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Sue1234567 posted:
Hi...I don't even know how to begin explaining what happened.
My mom had been ill, but not so much so that we thought she would die, although I did realize she would probably not live to her mid-70s or 80s as her parents had. (She was only 63 herself). I thought she'd at least live long enough for her grandchildren (my nieces) to remember her. She had many health problems, mainly related to diabetes and heart disease. She'd been staying since June at a nursing-home type facility for short-term rehab, after a hospital stay left her unable to walk (she had had issues walking before, but she was still able to care for herself up until then). We always held out the hope that she would improve and be able to return home, but just before Christmas she ended up in the hospital one last time.

To make a long story short, it was eventually decided she would get a pacemaker/defribullator to help improve her heart function as she had congestive heart failure (which we knew she had before), though she had many heart blockages which they decided were inoperable (either because of too much damage, or too risky, not sure).

The weekend before last, she was in ICU but we were assured she was OK and wouldn't have the pacemaker until at least Tues. So that Mon.(1/10) around noon I saw I had a message from 9 am to call the hospital and speak to this doctor or another one; I called back and got the other. Doctor said that my mom was OK and they were still deciding which procedure to do, I then went about my day, intending to visit Mom later. On the way into the hospital around 5, I got a call from my sister who was already up in her room, telling me they took Mom for the pacemaker (had no idea). They had us wait in the cath lab waiting room for 1/2 hour or so, when they took us down the hall to an office to tell us she had passed away during the procedure. (literally just then, while we were waiting). We were in complete shock, as we'd both intended to spend the entire day of the procedure there with her. We never really believed that this procedure would kill her. After questioning everyone I could over the course of 2 days, to find out what happened, and why we weren't notified about the procedure, I found out that the first doctor had called me at 9 am at my mom's request so that we would know. (Never did anyone say she was scheduled for that day, and incidentally they failed to call my sister who I had made sure was also listed as a contact just the day before). Which means that she was laying there waiting from 9-3 or so, wondering why her daughters didn't care enough to be there with her.

I feel like I am never going to be able to live with myself over this. So many things could have been done differently over the last few months, and I feel the need to question each and every one of them. I was visiting my mom almost every day, and while she was capable of making her own decisions, I was helping her and perhaps sometimes influenced her decisions in the process. So I feel responsible in a way for what happened. And the fact that we weren't there to comfort her when I know she was so anxious about it will always haunt me. I almost feel like I need forgiveness from someone, I tell her I"m sorry every day, but it's not enough.

(continued below because am running out of space...)
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Sue1234567 responded:
I'm not working right now, and was living with her until she went into the rehab place, so all day I am surrounded by her things and it is making me crazy. I am finding that I can be OK if I am out with family or friends (as long as the subject of my mom doesn't come up, and I can forget), I am sure my friends, many of whom were attended my mom's wake, probably thought I was totally OK that day because I was talking to them and even laughing, but only because they were there; I had spent the whole day crying up until then. When I am alone I am probably crying at least half the time. Not just at home, but in my car and even at the supermarket. Even last night, after spending the whole day with friends, I am sure they thought I was fine, because I am if I don't think about it, but I was crying before I even got home. I do have a couple of friends who have parents that passed away who I would talk to about this, but I don't want to bring up bad memories for them.

I dont' know what to do. I am still supposed to be looking for a job, but am having trouble just getting through the day as it is, never mind going on interviews. The house is a complete mess, as I'd really let it go while she was ill, clearly I wasn't handling that too well, either. I can't even bring myself to go back to the gym, since I went there after talking to the doctor, instead of going to the hospital... now I know that she was waiting for me while I was at the gym. (Which is not good because I am on the verge of developing some of the problems she had, if I do not eat right and exercise myself.) All my days before were planned around what time I was going to see mom, now I wake up and think of that, and realize I will never see her again.
 
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wifeofnamvet replied to Sue1234567's response:
sue, i am so very sorry for your loss.....i do understand how you are feeling...i had to lie to my mom when she was dying and that haunts me everyday of my life.....i was her care giver and i thought i let her down...but you did everything right....you were with her as much as you could be and believe me ...i say this to you being a mom myself...a mother knows her children's hearts.....you think she was wondering where her daughters were,...i think she was telling God what wonderful daughters she had through all this....when it comes to losing someone special in our life, we second guess ourselves constantly because we try to find a reason to have it make sense, because we are never ready to let go....i have had 3 tragic losses in my life all within 7 months my 2 brothers then my husband....i know how hard it is for you now to go through all the emotions that follow this heart break...you will find others here that really care about you and will help get you through this....i wish you well and hope your heart can heal....
 
