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for not helping her when she was really ill and screaming?

(337 Posts)
ariane5 Fri 22-Mar-13 10:32:44

This is a long story sorry.

I currently go to my mums house every day as dcs all unwell and my mum lives near dcs school and helps me, as does my sister.
I don't drive so can't manage to get dcs about by bus etc due to their health problems.

My sister has epilepsy and when she is well she helps me a lot (esp since my dd2 was diagnosed diabetic in dec).when she herself is ill I am there so I help her which means my mum doesn't have to leave work.
The thing is she has a lot of absence seizures and she screams, cries out, goes rigid and doesn't know where she is, she also swears a LOT during them which is not nice for dcs to hear.
She wants somebody to hold her hand till it passes which I try to do but its so difficult as often she is upstairs so I have to leave dcs downstairs and she then won't let go of me and I worry if dcs are ok. I dread it when the call goes up she suddenly screams out and I have to run to her.

Today I heard her and my heart sank-I know its not her fault, she was probably scared but I didn't go up to her, I took dd1 dd2 and ds2 into the kitchen so they didn't hear and ten mins later I checked her to see she was ok and pretended I didn't hear.

Don't get me wrong, I love my sister but the baby gets scared or he cries then in her confused state it makes dsis jump and she gets more confused or she swears then dd2 copies and its horrible.

I feel so so bad for ignoring somebody who was screaming for help.

KansasCityOctopus Fri 22-Mar-13 10:59:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Shesparkles Fri 22-Mar-13 10:59:41

I honestly think you all sound like you need some outside help. The situation for you and your children sounds very difficult due to their own health needs, and your sister's situation sounds very difficult too. I'm all for family helping each other, my family has had situations over the years where we've all had to lean heavily on each other due to health situations, but there comes a point where you have to accept that you might need more than you can give each other.

I think with today's situation, no matter what you had done, you'd feel you weren't doing the best for one of those in the house-how can anyone castigate you for the way you dealt with what must have been an extremely stressful situation. Go easy on yourself x

CheeseandGherkins Fri 22-Mar-13 10:59:57

Yabu. I couldn't have left her. I would have taken dcs up with me considering the diabetes and explained to them why their aunt was screaming and swearing. Teaching children compassion to others who are sick and understanding rather than coldly ignoring someone crying for help. Bad form.

OTTMummA Fri 22-Mar-13 11:00:36

YABU, but I understand that sometimes under stress we don't make the right choices, so I think you should go easy on yourself and count this as a one off mistake ok.

Tbh it sounds too much for one person to handle.
How long do you think this arrangement is going to last, how long has it been going on for?
I think it may be time for you to seek outside help, someone will end up getting hurt or you will end up having a breakdown.
In the meantime is there any way you can create a 'safe' room for your children when you need to help your sister?

dopeysheep Fri 22-Mar-13 11:03:01

You sound as if you are pulled in lots of different directions and you can't be alk things to all people. I'm sure you care very much for your sister or you wouldn't have posted.
Can she get a carer?
A 3 y.o diabetic myst be such a worry esp newly diagnosed. If she is having a lot of hypos maybe have a chat to your diabetic nurse re adjusting her insulin?
I find raisins and Lucozade invaluable for quick hypo treatment, Lucozade in particular just be careful not to give too much it's easy to do!
Good luck with it all.

ariane5 Fri 22-Mar-13 11:03:25

Eds us a genetic cond all 4 dcs get pain fatigue and dislocations, dd1 has pots which causes frequent dizziness/faints.

Dd2 diagnosed T1 in dec she keeps having hypos since her background insulin was reintroduced.

I suppose I am here for my convenience but today was the first time I have been unable to help dsis, I couyldnt take dd1 and dd2 up with me the screaming and swearing is too much for them dd2 gets worried then copies the words.ds2 does have a playpen but he cries so loud it upsets my sister as she is disorientated and doesn't know what noise is.

