Everly

Loss of a parent - daily thread

2,314 posts in this topic

11 hours ago, ELiz said:

Everly I'm so sorry you're having to deal with all that family drama. That's horrible that you've come to a place that's suppose to be safe for sharing and they end up doing that. Feel free to private message me if you ever want to talk. 

Thanks Eliz... thanks.... I need to write it so they know I know they are reading... still.  Moving on.  My life will go on and I will die... with or without them. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, new133 said:

Those are very cute, how long does it take to make those? I don't have the patience to knit lol, but they are so lovely and it's sweet that you give them away. I'm so sorry your mom isn't here. It must have been hard to return to a hobby you two did together.

new133.. the monkeys take about 2 weeks.. but i only knit on the train to and from work, and some on the weekends.  the dolls take about that time too.  the bunny... she went pretty quick, less than a week, but that is because she is crocheted vs knitting... knitting takes longer.  Yes it was hard to return to knitting... my Mom loved my work, as I did hers. She taught me how to sew, knit and crochet, she was very creative.  When I was younger she would start all my project for me... cause I could never get that down... then as we both aged, I would start her projects, LOL  We used to laugh at that.  I miss her so much :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome back, Eve! And hello to our circle of friends--Missionblue, May, Lisa, Athina, Reader, Eliz, and probably a few more....

Eve, I was not initially going to reply because I am so busy: dad is returning home tomorrow and there is still so much I have to do. But those sock monkeys are so adorable! Like New133, I marvel at your willingness to pursue an activity that is so associated with your mom!

There are times when I finish a project and think to myself, mom would be so proud! I feel the same here. These are so amazing! Your mom would be beaming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Everly,  that bunny and all of your dolls are amazing -- you are so talented!  What a lovely tribute to your mom.

I'm sorry that you miss your family and they seem hellbent on punishing you for reasons known only to them.  You gave them what they wanted -- what more could they want?  They must think that you were their mother's favorite, and if that's true, it's easy to see why.  How can they be so mean when they know you are hurting?  That's kicking someone when they're down and there's no excuse for it.  Sometimes you have to cut ties with your own relatives, because that's the way they want it.  Maybe it makes them feel less guilty.  I hope I'm not making things worse for you by saying this, but you are better off without them.  When they need you for something, they'll come around. 

Childhood relationships change as siblings get married and have children of their own.  Their priorities change.  Very few people lead Hallmark lives though most of us wish we did.  At least, you made an effort to be nice to them, though don't ever apologize for something that is not your fault.  "When you apologize for something that isn't your fault, the other person tends to feel "retroactively entitled" to that apology, which creates the perception that the issue WAS your fault, and allows that person to avoid accountability for their own actions." -- https://www.reddit.com/r/LifeProTips/comments/1demn2/lpt_dont_apologize_for_things_that_arent_your/

Dear Reader, it is amazing how much we have in common re our dads.  We both tried to get our dads to take better care of themselves, but they wanted to lead the kind of life they were used to.  My dad didn't like feeling like a patient all the time.  It is hard to change an older person's way of thinking.   I also was raised to be an obedient daughter, which is why whenever I argued with my dad, it made me feel so bad.  I would always apologize but making the switch from daughter to caregiver was difficult at times.  I often felt like I was the parent and he was the child.  His sweet naivete made him so lovable but it also made me feel sorry for him.   Like in that speech from Macbeth, my dad should have had "that which should accompany old age, as honor, love, obedience, troops of friends...."   Sadly, most of my dad's friends either died, were moved to nursing homes or drifted away.  I'm very grateful to the visiting nurses, physical therapists, and social workers who checked in on us. 

I also hope and pray that we will feel better over time.  We were lucky to have our dads as long as we did, but when I look back over the years, my life seems so short!   Maybe because so much of it was routine.  I would like to fill my life with so many different experiences so that when my death approaches I won't regret the things I didn't do.  I already knocked bowling, smoking marijuana, drinking Goldschlager schnapps, attending a masked ball, and going to an Indian casino off my bucket list.  I still would like to see snow fall in person and attend the Lancaster CA Poppy Festival in April.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mission, Reader: Thank you, oh, so very much. Grieving really sucks. I wonder when will my grieve ever lessen. I know it's still too early. I wonder will I still be like this 10 years from now? Yes, we will ALWAYS miss our dads and our moms. Grieving is so stressful. I think it's part of the reason why my blood pressure is high again. I'm back on meds again.

