One of those weeks caregivers dread

Last Monday, I tried to call Mom but her line was busy. This is not that unusual, so I didn’t think too much about it. A few minutes later, I received a call from an unknown number. By the time I Googled it and saw that it was the Lifeline number, the call had gone to voice mail. I immediately called back without waiting for the message.

Mom had slipped off the bed and fallen. She fell on her butt, thankfully, but was still sore and shaken up. Fortunately, she was checked out by EMS and seemed ok, so no ER visit was necessary.

Still, I fear it is the beginning of the “no longer can live at home alone” phase. Mom’s done pretty well this past week, all things considered, but the tricky part for caregivers is knowing when to make these key decisions for a loved one’s care.

Beautiful Elle, RIP.

Beautiful Elle, RIP.

At the same time that was going on, our 16-year-old cat was rapidly declining. A cancerous lesion on the roof of her mouth meant she could no longer eat without discomfort, even with pain medications. Sadly, over the last few years, I’ve become used to the euthanasia process. While thankful that we have that choice for pets, it is still brutally heartbreaking to have to make that decision.

My mom wishes she could be like the cat and just go on. She says she is ready and she is not afraid of what is beyond. She is miserable with being in constant pain, and having a loss of appetite and fatigue. The doctors are no closer to diagnosing her than before. Is the cancer back? She’ll have to have a colonoscopy to determine that, but at barely 100 pounds and weak, she’s in no shape for the preparation.

She also hates to be a burden on others. While certainly I can’t deny the stress the last few years have created, I don’t want my mother to feel guilt over something she cannot control.

With wry humor, I know that we are going to have to get a bigger shelf to hold all of our memorials, for people and pets lost over the years. It’s getting crowded up there.

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3 Comments

Filed under Memories

3 responses to “One of those weeks caregivers dread

  1. I am so sorry for the difficulties you’re experiencing.

  2. Oh, my heart goes out to you in the loss of your kitty. I had to make that decision for two pets in the year 2009 (5 months apart). It was heart wrenching, so I know what you are going through. If only they could make the decision for themselves without us having to second guess ourselves. Sigh.

    My husband’s parents (IL) are in no shape to be living alone, but they refuse to let anyone get them help. Social services has been called a few times, and we can’t get them moved into a care center. Thankfully, my MIL finally has allowed help to come into the home. The hospital (after an ER visit) sent hospice there for my FIL. My MIL is in denial about her husband’s condition, and she is in bad shape, too. Her condition does not yet call for hospice yet though.

    I move in a few weeks and will be staying with my mom until we find something. She is not doing well either. She wants me to live there in her home permanently, but for many, many, many reasons we cannot.

    I didn’t mean to go on here, but I do know what you’re going through with your mom. I hope something can be done for her to feel comfortable and safe. Comforting hugs to you.

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