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Letting go

Post 1

You can call me TC

We think our Mum is slowly letting go. My sister has been sending e-mail reports on a daily basis this week. It's a bit difficult to put it all in a short journal, but today she apparently didn't eat or drink anything, although meals had been prepared for her. When the carer came to give her her evening meal she hardly even ate any of that.

I try and phone evety day. She often takes a while to answer the phone and is out of breath and often confused when she does answer if she is not sitting in her armchair which is right next to the phone. She has trouble walking and until she started using a stick a couple of weeks ago, was falling more frequently.

My sister is exhausted and at her wits' end. All I can do is phone, but I am worried Mum is dashing for the phone and might fall. I am flying over in February. If sis hasn't found full time care or a place in a home for her by then, at least I'll be able to stand in for a week.

I don't see her holding out for her 100th birthday, though, which would be in November this year.

Sorry. Just had to get it off my chest.

Letting go

Post 2

2legs - Hey, babe, take a walk on the wild side...

smiley - hugsmiley - cuddle Must be so hard, especially 'watching' from afar smiley - goodlucksmiley - hug

Letting go

Post 3

Wand'rin star

I hope it can be a gentle letting go for all of you. You (pl) have done a great job of keeping her. A hundred is only a number. You have much to celebrate, Thinking of you. smiley - hugsmiley - hug

Letting go

Post 4

paulh. Bunnies are cute (There, I've said it)

My father will soon be 99 as well, and it becomes a question of holding your breath at times. Will the end be sudden, or drawn out?

smiley - hug

Letting go

Post 5


99 is mighty. Dashing for the phone, I won't be, if I ever reach that.

There is a lovely piece by Jorge Luis Borges about how his death has already begun (in his middle age). "There are doors that I have closed that I will never open again..."

It is, with luck, a very gradual process. It has begun for all of us.

Letting go

Post 6

paulh. Bunnies are cute (There, I've said it)

To those people who have said that you should put more life in your years, not more years in your life, I say this: you may someday find that you want *both.* smiley - winkeye

Letting go

Post 7

You can call me TC

Both very apt comments. Thank you both.

We were brought up to be very pragmatic about our own mortality.

My mother won't live for ever, I just wish her a pleasant and painless journey.

She was much perkier tonight on the phone, just like old times almost, or at least, like she was just before Christmas. I phoned my middle son after speaking to her to talk to him about it as I think he understands the best. He knew what I meant.

When one comes, another has to go. Six months after said son was born, my husband's aunt died.

Letting go

Post 8

deb - I'm in love with my soup maker & I don't care who knows it

It must be hard being so far away. I also wish her a peaceful passing when the time comes smiley - rose

Deb smiley - cheerup

Letting go

Post 9

You can call me TC

After the encouraging phone call on Wednesday, yesterday was a nightmare. The neighbour called in and found her fussing around and expecting our Dad home, but she didn't know when and she couldn't find the telephone number - a typical dementia scenario. He contacted my sister and she went round to find this situation confirmed, and Mum was having hallucinations (things crawling on the carpet and one of the pot plants having huge white flowers).

We have now put 2 and 2 together and suspect a UTI and Sis has managed to get a urine sample (difficult as personal hygiene is not something she will let us get involved with). On the basis of this, antibiotics have been prescribed and administered.

Just got an e-mail saying that things were much better this evening and the hallucinations and delusions are over.

One unfortuate side-effect is that my sister has booked flights to come to Bonn next week, too, and she won't be able to come if it's too worrying a situation at home. She already had to miss out on flights she had booked to come to a family gathering when Mum broke her arm. If things continue to improve, I really hope she can make it, as it is not often all my family can get together.

Letting go

Post 10

paulh. Bunnies are cute (There, I've said it)

Both of my parents had urinary act infections from time to time. I have no idea why this is so common in the last years of a person's life smiley - huh.

Letting go

Post 11

Sho - gainfully employed again

smiley - hug it is hard to let go. I hope it is as … painless? not sure that's the right word, but I think you know what I mean. and more smiley - hug

Letting go

Post 12

paulh. Bunnies are cute (There, I've said it)

I think I do.smiley - smiley

Letting go

Post 13

You can call me TC

I'm now back from having spent a week with my mother. She gets very tired and on some days it was pointless asking her to get dressed. She just sat in her chair, watching TV, or not watching TV. However, this sounds worse than it is.

She came to meals and I tried to get as much liquid in her as possible, which meant several cold half-cups of tea were left by her chair as she dozed off, but better three half-cups than no liquid at all.

I managed to get her to the hairdresser's once (she hadn't had her hair done since before Christmas) and also had a urine sample tested which showed "all clear".

We had a few conversations, but she can't concentrate for long, and loses the thread after a while. She was happy to have me there, but didn't hang on to me and ask me not to go when I left yesterday.

So now that the scare with the infection is over, she can probably carry on like this for ages yet.

The house is tidy and clean on the surface, but structurally showing signs of neglect, and my sister is talking of big projects like renewing the heating system. Presumably when our mother does pass, and/or goes to a home, the house will be sold, so I am not sure it is worth investing in this.

