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Terminally ill parent halfway accross the globe, what now?

(8 Posts)
Laptopwieldingharpy Mon 17-Oct-16 17:37:58

Dont know where to begin.
The logistics, the guilt, the closure, the surviving parent, the self preservation, the compassion.
Anybody willing to share their experiences to help me sift through this maelstrom?
Thank you

ggirl Mon 17-Oct-16 17:45:13

Oh god I'm so sorry ..
I haven't got any direct experience of terminally ill parent but it's something I am dreading.
Mine live in Canada .

Can you get time off work? Is it imminent ?

Laptopwieldingharpy Mon 17-Oct-16 18:07:42

Fortunately not working at the moment. We were able to spend the most part of the 6 week summer holiday surrounded by grand children/family.
My parents were expats too but they expect from us what they never did for their parents or children.
Completely torn. My (young) children and husband have been absolute superstars. I spend about 3-4 weeks with mum and dad and 2 weeks back with the kids. Jetlagged, shattered. And mum spewing all her venom constantly.
I will not give up on anyone amd fortunate to gave my sister as a rock (yet in another country and doing the relay race with me).

Not really looking for any answers. What breaks my heart is that my mum is end up all alone by her own doing.
I'm here unconditionally now, not a believer but i do hope some God will turn up to make me want to be with her when she needs it.

Want2bSupermum Tue 18-Oct-16 01:37:41

So the hardest part for me has been dealing with the NHS. I am flying back and forth and it is costing a fortune in terms of time. I work so when at the hospital I am putting together reports, taking calls and doing my job. This annoys staff and other patients but something has to give and it isn't going to be my career.

Just this last week I dropped my Dad off for a biopsy after flying in with the baby. We get there and the whole day was cancelled because the doctor attended to an emergency overnight. It was the straw that broke the camels back. We are now looking at paying out of our own money for my Dad to be treated in the US and he will stay with us while he recovers. I can't tolerate the cancelled appointments and delays. Just this last week I had two girls walking the kids up to school, a cleaner come in daily and still everything was a disaster.

If his mental health goes and he can no longer live on on his own he will live with us and we will have a nurse come to the house daily. No cheap but cheaper than a home.

Is it at all possible that you can move your mother to you for even part of the year?

Laptopwieldingharpy Tue 18-Oct-16 10:38:21

Dad is in hospital as she couldn't cope merely feeding him and did not want a "stranger" (nurse) staying with them.
It is a matter of weeks now and we are bringing him home. we are spending more time dealing with her than him tbh and we have said enough is enough.
We wanted them to be able to make their own decisions til the end but its not pissible anymore.
She does not even want to consider living near my sister in the neighbouring town. She visited twice in the last 20 years for the birth if my children. I can't imagine her flying 13 hours to me now.
Arghhhh sorry for the rant. So much energy wasted on her tantrums anxiety while dad is serenely and valiantly soldiering on! What i dread is the after. We are all accepting his passing and sharing a lot of love. She just makes every little thing an exhausting challenge and totally refuses help. Almost challenging us to resent her so she can validate the self pity. I feel totten thinking like this but i cant let her damage me. So i give and ignore. Soon enough i know i will just have to ignore and close that door.

Supermum, hope it works out bringing your dad near you. Take care!

Ggirl, i spent the last five years dreading this moment. You just spring into action and it all falls into place somehow. Worth thinking ahead a bit, mainly about your support system, those you can lean on and remembering to preserve to your couple/children. I feel schizophrenic, when i fly home, i cut myself from my parents and let my sister handle so i can be 100% engaged in my family's routine and regain some sanity.

Thank you for listening! I just needed to let it all out.

ImperialBlether Tue 18-Oct-16 10:48:58

How old is your mum, OP? I'm so sorry about your dad. Your mum sounds like she's a bloody nightmare, to be honest. I think your sister should be glad your mum doesn't live nearer - that can cause all sorts of problems.

You say you will never give up on anyone, but remember you have to prioritise your own children and husband now. After your dad has gone you can't possibly be travelling back and forth like that, particularly to a woman who doesn't appreciate it and has never given anything of herself.

Laptopwieldingharpy Tue 18-Oct-16 12:42:55

She is in her early 70ies. Usual old age little ailments but hooked on anxiety meds and will just lock herself in her bedroom rather than interract. It's not new. We are happy to hold her hand through this as we all hold each other tight but have made it clear that it is too damaging for us to rehash how she could have done things differently all these years. We acknowldge and sympathise but we simply can't do her life's work for her. Certainly not now.
I know you are right imperial but it hurts that she has to drag us all down even through this. Because quite amazingly this has been a very loving last few months. We had not spent this much time all together in 30 years! I guess now i realise why, and my poor dad too. I wish she would let him go in peace. He sees the attention seeking and asks us to look after her.

Lol, exactly what my sister thinks and yet she has offered to find her a new place near her so she and family can pop in daily. She has a carer who's been around for a long time too so her safety is not an issue, she will be well looked after. We are going through all the motions to help a peaceful passing.
Hope she get a wake up call then and decides to be compassionate with herself.

Want2bSupermum Tue 18-Oct-16 17:57:35

It sounds like it is your mums way of coping. Here in the US, when you have a family member who is terminally ill, they have grief counselors available to help family members being left behind. My friend still sees her therapists after her terminally ill mother passed shortly after her wedding day. It might be worth checking with the nurses who are caring for your Dad if there is someone who could help you with dealing with your mother.

I am so fortunate that my Dad is totally not wanting to be a burden so going with the flow. He worked here in the US for 30 years so qualifies for Medicare. I really feel for families who can't move elderly relatives over.

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