1. plastic scouser

    plastic scouser Registered User

    Dad's obviously very very poorly now, the pneumonia is getting worse and Mum's been called in to see the consultant tomorrow.

    The nursing team have told me that there's not much that they can do for Dad now and it's now a question of what they do as regards future treatment.

    Mum is obviously distraught as to Dad's situation and doesn't want him to suffer any more, but what can the hospital do? Has anyone else been in this situation at all?

    I don't want Dad to be left to starve or have his hydration drip removed but I can't see him suffer any longer either...It feels like we're being presented with a situation akin to having a dog put down, I can't stand it & nor can my Mum...
  2. dmc

    dmc Registered User

    Mar 13, 2006
    #2 dmc, Jan 14, 2007
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2007
    hello ps
    just wanted to send you my sympathy on your situation, we havent got that far yet with mum so ive not a lot of advice but i do remember reading very similar threads so you will get replies im sure.
    its such a no win situation and my heart goes out to you and your mum
    take care
  3. Jann

    Jann Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    tingewick, bucks.
    I'm so sorry to hear your news. I'm afraid I too can't be of any help to you and your Mum. Someone else here, I'm sure, will be able to offer you advice.

    Just wanted you to know you're in my thoughts. God bless and sending you lots of hugs.
  4. English Lady

    English Lady Registered User

    Jan 14, 2007
    I think advice runs out at this point simply because it sounds like your dad is too ill to moved to say, a care home on respite, or even back home.

    All you can do is what you have been doing, making sure there is always someone with your dad, even if you have to do it in shifts.

    If he's got pneumonia it isn't normally very long from what I've experienced. You have to just be there, talking gently to your dad, touch him, reassure him.

    I know, I had to do it once and it's horrible and words are really, really not enough except I agree with the person above. My heart goes out to you.
  5. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hi Plastic Scouser, I`m so sorry about your dad. We all know we`ll be in the same position eventually, but I`m sure nothing prepares you for it when it does come.
    I hope he`s not too uncomfortable and that you and your mother will be able to cope with what`s to come.
    Take care, Sylvia x
  6. Áine

    Áine Registered User

    Hi plastic scouser

    So sorry to hear that you're in this awful dilemma. I was in a similar sort of position with dad about 6 months ago. He had chest infection and the GP asked me if he should be taken to hospital and the infection treated aggressively ......or whether to leave him at the nh and let things take their course.

    My thinking mainly centred around a) if they are able to get rid of the chest infection, what will the quality of his life be anyway (he'd deteriorated very rapidly with dementia and was quite distressed a lot of the time) and b) how much distress will it cause him to be moved somewhere new and subjected to tests and treatments he doesn't understand by people he doesn't know ( not that he really knew people in the nh, but i think he sensed at least some familiarity).

    Like English Lady says, I'm afraid it might not be very long if he has pneumonia. My dad died about 3 days after I was asked to make that decision. That's probably one of the questions you'll want to ask the consultant when you see her/him. Might be worth making a list of questions and thoughts that you want to talk to the consultant about whilst you and mum think through it and talk to each other about it.

    Will be thinking of you and your mum in the new few days. It's not an easy time. Take care of yourselves.

  7. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Hi Plastic Scouser

    I'm sorry to hear that your dad is so poorly, it's a terrible stressful time.

    My mum died in hospital with pneumonia following a massive stroke. She was immobile, couldn't speak, and was refusing to eat and pulling her nasal tube out. She had no quality of life, and clearly did not want to live in that condition (she was 92). She was already dnr.

    The pneumonia was causing her pain as she tried to cough up the fluid. When I saw the consultant, I asked if she could be given something to ease the pain. He asked if I was sure she was in pain, and when I confirmed, he checked with the charge nurse and said he would prescribe an injection.

    My mum slept peacefully for about eight hours, then slipped away peacefully with me holding her and talking to her.

    Illegal? I don't know, but I don't regret it. My mum was going to die anyway, and if I spared her a few days of agony that cannot be bad. I just hope someone has the courage to do that for me.

    That may not be what you want to do -- it's a very personal decision, but that was my experience.

