Losing My Mother

Terri Carroll

Yesterday marked the one month point of being without my mother. I have always known that I would lose my mother sooner or later. She has been in and out of the hospital since I was in sixth grade. She had many close calls in the last four years. But nothing could prepare me for this. I have my Bachelors in social work and have studied death and dying so I am not a stranger to the emotions and thoughts that come about. I just wasn't ready for my own. This year started out bad and got worse. My father was in the hospital over new years for a week and a half. The doctors found a tumor in his upper left lung. They did a bioposy and sent him home to take care of my mom. Well, they took care of each other. My mother had emphysema and congestive heart failure for five years. So my father was one of my mothers main caregivers. On Jan 10,2000 my father was diagnosed with cancer. It was in his lungs, kidneys and was spreading throughout his body. There was nothing the doctors could do to treat it. They gave him 4 to 6 months to live. On Jan 11, 2000, less than 24 hours after recieving the news of my father my mother had a heart attack and went to the ER where her lungs shut down. She was put on life support. At this point I still had hope. She had been on life support before and came off. But this time would not be the same as before. She remained on life support for six days when the doctor said she would never be able to come off. That they haad tried and her heart wasnt strong enough to with stand them trying to wen her anymore. She would have to be transfer to a hospital an hour away to live on a ventilator the remainder of her days. My mother was completely coherent the whole time. We asked mom if that was what she wanted and she started crying and told me no. So on Jan 17, 2000 the doctor took out the life support from my mother. My mother was always a strong women and such a fighter. She lived 55 minutes off the life support. I was with her every agonizing second of her death. I held her hand and she looked me in the eyes the whole time until she took her last breath. The nurses keep giving her morphine so that she wouldn't be in pain. But I could still see the fear in her eyes as she looked into mine. I am glad I got to say all my last word to her but the trauma of watching her die is still very much with me. yet i don't feel like I can grieve yetr because I have to take care of my father who has terminal cancer. Life doesn't seem fair in times like this. I know that they say God doesn't give you more than you can handle, but feel like at times that I am literly goign insane. I have nightmares all the time. I dream that my mom isn't dead that it was all a mistake. I hold my self together all day long to function at a normal level then at night when I get home all I do is sleep because I am so exausted from pretending all day. Any suggestions would be welcomed.

Terri Carroll

You can send email to Terri Carroll at [email protected]

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Anniversary date - 1-17-00
Date of post - 2-18-00

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