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Lost my dear mom


caringformom143

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caringformom143

I lost my mom 7 days ago after a 4 years battle with lung cancer. I lived about 300 miles from her. My mom was doing relatively fine until 3 months ago when her cancer took over. She was hospitalized for the whole time and was able to be home for only 3 hours before being sent back to the hospital. To make a long story short, during the last few weeks of her life, both of her kidneys were blocked/infected, she have edema everywhere, her lungs have fluid outside and inside, she have infections in her stool/colon, and she needed a bipap machine to breath for her. She spent close to 10 days in ICU. She got better but then went downhill again. The doctors refused to do any surgeries on her because of very low platelets. Essentially, her kidney stopped producing urine and they told us to take her home and enjoy the rest of the days she have left.

My mom told us she wanted to go home and not die in the hospital. We took her home on hospice care and she died 4 days later. She was unconscious most of the days but does have moments of alertness when she was able to see and acknowledged all of her kids, grandkids, and friends. That was really the very best scenario we had hope for, for her to be home and realized that she was home after a 3 months stay at the hospital.

I was very involved with her care, making the critical decisions for her. Helping the nurses clean her. During the hospital stays, I slept overnight and were there for her around the clock, making her feel at ease. She even told me she's glad I'm around by her side. I care less about work so I took time off to be with her during her final weeks, assisting in every way possible.

I am having a terrible time dealing with the loss of my mom right now because I'm having terrible guilt about whether I made the correct decisions for her during her final hours. I can't stop but keep replaying the events of the final day over and over in my mind and see where I may have go wrong. I kept telling myself that I made those decisions for her at that time based on what on the information I have and I shouldn't blame myself. Yet, it's still very difficult.

On the last day of my mom's life, she was unconscious the whole time. Her blood pressure was very low (around 70/40), we were not able to get O2 readings from her fingers, we could see blue blotches on all of her finger tips ( i guess this means blood flow is no longer there?), she have rattle sound breathing, and she have fevers. Her urine production have came to a halt the day before. No matter what we do, she is not responsive. 4 hours before she passed, I told the nurse to give her morphine(lowest dose possible) because her face was telling me she was in pain even though she was unresponsive. An hour after that, it didn't seem like the morphine help at all, so I asked the nurse if she can give my mom xanax(lowest dose) because I thought my mom is having anxiety and may be very fearful of what is going on to her. Again, I judge this from her facial expression and her hard breathing pattern. 3 hours later, she passed.

I asked the nurse right away was it ok that she got the morphine/xanax so close together. The nurse said it was fine. I called the hospice nurses the next day and asked them the same question and they told me the meds wasn't reason why my mom passed. It was because she was on the serious decline and it was just her time to go.

So I did some research online and read that it was probably not a good idea to give xanax to someone with already such low blood pressure. Then, I can't help but blame myself for making that decision! If I had known , I would never ask the nurse to do that. It may be just a coincidence that my mom passed away hours after the drug was given but I can't help but blame myself for causing her to go faster. My family and even the doctors told us my mom will passed within days after discharged from the hospital. Yet, that didn't really comfort me knowing that I may have expedite her passing, because it was my fault! I love my mom so much and I have been making decisions for her the whole time, what I think is best for her. The last decision to give her xanax was because I don't want her to be anxious/panic when she does passed. My mom can get scare very easily. I was just trying to make her feel as comfortable as possible.

Despite all the care I put into caring for her, I felt like I let her down and committed a big sin by giving her that last drug. People keep telling me that if my mom can tell me, she would say that she wanted to move on and I did everything I can to make her feel comfortable. That she wanted to be relief of all her suffering and that it wasn't my fault that she passed, but it was the cancer and her time to go.

