Everyone, I can imagine, understands that when you lose a loved one, it can be devastating. Because my mom was in hospice, I had time to prepare (mentally) for what was to come, but noone tells you about the other things you will deal with.
1. Financial hardship. When my mom was in hospice, I used FMLA time and was there for weeks at a time, waiting....and waiting...and waiting. I cooked, and cleaned, and I bought food for the house, and gas for my moms car that I was driving. But I also had a house to maintain in Baltimore. I still had a car payment, insurance, rent, etc. for my home. So I used my 'emergency' credit card. It didn't take long to rack up debt, and it takes even longer to pay it off. Do I regret it? No, because it was my mom--and it's just money. But having money makes life a little easier, you know? I will probably be paying off this debt for years. It's a constant reminder of everything that I have lost.
2. Mental health. I can go weeks at a time, and be fine and well adjusted. And then one day, BAM! out of the blue, I get hit with depression. I get sad, and I miss my mom, and I hate that there is so much more to my life that she won't be there for. There are so many things that I am going to have to figure out on my own for the rest of my life...and it sucks. Even with time to prepare for the inevitable, it still never fully prepares you for life without a mom.
3. Physical health. I gained a TON of weight while my mom was sick. My days consisted of sitting and waiting. Cooking. Eating. Poor sleep. Repeat. For weeks on end, it was a waiting game. During the time she was in the hospital, it was the same, except the food being eaten was from the hospital cafeteria. Sleep was even worse because I slept in a recliner next to the phone just in case the phone call came in the middle of the night. I weighed 428 lbs when I started my journey six months after my mom passed. That was my highest weight ever. My blood pressure was high, my blood sugar was out of control. I suffered chronic yeast infections, and diflucan was my best friend. I had contstant headaches and body aches. I got out of breath easily.
4. Dental health. I grind my teeth in my sleep. I also find myself clenching my jaw when stressed, even while fully awake. Mouthgaurds help, but they aren't not a fail safe--especially when you take them out in your sleep. I broke another tooth last night. Half of it just came out while flossing. My teeth are shot. I have had two root canals in the past month, and was scheduled to have two crowns done on Monday. I have at least 4 crowns on schedule for 2014 when my dental insurance and flexible spending reup on January 1. Now, I have to schedule an appt today, if I can, to see what to do about this tooth. I'm going broke from my dental care.
5. Irrational jealousy. I get jealous of other people who have moms. I know it's childish and selfish, but I do. It's the common factor of you have something I don't. The only thing is, you can't really share a mom. And you can't replace them. I think that my dad has the mindset that since he remarried, we (meaning her family and me) should all be on big happy family. That I should embrace her and her adult children as my siblings and everything will be hunky dory. Well, guess what--it's not. I'm too old for that. She is nothing more than my dads second wife, and his children are nothing more than spoiled freeloaders.
I'm sure there are more things that I will learn as I go forward with this process. I'm sorry--I just had to vent as I stare down another massive dental bill today.
Does it EVER get better?