I remember when I was discharged from the rehab hospital (1.5 months) after my first stroke, I couldn't take any form of stress. Of course my family didn't give me stress, but if I heard an argument it bothered me and I would step outside and cry. My bleeding stroke affected me in weird ways. I will cry for no reason. I remember when the doctor gave me the okay to go back to work, I cried from happiness. Sometimes I would forget how to do the work that I was used to doing daily at work. I'd sit there and cry. Thank God my co-workers were understanding. I would talk back to my superiors and that sure wasn't me. I'm normally quiet as a mouse. I quite drinking coffee, juice, soda and milk. It took me years to slowly drink coffee again. Now, all I drink is coffee, hot tea, water and more water. On my next life, I want to become a dog just like our dogs. They have stress free lives....eat, sleep, bark, give kisses and loves unconditionally.

Eve: I'm so sorry that your sister or whoever is still going behind your back reading your stuff. That's just not right. They are stalking you. Isn't it against the law that they are hacking into your business? I'm sorry for what your brother said to you at the funeral. I wonder what is it going to take for your siblings to call it a truce. What more do they want from you? You've cleaned up the condo mainly yourself. Where was everybody?

Yes, our mom's angelversary is just around the corner. I've been very emotional this few days. I can't even do anything, but cry. I don't know if it had anything to do with the 2 year coming up. Those monkeys brought a smile to my face. They are just too cute. I've always had interest in knitting and crocheting. I've brought books to learn. Then, guess what? I had the darn stroke. Can't do anything with one had. I tried to hand sew a button...can't even do that.   

Love n Hugs, May

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eve: Those monkeys are so adorable! I have to agree with Mission they are a wonderful tribute to your mom. And to give them freely it truly is a gift from the heart. I tried to pick up crochet, I have to say I'm a bit hopeless. I can't seem to get the tension right.

Silver: Glad your dad is coming home. I know that is a lot of work for you. You are so amazing. Working still and caring for you dad.

May: I have to agree with you that dogs are the best for giving unconditional love and companionship. Your dogs are so lucky to have you.

I have the same question. Its almost 5 months, but not quite. But like you, I wonder how will I feel in a year's time, two years and so on. I think the hole in my heart will always be there. And because of my personality I don't see a time where I won't blame myself for causing my father's death. Seeing my dad so weak and unhappy after the stroke, I was the eternal optimist. I honestly thought he would get better. He might even drive again. But it was never meant to me. And then for him to go downhill so quickly, I never imagined the consequences of letting my dad have his way about his food and medications.

Please take care May. I hope your blood pressure is better.

MissionBlue:  I know what you mean, in the later years I also felt like the parent and my father the child. I think he resented this. He was always so independent.

Oh my goodness, I just had the same thought the other day! Why does it feels like time has gone by so fast? Each year seemed to go faster and faster. I read one article that said exactly as you said, this idea of routine. Where as a child has so many new experiences time seems to go slower. I always remembered being a child and thinking "I can't wait to grow up! Life will be fair. Life will be good" But no. Life just got harder. I had to graduate university. I had to find a job. I had to support myself and father financially.

I wanted my dad to have something good. He was always so basic. And people tell me now, I look like him, I take after him, and in the end, the one thing I was always sad about was my dad being alone. If I left the nest so to speak, he would have no one. It was I that found him the floor after the stroke. I was the one that called the ambulance. I always wondered, what would have happened if I never came home that night?

And now I am the one that is alone. I am the one that has to cope.

Mission that is wonderful way to think. It is important to do everything you want! Because you are right, time does go fast. I hear this a lot, "I blinked and it was over." My dad said this about our childhoods. And now it feels like I have blinked and I have lost my dad. A reality I never thought I would see come to fruition. Silly of me I know. I could have lost him many times before and I am grateful he did live as long as he did. But in my mind I would have always wanted more.

Mission, I look forward to hearing more about your new adventures! And thank you for kind thoughts and prayers.

Love and hugs to all.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reader, so many parallels in our lives!  I also look like my dad and take after him.   And yet, as I said before, sometimes I wish I had been my dad's sister.  Then I could have helped him with his homework.  I don't know if I would have done as well in school under the same conditions as he had.  During the Depression, his family was so poor, they were lucky if there was enough money left over for paper and pencils, let alone books.  He had to drop out of high school to help support the family.   I'll never forget when my dad bought me three full sets of encyclopedias, the Cultural Library and two sets of classic literature when I was in second grade.  I was so proud and moved that my father would do that for me.  My dad was so proud when I received the General Excellence Award in grammar school and was the Valedictorian of my high school class.  I won a scholarship to attend USF, but I dropped out in my third year to become the fulltime caregiver for my grandmother.   I also didn't want my dad to be alone, so I didn't socialize much and never married.  Like you, now I am alone and have to cope without him.  I am lucky to have Ernesto for company, but I still spend a lot of my time alone, because he is not as fun-loving as I thought he was.  Hopefully, that will change after I move into my new home and have more time to socialize.  My future is no longer bright, but there are still a few flickers of hope.

