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 Tired of the Well-Meaning Questions 
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:59 pm
Posts: 1978
Post Re: Tired of the Well-Meaning Questions
Thanks everyone, I know it was a decision I had to make and I made it as much for my Mom because I did fear she was in danger with my husband, I just wish she would have listened to me and not butt in so much but that was then and this is now.

I guess I didn't really give the whole story either as she fractured both hips in Jim's last 2 weeks and she eventually went back to the ALF and became ill and when her last weeks were coming I couldn't even bring her home then, I had her placed in Hospice when the hospital said no more could be done, I had this fear she would go on forever and I would again be a caregiver, she only lasted 8 days and died alone as that night the nurse told me she was fine and I could go home and a short time later she died !

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Irene Selak


Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:05 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
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Location: Vermont
Post Re: Tired of the Well-Meaning Questions
Irene, you know you made the best decision you could at that point. I'm sure you wish you'd been there when your mom died, but you made the best decision at the point you left that night too. I feel bad I wasn't with my dad when he died but I was making the best decision I could given the info. from the nurses and my own family's needs. It would be good under the circumstances if the end could be predicted with more accuracy, but it can't. I hope one of these days you are able to NOT feel guilty about your mom, and just accept that you did what was best given the overall circumstances. And to have to care for two at once at home, that is just too much for anyone. Big hug to you, Lynn

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Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:35 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Tired of the Well-Meaning Questions
Hugs to you, Irene.

If you'd known the outcome, you might have made different decisions. But we always have to guess the outcomes as best we can, and move on.

You feared the outcome of continuing to have your husband and mother interact. Sounds like a reasonable guess to me. You acted on that.

You feared the outcome of not being able to give your mother the kind of end-of-life care you wanted for her, at that point in your caregiving career and life. Sounds reasonable to me. You acted on that. If you'd known the hospice period would only be several days, you might have done some "showtiming" of your own and brought her home, but how could you possibly know that? And if you had, you might now be regretting that you tried to do more than you possibly could and wonder if your mother might have gotten better care in a professional setting. We seldom can know outcomes in advance, and can never know whether a different decision would have had a better outcome.

You did your best. You did it for years. It is time to let the guilt float away, and hang on to the love that went into your labor and your decisions.

Hugs, Jeanne

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:44 pm
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:55 pm
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Post Re: Tired of the Well-Meaning Questions
Irene, I know exactly the position you were in. I am in that place with my Mom and Dad at the moment. The only thing is that Dad is too feeble to do anything, and my mother is bedbound upstairs and he is downstairs and cannot get to her. But I still have the fear that some day he will find strength and do her harm. You must not feel guilty!!!! You did not send your mother away out of malice - I am sure it was a heartwrenching decision - you did it for HER good. You are only human, and we can only do so much. It is so easy for me to say this, on the outside looking in, but you need to believe that you did all you could, and what was best for everyone.
As for your mother dying alone, I am of the firm opinion that our LOs decide to leave when they decide, ie they either wait to be alone, or they need people with them. I think your mother did not want to let you watch her leave, and waited to go when she was alone. Be proud of all you have done. I know it is difficult, but try to replace the guilt with pride in all you did and all you still do for so many of us,
Gerx

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cared for Dad who passed away on January 28th 2013 R.I.P.


Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:37 am
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:25 am
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Post Re: Tired of the Well-Meaning Questions
Ger said it best. We can only do our best, it's just that sometimes our best is not going to be good enough. Can't be helped. Thanks for all you do for us.

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Donna (age 56) caregiver for mother-in-law Margaret (age 88).


Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:02 pm
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:59 pm
Posts: 1978
Post Re: Tired of the Well-Meaning Questions
Thanks all and wouldn't it be great to be able to just see a little into the future ! But we all do the best we can!

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Irene Selak


Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:46 pm
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Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:28 pm
Posts: 463
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Tired of the Well-Meaning Questions
Irene,

Ger said it well when she said that our loved ones decide to leave when they decide to leave. Some want family all around and some would like to slip away quietly and privately. I suspect I have the slip away quietly type in my mom. She has never liked big displays of emotion and has spent her life trying to spare her family pain. And I wish for her such a quiet passing.

You may have given your mom (whether she knew it or not) a great gift in giving her safety and privacy. I think you should be proud. You made a tough decision and followed through to the benefit of both your husband and your mom. You have nothing to regret.

Kate

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Kate [i](Cared for Mom for years before anyone else noticed the symptoms, but the last year of her life was rough and we needed to place her in an SNF, where she passed in February 2012)[/i]


Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:15 am
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Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 5:28 pm
Posts: 317
Post Re: Tired of the Well-Meaning Questions
I am not going to tell you not to feel guilt. You feel it. It is in your heart. But, it's important to couple the acceptance of the guilty feelings with the rational thought that you did the best you could in a situation where you had no reserves left. You were tapped out from the caregiving for Jim. When the well is dry you cannot turn the spigot on and get water. All you get is a puff of stale air. I try to couple my guilty feelings with a more rational though. If I do it often enough it does help

By the way, Irene, I have a graduate degree in guilt. Norweigan, Lutheran and from North Dakota. That spells guilt. In BIG LETTERS. Nan


Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:24 am
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Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 4:46 pm
Posts: 119
Location: Salem, Oregon
Post Re: Tired of the Well-Meaning Questions
Irene,
I've been in grief counseling for several months, even though my mother is still alive. One thing my counselor has been trying to help me with is what I described as "guilt" feelings over not being able to meet everyone's needs (my dad with heart problems, mom with LBD, recently widowed sister, grieving nieces, young son with learning problems, teenage son trying to figure out college stuff, students failing classes, worried students' parents, etc). I became frustrated after several sessions because I felt like we were wasting a lot of time on "guilt"--it simply wasn't helping. I finally realized that the reason it wasn't helping is because it's not really guilt--I know I can't meet everyone's needs. I know the decisions I've made about which needs to meet have been good decisions based on the best information I had. What I feel is love, sorrow, and a desire to help those I care about, especially my family members. That's not going away because my love isn't going away and the need isn't going away. Once I sorted that out in my mind and explained it to her, I felt released of some of its hold over me.


Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:51 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
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Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Tired of the Well-Meaning Questions
What a great insight, SandwichMom. Thanks for sharing.

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:02 pm
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:59 pm
Posts: 1978
Post Re: Tired of the Well-Meaning Questions
SM,
I think you hit on something that made a lot of sense to me perhaps my love for my mom and my inability to care for her the way I *think* it should have been, I am reading as guilt. I know I have nothing to feel guilty about I just hated the decisions I had to make.

Thank you for your very insightful reply, it means a great deal to me !

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Irene Selak


Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:12 pm
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