Even In The Quietest Moments: A Thread About Grief
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  • I don't know what to do?
    I don't know what to do?

    Six words I've heard countless times today.

    By way of a backstory, I look after my elderly mother. She's 86. She's in great shape for her age, and while I keep a very watchful eye over her, she's managed to remain largely independent. Something I encourage.
    I was awoken this morning by the phone ringing. Not unexpected. We'd been expecting a tradesman to call with an estimate. 
    I could hear my mother moving about in her bedroom, but the phone kept ringing. This was odd because she has a phone in her bedroom, while the main phone is downstairs.
    Eventually I heard her leave her room and start to go downstairs. The phone was still ringing, and then it stopped.

    By this time I had staggered out of bed because this struck me as odd. I found my mother fully dressed coming back up the stairs so I asked her, why didn't you answer the phone mum? There's a phone in your room?

    She looked at me with blank eyes and said,

    I don't know what to do?

    Something was clearly wrong, so I got her to come and sit down and spoke to her.

    I don't know what to do? she kept repeating.

    The penny quickly dropped that something was seriously wrong with her, and I immediately feared she'd had a stroke. Her face was fine, she was mobile, and her grip was good, but her mind had completely gone. 
    She was fine yesterday.
    You panic, because you don't know what is wrong. What the hell do you do? I phoned for an ambulance and then called my brother (who I haven't spoken to in five years for reasons that matter not here) and told him to come over right away.

    The paramedics arrived and examined her while I tried to comfort her. She knew my name, but didn't really know who I am. As they were about to take her to the hospital, my brother arrives and we fill him in and he goes with her in the ambulance. I'm not even dressed yet, so I'll follow on in my car.

    I don't know what to do? she tells me as they leave. I don't know what to do either.

    Cut to the hospital a short time later and we're in Accident and Emergency with her. She's absolutely bewildered. She doesn't know who she is, or where she is, and she's quite agitated for obvious reasons.

    They take her for a CAT scan and do some tests and we wait with her. Hours pass, and all I can do is hold this frail old woman in my arms and try to comfort her and tell her that she's going to be alright. Her mind is racing, but she just doesn't know anything. Every minute for hours she asks where I am, and where she is, and who she is, and what time it is.
    Time stands still, and I've never felt so utterly helpless.

    They admit her to a ward and we try to get her settled again while we play the waiting game for the doctor to come and see her. 
    This is hellish. Hours pass again.

    I don't know what to do? she keeps saying.

    She's tiring herself out because her mind is racing trying to remember anything. It's so hard to get her to relax and rest.

    The Doctor examines her and says her test results are good. He thinks she might be having a severe adverse reaction to medication she's been taking for the last couple of months for high blood pressure. They're keeping her in and they'll send her for an MRI and some other tests in the morning.
    He's a lovely man, and he says we can stay with her as long as we like, and that it's good we're both here to help keep her calm.
    My brother and I are exhausted. My Mother is exhausted.

    I go to the cafeteria and get a sandwich. I haven't had breakfast yet and it's 7pm. My brother stays with her.
    When I get back, she's been sleeping for about twenty minutes but has just woken again.

    I don't know what do? she says.

    We calm her down and manage to get her to rest on the bed again and she finally nods off to sleep. I tell my brother where the cafeteria is and to go and get something to eat and I'll watch her.

    The room is silent and dark. I'm holding her hand while she sleeps, and that's when it hits you. In the quiet moments.
    You can cope when there's a lot going on around you and she needs you to help her keep calm, but now it's just me in a darkened hospital room, holding the hand of this poor frail old woman and watching her sleep.

    It hits you like a sledgehammer. I have never felt so utterly helpless in my entire life, and the only thing I can do is be there and hold her hand. It's devastating. You pray to a God you've never believed in to please just make her well again, because that's all you've got.

    She's sleeping soundly now, so we've both gone home and we'll see what tomorrow brings. 
    I'm shattered.
    I've held it together all day, but now it's time to sit down and have a good cry and vent on here about it. Better out than in.
    Don't really have anyone else I'd consider close enough to talk to about things like this now. Like it or not, I guess you people are my family now.

    Tomorrow is a new day. Hopefully there will be good news. We've not to phone until lunchtime, and if she gets worse they have my mobile number and instructions to call me 24/7. 

    all I can do now is pray

    g.man
    Come with g if you want to live...
  • Fingers crossed for you and your family G.

    All the best.
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  • Thoughts to mama G and yourself buddy.  We are all here for you.  Hugs.
    GT: WEBBIN5 - A life in formats: Sinclair ZX81>Amstrad CPC 6128>Amiga 500>Sega Megadrive>PC>PlayStation 2>Xbox>DS Lite>Xbox 360>Xbox One>Xbox One X
  • regmcfly
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    Horrible news, G. Love from me to you and yours.
  • Never know what to say, but hope things get better soon. Thoughts and hugs.
  • Paul the sparky
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    Shit news g. Get it out, have a good old cry, get some kip and see what tomorrow brings.

