Friday, 3 April 2015

Conflicted. #atozchallenge Care for the carers.

Two days after her 73rd birthday my Mum took her final breath. She had Alzheimers and Motor neurone disease. For her final 3 months I was her main carer, a privilege I am grateful for and will cherish forever. This years #atozchallenge theme will focus on some of the stories and emotions that presented themselves during this time. 

Remember to care for the carers.  


At some point I realised:

Encouraging her to eat was more like force feeding. 

Medicine was keeping her alive, but there was no life left to live.

I wasn't helping her survive for her own needs, it was only for the people that still needed her.

Longevity was no longer a reward. Helping her live longer felt like I was contributing to her suffering.

At some point I stopped saying:

'Good night, see you in the morning' 

and said 'I love you, good night.'


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  1. Hi Ida - it is a difficult time and we certainly get feelings of conflict. I'm so lucky my mother was able to communicate - but I avoided talking to her about anything that I didn't think she'd want to talk about .. and as she wasn't able to eat or drink .. we avoided food and tea/coffee type talk ..

    You're so right .. it's working out what won't upset them - yet being there for our beloved dear ones (in our case - our mothers) - sensitivity and empathy are so essential .. cheers Hilary

    1. It's so nice to be able to hear other peoples stories that have a deep understanding - thanks Hilary

  2. The "quality of life" issue. Always a tough one. Glad you had that privilege and that your realized that it was one. Too many see it as a burden they carry.
    Life & Faith in Caneyhead
    I am Ensign B ~ One of Tremp's Troops with the
    A to Z Challenge

  3. I remember all of these points when my Dad was dying and my brother who was brain dead for quite some time before his death. My Dad stopped eating and I remember asking him on the day he died (he was lucid right up to about five min before he died) if I could get him anything... he said... "Y'know those Boston Creme Donuts? I cant eat it but I wouldnt mind a wiff of one right now...." I ran to a donut shop and got him one... He was so happy to smell it !

    1. .... and visions of you running to the donut shop

  4. Harder than I realised at times, but also expected. The nurses in the palliative care team said it was often easier for families with carers with no medical experience because there is a bliss that comes from 'not knowing'


Feedback and your own stories are welcome.