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Caprice_WebMD_Staff replied to Sue1234567's response:
Dear Sue,

In addition to Wifeofnamvet's excellent response, I encourage you to talk to those friends who have themselves lost a parent. If they have some distance since their own losses, they could really help you through this. No one understands better than someone who has been there. Lean on them.

And please be sure to take care of your physical health while you grieve, even though you don't really feel like it. Be sure to eat, exercise a bit. It will all feel phony for you right now, but do it anyway.

Be gentle with yourself and keep talking here if it helps.

I am so sorry for your loss and for the circumstances involved.
 
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Sue1234567 replied to Caprice_WebMD_Staff's response:
Thank you both...sorry I didn't reply sooner. Also apologize for that first post being so long. Wifeofnamvet, I am sorry you had to go through much in such a short time. I hope you are right about what my mom was thinking...I don't have children myself, so I can't look at it from that perspective...but I know I could've been much better to her in a lot of ways and that will always haunt me.And given that the last time I saw her I downplayed any risks of the procedure, telling her that if she hadn't been in the hospital already she'd probably go home the day after (which all the info I'd read pretty much said, and I gave it to her to read, too)...well, I'm never going to forgive myself for that.
Caprice, thank you, too, and I know you are right, I still can't bring myself to go back to the gym, but have been trying to do other things instead. And also doing things with friends is good as it helps me forget for awhile, which is definitely a good thing, so I've been trying to get out even if I don't think I want to.
 
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calicocamp responded:
Sue, I am so sorry for you and your sister's loss of your mother. I don't know if you are religious, but it you are somewhat the bible instructs us to forgive if the person is truly sorry. It also means to forgive yourself. If it happened to a friend or yourself I am sure you would want your loved ones to not feel guilty. You did the best you could. There definately were mistakes made and it sounds like they were out of your control, as far as not being notified. That would make me furious. I'm wondering ...didn't your mom have any time to call you. I would have refused to go until I could have talked to you. Maybe your mom wasn't real assertive, maybe it was also because she was weak......I know what it feels like to loose your mom expectedly.....I was shocked ......she was young......it took a long time to get over it as she was never there for my maturing.....I had some regrets.....if onlys.....I know it wasn't my fault, but I still felt my if onlys for a long time. I wonder if it happened because she had those blockages. My dad had an aneurysm...he also had 4 block arteries. At first, they didn't know about his blocked arteries. When they found out, they fixed those first. He was told he would have died in his aneurysm repair, if they hadn't fixed his blocked arteries first. He lived another 20 years and I lost him Oct. 2009. I am having a rough time of it. Again, so sorry, but be good to yourself as I am sure your mom would have wanted you to.
 
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wifeofnamvet replied to Sue1234567's response:
sue, you don't have to apologize for not replying sooner or for your reply being long, everyone here has done that....i understand about you telling your mom about the procedure, but you were telling her the truth, many people having that same procedure would go home a day or two after... any procedure has it's risk, you had no control over what was to come...my mom took herself off of dialysis because she didn't want to hold up my son's birthday camping trip (she was going with us) after a year into dialysis she wasn't doing well with it, she was getting anxious and having a hard time coping with it, .... i had to tell her two days later that she would only have about a week to live....(well it was 4 days) when i brought her to the hospital she was put on comfort measures only....that evening she asked me if they were going to take her to dialysis center ...i said yes...she passed 2 days later...you see i feel i had control over that, her Dr. called me at home and told me not to blame myself...easier said than done....but what i want to tell you is that my mom a few days before she took herself off dialysis she said to me one day "laur how long are you going to keep doing this"..i told her "it's ok mom, no problem".....she knew my heart, even if i looked tired or had a bad day she knew i loved her...believe me sue a mother will make the ultimate sacrifice for her children, but one thing she always does is loves them unconditionally even if they don't make the best decisions....your mom is looking down on you and saying.....thats my daughter and i hope her heart can heal........


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