I can't think of one, I'm exhausted
August 14, 2012 5:24 AM Subscribe
My 90 year old grandmother is barely conscious, rarely eating, and is losing her mental faculties. I visit her every lunchtime to try and get her to eat. My mother (her daughter) takes the evening shift for dinnertime. I'm not coping well. Any suggestions to help me make this easier, so I'm not sobbing my heart out every day?
posted by malibustacey9999 to human relations (41 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
She's now at the stage where she struggles to lift her head from her chest. Today for the first time, she let me spoonfeed her, but she only had about two or three teaspoons of food. She kept falling asleep between spoonfuls, I asked the staff (after ringing my mother - who worked as an aged care nurse when I was a kid - in a panic) what to do. They advised that I keep her awake as long as possible, and get what food I can into her.
I did. I got a few vegies into her, and when she went into a deep sleep, I gently removed the plate, wiped her mouth, and told her I love her. She slept on.
This is so fucking HARD. This woman taught me to play scrabble, told me family secrets that should not have been kept from me, told me that I was her favourite grand-daughter for the last 40 years..
I'm not coping with her dying slowly. She always said she wanted to 'fly to glory to be with her Lord' and leaving aside the fact that I don't believe in glory or her Lord, I just want her to go, and be in peace and pain-free. She was a dignified proper lady, and she would be mortified to know how she is now. Her body is failing, her mind is failing, she doesn't recognise me (her favourite grand-daughter) or my kids.
I just want her to go. And I'm terrified that she won't, that we'll be spoonfeeding her for months or years to come, while the rest of her children, grand-children and great-grandchildren go about their merry lives without the seven-day-a-week-care-component that my mother and I have (willingly) taken on.
I guess my question is two-fold:
1) how do I strengthen myself to get through the daily lunchtimes, when she can barely eat, and when she is lucid argues with me about eating and usually refuses to allow me to feed her; and
2) how do I get past the bitterness I feel about the rest of the family who really don't give a sideways fuck about her, but are suddenly ringing or texting or messaging me every day because they are 'so concerned'?
I guess the final question would be, how do I hold my tongue when I want to tell them all what I think of them, when Nanna has died, and they all suddenly find they can find the time to hop on a plane to attend her service?