    My heart goes out to you.
  • Gahhh that's awful.

    It's mighty handy you can articulate it at all in such detail. It's not all shite, t'Internet.
  • Thanks fellas.
    Come with g if you want to live...
  • Yossarian
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    Big hugs g. My thoughts are with you.
  • Terrible news. I hope the situation gets better soon.
    "..the pseudo-Left new style.."
  • Could be alzheimer dementia?
    My condolences G, be strong.

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  • Sending all my best wishes your way g, that sounds terrifying. Hopefully the docs are right and it is a reaction to the mess.
  • Was welling up reading that. 

    Terrible day you've had buddy, hope she makes a speedy recovery.
  • hunk wrote:
    Could be alzheimer dementia? My condolences G, be strong.
    She had routine tests for that a few months ago and passed with flying colours. This is just a bolt out of the blue. Hopefully tomorrow we'll know more.
    Come with g if you want to live...
  • So so sorry to hear G. Thoughts and prayers are with you mate and I hope everything works out.

    I know the pain of helplessness in these situations, but even that simple action of holding her hand, that simple act of comfort can make a huge difference.
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  • I'm sorry to hear all that G! I don't know what I would do if something like that happened to my mother. Precisely what you just did I suppose. 

    Just be there for her and be strong, no matter what the news. But hopefully it will be good news. 

    One thought: could it be dementia? An aunt of mine recently got diagnosed with dementia, but I guess that was more a slow process rather than just sudden onset.

    All the best, and do keep us updated. Genuinely upset to hear this and hope thinks work out ok.
    "But enough talk. HAVE AT YOU!"
  • Thanks everyone. I take strength just knowing your thoughts are with us.
    Come with g if you want to live...
  • g.man wrote:
    hunk wrote:
    Could be alzheimer dementia? My condolences G, be strong.
    She had routine tests for that a few months ago and passed with flying colours. This is just a bolt out of the blue. Hopefully tomorrow we'll know more.

    Ah ok. Well hopefully it just a one off and perhaps a reaction to something like doc suggested.
    "But enough talk. HAVE AT YOU!"
  • I hope everything is ok and I'm thinking of you.
  • acemuzzy
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    My thoughts are there too.
  • my gran were 86 when she got dementia a few years back,
    as she were very far from me i didnt get to see or spend time with her, my mum had been ill and some things wrong with her internally but had to be there for my gran anyway as both her sisters worked long hours.
    my gran was addicted to nobles amusments arcades wich was a cafe with tons and tons of slot machines.
    she had a huge social circle there and would go there every day just to talk and eat etc.
    my mum would push her round in a weelchair as she got worse, she started to forget peoples names she'd known for years and then eventually my uncle robert,  auntie sadie, and a few more of her childrens names were all lost in her memory.

    last year she passed away at 89 years old, i only saw her at the start of the dementia and couldnt afford to travel back and forward to killmarnock as well as having some other tough things going on that id rather not mention on here.  (theres one person on here i spoke to a lot and checked on me etc through pms who i owe a lot too for helpng me thru that stuff and he knows who he is)

    really tough times and i always wonderd if my gran would remember me, my name and stuff like that.
    wish id seen more of her in those last years.

    my heart and thoughts are with you in this g.
    peace and love big guy.
  • The worst feeling, being forgotten by someone you dearly love. Even when it's dementia.
    "But enough talk. HAVE AT YOU!"
  • Nah, alzheimer's unlikely due to the sudden onset. Vascular dementia is a far more likely culprit and is what the doctors are looking into probably.
    I hope I'm wrong though.

    My thoughts are with you and your loved ones g.
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  • It may go as quickly as it came. Chin up g. Whatever happens it might be a good time to extend the olive branch to bro.
  • Thoughts are with you and your loved ones G.

    Shared strength at a time like this is a wonderful thing and I'm sure you have all ours here, you certainly have all of mine.

    Stay strong.
  • It may go as quickly as it came. Chin up g. Whatever happens it might be a good time to extend the olive branch to bro.
    Aye, that's the only positive to come out of this so far mate. Sometimes it takes something truly terrible to bring estranged family back together again.
    Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts. I know many of you have faced similarly awful things throughout the years we've been here, and we're very fortunate to have this little community to look out for each other. Love to you all.

    You are all wonderful

    g.man
    Come with g if you want to live...
  • Kow
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    Tomorrow, with some luck, will be better. Fingers crossed.
  • GooberTheHat
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    My thoughts are with you G. Love and hugs man.
  • That all sound terrifying g man.

    My thoughts and best wishes are with you and your mam.
    Can-of-sprite
  • Sorry to hear this G. Thoughts to you and your family and hope that things get better for you all.
  • davyK
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    Awful to hear this.

    Thoughts are with you.
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