The heating works with uneconomical night storage heaters which still work OK, but they only have two settings "on" or "off" and when it's mild outside, the house gets rather over-heated. As it's February, we can hardly turn the heating off, but it would be nice to be able to turn it down!

Now she walks with a stick, the danger of a fall is minimised, so, as long as somebody looks in every day, and doesn't mind if she's not dressed, and has gone to sleep, all seems to be OK for the time being.

Letting go

Post 14

You can call me TC

Having read through the thread, I must just add that my sister did come to Bonn for my grand-daughter's birthday and to see the newest addition to the family. She really enjoyed it, especially as my other 2 sons also came and we had a huge family gathering - Son No 2's mother-in-law kindly invited us all as she has more room.

In the meantime at home, we arranged for the carer to come in every day whilst she was away. In the end she said of our mother: "I don't think she even missed me!"

Letting go

Post 15

paulh. Bunnies are cute (There, I've said it)

smiley - laugh

A few days before my mother died, I visited her in the nursing home, and she gripped my arm tight, begging me not to go. Maybe I'm romanticizing things, but I remember that she had been harping about what the rest of us should do after she was gone. She was always eerily perceptive about things. I think she knew the end was near, and was trying to ease our paths. She always did want to make things better for the rest of us.

Letting go

Post 16

You can call me TC

My mother died last Sunday.

I was over at the time and had a hugely traumatic week. At first I had planned to take the coach into Newmarket and use taxis because the few times I used the hire care once I had got to my mother's did not make the expense worth while. Coach fare plus 2-3 taxi trips into town is a fraction of what car hire cost.

However, on 28 June she was taken into hospital and so my stay would consist mainly of trips to the hospital in Bury St Edmunds which is a 35 minute drive and practically impossible by public transport.

To cut a long story short, she had had a fall, as a result of a further UTI. She was given antibiotics IV and whilst she was recovering from the UTI she contracted a chest infection (which is almost obligatory in NHS hospitals, as far as I can see). This made breathing difficult, even when the infection had cleared up.

I arrived the Sunday before last and visited hospital every day (with one exception - see below) and for a couple of days she was awake and talking to us. She rapidly deteriorated and as from the Wednesday, she was only sleeping and could not eat, and hardly drink.

It was worrying to watch her as she mumbled and and cried in her sleep, sometimes flailing her arms and moving her legs - I had noticed her sleep becoming less and less calm over the past 2-3 stays with her at home.

Last Sunday afternoon I visited with my sister and we had gone back to sis's and were having dinner when the hospital rang to say she had passed.

We went back to the hospital and said our goodbyes, but my return flight was Monday.

The reason we had not been able to visit the hospital on the Sunday I arrived was due to a horrendous accident which I was involved in. It was on the traffic news and the road was blocked for several hours. It took place just outside Stansted airport - a motor cycle came UP the slip road at me, and despite my manoeuvring off the road to avoid him, he somehow managed to swerve and hit me head on.

Fortunately, I was fine thanks to the airbags. I just got out of the car and walked over to the police who were there and gave my statement, having first rung the car hire company to report the accident. I was taken to A&E for a thorough checkover and nothing was damaged, although I have since developed very vicious bruising over my front where the seat belt was. If you could see the car, you'd be amazed that I'm alive. Even a broken arm would have messed up the whole point of my going over - I wouldn't have been able to drive to the (other) hospital.

But the trauma of the accident was forgotten after the events of the week following.

Two life-changing experiences in one week. What are the chances of that?

Letting go

Post 17

Gnomon - time to move on

Sorry to hear this, TC.

smiley - rose

Letting go

Post 18

Elektragheorgheni -Please read 'The Post'

I am sorry for your loss, TC.

Letting go

Post 19

paulh. Bunnies are cute (There, I've said it)

"Two life-changing experiences in one week. What are the chances of that?" [TC]

smiley - hugsmiley - rose

As terry Pratchett said, "Scientists have calculated that the chances of something so patently absurd actually existing are millions to one. But magicians have calculated that million-to-one chances crop up nine times out of ten.”

So be it. I'm sorry for your loss. Yesterday I went to the funeral of our longest-serving Board member, who felt tired last Sunday, and took a nap in her chair. She never woke up. At least she went suddenly and apparently peacefully.*

The older I get, the more funerals I attend. I imagine that you're up against that, too. smiley - hug I'm realizing belatedly that the funeral business must be pretty lucrative.

* She never married or had children, but her two sisters had six children each, and those six had 27 offspring, and the family gets bigger with each generation smiley - cdouble. Less than half the family was atv yesterday's funeral, but there must have been 40 people there, counting inlaws and great-grandnieces.

Letting go

Post 20

SashaQ - happysad

smiley - rose Thinking of you

“which is almost obligatory in NHS hospitals, as far as I can see”

Seems so indeed smiley - sadface

Glad you’re ok apart from bruises after that terrible road incident - shocking...

smiley - rose

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