We differ in one way though.  When I was a child I didn't want to grow up.  I didn't want to have to cook all the time and be stuck in a kitchen like my poor grandmother, but I spent many years in that same kitchen cooking and washing dishes, because my older relatives preferred home cooked meals, no microwaves or fast food.  Now I love it when I get to eat out or order in with GrubHub.  I'm hooked on Amazon Prime Now, because you can get groceries and other items delivered in one hour.   It's amazing!  I wish my dad could have enjoyed it but it was launched right after he died. 

You will always have the accomplishment of having graduated from college and helped support your dad.  It is extra hard for people who have to work to be a caregiver.  I'm sure you did the best you could for your dad.  If he had asked for more, you would have done it.   

May, I'm sorry you are having such a hard time with your Angelversary coming up, but please hang in there.  It's good that you are drinking coffee instead of juice and sodas.  A recent study published in the journal Stroke found that consuming one cup of coffee per day can decrease stroke risk by up to 20%. Similarly, drinking four cups of green tea per day also decreased stroke risk by 20%:

http://www.strokesmart.org/coffee-and-stroke-risk?utm_source=homepage&utm_medium=newsfeed&utm_campaign=coffee-and-stroke-risk

Celery is good to lower high blood pressure. It worked for my dad, but he didn't want to eat celery all the time:

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/04/celery-may-help-bring-your-high-blood-pressure-down/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My mother was my best friend she was diagnosed  with stage 4 small cell lung cancer November 15th 2016 and passed way December 8th 2016, it wasn't even a full month from the time that we found out she had it and then she was gone... Its is still all unreal to me... I still can not bring myself to come to terms with the fact that my best friend, my reason for getting up every morning mom MOTHER IS GONE!!!!! what did i do wrong ? what cpild i have done to make her life last longer... Could i have changed the passed some times i truly believe so.. but ill never get that chance to know!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everly My goodness you're talented! Those would surely bring a smile to anyone!

silverkitties Hello! Isn't it funny how we never stop wanting our parents to be proud of us! I'm the same way when I finish a project. I would always show my mom my completed projects and I think she would get more satisfaction from them than me. 

Deidre Welcome! I'm terribly sorry for your loss. That's terribly sad. I can't imagine how you must feel. My mother died abruptly as well. Except she was healthy as a horse. Not even a cold. Just didn't wake up from her sleep from one day to the next. I don't know if there is ever enough time with our loved ones. Whether they die at 40 or 100. But there's something especially horrid about not forseeing someone's death or not having enough time to say goodbye. One month was terribly short and I'm sorry that was the case for your family.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everly, your knitted animals are adorable. Thanks for showing. Yeah, that's the problem with internet - you cannot expect absolute anonymity. I am very vulnerable right know and it would upset me even more if someone tracked me down. I prefer anonymity from the outsiders. As much as I'd like to show you photos and stuff, I'm well aware it's internet.. Everly, please keep posting if you feel up to..

Deidre, condolences and welcome :(  All of us have also lost someone dear to us, for me it is not my new reality yet. I also did not have time to say goodbye to my mom and I feel so robbed. But I am also experiencing this feeling which is kinda new to me. The feeling of a kind of liberation towards many things. Or it might be just indifference. Or realization that I cannot control everything. The thing is I really do not care about small things anymore. I do not care what people think of me. I would not care if I lost a job or anything.. This feeling is nice, I must admit. Cause it's nice not to worry about stupid things. 

I am going back home this week for a short time. I so much miss my mother in flesh that I swear, if she was burried, not cremated, I am not sure if I didn't dig her out to see that she's really dead. I know that sounds insane. 

Eliz, remember, you told me about your dreams with mom in them. I had two of those dreams where I had a chance to kiss my mom and hug her. I knew she was dead but it was so good to kiss her and hold her. Maybe my brain is also processing this kind of closure. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Silverkitties: It's good to hear from you. I'm glad your dad is finally going to be discharged from the hospital. I know there will be a ton of work ahead of you. Will there be a caretaker with your dad while you're at work teaching? I wish I was there to lend a helping hand....literally helping hand not hands. LOL How is your teaching going?

Reader: I can relate to you feeling guilty about your dad. I often think about what mom was feeling as she was lying there not able to talk. When she moved into hospice for a few days, she will whisper back "I love you" and other times she'd mouthed saying the same thing. Then, she wasn't able to speak anymore. She started to squeeze our hand to a yes or no question. On several occasion I was asking mom and I became very emotional. I had to step away because I didn't want mom to see me cry. Did she know that she was not going to make it? Did she know she was in hospice? Did she wonder why we didn't take her home? Did she wonder why we didn't give her water or food? I'm always thinking about these things. 

