Alone

So I am hurting. Hurting bad. Scared.
I feel so alone. I know that people say that they are there for me….so I am not alone, however, when you feel like I do..and no one understands or has experienced it, you feel alone.

I don’t want to die. I want to live. Yet..I feel so physically and mentally sick, ending everything seems to much nicer… I don’t want to live like this.
I am trying to eat…to survive. The thought of food makes me gag inside. And sometimes on the outside. I have diahrea every morning. I hold back the tears.

I need too much from people around me. I need people to reassure me that all is okay. I need someone to take care of me. I don’t want to be this person. I don’t want to be so needy..trust me. But it’s so hard to do things….to make food..that I don’t even want to eat.
I barely put a lot of calories in my body. When will my appetite come back?

Last night when I went to a group therapy session, I smelled steak and I thought that it smelled good. I thought that things might be turning around and I would get that appetite back…but that was taken away by the thoughts that came to me..while I was in the therapy group session.
Things were said that made me obsess about this and that.

I want my mom. I miss my mom. She made it all right. I feel bad for the people in my life that now need to step in. They have their own lives. My brother is being so kind to me. Saying prayers. Reaching out. But I feel bad..I feel like a burden.

I’m so afraid to kill myself…and end up with the devil and suffer even more than what I am suffering now. I don’t want that.

I want to believe that God can pull me out of this. I want God to do that.

I am on guard all of the time….at what people are thinking of me. I put on a front..which makes things even harder….puts knots in my stomach.

Last night, talking with my boyfriend, he mentioned that he feels much clearer about things. In an analogy, he said that it’s like he is standing on the bed…and I was on the floor and as much as he tried to pull me up to be with him, I kept pulling him down with me (or trying to). That hurt..so bad. I have never wanted to be a burden to anyone. I always told him that I didn’t want to be a burden. I have always appreciated all that he has done for me. How he has stood by me and would go to therapy with me. I asked him to go so that he could learn things and help me…but I never meant to bring him down.

So much is going through my head. I don’t know if I will ever be able to be comfortable in this relationship…feeling that I am holding him back. I never want to hold anyone back. That is not who I am. I also won’t be able to be myself thinking in the back of my head all the bad things he is thinking of me, how he must think of me.

I worry more about other people that I do about myself.

I have isolated myself because of feeling so physically and mentally unwell.
All I want is for people to love me and to encourage me and to help me through this time. To remind me and love me when I can’t do it myself.
I want to get through this.

But I am not sure how I am going to do this.

I am faking it, coming in to work every day, trying to get things done. I am losing weight. I am scared.

I write to you as I have no one else to talk to…… I am alone in this world…just trying to fight this battle one day at a time. It’s so hard.

I feel like a lost cause..that I will never get past this.

It’s too hard.

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On guard…

This weekend…was awful. I was so sick. My obsession has become whether I am eating enough or not. And because I need to eat, every time I have to eat (I am hungry a lot because of my anxiety and I guess the whole metabolism thing), I panic…and am afraid I am not going to be able to eat. I feel nauseated, so I have no appetite (although hungry..if that makes sense). All I want to do is cry. I want that appetite back. I want to be pigging out. I am walking on eggshells…on guard…as to if I will be able to eat…or if I will throw up.
I am so afraid to feel ill. I am afraid that I won’t be able to eat. I am afraid that I will throw up…as I have in the past. I have gagged and I have a hard time stopping. So I feel like I have to be still..so not to get that feeling. It sucks.
I feel like I’m dying…I want to die. This horrid feeling makes me want to end my life, because it’s the worst feeling in the world.
I can’t end my life though because I have a daughter that I need to think about. But it’s getting tougher and tougher.
My boyfriend says that I need to talk to my therapist. I wish that he would pick up the phone and allow me to cry to him..and would provide comfort.
My brother said he will say prayers. That’s it..I have no one else. My mother passed away 3 months ago. How am I going to go on without her? Having her around made me feel safe at times. I had some sort of person to fall back on/rely on. I don’t have that anymore. It’s just me. No one understands or cares to understand. No one encourages.
I am running out of money. How am I going to pay for therapy?
I am rambling and I am sorry for that. I used to always have someone that would care for me and know what to do. I don’t have that anymore. People in my life just want me to be better. They don’t want to be a part of that process.

