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Mother 76 openheart surgery only child

(10 Posts)
val4 Thu 07-Dec-17 02:18:49

My mum 76 collaosed during week, hospital by ambulance and am now told that she needs valve replacement through open heart surgery. She lives alone as my father died 2 years ago, but we live only 5 mins away. I have 4 dc and have chronic health problems and to be quite honest am struggling at moment. I visit hospital ( usually 30 mins away but with traffic is over hour)every morning for 4 hours, then do school run etc but am so worried what is down the road. She is having surgery next week and has been told she will be in hospital over Christmas. She is in good form now but I know the surgery/recovery will be difficult ax she has got so frail since Dad died. Im next of kin and am ultimately responsible for her care, as am only child, but even now I am feeling overwhelmed and v emotional. How will she cope after surgery? With 4 dc we have v noisy house so I know she would not like to come here to rehabilitate. She has already said she won't go to a care home as she'll be fine on her own. I have chronic pain and already it has flared badly and I am hurting from head to toe. On the surface I look like I'm coping so well with doctors, nurses, mum's visits, her laundry , my own 4 children (husband works long hours), but inside I'm a wreck. I'm so nervous of what will lie ahead for my mum and how I'll cope with everything. I've had open heart surgery 8 yrs ago so I know how difficult recovery is. Sorry for long , rambling post. Don't know what I'm asking but I suppose I just need to vent.

lljkk Thu 07-Dec-17 05:18:59

I imagine some kind of hospice care for the recovery period will be offered to her since she lives on her own (is this in England?)

Icouldbeknitting Thu 07-Dec-17 06:58:59

Ask if there is an intermediate care facility in your area. Mum was adamant that she wasn't going into "a home" but they did wonders for her. It's all about rehab and getting them back to independent life. You could maybe sell it on the free holiday aspect, someone else doing the cleaning and cooking for her.

Pythonesque Thu 07-Dec-17 07:08:34

I haven't got much to offer except a handhold and my thoughts. Hope it goes well.

My mother is a similar age and Dad died 18 months ago. She also needs a valve replacement (less acutely than your mum) but was turned down for surgery about a year ago, considered for a trial of an endovascular device but "not bad enough" (due to study protocol more than actual need sadly), and might be going for a second opinion on surgery. She's overseas though we are all planning towards her moving back to the UK.

val4 Thu 07-Dec-17 23:20:11

Thanks so much for your replies. We are in Ireland and I think hospitals do offer a step down rehabilitation stay in a nursing home for few weeks. Don't know how she will take to that but one step at a time. Today she was in great form and she was saying that she is not a bit nervous about surgery. She seems v resigned to it and says 'what will be will be'. She was saying that she would not mind goinģ to be with my dad (he died 2 yrs ago) and she has a very strong Catholic faith. I'm so afraid that she doesn't have the "fight" to battle through recovery. I told her that I am not ready to let her go and she was saying that the last thing she wants is to be a burden.. My eldest daughter(17yrs) is v close to her and us really upset. It is such a difficult time.

GooseberryJam Thu 07-Dec-17 23:26:19

Get the nursing staff to talk her into going to a convalescent home for the next step after hospital. They will have more sway with her than you. That's what my mum is like! They take more notice of medical professionals.

Regarding recovery, she might be better off being calm going into it than agitated. Just work on staying calm yourself and reassure her she's not a burden - also remind her from a Catholic perspective that God will decide when it's her time so that may not be yet!

Apileofballyhoo Thu 07-Dec-17 23:33:13

What about your extended family and neighbours/friends, OP? Do you have cousins and uncles and aunts? Could anybody else talk to her about a care home while she recovers?

val4 Thu 07-Dec-17 23:47:00

She has one sister but she is inclined to dictate to my mother, what she should do, which really gets her back up! I think maybe, when she realises her restricted mobility after surgery, she may reconsider. I haven't broached the subject with her as such, but she always say that she would never want to go to a nursing home. Maybe if she sees it as rehabilitation and a stepping stone to independence, she may think differently. At this stage I'm just hoping she will get through the surgery and be ok.

retirednow Fri 08-Dec-17 21:49:53

She should be seen by the cardiac rehab team when she is in hospital, you could discuss respite care with them. There will be things she cannot do, like lifting, hoovering and will need to rest. Would she accept home help for a few weeks.

kaitlinktm Tue 12-Dec-17 18:43:11

To give you a positive story, my father had OHS - valve replacement and a bypass - at the age of 87. He has made a good recovery and is now better and less breathless that he was.

He didn't have the problem of having nobody at home, but a few years ago my uncle, aged 79 at the time, had surgery (not OHS though) and as he lives in a different city and lives alone, he went into a convalescent home for a few weeks before going home to his house. He is going strong (still at home on his own) at 88.

I think as long as you explain to your mother that she is in the home just for a period of convalescence, and that as soon as she can do xyz she will be able to go home, she should understand. If she doesn't want to be a burden, she surely won't expect you to be looking after her.

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