Help??? I can't seem to forgive myself if I do wrong. :(

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smsimpson11

I was in a similar situation with my Mom, she passed Christmas Eve at home. She did not want to pass at the hospital either, she wanted to be home. Our ordeal was faster 8 months from finding the lung cancer to per passing. I also lived 500 miles away and took rotations with her sisters and mine which put me with her every 3 weeks. When I was called to come home it was already determined by doctors that there was nothing that could be done and it would be a matter of days. I am the take charge person in my family so I also decided to administer morphine when i felt she was in pain, along with an ativan for her nerves and fear. You did what you had to do to make sure she was as comfortable as possible in the environment she wanted to be in. I had a hard time making those choices also and questioned my actions with doctors and hospice with the same answers that they gave you. I was also the one to tell her to let go, that also haunts me she passed 3 minutes after i forced it pass my lips. My selfish side told me not to say it, dont let her go, but she had been through enough she held on until we said it was ok. You gave her what she wanted, to be at home with friends and family instead of letting her stay at the hospital. Don't question yourself in those moments all was done for her sake and she passed on her own terms that is what is important. It was for my Mom, she could not have dealt with passing in a clinical situation no matter if they could have prolonged her life by what? Hours, days who knows. By then all that matters was her comfort.

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caringformom143

Hi Shannon,

Thanks for sharing your story. I do see that we shared very similar circumstances. Believe it or not, my mom have plenty of kids and yet the critical decisions always rest on me. I was very strong throughout the ordeal because I never wanted to show mom that I am weak when she needed me most. The same applied for my family. I didn't want to show any weakness when everyone depended on me.

However, an hour into mom's passing, I realized that it may have been a mistake to give mom the xanax. But how do I supposed to know that???!!! Shouldn't the hospice nurse know enough to tell me that she don't feel comfortable doing so because of my mom's low blood pressure?

I'm struggling with this because I felt like I may have hasten her passing. We all know that based on her conditions and vitals, the time is near but I refused to be a part of the reason why she left, know what I mean? It may be a coincidence but I just hope God will forgive me if it was the reason because I asked the nurse to give her comfort meds solely out of love.

I was in a similar situation with my Mom, she passed Christmas Eve at home. She did not want to pass at the hospital either, she wanted to be home. Our ordeal was faster 8 months from finding the lung cancer to per passing. I also lived 500 miles away and took rotations with her sisters and mine which put me with her every 3 weeks. When I was called to come home it was already determined by doctors that there was nothing that could be done and it would be a matter of days. I am the take charge person in my family so I also decided to administer morphine when i felt she was in pain, along with an ativan for her nerves and fear. You did what you had to do to make sure she was as comfortable as possible in the environment she wanted to be in. I had a hard time making those choices also and questioned my actions with doctors and hospice with the same answers that they gave you. I was also the one to tell her to let go, that also haunts me she passed 3 minutes after i forced it pass my lips. My selfish side told me not to say it, dont let her go, but she had been through enough she held on until we said it was ok. You gave her what she wanted, to be at home with friends and family instead of letting her stay at the hospital. Don't question yourself in those moments all was done for her sake and she passed on her own terms that is what is important. It was for my Mom, she could not have dealt with passing in a clinical situation no matter if they could have prolonged her life by what? Hours, days who knows. By then all that matters was her comfort.

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Sorry for your loss. No matter how your loved one passed, it is only natural to have moments of guilt and to question things. My mother passed away suddenly and without any warning and still I feel as if I could have somehow prevented it. My son also had terrible feelings of guilt. He blamed himself for bringing the flu into our home and thought that perhaps that is what triggered my mom's death because she was up sick through the night before she died. I shared these feelings with the minister performing my mom's service and he made sure it was addressed. He said when God calls you home, no one can prevent it. When it is time, it is just time.

I understand why you are questioning your decisions. But from the sound of things, it was your mother's time. Take comfort that you were able to let her die at home as she wanted. And in the moments when she was alert. You were there for her while she needed you and she appreciated that. You made decisions you felt were the best and no amount of questioning will change things. You did your best and with good intentions. Let the guilt go and cherish the memories your have of your mother. :)

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