I can also relate to your dad being depressed after the stroke. As I mentioned earlier, I would always cry and become emotional for no reason. People whose experienced a major stroke are normally depressed. I was in a wheelchair for a long time, then a walker and then to a quad cane. My doctor put me on 20mg Zoloft which anti depressant. I was on it maybe for 2-3 months. I weaned myself off of it because I didn't want to become depended on it. The walker and quad cane was passed on to mom. The quad cane was buried with her.

Mission: Thanks for the articles. I read similar articles about coffee. I just wish I was able to drink straight up black coffee. I tried so many times before, but I have to have it sweet. I add one creamer and sweet-n-low. When my brother makes the coffee, he like to fix it to his liking, 2 creamers and sweet-n-low. I used to eat celery, but I stopped. Don't know why. Maybe I found it boring or something. I used to eat 2 stalks for lunch or dinner. It is very helpful and has fiber. Well, I'm going to start it again.

Deidre: Welcome! I'm so sorry for your loss. You are an official member of this club that nobody wished to be in. You've come to the perfect place to grieve. I know, everything seems so unreal. I still have those feelings. My mom passed from a massive stroke on 3/13/15. Soon it will be 2 years. Every passing day is painful. Please know that you are not alone. Everyone here is pretty awesome and very understanding. Come back here and share about your sweet mom and/or daughter. We're with you. We're here for you.

Love and Hugs, May

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Deidre, I'm so sorry for your loss.  My father got sick very close to your mom.  He got sick on Nov 11 and passed away on Dec 10.  The month went by so fast its unbelievable.  I miss him so much.  I'm having a hard time concentrating at work and I have no passion at work.  Every thing seems meaningless.

 I went for a hike this past weekend and all I could think of was my Dad.  He would tell me all the time to go out in nature.  Just go for a walk or go camping.  I came across some squirrels, woodpeckers and chickadees who ate out of my hand.  My dad loved birds and squirrels and would feed them daily.  It all reminded me of my father.  I felt such peace and calm in the moment but now I'm struggling at work.  I feel so useless and unappreciated.  Just no joy at work

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good afternoon all, hope your Monday is as good as a Monday can get. I'm curious has anyone read the book "Motherless Daughters" ? I just started reading this book and I'm loving it. I recommend this good read. Have a great week!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eliz... I couldn't read that book.. it made it all too real.  I haven't read one book on death, I just can't do it.  I don't read motherless poems, I hate all that stuff... I just don't want to be a part of it :(  If that makes sense at all.  It hurts too much to validate it with any writings.

Thanks for all the lovely compliments on my knitting and crocheting... so sweet.  So many new people here... it's good to see.  When we started this pinned post, it was just me and Silver, and May and MissionBlue. Somehow we found each other in our darkest days... we were all going through the first few months of our parent loss and how we needed each other.  So glad so many are here to share their feelings.. it really helps when others know what you are going through.

On the flip side, I'm sorry for all the new people's new losses :(  It is truly a walk through the hell that first year and even the second.  I am into the third year without my Mom... (isn't that so sad), and the pain is not as great, but the loss is still very much the same.  I don't scream in my car anymore and I don't lay in bed on the weekends... but I still miss her so much. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Deirdre, My deepest condolences and sympathies on the passing of your beloved mom. I'm so sorry for your loss. The questions you are asking are the same ones I ask myself. I fear I will ask these questions for the rest of my life. I know its horribly painful time. Please continue to write. This is a very supportive and kind forum.

Dear May, Thank you for your understanding and kindness. I know having guilt is not helpful, but I can't let it go yet. I'm tearful tonight about my dad. Thinking of him.  I wanted to come through the door tonight and give my dad a coffee. Call out his name. See him sitting up and maybe reading the paper. But no, those memories are gone. I keep telling myself I have to make a new life without him, but I just don't know how right now.

Dear MissonBlue, Thank you as always for you kind and supportive words. You are so right. I did try to do whatever my dad wanted. I was such a people pleaser my whole life. Sometimes I think it didn't serve me well. Because the pain of losing the one thing I thought I was good at, taking care of my dad is gone. I couldn't stop myself tonight. I kept going back to my dad's last days. And all of 2016 leading up to his death. I still have so much anger. I wish I knew a better way to cope but maybe its just better to let the tears fall.

Something else we share in common. My dad also bought us a set of educational books. Its one that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Both my parents never finished grade school. They put a premium on getting an education, so I hope at least my dad was happy that we will finished school.

