Re: I am the daughter
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2011, 08:29:29 AM »
Wonderful post Luise.

NLTM, I'm so sorry.  You do have a plateful right now.  Take care of yourself the best you can during a difficult time and give DH a big hug for hanging in there too.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline pam1

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Re: I am the daughter
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2011, 08:52:52 AM »
NLTM, I'm sorry to hear about your Mom.  I hope it is a swift recovery.

I like your husbands take on it "better days ahead."  Is there anyway you can arrange a date night soon?  Even if it is not going anywhere, just a few hours to cuddle on the couch.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

amflautist

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Re: I am the daughter
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2011, 01:43:43 PM »
NLTM, I will be with you as you take care of your DM.  Accept my cool hand over yours as you soothe your mother. 

When my own DM was told it was time for her to enter hospice, I flew across the country to bring her home to live with me.  I wanted to take care of her and hold her as she took that last walk.  I was so incredibly lucky that my DH supported me in this and got a room ready for her.  I was so sad that I only had her for 6 weeks; I had been hoping for 6 months.

I think you are soooo lucky to still have your father with you at age 91.  Give him my best wishes.

Offline luise.volta

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Re: I am the daughter
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2011, 01:52:22 PM »
What a lovely, tender, thoughtful post.
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

Offline lancaster lady

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Re: I am the daughter
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2011, 02:58:42 PM »
NLTM....

you have the chance to say what we we all wished we had said before it's too late .
my thoughts are with you and your family .

TheChoiceIsYours

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Re: I am the daughter
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2011, 08:30:49 PM »
NLTM, my heart goes out to you and all your family during such a trying time. I've been there and it's not an easy road. It never is though, in these types of situations. I was the primary caretaker of my DM for over 10 years (Alzheimer's) while having 2 teenaged son's at home as well, when it all began. Trust me when I say that I really didn't know just how strong of a person I was (emotionally, mentally) until then. I think it's great that you've decided to take it one hour at a time -- as that's the state of mind it takes in order to cope (as you just never know what might happen next). You and your DH's sense of humor is a wonderful thing to have also. It's such a stress reliever to be able to laugh, especially together!




Offline Pooh

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Re: I am the daughter
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2011, 07:41:49 PM »
One of my favorite sayings:  A woman is like a tea bag.  You never know how strong she can be until you put her in hot water.

My thoughts are still with you.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline not like the movies

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Re: I am the daughter
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2011, 08:59:07 PM »
thanks to each and every woman for posting. I can hardly type now what I have been through. I believe my mother is in a phase of passing this life. I had a difficult meeting today with siblings as we tried to come to a decesion how to proceed. I wanted no feeding tubes period. Some wanted it. I am making my own living will ASAP. I will share later when I can about the evening shared with my mom, husband, and myself. I have never experienced anything like it. I would not be able to explain well to other as I am still processing it. So glad my husband was there so I don't feel like I am crazy.

Yes I have formulated a grwoing old plan for myself. Long term health care etc. More improvements to make such as a living will. I don't consult my adult children as well. I began making these plans when I saw my parents journey unfolding without such plans.

Again thank you for the love and support. I wanted to read the posts all weekend. More to follow.
When you pick up a stick you get both ends!

Offline luise.volta

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Re: I am the daughter
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2011, 09:03:27 PM »
Reaching out and taking your hand…and sending love...
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

TheChoiceIsYours

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Re: I am the daughter
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2011, 01:53:46 AM »
I went through that same phase with my mother. And like you, I chose no feeding tubes on the advice of her doctors. My mother already weighed only 66 pounds when I made the decision, yet she stayed alive for almost an entire month with only getting her mouth swabbed with water! She was a fighter all the way. That was so hard to endure. The waiting. Painfully hard.

Then I got the phone call..."Hurry, your mother is passing now, come say you final words to her". There are certain signs that are watched for, as the time draws near. And I will tell you, I almost lost it. With all the waiting, this was it. Final. But I gathered myself together in order to be with my mom at the end.

When I got to the hospital, my DH and I were rushed to my mothers bedside. I held her hand and told her "It's ok mom, you can let go now, I'm here with you." All the while wiping away endless tears that just wouldn't stop coming, no matter how hard I tried to hold them back. I then told her that it's now time for her to again be with her own mother, father, and brother. And I kissed her, as did my DH. And with that, my mother passed away, as I still held her hand.

It was such a tough time, but it really was for the best. I love you mom!





 

Offline lancaster lady

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Re: I am the daughter
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2011, 02:41:31 AM »
Oh my ! That's a.tough one to read on a Monday morning. I wasnt there at my parents parting ,but I talk to them most days ,so they know I love them .That's the hardest part of life ,saying goodbye.

Offline Pooh

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Re: I am the daughter
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2011, 01:34:02 PM »
Keep hanging in there NLTM.  My thoughts are with you.  TheChoiceIsYours, what a tough but loving moment. 
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell