Having a dying loved one is incredibly difficult. It puts stress on all members of the family, especially the dying one whose well-being is out of their control.
It inspires a lot of emotional trauma for the rest of the family as well, and people are generally not in their right mind.
Reddit user throwawayctas found himself in the unfortunate situation of having his wife dying. Crumbling under the pressure, he made a very rash and very large decision.
Unsure if he was in the right, he went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” for some perspective.
“AITA for refusing to allow the hospital to discharge my wife to me?”
Our original poster, or OP, helped us understand his and his wife’s awful situation.
“My wife now has stage 4 colon cancer. For the past year and a half, I have had to work and then come home and do the majority of the household chores and I was also treated as the nurse.”
“We have two sons (18M[ale], 16M[ale]) and a daughter (15F[emale]) that help out, but it became expected of me to be their go to parent on everything.”
“A year ago, my wife pretty much stopped being able to do anything for herself.”
“She’s exceptionally rude to me, and pretty much screams and cries hysterically all the time and sometimes mutters on about people who haven’t been in our lives for some time.”
“She also blames me for not being ‘kind’ to her when I am putting my entire life on hold when I’m at home and I felt like I didn’t even have an identity anymore.”
Nearing the end of her life, OP has been weighing some options.
“Over the summer I have talked to doctors and they told me there was a lot of red tape regarding getting my wife into a nursing home.”
“I talked with my dad (74) and he told me that from his understanding hospitals if you didn’t pick up a patient after discharge three days later the hospital social worker would have to place them into a specialized nursing facility.”
OP felt some relief.
“Last week, my wife had to be rushed to the emergency room.”
“For the week I didn’t have to be her nurse, I realized how much of a strain taking care of a barely lucid, and angry when she was lucid woman had become to me.”
“I realized that I was basically being mom and dad around the house and I was so tired of doing this every single day and then waking up at 6 to go to work.”
And then from this relief, he made a snap decision.
“When I found out my wife was set to be discharged, I ended up making up my mind.”
“When the hospital called to say that they were going to discharge my wife and I needed to be there to receive her, I told them that I did not want to take care of her anymore.”
“The hospital continuously called me back and the person on the other line would beseech me to bring my wife home.”
“However, I stood my ground and said that my wife needed to go to a professional nursing facility and said that the hospital’s social workers needed to figure that out.”
OP is now unsure about his choice after being yelled at by his children.
“AITA for finally realizing I had reached my limits? My daughter in particular is very upset that her mom is not coming home.”
“My sons screamed at me that they would take care of their mother 24/7 if they had to. However, I knew that the hospital social worker would do his/her job competently and help my wife into a facility.”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditors all agree OP did the wrong thing here.
“YTA – OP, I feel for you. Taking care of someone who is very sick as well as three kids and a full-time job…I can sympathize that this is very draining and difficult.”
“However, the way you are going about this is not right and not fair to your wife or your kids.”
“First off, you need to admit that you need help and ask for it. This just seems like you spent the last year taking on more and more until you burned yourself out.”
“Caregivers burnout is a real thing and as you’ve experienced, can hit hard. How about asking one of your parents to come help? A sibling?”
“Or perhaps hire a nurse to come and help you out during the day? Find some way to allow yourself to relax.”
“Making a decision to force your wife into a nursing home isn’t fair to her and it isn’t fair to your kids. This needed to be a conversation that you had with your wife and your kids.”
“Not something that you all of a sudden decided to force happen. I understand you are burnt out, but throwing your hands up and giving up isn’t the right call here.”
“Even if you agree on finding a nursing home, perhaps choose one with your wife instead of forcing her into whatever the system will provide. Spoiler alert, it’s probably not going to be very good.”
“Your kids are probably going to hate you for this, so if you are ok with your entire immediate family being very upset with you for a long time…well, kudos I guess.”~dookle14
“He also refused additional in home care for her because he doesn’t like having people in the house, and I guess he didn’t like his wife’s social workers, so it kind of sounds like he deliberately cut off/rejected the help available.”
“I’m not sure what jurisdiction he’s in, but in a lot of parts of the US (depending on his wife’s health insurance status), if his wife ends up in a long term care home, he will get billed for it whether he chooses the facility or not.”
“Then again, due to things nobody can mention, the turnover in long term care facilities is higher than expected. Also, patients experiencing certain complications may not be able to have visitors.”
“So…because he didn’t like the help options available to him, he’s having his wife placed in a facility that will almost certainly preclude his children from visiting their mother while she’s dying.”
“I’ve been a caregiver for multiple relatives, including ones who got super mean while they were sick, so I get it. Burn out is real. It’s horrible.”
“However, OP has painted himself into this particular corner by refusing available help along the way.”
“When his wife dies and his children are old enough to leave the house, he will probably find out that he is alone in that corner. And then the corner is going to get repossessed to pay the bills.”
“I’m still voting YTA, but this is one of those weird situations where OP’s actions have gone far enough that they’ve bent around until he’s also being TA to himself.”~CaptainBasketQueso
“This absolutely broke my heart. Yes, I feel for OP, but this is a YTA for me.”
“OP, this is the worst part of your wife’s life. It is also the end of her life. It’s very likely that she cannot control her responses right now.”
“Your narrative suggests delirium and a loss of cognitive functioning.”
“This is hard on you. Harder than I can imagine. Ask for help, as other commenters have suggested.”
“But if you abandon your wife at this terminal point in her life, that makes you a bad person. I’m sorry, it isn’t fair, but that’s the truth.”~predatorandprey
“There are studies about people in nursing homes. Statistically, people with at least 3 daughters or DILs are less likely to end up in nursing homes than people without.”
“My grandfather had 7 kids. One died before he did. When my grandfather’s health (mental and physical) began to decline, one by one, the men just noped out.”
“Except for one, the youngest who had lived at home the longest.”
“The sisters (3 of them) and the one uncle took care of him until it was no longer possible because his medical needs were too great to handle on their own and they just had to put him in a nursing home because of his medical needs.”