Mission, you give me so much hope. I love how you are embracing this new phase. New house. New experiences. The future is bright. I have to believe it is so. I always look forward to your replies. I really do find your perspective comforting.

Dear Eve:  You give me hope too. Its true, Its almost 5 months since my dad passed. That's how I feel. I want to scream in the car. I hardly want to get out of bed on the weekends. Saying no is easier to saying yes. I try to fake it till I make it. Smile at work. Then cry at home. I never understood the pain of loss. Not like this. Losing my dad is the worst thing that has ever happened to me. All of 2016 I was so afraid because so many things were happening and I thought, I hope nothing happens to me or my dad. But it did. I just hope I can make it through this first full year without him.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear May, I can relate to all those questions going through your mind during your mother's last hours.  When my dad was dying there were a couple of times that looked like he was struggling to wake up.  It made me think that the morphine was killing him.  He didn't cry out in pain or anything, but it was still very hard to watch.  If I hadn't seen my father looking comfortable and back to his normal self shortly before he lost consciousness, I think I would feel many times more worse than I do.  Sometimes I think maybe they rushed him into hospice when all they had to do was take the feeding tube out of his nose, because it was blocking his breathing.   Maybe they should have put it in his stomach though that has risks, too.  Sometimes feeding tubes provide too much fluid for someone with CHF.  Once they took the NG tube out his oxygen saturation went back up, but then they removed all the monitors so I couldn't see how he was doing anymore.  His pulse seemed strong until practically the end, so I don't know if that is normal during the dying process or if his heart was actually doing better than they said it was.  He had a very low ejection fraction of 13 percent.  My brother who is an RN remarked that it was a miracle he was still alive, but I have since read that other people have recovered from ejection fractions that low.   I wish I had owned a cell phone with Internet access in those days.  I could have spent those many hours at the hospital looking up stuff.  I imagine doctors hate it when patients look up information on the 'Net, but I wish the doctors and nurses would do it themselves to improve their knowledge base, instead of socializing in the hallways and cracking jokes in the middle of the night.  One nurse didn't even know what melatonin is!  A lady in the waiting room told me that her father was released from the hospital with a perforated bowel!  He had to be readmitted to the ICU.

Once my dad started to have the Cheynes-Stokes respirations I knew he would not recover, but I think if they hadn't put a feeding tube in his nose, he would have had a much easier time beforehand.  They also should  have kept him on a face mask for oxygen, because he was breathing through his mouth.  Can't they determine these things before they make these decisions?  If they had been monitoring him more closely in the ICU they would have figured it out.  They didn't even notice that his oxygen saturation had dropped down dangerously low!   I'll never forget how my dad was begging for air and how he thanked me when I arrived to help him.  This was very upsetting to me, and that's why I feel guilty about going home to sleep on Christmas Eve, because the nurses reassured me that they would keep an eye on him and let me know of any changes. They could see how much I cared for him.  I sat there for hours and hours at his bedside like a faithful dog!   Why can't people have more compassion!  My point is that even if you put in hours and hours of keeping vigil, nobody can do it 24/7.  We all have to sleep or work or do other things. 

I know I've said all this before, but even after two years I still think about it.

My great uncle was also put on Zoloft after his stroke.  One of my favorite memories of him was when he was watching "Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines" and he started to laugh.  I thought to myself how resilient human beings are.  I was also impressed when my dad's older brother could still laugh at  "The Three Stooges" just hours before he died in hospice even though he did not have an easy time.  The last words my dad said were that his favorite nurse Michael (who had saved his life once before) was going to get tired of taking care of him.  He said that with a smile.  I wish Michael had been assigned to his care this last time.  Who knows, maybe my dad would still be alive. 

Dear Reader; thank you for making me feel welcome here.  Knowing we have so much in common gives me great comfort, too.  Like you, I also got a lot of satisfaction and feelings of self worth from taking care of my dad.  I thought I was good at it, too, but I know I made some mistakes.  As you said before, there are no perfect caregivers.  I would add that there are no perfect patients, although the nurses used to call my dad the perfect patient, because he was so undemanding.  My dad told me he would sometimes not call the nurses, because they would complain about how overworked they are.  He was too considerate for his own good. 

Crying is a way of coping with grief, so let the tears fall.  You have to feel all the emotions before they will subside.  There is no way around grief, only through it.  Taking an exercise class can be a good way to release pent up emotions.  When a friend accidentally killed someone in a car accident, he went to a gym to help relieve the stress and the guilt.  Screaming in the car may actually be a good idea.   Saying 'ow' really can ease pain.  Scientists say that being vocal helps us tolerate pain:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11382175/Saying-ow-really-can-ease-pain.html

A cab driver once told me that after he lost his father, and then his wife, his children and his house to divorce, all in the same year, he would run by the ocean and yell out in pain.  In the process he lost over a hundred pounds.  He showed me his driver's license with a picture of his old self..  He looks great and has such a positive attitude.  He also got his kids back.  I told him that he should be a motivational speaker.