My therapist would have me do an exposure to this “OCD” that I am experiencing. Apparently that is what I have. So I guess I will do that exposure here on my blog.

About eating….
I may not feel like eating today….and if I do not eat, that is okay. When I am able to eat, I will eat. However..with exposure, I am to say my worst fear..so here goes..for real….
I may not feel like eating today…and I may not eat…or if I do eat, I may throw it up…I may constantly gag….I will have nothing in my stomach…and I will lose so much weight. People will ask me if I am okay. People will ask me if I am losing weight. They will comment how I have to eat. This will make me even more scared of the thought of food. My stomach will feel terrible. I will feel nauseated and weak. I will die…from not eating…. It will be an unbearable painful death.

About being alone..having no one in my life
My mother passed away three months ago. I didn’t realize how much I relied on her. She was my safe person. I am lost without her. I am afriad that things are going to go wrong and I will have no one to help me make decisions. No one thinks like me. She didn’t think like me either, but she took it. What I said…she took. I could be real. I could tell her how I really felt and she took it. I can’t talk to anyone else like I could talk to her. So that was not really an exposure…..but how I feel.

About my boyfriend
I wish that he didn’t get so defensive everytime I tell him how I feel. I want him to be my safe person. I want him to understand how I am feeling and get it. I want him to take the place of my mom, I guess. I know that is probably not fair…but if he loves me and wants to be with me, shouldn’t he be that person. He is letting me down. Instead of stepping it up, like I asked him to…he responded with “WOW.” What I want is for him to send me flowers..to let me know he is thinking of me. When I am feeling bad, pick up the phone and call me. Instead everything is done by text and there is an excuse for everything. I need him to be there to tell me it’s okay and that I am going to get through this. I don’t have that anymore. He tells me I need to talk to my therapist about how I want to die. Does he not know that everyone knows this? He was in my therapy appt last week with me when I brought it up. My therapist knows how I feel. I am afraid he might be talking to someone else. How can someone be so laid back when someone you love is suffering so much. Yesterday he went to a friends house for the football game. He didn’t check in with me once. I finally reached out to him at 7pm and he said that he was staying watching the second game. I was obviously not on his mind. Why couldn’t he reach out knowing that I was having a bad day? I was so sick yesterday. Why couldn’t he be with me?

I am so sad..so in my thoughts. So depressed. I am taking meds..and everyone is just waiting for those meds to take effect. What sucks is that the meds aren’t going to everything. And …they might not do anything. I need to change a lot of my thinking…. Everyone is just sitting on the sidelines until I am better. It doesn’t happen like that. They don’t get it.

I am running out of money to pay for therapy. Actually I have run out. It’s all on my credit card. I just put a huge payment on my credit card, from money that I got from my mom when she passed. But my credit card is basically right back up to where it was.

I don’t know what I am supposed to do. Do I go to intensive treatment? All I want to do is cry….and talk…and figure this out. I sit in my house by myself. I try to do garden work and laundry, becasue I have to..to keep up the house. The house is too much for me. I don’t know what to do anymore.

Thanks for listening. I welcome any comments. Please….

Brunch

Brunch—Confessions of a Sufferer of Anxiety—the Real Truth

Today is my brothers’ birthday. He loves The Belvedere,so my sister in law invited me to a family brunch with them. As I sit here waiting for them to get here I am a little scared. A little panicky. I can feel the heat rising. There is no one else here, so it will just be my family. And me.

Yet I’m nervous.

It’s just brunch to most. To me it’s so much more. I have been having problems eating lately. A few weeks ago, a person that my mother worked with made the mistake of telling me that I looked like I lost weight. With that, I know that I must eat. However I am afraid that if I don’t…. I will waste away to nothing as I did 23 years ago. I will be so sick. So when I have to eat, I panic slightly. It’s then hard for me to eat. My stomach gets upset at the thought.
So I am here. Most would say ..” so don’t eat… you can eat later… “ or “if you don’t feel well and want to leave, you can.” Oh if it could be that easy. To me it is not.

