Thursday, 9 April 2015

Hugs in Hell. #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 being a carer / care-giver.


Remember to care for the carers.  

Hugs in Hell




I knew she was having a hard day when after the third time we had got up to go to the toilet she refused to get out of her walker again -  I asked her for the twentieth time "What do you want to do... Where do you want to go?"


Her answer of late was "I don't know." This time she answered, 'I want to go  to Hell'


For a devout catholic this was a big call.  Life on earth had got so hard that Hell seemed a better option.  


I stopped asking her where she wanted to go and gave her a big hug. With only a few weeks left to live, her muscles getting weaker by the minute, it was time to relieve her of more burdens. 


Her brain was foggy from lack of oxygen and Alzheimers rendered her more than just forgetful. If I didn't open the door and show her the toilet she barely understood what the word toilet meant or recognise where she was. I started making all of her decisions for her.  


'Give me hug mum. On the count of three we're standing up - 1, 2, 3 up.'


'Give me a hug mum. We're going to sit at the table and have some dinner.'


Good morning Mum. We are getting up to to have some breakfast now.  Give me a hug 1, 2, 3 up we go. Yes it's morning, the sun is shining through the kitchen window.'


'I know you're not thirsty but here's a little sip of water just to freshen your mouth.'


Your feet are icy cold - I'll put your socks on now'


It was summer time in Australia. 

Breathing with a dwindling lung capacity is harder in the heat. I did my best to keep the house cool all the time. Fans as well as the air conditioning on, helped her feel like she could breath better. I prayed every day for a cold summer. 


'Better a little to cold than too hot.' she would say.


I never wanted her to feel like her favourite place resembled Hell. The polar opposite was perfect.




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3 comments:

  1. I would imagine how difficult it would be at that stage to process things in the way she'd have wanted.

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  2. Hi Ida - yes - you did so well adapting to her needs and working out what was required - hugs and laughter always help ..

    Cheers and all the best now .. Hilary

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  3. Its so good that you were able to step up and make those decisions for her. She needed the ease of that Im sure.

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