worst night ever

Last night I received a call from my mother in laws caregiver, she was out of control with anxiety. I left work and went over, I didnt know what I would walk into, when I arrived she was laying on the couch soaking wet. I thought she just came out of the bath, instead she riled herself up so much that she sweat right through her clothes.

I sat beside her and talked to her about what she is feeling, now being Italian, we are VERY dramatic people, she told me she wanted to die!!!! You see, my mother in law is a very spiritual person, so I told her please dont say that, you are hurting God he gave you this life as a gift..finally she calmed down and we talked about her not being able to sleep. Then I got the answer no one wants to hear, she told me she was afraid to die in her sleep. We talked about her life and I asked her if she thinks she lead a good life in the eyes of God, she then asked for our priest, she wanted to confess her sins. Is she ready??? I dont know but I will help her be ready.

By then my husband arrived and we told her we had to go to my moms, you see my parents are also elderly and my mom tends to my dad who has had numerous strokes. The minute we arrived we got another call, she had soiled herself and the caregiver could not lift her to clean her...off we went to help. My husband was nervous, he had never seem his mom in that state and I would not let him, I took care of it.

Seeing someone at their most vulnerable is something you cannot describe, I went to the bathroom and told her to put her frail tightly twisted arms around my neck and lifted her, while she was being cleaned I asked her if she wanted to learn how to dance, she never danced...that made her laugh.

When we finally brought her to bed, she asked for me to massage her legs, as I was doing this she told meonce again that she loved me....I had to hold back all the tears that I have wanted to shed for a year..last night she fell asleep infront of me, but just before I told her not to be afraid to fall asleep, I would talk to her tomorrow so she could remind me to call the priest.....I sit waiting for her call

I dont want this to sound like its about what I DO, its about what we have all done and will continue to do for the ones we love...its raw , but its real

18 Replies

  • Funny how the worst night ever will probably be something you will remember as a good one: she was able to talk to you about her fears and you were able to help her and even made her laugh, she told you she loved you and she was able to sleep. That seems beautiful to me. I hope the priest can make her easier in her mind so she can sleep without fear. Love and peace to you and your family. Eastencedar

  • Thanks EC, last night will always be in my heart.

  • That must have been physically and emotionally draining. My heart goes out to you all.

    It sounds as if you have a lot on your plate. I do hope you are getting support.

    More practically (as EasternCedar has covered much) You might want to talk to the carer or agency about how to cope should she soil herself again. There are ways of rolling someone one way and then the other without lifting whilst doing a bed bath. I don't know if that is feasible. If you are in the UK it might be possible to get the District Nurses to come out. Something to explore with your GP?

    No it didn't sound all about you at all. It sounded like the sort of traumatic events carers and cared for suffer as they both try to make it through the difficult times.

    I too hope the Priest can come out and address her fears.

    Bless her and you. You sound remarkable.

  • Gosh - sorry this post was from me Kevin_000 - I had logged Liz on to read posts to her and forgot - sorry.

  • And yet it so applies to this post. Only goes to show how close our lives and experiences are related. I keep reminding myself I am no more alone than my other brothers and sister in PSP!


  • Hi LizAB,

    thanks for the advise, we have full time care but this happened while she was in her chair going to the bathroom, never happened before. We have never received a call like this one, I think everyone is at their wits end.

    There is very little help by way of the government, they provide you with 2 hours a day of extra help BUT that only comes when there is a dramatic decline in health OR you have an amzing social worker that really cares, which we do.

    It is very frustrating to think that these people have help build our city, came over from their motherland, paid their taxers, never took a penny form out Government that wasn't thiers and yet when it is time for society to help them, there is nothing, even our war ventrans are treated like second class citizens...but heck, we are getting a new subway in our city!!!!!! Pathetic

  • Easterncedar said it best; you will probably look at this torrent of experiences the last 24 hours ...and remember it with a warmth in your heart. You comforted her enough to relax her and allow her to fall asleep. As God gives the gift of life for those who love Him and know that death is only going home, then your mom needs only to be reminded that it's just the Lord calling her home when it's time. We are not Catholics , but my husband and I have a strong spiritual belief. And though I am not always able to model it and /or lean on my Chrisitanity , I do believe my husbands death will be just his final walk home, nothing to fear....

    I hope her priest can comfort her as you have. and again like Ec said, "Love and peace to you and your family."


    Be of good courage , and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord..... Psalm 31:24

    For thou, Lord, will bless the righteous, with favor will thou compass him as with a shield Psalm 5:13

    Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all. II Thessalonians

  • thank you abirke, we are all in this together, I too agree that when she dies she will be reuinted with the loved ones we have lost and like you said, her final walk home.


  • Hi, like EC, I thought your post was so full of love. I know it was sheer hell, whilst it was all happening, but to be able to connect with your mother in law like that, truly beautiful. You are both lucky ladies to have had that sort of relationship.

    I am guessing you are in USA, don't know about how to get extra help, but you sure need it. Tell us you are, then the right people will be able to give advice where to look.

    Lots of love


  • thank you Heady for your kind words...I understand her and know what she had been through in her life....in simple words, I get her.

    Unfortunately, there is little the government does for the elderly in Canada, sure they give you a few hours a day for 6 weeks to help out, but thats it. We have been paying our of pocket for her care, she worked hard all her life and she has been able to do this with little help from us.

    I just got off the phone with our social worker, you see in Canada you cannot get into a home without their input. Some homes have a waiting list of 800 people. It is a frustrating process and in the meatime our elderly and their families wait patiently.

  • Whoa....If you had a some money to create an old folks home you'd probably make it back in a couple years! It's like that in America too. We just got a homehealth nurse when B got his catheter she comes by once a month or if there is something wrong.....surprisingly she ordered up a speech therapist for some problems he's been having......thank you DHS (Dept of Human Services)...another HIGHLY overburdened agency!

    What part of Canada? I have always wanted to go to Canada just hang out in the mountains......


  • I have friends that own homes, needless to say they are millionaires, but they provide the best care. We will have to have one of her caregivers be at the home during the evening so help my mother in law out and make the transition easier on her. This is a new chapter and we will take it one day at a time...we have no choice

    I live just outside of Toronto, not too many mountains here but we have the Maritimes on the east coast that are spectacular, if you want mountians you have to head west my friend our Canadian Rockies are next to none.

  • Indeed....Neil Young ....My first favorite (and still up there) singer.....isn't he from the Toronto area....the song "Old Man" is about the man who was the caretaker there before Neil bought it ...and he just stayed on......

    I'm alot like you are...


  • UII agree with wha thou sEAWY ABOTU THE3 ROCLIES!



  • Yes Neil Young is from Toronto, the ranch you are talking about is in Calfornia, when he was talking to the old man he realized that they have the same needs....we are all the same and have the same needs. I think that when desease hits, you realize that you rally dont need much, health, happiness and love. Unfortunately, most only realize this when it's too late

  • Oh you are so right. I am back in therapy again. What came to the forefront this week, is the most important thing is to be S's wife, to love and cherish him. Anybody can keep his bum clean, but only I can love him, like a wife is meant to!

    Lots of love


  • You sound so kind and caring. Do call the priest. Your mum in law may want to have confession, or just talk to a religious, which may help her relax and be ready to sleep peacefully knowing she is ready to meet her maker, if that happens in her sleep. Also ask him to give her a special blessing for the sick. All these things are a comfort if you are religious, as my mum was, and also myself if I am truthful. Take care and god bless you and your husband.

  • Went by again last night to see my MIL, well....she had a good nights sleep for 2 nights in a row. So happy for these small blessings

You may also like...