If I leave… if I don’t eat… I have failed.
I am reminded of something that I read years ago when I was just learning about panic. It’s something that I in fact say to others. “Practice with Patience.” I have no patience for myself though. If I don’t do this …. I failed and I am afraid I will never be able to do it again. To me, this is not a practice.. but a test.

I know it shouldn’t be. I know that by just coming here I am taking a step…in the right direction. At least that is what I am supposed to know. But I can’t take that failure.

I also don’t want to embarrass my brother. I don’t want to cry.

I sit here waiting for my brothers family to show. I am scared. My heart beats fast. I pray that I can feel okay when they are here.

His sister in law shows up. We chat. I feel okay. We go back and wait for the rest of the party. I don’t know what to order, so I get creamed chip beef. Why did I do that? My dad used to give me creamed chip beef after I had my daughter.. when I was so sick. This chip beef tastes the same. It’s a huge portion. I feel a little sick but I eat a little. I feel like I might pass out.
We make conversation. I start to plan my escape. I look for money so that I can pay my meter. My brother checks in on me. Oh shoot… people can tell. What if I can’t make it out of here?

We go back to talking.

I play with my food and I eat a little more. We talk and laugh about lots of things. I am making it through. I am enjoying myself. I sure wish that I didn’t have such fear for no reason.

The check comes and its time to go. We take pictures by the tree.

I think my brother is happy. I’m so glad that I made it.

I go back to my car and cry.

Church

Church—Confessions of a Sufferer of Anxiety—the Real Truth

Since my mother passed away, I have made it a point to go to church every Saturday night… when she used to go. And where she used to go.
You see, we decided to have her memorial mass at that same church. As a person who struggles daily with panic and depression, I had to do “exposures” before her memorial. My therapist went with me one night when the church had no one in it. My boyfriend went with me a few times. The memorial came and I survived. What an embarrassment it was for me when I couldn’t just be normal and sit at the front of the church with the rest of the family. I felt like a failure.
My mother never really understood my anxiety although at times she was my only cheerleader. She could plop herself right in the front row without any problem.
For my mothers memorial, I had to take a sedative and still for half of the service, I sat in the middle. I then decided that it was not right to have my brother sitting at the front by himself (although he had his family with him). I went to the front and sat in the front row. On the end. I panicked for a bit. But I stayed there.
Since then, I have made myself come to mass every Saturday at 5 pm. I’ve only missed one time.
Why do I panic? I don’t know. All I know is that the thought of going to church makes my heart race and my stomach become upset. How I wish I didn’t feel this way.
I remember as an elementary student, kids would pass out during mass. Could it be from that? Maybe. Very possible. When my dad would take me to church we usually stood in the back.
Tonight I have the same feelings.
And I am sitting in the back. The very back … next to the door. I am so ashamed. So sad. I just want to be normal. I don’t want to feel so ill.
I see so much more now a days. I am not only concerned for my own feeling of nausea but if all that I see. All that could go wrong. Someone passing out. A few rows up from me I see an older man bouncing and swaying as the first song is playing. Is he okay? Is he going to fall out? Is he going to have a seizure. Oh my gosh, maybe it was not such a good idea that I cane tonight. I can’t bare to see this.
In front of me, a man and his wife move in and take their seat. He looks like he could be a doctor. Oh my gosh, what if something happens to me or someone else? We’ve heard it before… a doctor just happened to be there and saved a life.
The priest that is here tonight must be filling in for our regular pastor. He is of foreign decent. He takes me back to when I used to go to St. Matthews as an elementary student (with Father Isaac). I can smell the scent of that church just thinking about it. I should go back and visit they church (where everyone always seemed to pass out). I think I might do that, I think to myself.
As he goes to read the gospel, he pauses for a long time, turning the pages… He starts to read but my mind goes to the thought of “oh my gosh, is he okay… is he going to pass out?”
That doesn’t happen. As I type this, I am understanding some of what he is saying. Surrender.

I realize that my stomach has settled.
We pray the creed and intentions are said. Praying for those who are sick in body and mind. Lord hear our prayer. Praying for those that have departed …

I then go back to think of my mom again. I try to hold back the tears. I miss her so much. It’s so hard… so hard to hold them back.

