Topic: Toughest 24........

I feel like I've just experienced the worst 24 hours of my life. 

I made a trip to my parent's house to mainly do a "visual" on my Mom's condition (she beginning to develope some ascites)  and to give my Daddy some support.  I left early on Friday morning after a trip to another doctor with my husband who may have a benign tumor on his cranial nerve that controls hearing.  (One more thing in my life to worry about.) *sigh*

I went straight to the Hospice and Palliative care center in Greensboro to get some information and nail down what the procedure is for admittance to the program and what records I need to gather for them.  The people there could not have been nicer or more supportive.  I was there for about 1 1/2 hours.  I didn't tell my Dad I was going to do this but I believe we are getting close.  He needs the support of not having to stress over is it time to put a call in to the doctor or whether this is merely a continuation of the disease.  We had to call Duke last week since Mom is beginning to develop some ascites.  They will be making arrangements to have this removed so that is good.  The best moment in this last day was seeing the total relief on his face when I told him what I'd done and telling him the only thing left to do would to be make a phone call when the time was right.

I did fine until I came out of the Hospice office.  I sat in my car and just broke down.  It's so hard to have to start "parenting" a parent.  There is a part of me that simply wants to be only their daughter with no responsibilities or cares.  I guess we as caregivers all feel that way at times.

The hard part is "selling" this care to my Mom.  I approached it as we are "inserting" another level of the care team.  I told mom it would help daddy to be able to have a professional come out and help make the decision about what to do next when these moments arrive.  She has moments when I see my regular Mom and not the more childlike version that is ravaged by this monster of a disease so I had to wait until it was almost time to leave before we had one of those moments and I could talk with her.

I'm just venting right now.  I cried most of the 3 1/2 hour trip home while singing with the cd of my Dad's quartet.  I know that being in the medical field is great, but the downside is that you know more than you really need to sometimes.

I just reread this and  I'm rambling and I'm sorry not to be more succinct.  Just say a prayer for my Mom and my family.  I can already feel the hugs from all of you.

Now I'm going to try and do something productive.  Like get dressed...lol.

Thanks for listening........love to you all, 

Pam

My Mom lost her one year battle with CC on April 3, 2009.

"A prognosis is simply an audit of how truly precious each day is.  Live each day to the maximum, celebrate what was, and what is - Don't spend your life looking forward to what will or might be." .... words of wisdom from my beloved son on hearing of his grandmother's CC prognosis.

Re: Toughest 24........

Bless the solitude of a car! I think you made a wise step and I am sure you feel that way as well,  having seen your father's face. It is very hard to trade places with our parents. That little girl comes out in one and we feel almost a guilty feeling. I would have done the same thing to ease things up for the other parent. Someone has to step up and be a hero and you did just that. Hugs to you and prayers to your family! And...ramble all you need.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Toughest 24........

Pam....We are called the sandwich generation as we are tending to children on one hand and our aging parents on the other.  It is never easy arranging for upcoming necessary care although,  it feels comforting knowing that it has been accomplished.  You are right, tons of hugs are coming your way.   
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Toughest 24........

Pam... I agree with Marion 100%. The sandwich generation without a doubt. I am wishing and praying for you girl all the way.  Being in the medical profession can be to your advantage, but emotionally be heart wrenching.  I know it broke my heart having to move my parents into a nuring home.  But I knew If I did nothing, it was a matter of time before an unfortunate event.  My Dad passed 6 months later from congested heart failure.  My Mom is still holding her own with parkinsons and developing dementia.  Even after placement you have to keep eyes peeled to enure proper care is being conducted.  It is such a shame that you have to advocate and intervein so often and threaton State reviews to keep people on there toes.  It is so easy for administrators to sit in their meetings and make all look good on paper.  But usually the QC of staff and their lack of proper training, keeps you on your toes.  There are some private pay facilities that are excellent, mostly state funded facilities I've seen the recurring problems.  Years to get it right but, but history keeps repating itself, primary due to high satff turnover and bad pay.  I'm sorry! I just had to vent and share your frustrations.  You'll do your darn best I know.  Your full of love and care and that will see you through the rough times.  Plus continue to vent openingly so we can all support you the best we can.

God's Blessings,
Jeff G.

Take it to the Limit,One More Time! (Eagles)

Re: Toughest 24........

Pam,
You are a very thoughtful, wonderful daughter.  I lift your parents in prayer. 
Karen

Wishing all God's blessings!

Re: Toughest 24........

You guys are the best! 

I got to work this morning and fired an email off to Mom's regular physician thanking him for all of his care and then came to this site to see all of the above wonderful remarks.

I think I'll spend the rest of the day deciding exactly what kind of sandwich I intend to be.....*grin*

Thanks so much for the needed support!

Hugs and love to all!

Pam

My Mom lost her one year battle with CC on April 3, 2009.

"A prognosis is simply an audit of how truly precious each day is.  Live each day to the maximum, celebrate what was, and what is - Don't spend your life looking forward to what will or might be." .... words of wisdom from my beloved son on hearing of his grandmother's CC prognosis.

Re: Toughest 24........

Pam, I know it is difficult but you are doing the right thing.  You are a marvelous daughter.  Your parents are fortunate indeed to have your loving care.

Re: Toughest 24........

Hi Pam: My Mom had hospice care at home from a very good company.  However, there were still times when it was difficult for my elderly father to take care of her (middle of the night BMs, urination, etc).  Couldn't leave the eliminations alone, they'd burn her skin, but he had no strength to roll her over to clean up.  He had/still has congestive heart failure.  My sister and I began to stay overnight at their house and were just beginning to arrange to have her in a convalescent home when she slipped into a coma and passed on 3 days later.

Are you the only sibling?  Do you have hired caregivers coming to the house to help out?

Re: Toughest 24........

Pam - bless your heart, my heart is full of emotion as I read your post. My dad developed ascites the end of November and we began paracentesis the first week of December.  This really helped a lot......I also called Hospice the last week of December.  The day I made that decision was filled with mixed emotion.  The first emotion was, I felt like I was giving up on my Daddy. The second emotion was, relief....I knew I didn't have to do it by myself anymore.  I have an older brother, but he was an emotional wreck when it came to caring for my Dad.  My dad passed away peacefully on January 14 at Hospice - I'm so glad I called them ahead of time to make all the arrangements so the transition was easy.  YES, it is hard to be the parent and make the decisions....hugs to you and prayers for strength as you go through this time.  Know that you are doing the best for both your parents - and yourself.  Please keep us posted and let us know how you are.

Smiles through tears,
Patsy