My mum will get in trouble if she keeps leaving work and on occasion dsis has been v ill and I've phoned her dsis gets cross with me that our mum left work. Her boyfriend works ten mins away but she doesn't want him missing work either.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Fri 22-Mar-13 11:03:31

I agree you need outside help . What you'rereally saying is you can no longer cope with the current situation and that is OK to say. It's better to admit it then keep it all in and crack up in a total crisis. Do you have an understanding GP in th practice to talk to?

defineme Fri 22-Mar-13 11:03:32

Tbh I think those people judging you are being dramatic: she's fine now, it was a one off, she's an adult and she'll get over it/doesn't even realise she was ignored. Is your sister allowed to be left alone? If not are your mum and you doing shifts?
You need help. You are in an impossible situation. Your sister needs help too by the sound of it. You can't care for 4 people at once-what if the 2 diabetics both have a hypo at once and the other kids dislocate something??
Have you asked for help/carers: I have no idea what's out there, but |I have a friend with a disabled child who has carers come most days.

StanleyLambchop Fri 22-Mar-13 11:04:13

Are you the same OP whose mother was planning to leave her house to your Dsis and basically disinherit you and your DBro? Wasn't your sister planning to have a family and wanted to bring them up in the house, so was refusing to leave? Or am I confusing you with someone else?

Either way, I believe YANBU. You have to put your own DC first, however hard that sounds. Your Dsis is an adult, and needs to sort out her own care requirements. I say that as a mother of a child with epilepsy, I would not expect my other child to look after her sister, not now or once they are adults.

belfastbigmillie Fri 22-Mar-13 11:06:14

You can get some good books about epilepsy for kids (check out the epilepsy action website). They need to understand that their aunt has a medical condition (which I am sure your DD can relate to). How would you feel if someone walked away from your DD because they found her behaviour (eg low blood sugar odd behaviour) disturbing? I have a sister with diabetes and a son with epilepsy and I find your attitude really depressing.

Can I just ask what is the point of you going over there for to help if you are actually going to ignore her when she really needs you??

I understand it must be awful to witness such a thing but ignored her?? Your poor sister. You admit she helps you a lot when she is well - for you to just ignore her when you know she wants you to be there for her holding her hand is well, very U to pit it nicely.

If you want to put your DC first then don't go over there on the pretext of helping out.

Dumbledoresgirl Fri 22-Mar-13 11:09:44

Blimey, I think other posters here are being astonishingly harsh towards you ariane. It sounds like you are being pulled in at least 4 directions at once and it must be very hard for you.

I don't know anything about any of the medical conditions you speak of, but it seems to me that your sister is the oldest of all the people dependent on you and therefore I can understand why she might be the one who could reasonably be left to go through her crisis alone for 5 minutes. It doesn't sound like a nice thing to do, but you have made it clear that you would be by her side if you could be.

It does sound like you could do with some help though. A playpen for the baby is a good idea. It sounds like the 3 yo's condition is not being controlled very well. Is that because you are in the early stages of managing her diabetes? And as for the 11yo, if she is ill, of course she cannot care for 2 little ones. It sounds like today is extra stressful for you.

Out of interest, what happens to your sister if you have to go to hospital with one of your children?

ariane5 Fri 22-Mar-13 11:11:20

Yes my dsis will be left the house one day due to her illness and greater need.

I have been coming here for last few months every weekday, it helps me and allows my mum to work, if dsis is ok and I need to go out she often comes with me, on bad days I help her, on tues she had a horrendous day and all day I was up+down to her and it was difficult I hate to see her so confused and scared and it is extremely difficult to explain to dd2 not to swear as well.

I think we need outside help but I doubt the suggestion would go down well I am trying to do all I can to help, I had a lapse today, the baby was up all night I was tired, dd1 keeps keeling over and I'm constantly having to check dd2.

Nobody could make me feel worse than I do I just don't know how to help everybody at the same time

agnesf Fri 22-Mar-13 11:11:32

Ariane5 - you sound as if you are doing your best in a really really difficult situation and I'm sure you felt awful about the situation that you found yourself in with your sister and your DCs.