As we kneel I feel a little sick.

It is now time for communion. I walk to the front and feel a little weird. Oh I hope I can make it to the front. I do. Every Sunday, I look at the spot my mother used to sit. Oh how I miss her. I walk back to my seat. I decide not to think anymore… not to pray too much. As this is the time that the tears tend to stream down my face. I hold back and end my quick prayer.

The priest then blesses us.

Exposure

So instead of blasting all over my wall I figured I’d blast it here. So I belong to an ocd therapy support group. I go there every Monday. Costs me $50. In addition I go to therapy every week for another $85. My credit card is maxed. Last week I went to therapy twice. Once to do an exposure at my doctors office. The second because I was freaking out I was going to have a seizure. Anyway my homework from my ocd therapy support group was to go to the mall and just sit. Just to watch the people. So today I went to the mall. I went to the fourth floor and went to yankee candle. When I originally pictured all this I was going to be on the 2nd floor by the door. Instead I decided I would go get something. So I did. But I was panicky. Then I decided to sit on that floor. On a bench. So I did that. Then I pushed myself to go into New York and company. I felt really bad on there like I was going to pass out do I scurried out. When I saw the exit door to the garage I felt a little better so I decided to walk the rest of the fourth floor. I did. I went into Francesca’s and bought earrings. And I got my daughter a gift card. I was so dissapointed in myself that I was doing these baby steps that I forced myself to go to the third floor. I really wanted to go to the second but felt so sick. So I only walked down the one side of the third floor and got on the escalator as fast as I could. I felt so sick. Which took me back to when I was a kid and I was carsick and my grandparents took me to McDonald’s. I threw up in the trash on the way out. Customers saw me but my grandparents didn’t even know. I felt so sick. Not sure hat we had been going before then. I just remember that moment. Is that when all of this happened? Anyway so I went to the fourth floor and forced myself to go to New York and company again. Again I panicked and slowly left. I was going to leave but decided to stop at Annie Anne’s and get a slushy thing. I did. While standing in line, the girl behind the counter looked at me oddly. I am afraid she was thinking “omg are you okay ?” I went up and placed my order and out the door I went. My boyfriend said I should be proud of myself. I feel bad though as I feel sick and that I have to have diahrea and I am afraid that it’s going to be like this forever. Just wanted to share. Thanks for reading all that if you did.

Health Insurance….What good is it?

I have health insurance. I work…despite my severe depression and panic attacks. I am trying to be a “normal” person. Yesterday while driving home, I thought to myself…. as I am going through a really hard time right now with depression (and trying to find the righ help). So..ObamaCare made it so that everyone has to have health insurance. Again, I have my own (I pay through work). However, those that specialize in mental illness (psychiatrists, therapists) don’t even take insurance. I have paid thousands this year trying get the right help. If I wanted to go away to a place that specializes in anxiety disorders and depression….so that I can be safe….it would cost me $40K a month out of pocket. Who has this kind of money? I could go to intensive treatment programs…again, paying lots of money, in hopes to get better. Currently, the therapist that I see charges me $85/session (which is cheap). The psychiatrist that I will be seeing tomorrow night will cost me $225 for an hour. To talk..and figure out how /what to go on next. I can’t go on any medication until I am off of what I am on now. Granted, I could go to a mental ward…but they don’t specialize and I am not sure that would be benefit my anxiety. How does the average person pay for this? Again, people are forced to have health insurance…yet there are practioners out there that do not take health insurance. How can this be okay? Why aren’t the insurance companies paying them what they are worth, so that they can take insurance? There are people on the streets, one day away from not having a job becasue of mental health issues. How is this okay?

