Monday, July 28, 2008

Utter feeling of uselessness

Do you ever feel useless? Or I guess helpless would be the more appropriate word, but right now I am feeling pretty useless.

Living 15 hours away from my mom when she needs me, makes me feel useless! In the past 2 years she has had 4 major surgeries. I only made it to one, the first one. She had a 9 hr. surgery on her back. Since then she has had a second mastectomy for breast cancer, she had her first one when she as 36. During that, I was 30+ weeks pregnant and 18 hrs. away. Useless! She then had another surgery on her spinal cord where they went in through the front of her neck, she wore a neck brace for weeks, I never saw the brace, I had just had a new born and still lived 18+ hrs away. Useless! And then she fell and shattered her shoulder requiring pins and had to wear a sling and do rehab. When I saw her for the first time afterwards, I didn't even know which shoulder it was. How could I not know, I am her daughter, I should know these things, but I wasn't there. Useless!

Now, I know that my father and my sister are taking wonderful care of her & being there for everything she could possibly need. The have washed and fixed her hair for her, they have nursed her back to health, (or as healthy as you can be when you are on a walker for over a year and just getting ready for the next surgery.) I know my other sister is 5 hrs away and comes in like gangbusters taking care of everything else when she gets there. But me, I stay home with my two small kids who would be more harm than help. I sit by the phone waiting for phone calls, and research everything I can on the computer. I send cards, letters, care packages and flowers. But all I can feel is useless.

My mom was suppose to have another surgery tomorrow, this one where they cut the front of her neck and then turn her over to cut the back of her neck. This one she was going to be in ICU with a breathing tube. In the past week I have struggled with the feelings of uselessness, trying to explain to her why I can't come AGAIN, knowing she completely understands, but feeling like I need to say it for myself more than for her. But the surgery got scratched due to "complications." How much more can this lady take. She now has a vein that could be cut and cause bleeding problems, she has blood problems... the whole nine yards of "complications." And I am not there to .. well, just to be there. I feel useless to her for not just showing my face, I feel useless for my dad and sister for not alleviating some of the work. I feel useless for myself, and not being able to hug my mom when she needs it. I just feel useless.


Jean said...

Hugs to you and your mom!
I totally understand your guilt, I live 5 hours away from parents (don't know how your sister can do it as it's still a big trip) and I feel totally useless when things occur and I can't just drop everything and go.
I hope everything works out for you.

Melanie said...

I can't even imagine how hard that must be for you. I know I hate that helpless feeling when there is nothing I can do and I want to be able to do something.

Alicia said...

I don't know how you feel--being so far away from your mother at times like this. But I know how it feels to feel useless. Please don't beat yourself up. Your mom knows that you think of her and pray for her and that you are there with her in spirit. You are doing the best that you can given the circumstances. I will keep your family in my prayers. HUGS!

Scarlet O'Kara said...

Your mom will be in my prayers as well as you. It is so hard to be away from loved ones.

Bee Repartee said...

Are you the oldest? I am and I struggle with my own inner dialog with my own mom, two states away, staying in a board and care home. I have to remind myself that (with four kids and family responsibilities) if I am doing all I can, then I am doing everything I can. I hope that helps.

Best wishes to your mom and her upcoming surgery. She sounds like a trooper!!

JenLive! said...

I totally can relate. I've missed hospital stays. I've missed surgeries. I've missed funerals. Not everyone understands every time. Thankfully, your family understands. And they know that you would if you could.

Sending prayers for you and your mom.

PS Stop by, I've got something for you.

Maggie, Dammit said...

Yeah, but you know what? This stuff? You'd feel useless if you were standing right next to her, too. It's just hard, no matter how close.

I'm sure she feels your love.

Kellan said...

It is so hard living far away from family and I'm sorry your mom is going through so much and you are not able to be near her - with her! I hope she does well tomorrow and I will keep her in my thoughts and prayers! Take care - Kellan

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Aw, but you care so much! I hope all went well with the surgery.


Rachel said...

You and your mom are both in my prayers. That is excruciatingly difficult.

Angela said...

She knows you care and you would if you could.
And the knowing is very important