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Question
Posted by: JT.CPT | 2011/02/08

Emotional support

My sister was diagnosed with wegeners dissease a few months ago and this has caused a whole lot of medical complications, from kindney failure to repeated bouts of hospitalisation because of infection. She has been lying in the ICU for three weeks now because of a staff infection she picked up when she went into the hospital because of a stomach bug. Because of the chemo and steroid treatment for the wegeners her immune system is non existant so she picks up infections and disseases very easily.

The following 4 months I have felt angry and helpless but now I just feel numb and I can not visit my sister very often because I am mostly at work although my mom visits one or two times every day. When I visit my sister in the ICU I dont know what to say or feel anymore and what to say to my mom to comfort her.

This has all been a very big emotional drag on my mom as she worrying about work, hospital bills (R200000 atm), my sisters health etc. Every time she comes back from the hospital she is crying and I just dont know what I can do to comfort her anymore.

I have started discussing with my older brother things like funeral plans and even switching of the life support machines if she does not recover from the MRSI infection she is currently battling with. We just dont know how to aproach my mom about these things as she already has way to much to deal with and is just way to soft hearted to discuss these things with.

Hope you can give me some advise.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Sorry to ehar about this, JT, its an unpleasant and complex condition. I understand what you are describin, including the feeling that you ought to say something comforting and can't think of anything. Actually, she knows she's seriously sick, and isn't looking for you to make all that go away. Just a short visit ( often visitors stay too long and tire one out ). and maybe some mild chat about what's going on in the world and in your life, so she doesn't feel excluded. But mostly, be prepared to listen if she wants to talk about how she feels, what she worries about, and so on.
I know from my own experience how frighteningly rapidly hospital bills can add up. ut your mom may really need someone to talk to her and find out how she feels and what's most worrying her. You can't help until you know what help is needed.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Jen | 2011/02/09

What you and your family is dealing with is really emotionally taxing, sometimes life just seem so unfair but hey it is life. I am out of words as i write this, i can only pray that God almighty give you the strength to deal with what tomorrow holds and what He''s plans are with your sister and your family. Seeing your loved one suffer with nothing you can do to reduce or get rid of the pain is frustrating and draining, May God be with you.

Reply to Jen
Posted by: JT.CPT | 2011/02/08

Thanks

I will try to talk to her about day to day things, she cant say anything though because of the ventilator they have her on. My mom jokes with her that she always talks to much anyway and now is the chance to talk to her with out her talking back.

Reply to JT.CPT
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/02/08

Sorry to ehar about this, JT, its an unpleasant and complex condition. I understand what you are describin, including the feeling that you ought to say something comforting and can't think of anything. Actually, she knows she's seriously sick, and isn't looking for you to make all that go away. Just a short visit ( often visitors stay too long and tire one out ). and maybe some mild chat about what's going on in the world and in your life, so she doesn't feel excluded. But mostly, be prepared to listen if she wants to talk about how she feels, what she worries about, and so on.
I know from my own experience how frighteningly rapidly hospital bills can add up. ut your mom may really need someone to talk to her and find out how she feels and what's most worrying her. You can't help until you know what help is needed.

Reply to cybershrink

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