You are the nicest person..in administration

I just had a student stop by to see me (we had already scheduled this time) so that I could help her fill out a timesheet, as she works with us doing research work. She had some hours that she did not report and we had to basically get her timesheet caught up.
When leaving, she thanked me so much..and told me that I was the nicest person in administration. Wow…that was so sweet of her. If I was feeling good about things..about my mental health and my physical health…that would be great.
Little does she know what is going on inside of me. I guess I am still a nice person. But my mind is going crazy. I am so scared.
On Saturday (in three days..not even) we will be having a memorial mass for my mother who just passed away 3 weeks ago. I am so sad that she is gone. I am so afraid to live life without her. But I have to. If I didn’t, everyone would be so mad with me…so disappointed.
I have contemplated ending it all…because life is just too tough. Too tough trying to live with anxiety and depression on a regular basis…and now I am doing it without my mom.
I promised my daughter I would not hurt myself. I am hopeful that I will get better..once I get past this memorial. But that is all that is on my mind. The memorial…
Today a co-worker asked me for information about the memorial. Apparently there are co-workers that want to show up.
I am trying to figure out how I am going to get through this memorial with no one there, let alone people that I have to put a face on for.
I am scared to death that I may not be able to sit at the front of the church. I am so afraid of the panic attack that might have me running out of the church…or that will make me feel as though I am suffocating.
No one understands this awful feeling.
No one.
I am so afraid that this is going to take me back to a bad place, where I wasn’t eating..and sleeping. I need my mom. I want my mom. And she is no longer here.
I am on medication, but not a super high dose. I am actually trying to come off of it, because I was on a high dose and it was not working. My doc wants to try something else. In the meantime, I am suffering. And I am afraid I am going to continue to suffer as I try out other meds. I come to work and have to put on a face, but I am dying inside.
My heart skips beats. My back burns with heat…that makes me feel like I am going to pass out. I am so scared..so scared.
And that student said that I am the nicest person…yet she has no idea the turmoil inside of me. Will I ever be better? I just don’t know. I am so scared.

So sad

My anxiety has been on overload lately and it’s scary and depressing. I don’t like it one bit. I was doing okay for a little bit there. Having my mom pass away has made things so different for me.
A big thing now is in the morning, waking up with anxiety…
23 years ago I was like this.
This is the deal. I wake up…and right away am wondering how I am feeling. I get hungry (I guess from the cortisol..or something…) making it so that i feel like I have low blood sugar and that I need to eat right away or I am going to starve, lose weight, pass out, or whatever. I don’t eat right away. I usually wait until I get to work.
But this morning, I was scared and rushing that food in me. I had a hard boiled half (well the whites of it)..and some blue berries. I am still hungry and feeling anxious. So I went downstairs to the café and got a yogurt. I don’t even know if it’s any good.
But I feel so nervous..afraid that I will never get my appetite back.
I hate this. I worry about this Saturday when we will have to do my mom’s memorial. There will be food around after. But what about food before ?I am going to have to have something to eat beforehand. Or I will even be more shaky.
I am a mess. I need to feel better. I can’t live like this anymore. I don’t like it one bit. No one understands. This fear makes me want to cry I guess…. I eat…but I don’t really have an appetite.
I’m at work, just staying in my office.
I want to die. I wish I had the nerve to kill myself…because I don’t want to have to deal with this anymore. But I don’t have the nerve. I don’t have the means. And I promised my daughter that I would not do that.
And I really don’t want to die. I just want this feeling to end. I hate it. I have been fighting this demon for so long. It seems that I never get better. This is not good. Not good at all.