Love and hugs to everyone.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ELiz I just started Motherless Daughters as well! It's been a great help in making me feel understood.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have read some extracts from Motherless daughters. I liked it. I need to buy a book. I wonder if there's a kindle edition

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear MissionBlue,

I can't believe what you went through with your beloved dad and the healthcare system. You are so thoughtful and good hearted. I admire you so much for being your dad's advocate and staying with your dad in those very tough moments. I feel your pain and sorrow when reading your story. It breaks my heart.  I know we all have to go through this universal experience of grief. And all the x factors just don't seem to add up. And the bottom line is, we all wish the outcome was different.

I keep thinking my dad didn't have to die. If only he wasn't so stubborn. If only he took his meds. If only he would let me help him. But then I go back and blame myself for letting him have his favorite foods. Fighting with siblings about his care. Being angry about all the responsibility being left to me. I don't know why I keep going in circles about this.

Thank you for your kindness. I know I have to let all the emotions out. Tears and all. I have to go back to my grief book and start again. Thank you for telling me the story about the cab driver. And for giving me hope.

Thinking you all. With love and hugs.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Reader

I try to be good, but I also argued with my relatives, not about my father, but about other things.  Sometimes I wish I hadn't, but I had to be me, just as they had to be themselves.  If people treat me kindly, I treat them kindly. If they are mean, I tell them how I feel, or I might act passive aggressive at times to avoid conflict.   Now that I am by myself and don't have to worry about collateral damage, I can be more outspoken.  I have sworn more in the last two years (mostly at or with Ernesto), than I have sworn in my 55 years of life with my father.  However, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”  Buddha said it this way, “Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

Instead of blaming yourself for your father's eating habits, blame the doctors or nurses for not educating him better about the role of diet in CHF.  Blame society for promoting unhealthy foods on tv.  I don't blame your dad for not wanting to see doctors if the meds were giving him side effects.  My dad stopped taking his meds for years, too.   He didn't get his blood pressure under control until he was hospitalized for six weeks straight.  Then they were able to try all kinds of combinations until they found one that worked for him, but there still were side effects and he suffered so much like a guinea pig.  Then he had to be given other meds to treat the side effects.   I remember the day he was being discharged, the doctor gave him a new med and we were back to square one with him feeling terrible side effects.  It was one I had already told the staff my dad couldn't tolerate.  Some medications are actually poison.  For example, lisinopril is derived from the venom of the jararaca, a Brazilian pit viper.  if it works, like it does for my brother, then great, but it doesn't work for everyone. 

Most people know that botox is also a poison.   I know of a doctor who has to take botox for a serious problem with her neck and spine that has the muscles pull her head down and spasm.  She has gotten botox injections for decades now to paralyze those muscles so she can work and keep her head up. It must hurt and it must be very difficult to deal with. There is no other treatment for the problem and it is a very delicate one to do surgery on.  She said she would never risk it. The doctor who has treated her for years apparently gave the shot too high this last time and now she cannot raise her head well. He cannot do anything about it, and it has to wear off in its own given time.  Everybody makes mistakes.  This is why my dad didn't want surgery on his heart at his age.  He would have had to be put back on the ventilator and also be put on dialysis.  He could have ended up like a vegetable.  One thing is certain, he would have suffered a lot of pain and have had to be in the hospital for a long time.  He was never happy in the hospital.   If they had discovered the heart problem when he was younger, then maybe he would have had the surgery and would still be alive for another five years, but he would have had to be put on blood thinners, which he also could not tolerate.  The odds were against my poor daddy, but he had led a lifetime of being naturally strong, healthy and handsome.  Not everyone is that lucky.   He was a lucky dragon, according to the Chinese zodiac.   The only things he wasn't lucky in were marriage and gambling, but he was only married once and he never got to go to Las Vegas.  Even I got lucky in Vegas.