    Love and hugs,
  8. bagrat

    bagrat Registered User

    Nov 22, 2006
    I feel for you finding yourself in this awful situation. Please hang on to the fact that although the medical and nursing staff will involve you in any decisions regarding care - the professionals looking after your loved one are bound to act in what they believe to be his best interests.
    Just because some things can be done, does not always mean they should be done. You used the word "starve" and this is a very emotive word and perhaps does not best describe the situation in which your father finds himself. His body would probably have difficulty processing nourishment if he is so poorly. If he has pneumonia it is possible that having less fluid will make his breathing more comfortable.
    When my dad was dying of kidney failure I asked the doctors why they kept replacing the drip - was it to make him better and they said nothing could make him better so I asked them not to replace the drip if it stopped again as the process distressed him so much.
    I can't imagine what this must be like for you and I hope you and your Mum can support each other through this.
    My thoughts are with you
  9. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    Its not long since I was in similar situation with my Mother only they pulled her through the pneumonia into 5 weeks of such a total and terrible confused shell of a person who then succumbed to cellulitis which they treated , then clostridium difficile which they treated only for it to return with a vengeance
    The doctors asked if we wanted dnr put on her notes and this was after 5 weeks of us saying we did not want any extraodrinary means used to keep her alive

    It would have been so much kinder to my Mother if they had simply allowed her to slip away with the pneumonia than drag a 90 yr old with vascular dementia into a total world of distress
  10. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005

    This is one of the hardest decisions anyone can be asked to make. Our Nursing Home encouraged us to talk to my parents about the issue and so we had some idea what Dad wanted before he died. For us, it didn't come down to a decision as he died before they withdrew any care.

    But I can reinforce the above - before Dad died he had great difficulty swallowing and we were told to be very careful what we gave him to eat as he could so easily choke. His body was not processing his food and this led to discomfort in the bowel. He was storing fluid in his system (despite diuretics) and eventually it was this that caused his death.

    So regular feeding and drinking may not be the answer.

    Everyone must find there own answers to this issue but I'd personally be seeking:
    1) no pain or discomfort - including increasing dses of morpheine or painkiller if needed
    2) aggressive palliative care - whatever this entails (i'm assuming it means keeping the patient clean, comfortable, without bedsores, regularly moved to prevent stiffness, etc.)
    3) treatment such as antibiotics only if a positive outcome can be foreseen - why keep someone alive to suffer, just to prove we have the ability to do it???

    On the other hand if your Dad (or your family) have very srong convictions about staying alive no matter what, then this is what you would bneed to follow.

    For my Dad, it came down to us saying "what would Dad have wanted?". We were blessed in that we didn't have to make the final decision - but we were ready to do so.

    May you and your family find the guidance you need and the peace you deserve in making the decision that is right for your Dad. As someone else said, it is ultimately a medical decision so you can tell the hospital that they need to make decisions as it is too hard for you. This is perfectly OK too.

    thinking of you and sending you strength - Nell
  11. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    What Nell said is spot on, I think. The only thing I would add is that, although 99% of doctors will follow the families wishes (within reason), legally, they don't have to.

    I am so sorry that your family is going through this.

  12. plastic scouser

    plastic scouser Registered User

    Just thought I'd let you know that Mum rang me yesterday to say that she'd spoken to Dad on the phone! Dad's out of bed, sitting in a chair and yesterday ate a bowl of porridge and half a slice of toast...it just goes to show how much junk they must have pumped into him whilst he was in the care home and on the section - anything for a quiet life....:mad: Whilst he's obviously still very ill, at least it's encouraging that the best level of care he's had since going downhill so fast has been from the good old NHS at hospital level....:rolleyes:
  13. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hi Scouser, It`s good to hear something positive about your dad following so much angst. You have also endorsed my belief in the NHS. However much it is criticised, it has far more integrity than some of these profit making homes. I wish you well. Sylvia
  14. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Wow, plastic scouser ... saw you'd posted an update and ... well ... just never expected such a positive post!!!! Thanks so much for sharing that!

    Love and best wishes to all of you - especially dad.....

    Karen, x
  15. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland

    Hi plastic scouser

    What wonderful news! It's great that your dad's so much better. Hope the improvement continues.

    And well done the NHS.
  16. plastic scouser

    plastic scouser Registered User

    Even more good news - he's being moved to a hospital only 8 miles from Mum. It's a "village" hospital, where he'll be getting palliative care...he's still very ill, suffering from pneumonia but he's stable which has meant that he can be moved...:)
  17. dmc

    dmc Registered User

    Mar 13, 2006
    hi PS

    im so pleased for you all, may your dad continue to get stronger, how nice for your mum to have him closer too.
    take care
  18. plastic scouser

    plastic scouser Registered User

    Thanks for all your kind thoughts - I know that ultimately the outlook is finite but I'm just so pleased that he's now more peaceful, has at least been able to recognise Mum and that the stress on Mum has been greatly reduced.

    I'm so glad I found this place - it really does serve as some sort of cathartic outlet where I can let off steam, sound off about my feelings without upsetting anyone other than myself!

    Group Hug I think!!!:)
  19. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Definitely group hug. I'm so glad that you and your Mum and Dad are feeling happier. It's still a very sad situation to be in, but the fact that your Dad recognises your Mum again must mean all the world to her.

    All the very best to you all.


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