My mother passed away…

My mother passed away last Monday at 1:42pm. She had suffered a stroke on a Friday…a week and a few days before her passing. Prior to that, she was getting treatment for cancer. She had one treatment for cancer….but because her pain was so bad in her back…they admitted her to the hospital to get her on some good pain meds…and they decided to start radiation to help shrink the tumor so that she wouldn’t have that pain. The cancer she had was advanced stage lung cancer. She wouldn’t have had that much time with us anyway..apparently..but…I hoped. I believed that there was going to be a miracle. I couldn’t imagine my life without my mom. She lived with me. And although there were many times we didn’t get along..I needed my mom.
Gosh, two weeks before her cancer diagnosis, she was going to look for somewhere else to live, because we weren’t getting along.
After the diagnosis though, she was happy that she had moved in with me two years before. I was getting her meds together for her and she actually said she didn’t know what she would do without me.
The days before her stroke, she was a little shaky. I took her to radiation one of two days..but she got through them. My daughter took her on a Thursday and they said that her blood pressure was low but her heart rate was high. She had to go to the ER straight from radiation. She did and she was released.
The next day (Friday), I was going to work. She had her pj’s over her legs like she was cold. I didn’t want to make a big deal over her and keep asking her if she was okay (as I did so many times), so this day I just gave her a kiss goodbye. Told her my brother would be taking her to radiation that day. She was fine. I tried to call her, and couldn’t get a hold of her. BUT..I tried not to panic…I chose not to…because she always said…”if you can’t get in touch with me, don’t panic..I am probably outside smoking a cigarette or in the shower.” So when I didn’t get a hold of her, I tried to remember that. I called again, still nothing. I sent my brother a text and asked that he check on my mom that evening (even after radiation, because I was supposed to get my hair done that night). He said that he would. But according to him, something told him to check in at that time. He tried to call her and couldn’t get a hold of her. So after about two calls not going through, he decided to drive over..in his pajamas to check on her. That is when he found her on the floor near the bathroom.
He called me from the house and told me what he saw. I cursed “FUCK. FUCK.” He called 911. When I got to the house the ambulance was there. They were rolling my mother out. I said hi to her and that I was there…but she didn’t respond. It reminded me sort of my dad. When he had a seizure and couldn’t communicate. I asked my brother what was going on and he told me that she had a stroke. I tried to remain calm but my body was torn up inside. I went out the ambulance to see how she was. She could not really talk. They were getting her all set up. The EMT’s didn’t seem to know that she lived with me..and not my brother. Just because he was in his pajamas did not mean that he knew everything. I asked where they were going to take her and they said “Sinai.” I argued about that as she was a St. Joseph’s patient. All her records were there. They said that because of the type of trauma, they needed to get her somewhere that would treat it. They asked if I was Power of Attorney. I said that I was. My brother asked if I had the paperwork. I said that I would need to find it. He said..then without the paperwork, they can take her to Sinai. He then asked if I was going to tell them what they needed to do..to go over them and tell them to take her somewhere else. Putting that decision on me was not good. I was so upset. I didn’t want her to go to Sinai.
I went inside trying to find paperwork that my brother was trying to find.
I went out. When I did…the EMT’s said that they could take her to University of Maryland in the city (that hospital would have her same records as St. Joseph’s). So I agreed to that.
They asked if I wanted to drive with them, but I couldn’t. I feel terrible..but I couldn’t go. My anxiety was so bad. And I feel bad even now about that. My mother needed me, but I left her with strangers. My sister in law was there and said she would go. My mother didn’t like my sister in law much, but I said okay. My brother went home to change. I followed him to his house (we were going to drive together). But I couldn’t sit still, so I told him I would meet him down there. On my way, my sister in law called me to find out what time I left for work (they wanted to see how long my mom may have been on the floor before being found). I got to the hospital and the doctors had me go in to a room to tell me my moms’ condition. They wanted to know if my mother would want something invasive (as she had a blood clot) ..and with the cancer…I guess it would be hard to come through. I guess if she had the invasive surgery, there were risks…then she would have to get through that and then do cancer treatment. She would be far behind on the cancer treatment, so she would eventually die. I guess they wanted to know if it was worth it for her to go through the treatment of the stroke. I couldn’t think. I wanted my mother to live. I asked if she was okay. They said that she can talk…her left side was paralyzed but that I could see her if I wanted to. Through their trying to talk to me, I was panicking. I couldn’t sit in the room. I asked to leave. I needed air. So that is what I did.