You are a good, kind, intelligent person.  You did what you could under the circumstances.  Not everyone wants to live to be a hundred.  We are suffering, because we miss our parents and we wish there were some way we could have kept them with us.  I really don't think anything can make us stop missing our parents, but eventually the mind will lessen the intensity of these feelings.  Our minds and bodies were designed to adapt to stress.  Some of the things people had to endure in ages past were horrendous.  Sometimes I'm just so grateful that my dad was never the victim of a violent crime, a war, a natural disaster, or a terrible accident, and that nobody was abusing him verbally or physically.  It's sad that poor Mickey Rooney and Casey Kasem weren't so lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

reader... I'm so sorry about your Dad :(  5 months is no time at all in the world of grieving, and I'm sorry to tell you that... but I'll give it to you straight. Some think the 2nd year is worse even.. cause the first year you are so numb people think you are still in shock the first year.  I think the first year was by far the hardest, the 2nd wasn't too far behind it... going into the 3rd, sadly I feel like I'm healing (sadly).  However, the estate madness is over so I'm sure that helps immensely.  That was very painful to have to go through that as well as grieving my Mom, cleaning out her condo completely alone in preparation for the condo to sell, when it never sold anyway.   The condo is in my siblings names, I signed off to get out of the madness once the court date was up.  I was thinking this morning how I rented a truck just to move my Mom's bed to storage, LOL.. noone helped me, noone cared.  I moved her bed completely alone.. mattress, and bed spring... LOL.  I have no idea how I had the energy to completely clean out her condo, mostly alone.. horrible time.   Most of her things I moved either to storage, my house, or we donated it.  It was a hell of a time... let me tell you.  I'm glad I don't ever have to go through that again.  

I miss my Mom immensely, she was my very best friend.  I loved taking care of her... and spending my money on her, buying her things, buying her groceries, I loved to spoil her.  I talked to her every day and saw her all the time :( I am married and my husband fills my life which I am grateful... he was my rock when I was grieving so bad... I cannot tell you how many times that man hugged me and sat with me while I sobbed... I owe him forever for his patience and support.   I am never lonely or bored, I just still miss my Mom  :(  I am back to working out, and running and riding my bike... I have a good job that I like.. so my life is fulfilled... and I'm not as angry as I was when my Mom first passed, and that is good I think... but I still miss her so very much.

It is going to take some time to heal.  I used to scream in the car when I got off the train.. and I would scream in the car when I pulled it into the garage... I sat there many times and closed the garage door wondering how long it would take me to die, but I always opened the door cause I knew my Mom would not want that for me :(  I did nothing at night or on the weekends for the first 2 years... but that is changing now.  I guess you get used to living without your parent, and sadly I think it's human nature that your body heals and moves on... as sad as it is :(

reader, how old was your father?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

silver, is your Dad back home?, how is that going?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear MissionBlue,

Thank you again my friend. I like the way you reason things out and explain things. And put things into proper context. It helps me a lot.

This is the part that haunts me the most. After my dad's stroke three years ago, he was given so many pills he almost starved to death. And when he was off the pills he seemed to be doing better again. Our dads were so similar. My dad had suffered so many side effects as well. The pills were too much. But this is where I'm so upset with myself, I should have known he couldn't get away with nothing. Part of me was like don't fight with him. Don't make him angry. Let him be. Let him have his way. He was so unhappy. And every day I tried to get his favorite foods from the restaurant to cheer him up.

After the stroke nothing seemed to go right. I tried so hard, but it seems like nothing went smoothly. I thought we got one thing figured out, then he would have  skin issues, then teeth issues, then heart issues and then finally he passed in the hospital after a series of heart attacks. We kept going round and round on the medications. I'm so sorry to hear what your dad went through with the pills too.

When I talked to other people I would say the "cure was worse than the disease." But now, I miss my dad so badly, I wished I had done something different. Maybe hide his pills in his food somehow so he kept taking them. I can't do anything now. My siblings keep telling me "he had a long life" but it just didn't feel right. I told them, I feel like I killed dad. Everyone keeps praising me, but in my heart I still feel like I killed him. I obsess over how I should have saved him. Why couldn't I be the hero?

Sorry Mission. Thank for reading/listening to me ramble. And all your helpful information. You have been brilliant to me and everyone on this board. With love and hugs.

Dear Eve,

Thank you for your reply and condolences. My dad was 84. He passed away two weeks after his birthday. I had it in my mind, my dad would be 100. He told me, George Burns smoked till he was 100. So I thought that would be my dad too. Its like Mission said though, I don't think my dad wanted to live to 100. After the stroke, he had moments where he told my sibling, he wasn't a person anymore. He had enough. I desperately tried and tried to do what I thought was right for him, but it was never enough.

I was like you. I loved buying things for my dad. Mostly simple things like the newspaper, a coffee from McDonalds, a donut or breakfast with eggs and bacon. He never asked for much. I got him a TV and a recliner because he was so basic.

