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***TRIGGER WARNING end of life trauma***

A

Ariadne

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Apr 8, 2021
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My mom. Suddenly, August 26 she was diagnosed with brain cancer. She passed away November 13. I was her main home hospice caregiver. At the time, I was also in 3 virtual classes at my university and doing virtual learning with my 2 kids (under age 10). I felt then like I was starting to lose it from stress. Waking up shaking. I did online therapy and got prescribed anti anxiety meds during that time. The last few weeks of moms life... My brain just prevents me from thinking about. I can say and write words but I cant day dream about sitting in the room without my brain screaming no and interrupting with random thoughts. As her caregiver, I was constantly trying to grasp what stage of dying she was at. I needed to know, to get the kids out of the house at the right time. I was examining her urine for ketones to gauge kidney function. Then, I noticed a strange smell in the house. Not a bad smell not like rotting or feces or urine. It was a smell like mothballs. I went crazy looking this up on hospice nurse forums and found out some people can smell when death is near while others cannot. My sister smelled what I did. It wasnt psychosomatic because opening windows and doors decreased it. I called my dad to tell him and he right away knew what I was talking about. I made plans to bring him my kids Thursday after their virtual school. That Wednesday night, I heard a loud bang at like 3am and ran downstairs. It was a horrifying scene. She had undressed herself and had falled on her back in the kitchen. There was blood everywhere I thought maybe from banging her head. It was not from her head. It was from internal bleeding in the digestive system. She said " I think this is it." I held her hand and waited, watching the clock for about 5 minutes. I kept hoping the kids stayed asleep. Then I determined it isnt the time. I got her cleaned up. I dressed her and lifted her into the wheelchair and somehow got her back into bed. I felt bad I shouldve been sleeping in the same room as her, I knew it was close. The boys went to stay with my dad Thursday. She slept after that mostly, until she passed away Friday morning. I feel bad about every time I gave her liquid medicine and she sucked on the dropper. It was like a baby. It made me uncomfortable and my whole body tensed up. I think she saw that but I don't know if she understood. At this time, I also started getting really interested in "unreal" things some might say. I started believing in reincarnation and reading esoteric texts. I believe my goosebumps are a 6th sense and sometimes people pop into my mind and I reach out to them only to find it was a pivotal moment. (Examples: my friend was in labor 3cm dilated, my moms friend was having a 50th birthday party that night). The day I first drove my mom to the hospital in a panic, missing turns all that.. My sister and cousin both texted me during that 15 min window. This is when I started to think about psychic abilities, despite being a scientist (biochemist). Lately, I feel addicted to dreaming. I graduate in 23 days and I feel like I no longer have any idea what I want in life despite working for 5 years towards my goals. I feel like the pressure is so monumental that I am gonna explode. I know its not based in reality but I feel like if I could just sleep way way more that my super conscious would work this out. I also have been considering throwing her a birthday party on august 6th because a due date calculator online says if a baby is concieved nov 13th thats when theyd be due. I know its irrational to some, but I like the idea of her being born again as a baby in August. I also think alot about the nonsense she said. Random things like seeing purple curtains and stuff. I really think im disappearing into my mind as much as possible and I don't know what to do.
 
S

Sugaree

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Feb 21, 2021
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Do you have a therapist you can talk too? That was a very difficult time and you really went through alot. Hope you find some good posts here that may help.
 
Argon

Argon

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People shouldn't have to go through that by themselves like you did. I guess I was lucky that my father had dementia so he was ok with being in hospice where I had other people around to help. It feels horrible no matter what age your parent passes. Dad's mother was 93 and he was more upset than I had ever seen him. You've been though a trauma but it doesn't have to destroy you. Some people get PTSD but some people get post traumatic growth. Keep that in mind.
Post-traumatic growth (PTG) is a theory that explains this kind of transformation following trauma. It was developed by psychologists Richard Tedeschi, PhD, and Lawrence Calhoun, PhD, in the mid-1990s, and holds that people who endure psychological struggle following adversity can often see positive growth afterward.

Edit - the birthday party is a great idea imo.
 
A

Ariadne

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Thank you that link is really positive, I appreciate it. I do hope for growth over destruction. It was so sudden and progressed so fast but at the time it felt like the most depressing groundhog day ever. Knowing it'll end with death and just waiting every day for death to come. Near the end she was so over living the way she was, without a functional mind and no concept of time. She asked me if I could end it and I told her no im sorry no. I do think assisted suicide should be everyone's choice but not by my hand. Maybe that's part of why I feel so guilty. Part of me did want it to be over quickly because I hated seeing her suffering and I was suffering internally from the gravity of it all.
 
A

Ariadne

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Apr 8, 2021
Messages
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I don't have a therapist. I feel like maybe im put off by it because it takes soo long for someone to really know you and understand you. Almost everyone im close with I've known 15+ years. It feels like a new person would be playing catch up for years. I did not like the online therapy for that reason. It was good to vent but I didnt feel they had any insight into me as a person.
 
S

Schwarzen

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Apr 5, 2021
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Nowhere in particular.
She asked me if I could end it and I told her no im sorry no.
That's really something else.

I'm actually a bit surprised you can talk about this with such relative rationality and calmness, but even a completely stable individual is not really prepared to handle something like that out of nowhere.

I think with time you'll start to process what happened more and more but you should be vigilant and honest with yourself in how this progresses, if it doesn't get better you should seek therapy. Maybe even from now if its an option for you.
 
Argon

Argon

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Messages
600
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USA
Thank you that link is really positive, I appreciate it. I do hope for growth over destruction. It was so sudden and progressed so fast but at the time it felt like the most depressing groundhog day ever. Knowing it'll end with death and just waiting every day for death to come. Near the end she was so over living the way she was, without a functional mind and no concept of time. She asked me if I could end it and I told her no im sorry no. I do think assisted suicide should be everyone's choice but not by my hand. Maybe that's part of why I feel so guilty. Part of me did want it to be over quickly because I hated seeing her suffering and I was suffering internally from the gravity of it all.
I think this kind of thing is why religion is so popular. I'm a scientist and I recognize that science don't know everything. We don't even know how much we don't know.
 
A

Ariadne

Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2021
Messages
5
Location
United States
🙂 it made me really happy to hear that the birthday party is a good idea and not totally crazy thank you Argon <3
 
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