I called my daughter who was working. She came to meet me. She was able to leave her job as an RN at another hospital to be there.
By the time my brother came, I had calmed a little so that I could sit in the room and discuss things again. We decided that my mom would no want anything invasive.
The next step was to be transported for comfort care then. My mom could not move her left side (but didn’t know it). When I kissed her and told her that i loved her, she said that I was ridiculous (I guess she was thinking all was going to be okay). Instead of her staying in that hospital for comfort care, I asked if we could move her to St. Joseph’s…where she worked since 1978. If she was just going to be in a hospital, why not move her to where she knows people and they know her.
I reached out to her manager who made a few phone calls and made it happen. My mom’s manager, Hannah and the Pallative Care doctor at University of Maryland downtown got things rolling. My mother was transported that night…to the 6th floor of St. Joseph Medical Center (where she started her career as a unit clerk).
While there, she had many visitors. People that she worked with on the 6th floor were taking care of her. She could not talk real well. Anytime I got near her and tried to talk with her, she would say that I was agitating her. she was given pain meds. She couldn’t have anything by mouth, but they were giving her meds that she needed. They took really good care of her. Her “girls” from DDC (where she worked after retirement until she started cancer treatment), came to see her. They helped move her. I have a picture/video of that. So much love was given to my mom. My daughter stayed every night with her, except for one night. I felt so bad to put that on her. I felt so bad that I could not be strong and just stay with her, but I was selfish. The one night that my daughter could no stay..I stayed. My mom had just seen some friends from DDC that day. One of the nurses told her how to get some of the mucous up in her throat. When she couldn’t do it, when I was there, she told me to call him. It was a Sunday. He was not working. She didn’t know..and hollered at me to call Dave…Gave me the extension 1537. She told me that if I had called 4 hours prior like she told me he would’ve been there, but I waited too long. Took me back to my dad…and all the times that I didn’t do things on his timing I guess. I tried to appease my mom, so I called 1537 and left a message on the voice mail. I also reached out to Hanna, who reached out to Dave. He did eventually call me back that night, but my mom was sleeping. She stayed there another day or so. Speech Therapy came to give her a swallow test.. The first day she tried it, she was completely out of it, so she didn’t pass. The next day, she was more awake and could eat some applesauce and ice chips. it seemed though that when she would drink, she would cough. It was going down the wrong tube. They scheduled a barium swallow where they could do an x-ray to see where things were going that she was swallowing. She thought she passed…but apparently she did not. The palliative care doctor talked to my brother and said that she could eat things …but not anything that would give her the nourishment she would need in order to stay alive.
We could do a feeding tube, but she had always said that she didn’t want that. My brother told me that she even pulled out the tube that was put down her nose to give her nourishment.
So…the palliative care doctor talked to us..and we decided that if she couldn’t eat….swallow..there was no point for rehabilitation as she wouldn’t be able to have the strength for it I guess.
I look back and wish that we would’ve just kept her around for longer. But instead, we chose to send her to Gilchrist for hospice…
She would be able to eat what she wanted, if she wanted anything…
My brother and I actually interviewed two places to make sure that we were sending her to the right place for hospice. Gilchrist has a good sell, I guess. The woman knew what she was to say. The person that came from the other company (Stella Maris) didn’t have all the answers…so that turned me away.
Gilchrist assured me that they would not hasten death..that they would just make her more comfortable..and if she wanted to eat, she could eat whatever she wanted.
Before my mother went to hospice, she had ice cream and a soda. Well some of each. The soda..she was able to slurp through the straw. The ice cream, she was able to take from the spoon and enjoy.
She is gone now though. That night, hospice came to pick her up and transport her. My daughter and I stayed with her the first night. I tried to have many conversations with my mom. In the hospital and at hospice. I wanted so much for her to come back to me…but each time she had pain, we would have pain medication given to her. She couldn’t stay awake to eat. She would listen and may have something to say to the conversation, but she was pretty much out of it.