I'm so sorry about your mom too.  And the family difficulties with the estate. Families are so hard. Even with my siblings we fought about how to care for my dad. They wanted him moved into Assisted Living or  Nursing Home. They didn't want to give up their lives. I was demanding too much time from them. It was never easy. Like Mission said, I sort wish like was a Hallmark card or movie for everyone, but I know its not.

And I'm sorry no one helped you move the bed. That's how I felt to often taking care of my dad. I had siblings but in reality I felt like an orphan. Still do actually.

Glad your husband was supportive. I'm single with no kids. I know I have to write my future, but I really don't know what that looks like right now. Still mourning my dad. Had another tearful night thinking about him. Why? Why? Why? Keep blaming myself for all the things I did wrong.

Thank you again for your reply and sharing your experiences with me. I am grateful and it makes me feel less alone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Reader, I understand and sympathize with everything you are saying.  I also feel like I killed my dad, because his last meal at home was steak.  He hadn't eaten meat for a long time and I thought it might give him strength.  He complained that it didn't have any salt, so I put a little parmesan cheese on it, to please him.  That night he suffered an exacerbation of his CHF and had to go to the hospital.  When I left him to go home to sleep, he seemed comfortable.  He even joked with the nurse.  Then the following evening he had a massive heart attack.  I wasn't there when it happened, and the hospital didn't tell me until the following morning when they said they were going to put him on a ventilator.   I feel so guilty that I wasn't with him that night when he was suffering so much.  Thank God he was weaned off of the ventilator and I was able to talk to him a few times before he lost consciousness in hospice.  I still suspect that he had a reaction to the two pneumonia vaccines they gave him before his heart attack.  This was the only time my dad let them give him a vaccine without consulting me first.  They should have waited until he recovered from the pneumonia-like symptoms he already had, because practically all medications were hard on him.

One of the reasons I fed him steak was because I was sick myself with bronchitis and felt tired.  I rarely get sick but everybody does sometime.  Steak was something I could cook quickly and he was tired of eating fish, chicken and lamb.  I was also letting him eat ravioli more often which probably had too much sodium, but he enjoyed it so much and felt better after eating his favorite foods.  Naturally, I feel like I should have been stricter with his diet.  I did put him on a modified Paleo diet which worked wonders for his peripheral arterial disease, but it may have been hard on his kidneys.  The doctor said the way the gangrene on his foot had healed was a miracle.  That made me feel so proud.  She thought he would have to have his leg amputated below the knee.  His GP was amazed that my dad had reversed his diabetes. In the end it was his kidneys that failed and I think it was because of the high powered antibiotics they were giving him, when they didn't even know what the causative bacteria was for his pneumonia.  There had been a mistake at the lab.  I had told them several times to please have a sputum culture done.  They assured me they would.  I even took a sample for them.  Did they resent my interference and skip the test on purpose?  The doctor apologized and said it was disconcerting that the culture wasn't done but that the antibiotics he was prescribing worked in most cases of pneumonia.   I don't think it was pneumonia but his CHF -- they look similar on x-rays.  Also, I believe the diuretics he was taking damaged his kidneys over time and stopped working -- a phenomenon called braking which they did not address at all.  Behavior like this makes me feel like the hospital killed him on purpose, because he had been admitted several times in the past year.  They were pushing hospice even before he was dying.

I, too, tend to repeat myself over and over, sorry about that.  Don't feel bad that you let your dad stop taking his meds.  If they were making him feel so bad, then hiding pills in his food would have been like feeding peanuts to someone who is allergic to them, in my opinion.   Once my dad started taking BP meds again, he became dependent on them and could no longer not take them.  I'm pretty sure one of his BP meds gave him a heart arrythmia -- it's listed as a possible side effect.  

Like I mentioned to May, I don't think the coffee did your dad any harm.  Salt is more dangerous to CHF patients but it's so hard to avoid in restaurant or pre-packaged foods.  If your dad insisted on eating his favorite foods, I think upsetting him would have done more damage than the food.  Maybe it didn't harm him as much as you think.  It's certainly better than starving.  My dad also lost a lot of weight due to medications they gave him in the hospital that took away his appetite and made him sick to his stomach.  Every body is different.  My dad's older brother ate bacon and eggs every morning, and didn't like veggies, and he still lived to be 91 years old.  What helped him was that he suffered his first heart attack and had his bypass surgery back in his 70's when he was young enough to recover from the surgery.  What contributed to my uncle's death was a Clostridium difficiles infection.

We both trusted our dads to recover as they had so many times before, even though we could see that they were getting weaker.  We were in denial.  We didn't want to ponder the unthinkable and now that's practically all we think about.  If we're guilty of anything, it's loving them too much, and desperately wanting to make them happy.

Sending you and everyone here love and hugs......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now