Making the choice between the safety of your DCs and that of your sister and is done in a split second so is easy to then worry about whether you made the right choice afterwards.

Don't feel bad. You are doing your best.

maybe it would help to talk it over with your sister and your mum - surely they will understand what an impossible situation you were put in today and maybe together you could come up with some more manageable ways to cope if this happens again.

OTTMummA Fri 22-Mar-13 11:12:00

What would your sister do if you or anyone else wasn't there?

ariane5 Fri 22-Mar-13 11:14:35

Usually if dcs need hosp treatment dh has to leave work and take them/stay in with them.if he can't then my mum has no choice but to leave work and look after dsis.

At weekends dsis usually with her bf so he looks after her then if she's ill.

OTTMummA Fri 22-Mar-13 11:15:17

How old is your sister?
I agree some posters are being very harsh, please go easy on yourself op.

Catchingmockingbirds Fri 22-Mar-13 11:15:41

Eds - ehlers danlos syndrome
Pots - Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome

I think you are clearly under a lot of stress OP, yes your youngest could have been in a playpen, you could have taken dd2 upstairs, left dd1 sitting down but keeping an eye on the others, etc etc, but it's hard to think rationally when under so much pressure. You should explain to your sister that you heard her but couldn't go upstairs to her as you were over stretched with the kids and understandably weren't thinking straight. You both need to work out a strategy that works, maybe exploring the SS route for extra help for dsis?

agnesf Fri 22-Mar-13 11:19:02

I also agree that some posters are being too harsh. Please ignore them. You are in a really difficult situation and sound as if you need someone outside of this to help you.

I don't know who is best to suggest but hopefully someone will come along with a better suggestion than me.

ariane5 Fri 22-Mar-13 11:19:17

It has happened before that I've thought she was ok, checked her and left her in bed to take dd2 to pre school (I have to stay with dd due to diabetes untill preschool will have her there without me) and I've had a panicky phone call and had to run the 5 mins back to my mums house to help her.

I don't go out much during day if I do its pre school/shops 5 mins away or school 10 mins away and always have my phone on loud in case she's ill.

Earlier in week she was unwell and after needed to go out to see her bf so my dh gave her a lift as he was taking ds1 to a hosp appt as we were too worried to let her get the bus alone.

I love my sister I do not want to cause her any more upset but I didn't know what to do.

ariane5 Fri 22-Mar-13 11:20:12

Dsis is 25.

lljkk Fri 22-Mar-13 11:20:26

Crikey you have tonnes on your plate, OP.
I think I would try some of the suggestions here if at all possible.
But I don't blame you for having a moment when you felt you couldn't cope.

willyoulistentome Fri 22-Mar-13 11:20:51

I don't think you were unreasonable. It is a very difficult situation for everyone by the sound of it, and you made a judgement call. Normally your 11yo is at school right, so can't normally look after the little ones if your sister has a seizure. And the smaller two get upset by your sisters seizures. Mine would too. My sons friend's Mum had a seizure while we were at an amusement park - my two were very scared and they are much older then yours. I dont think you should leave them alone to go and see to your sister - they are very little to be left alone for an undefined period - even if it is very short - what if the seizure went on for a long time. Does your sister never get left alone then? What happens if she is out and about and it happens.

It's lovely of her to help you so much, but you should not have to choose between your childrens welfare and your sisters.

You all need to come up with an alternative arrangement.

dopeysheep Fri 22-Mar-13 11:21:42

Veering off topic sorry but is your dd's background insulin Levermir? I have this and it can be quite efficient do def think about notching her levels down a couple of units if she's having lots of hypos? Have you got a good diabetic nurse you could call?
Those small cartons of fruit juice are great for hypos too.
I hope you can find some help OP.

ariane5 Fri 22-Mar-13 11:24:22

When she is well/having a good day she is really helpful, sits and reads with dcs, plays with them-they love her. She is so kind to them and has been a lot of support for me when I am struggling with dd2 hypos which are very hard to deal with.

I wouldn't have left her if I had a choice I didn't know how to manage with all of them sad

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