19 March 2016

Regret, grief and care

Five years ago this very night my Mother spent her last night at home. The next morning she was taken to hospital with breathing difficulties and died there just fourteen hours later.

The GP had earlier in the week diagnosed a chest infection when reluctantly attending her at home. She said she didn't want to go to hospital and he didn't insist. A few days later she could not resist. Hospital treatment had become a necessity.

Mom was so very poorly. She barely ate during her last week of life, nor barely moved. I did my best trying to make her comfortable but it was not enough. She must have been in agony what with all her existing difficulties and with what we discovered afterwards to be multi organ failure. Slowly throughout the week her vital organs all began to shut down one by one.

When I left the ICU late on Sunday evening with my Dad and Brother I knew I had said my last goodbye to her. I would dearly have loved to stay but as a single parent of two, one only eleven years old, I could not. Regrets.

Mom had been ill for eight years and although I tried on many occasions, she would not let me fight for her; for better care, better pain relief, better everything. She insisted that all was fine. It was never fine and I always felt so helpless and now I feel that I let her down. Hindsight is indeed a wonderful thing.

Dad wouldn't let me fight after Mom had died and there was an inquest. The Coroner did adjourn to ask more questions of those who were supposed to have cared for her in a medical sense but when it came to the second hearing Dad wanted peace and he wanted closure and so I let it all go for his sake.

The frustration and regret I have is difficult to live with but I do as you do.

My daughter suffered an accident nearly five months ago now and remains seriously affected by that event. If anyone wants to know why I fight so hard for her to get the treatment and consideration she needs and deserves, they only have to look to my past experiences plus the love a Mother has for her child. I let Mom down. I will not let my daughter down.

Don't judge me. You haven't walked in my shoes and I judge myself far more harshly than you ever could. I cannot change the past but I have learned from it.