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I need ideas for how to support my mum......

(30 Posts)
spudmasher Thu 12-Jun-08 15:56:22

I feel awful putting this in the bereavement section (poor guy not dead yet) but I think that is what I am dealing with here.
My dad is terribly ill and has been for a long while. He has been in and out of hospital/hospice care and is at home at the moment. We naver thought he would last this long and thought a few weeks ago that we had reached the end of his battle with cancer. However, dad is very stubborn and obviously not ready to go.
He is plunging new depths of awfulness as parts of his body start to pack in. Mum has been amazing though all of this. She had fully prepared herself to say goodbye when he was last really ill and now finds herself in the position where she is looking after him at home and she never thought she would be.
She loves him so much and just wants everything to be back to normal and nothing I can say or do is helping at the moment.
How can I support her? She has the district nurse, the Mac nurse and a great support network. Nothing can lift her at the moment.

spudmasher Thu 12-Jun-08 16:01:59

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spudmasher Thu 12-Jun-08 16:10:15

I can't think of anything either!

cathcat Thu 12-Jun-08 16:21:54

Sorry I haven't got any experience of this but just wanted to say sorry you are going through this. I'm sure your mum knows that you are there for her, by her side. She may need to talk or vent, or maybe she keeps it inside. You know her best. I would say just give her all your love and support. so sorry again, best wishes.

cathcat Thu 12-Jun-08 16:22:11

Sorry I haven't got any experience of this but just wanted to say sorry you are going through this. I'm sure your mum knows that you are there for her, by her side. She may need to talk or vent, or maybe she keeps it inside. You know her best. I would say just give her all your love and support. so sorry again, best wishes.

cathcat Thu 12-Jun-08 16:22:54

Sorry I haven't got any experience of this but just wanted to say sorry you are going through this. I'm sure your mum knows that you are there for her, by her side. She may need to talk or vent, or maybe she keeps it inside. You know her best. I would say just give her all your love and support. so sorry again, best wishes.

spudmasher Thu 12-Jun-08 16:33:47

Thankyou cathcat- 3 times!!!
Is hard to give love and support long distance- forgot to say I live a 5 hour train journey away...
Any long distance suggestions?

cathcat Thu 12-Jun-08 16:45:40

Yes, My computer went on a go-slow and I hit 'post message' numerous times as it was not doing anything!
Is your mum good with a mobile, is it easy to keep in touch with texts, or perhaps you are on the phone most days anyway? How often do you get to visit?
I am primary sch teacher too, it can't be easy for you juggling all these things going on.

spudmasher Thu 12-Jun-08 16:53:13

Yup I phone a couple of times a day. I know I should go down but I am so busy at work- have just taken on new role and what with report writing at the moment and an impending OFSTED I just feel I can't go at the moment.
I have not texted as much as I could. Will start doing that a bit too.
I think she is grieving - not so much for Dad yet but the life they could have been having now- he never quite got to retire before he fell ill.Just can't find any words for her.

cathcat Thu 12-Jun-08 17:10:28

I hope you have support too, as well as trying to support your mum.
Yes, report writing is hell and sad OFSTED, double hell for you but I hope your head knows about your situation.
I agree it must be hard for your mum to find herself in this situation when she probably thought her life would be so different. Do you think she is depressed or overwhelmed by the whole thing?
have to go out now, will check back later.

spudmasher Thu 12-Jun-08 17:13:17

My head is amazing. Will let me have as much time as I want, whenever I need it and I am so grateful for that.

Was wondering if it would be inappropriate at this time to talk to mum about how her future could pan out in a positive way.

spudmasher Thu 12-Jun-08 21:24:21

Anyone got any more ideas?

spudmasher Thu 12-Jun-08 21:35:54

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cathcat Thu 12-Jun-08 21:44:34

hello Spudmaster
As your head is very understanding perhaps you could take a friday or a Monday off for a long weekend with your parents? I know you probably don't like to ask for time off but spending time with them might be the most practical thing you can do for your mum.

I don't have any experience of talking to anyone in the same situation as your mum but I would feel weird talking about the future just now. I think she probably can only see in the short term just now. Only my thoughts, I don't know. Hope this helps.

cathcat Thu 12-Jun-08 21:48:16

Ooops, I mean spudmasher, not 'master' smile

spudmasher Thu 12-Jun-08 21:49:09

Yes I'll go down weekend after next - busy with stuff for the dds til then. I don't think there is anything I can do. It is just one of those hopeless situations.
I don't think I have ever felt this useless!!!

spudmasher Thu 12-Jun-08 21:49:38

LOL! I can be a master of spuds!!

spudmasher Thu 12-Jun-08 22:05:42

Last chance. Any one.....?

BigBadMouse Thu 12-Jun-08 22:15:57

Just asked DH as he was in your position a few years ago. He feels there is little you can do but just be there when you can.

When the time comes and your mum has said goodbye things will get easier for her. Does she have any friends who have been in a similar situation? Maybe you could help her get in touch with them, having someone to talk to who has been through the same thing helped my FIL a lot and once MIL was no longer here these people made sure FIL was OK when we could not do as much as we liked due to work committements.

spudmasher Fri 13-Jun-08 06:12:16

Thanks Bigbadmouse and Mr. Badmouse.Am feeling a bit less hopeless today and a bit more accepting of the situation. This feels like being in a lift stopping at various floors on the way down.

mumtofour Sun 15-Jun-08 16:52:03

Hi just read your post and hope you don't mind me responding. I imagine your mum is experiencing a vast number of emotions right now. She may be angry at the cancer, devastated at the loss of control for the life they had and were to have, frightened about the future and being alone and also caring for dad. I think you are right when you said she is grieving. You sound a really caring daughter and your words and jestures of love will support her.

spudmasher Sun 15-Jun-08 20:51:31

Thank you mumtofour.
Poor dad has had the most awful father's day. I honestly am at a loss. Suggested to mum that maybe another stay at the hospice would be best for dad as he is so uncomfortable and all sorts of nasty things are happening now. He messed the bed last night and his oedema is so bad that the fluid is now leaking from his skin. I could not dream up more awful things to happen.

The hospice will sort him out and it will give mum a bit of respite from the pressure of feeling responsible for him. She had a good old cry on the phone as she says she feels she has not looked after him well enough! Silly moo! Have called Mac nurse and she will get back to me first thing tomorrow with any luck.

Blos Sun 15-Jun-08 21:45:54

Hi Spudmasher,
I'm so sorry for you and your mum - it's the most terrible time. My wonderful dad died 3 weeks' ago after a very long and drawn out illnes. Mum had been caring for him at home with little support and found it very, very hard.

The only advice I can offer is to be there for her as much as possible, in person or at the end of the phone. Let her scream, shout - whatever she needs to do, but let her vent. It'll be hard for you, and sometimes painful, but the best thing for your mum.

Don't have any regrets - even though we knew Dad was very sick, the end was still such a shock, and I regret not being there more for him and for mum.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

spudmasher Mon 16-Jun-08 18:01:27

Oh Blos so sorry to hear about your dad.
You are absolutely right about having no regrets. I am on my way down there as soon as I can. My girls are in a dancing show and I would love to be there to support them but if I need to I can just go. I have a perfectly able DH and the most wonderful bunch of friends who will do buns and make up and check they have everything they need.
Fab advice. Thank you.

feedmenow Mon 16-Jun-08 18:51:03

Spud, I have absolutely no experience of this whatsoever so can give no helpful advice from an experience point of view.

But as others have said, be there for her, be there for him. Lots of love and strength to both you and your mum. xx

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