On October 8, I went in to work…not real happy about doing it, but knowing that I had to..or I would make my agoraphobia worse. My sister in law paid someone to move my daughter (as my daughter had already planned to move the beginning of the month, but was unable to because of my mom being sick). I worked half a day…and then went to hospice. My mom had been holding on for some time. There were nights that I would leave and be afraid that I would get the call that she didn’t make it through. But that was not the case. I went to see her after work… I walked in the room. Gave her a kiss on her forehead and said that I was there. I was going to relieve my Aunt Beth I guess at that time (who had been there since the morning). My sister in law was there. My mom didn’t like my sister in law that much…but she had really helped during this time (although my mother had no idea). After I kissed my mom, I noticed her breathing decrease, but didn’t want to get anxious about it. My aunt then said “did you see that her breathing had changed.” My sister in law went to get the doctor. I didn’t see a point in getting the doctor though, as this is what was supposed to happen..she was to pass. It was either this pause in breathing or another after this….that I was holding my mom’s hand and just cried out “Why….why….” I didn’t want this to be happening. My mother then took another breath and she was back with us. The doctor came in and confirmed that my mom did not have a pulse, but had a heart beat and this does happen towards the end (which we had heard previously). She did say that it would probably be best to gather those that we wanted at her bedside as it may be soon.
I called my daughter. My sister in law called my brother ..and someone called my niece. My aunt must’ve left the room for a minute (after we argued how I wanted her there with the family). It was just my sister in law and I in the room when my mother apparently took her last breath.
I don’t even know if I was holding her hand. I had held my dad when he took his last breath. I was there. Although physically present in the room with my mom, I feel like I was almost protecting myself because I didn’t want to see that last breath. I didn’t want to believe what was happening. I wanted my mom. I still do.
My sister in law had said a few second prior to my mother’s last breath that she felt really cold. I shooed her to almost knock it off. I thought she was being a bit dramatic. But she felt cold. She asked my aunt (when in the room) if she was feeling cold. I, of course, was not. I hadn’t eaten much and was hot and a bit shaky and in disbelief.
I knew my mom was gone when she was not breathing anymore. A nurse came in…as we stared, to listen for her heart beat. She listened for one full minute. She apologized for the length of time, but said that they have to do that. She told us she was gone. Time of death: 1:42pm on October 8, 2018.
The doors to the outside kept opening (as they had been doing for a few days..in fact, I thought that I had broken them). My sister in law was trying to close them…but I told her to stop. In a way, I was hoping that it was a spiritual thing (if there was such a thing).
I felt like others were cheated. I felt bad. I was there..but I didn’t think I wanted to be there. And my sister in law was there. Why? Why was she there.
It wasn’t until a few days later that my sister in law and I spoke about it.
She told me that on the day my daughter was moving, she felt the need to get to my mom. She said that she realized she was the only one that didn’t tell her it was okay to go. She told me that she went in to the room…and went to my mother (as my aunt was in the room). She told my mother that this was her time…to be at peace. She promised to take care of me…and my brother and everything else. She told my mom that my daughter moved and told her that she took my mom’s table to her new house. She said that I walked in the room about 5 minutes later and told my mom I was there.
My sister in law said that when things started happening, she felt cold. She felt something that she had never felt before. She said that she didn’t know who was behind her…trying to get to my mother…but it felt like my mom went through her to get to those people (and maybe the door was open for a reason)..I don’t know.
My sister in law believes that my mother felt okay to go ..because she promised to take care of us…and when I walked in the room..it was proof that we were there together. Maybe it was my mom’s way of handing me over to my sister in law. I don’t know.
All I know is that I have been to work each day since my mom passed (except for one day when we had to go to the funeral home). We will be having a memorial in a few weeks, as my mom was cremated. I am still waiting for her to come home from the hospital or work or a trip or something I think. I am getting through each day, but not without anxiety and depression.
I guess it could be worse, but maybe I am not allowing it to get worse. Maybe I am trying to just get through.
Tomorrow, my mom’s work will be having a mass for her. So I will be at the hospital with all her friends. Some of my family will be there. Because of my anxiety, I plan to sit in the back. I am scared. I just want to get this all over with. It’s hard for me to go to these things. And if I leave…as people say that I can…I will feel like I have taken too many steps back.
Yes, I may be white knuckling my anxiety quite a bit right now. But I am scared.
Hoping to see/talk to my mother one day. They say that she loved me. I do know that she was happy to be with me the last two weeks of her life, since I was getting the meds right. But..maybe I should’ve done more. They changed one of her meds….that was to prevent a stroke. What’s to say…that she would still be here had it not been for that medication change? Nothing can bring her back…and unlike what I wanted to do with my father’s death, I am not going to sue. My mother always told me to trust the doctors.
I’m just sad. I miss my mom. I want my mom. Now..I’m like an orphan. And I have to learn to live in this world again.

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