My Mum developed a cough while she stayed with us over Christmas. Always the stubborn lady she played it down and headed back home. Early in the new year I called her and said that I’d had flu and that she needed to be careful. Yes, yes she said, along with her saying that it wasn’t flu she had. Fast forward 2 days and I spoke to her - she was struggling to breathe, slurring her words and told me that she had spent the night under her bed and didn’t know where she was or how to get out. I called an ambulance immediately, then phoned my sister in law to get my brother over there as he’s much more local. While Mum was waiting for the ambulance she packed a bag as we all thought she’d be taken in. She also arranged for her neighbour to feed her cat.
The ambulance arrived and basically said there was nothing wrong and that she just needed to drink some water and take some Imodium. My brother sorted a few bits out for her and left. A few hours later her neighbour went to feed the cat and found her collapsed in her hallway barely breathing. He called another ambulance and this time they took her in. It turned out that she had diabetic ketoacidosis and sepsis which had caused renal failure. She also had pneumonia. She was moved into ITU and put on a ventilator the next day as they were finding her more difficult to wake.
Since then, she’s been in ITU and making, what we thought was progress. However, last Thursday we were called in to say that there’s nothing more that can be done and that we need to let her go with dignity and in comfort. She’s now receiving palliative care and I am utterly broken. She’s still here but I’ve already lost her, I feel unable to see her as I just cannot bear it. I feel guilty and lost. I keep replaying everything over and over thinking I could’ve done more.
She had her 80th birthday on 31 jan and it just broke my heart to see her laying there mostly sleeping. I don’t want to say goodbye and I can’t even cope now. The pain in unbearable and I feel like I can’t go on. I know she would not want me to be sad, but I can’t be anything else. I feel so lost an alone.
I also have 2 small children who keep talking about grandma (we’ve only told them that grandma is poorly). My 5 year old had such a special bond with my mum and this is breaking my heart.
I just don’t know what to do.