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Dad refusing to eat and drink any ideas?

SallyB

Registered User
May 7, 2005
60
update on Dad

Hi Everyone and Thank You for your replies.

Dad took everything into his own hands again last night. I went to see him yesterday morning and we called the GP, she agreed that an acute medical ward is not the best place. She suggested that she put him on some anti-depressants to see if he will pick up. I spent three hours with him trying to coax him into drinking, the cook sent up some purreed fruit and cream, Dad spat it out! and his Build up.

I left him at 1200 and at 1900 they called to say that he had fallen, they had found him on the floor in his room. We went straight away (didn't know i could do it in 7mins) And then the decisions start again, the paramedics came (as grumpy and uncaring as the two that attended on April 30th) What do you want us to do? they ask. So to cut a long story short he was admitted to hospital. He has an infection but they coiuldn't find the focus last night. Again the doctor asks what do you want to do? He was severly dehydrated.

I don't know if the decisions that I have to make this morning will be the right ones but then, when do we ever?

The Doctor was very nice in asking me what I wanted, when I asked THE question (how long if he continues like this?) The answer is still a shock. Maybe a week or two. Unless we put a tube down him. I asked that they hydrate him and continue the antibiotics until this morning so that we can make the decisions on a clear head and not on a reaction to the events of the night.

So I am sitting here thinking what alot of you have said, What would Dad really want? Would he want a tube down his nose to feed him? Does he know what he is doing? Can I bear to let him go? Who would it all be for, him or us? And the problem is I think I know the answers to my own questions

Well I have to try and work out some answers for 1030. The good thing is that I have spoken to the home and they said "bring him straight back" I was so frightened that I would have to move him again.

I have tried everything I can think of, he has been to the dentist, he doesn't have thrush(which would make his mouth sore) I have offered everthing I can think of to tempt him, but in my heart of hearts I feel he knows what he is doing. When he is spitting drink out he says "I have had quite enough already or i have had sufficient" but it sounds like "I HAVE had enough"

So Thank You all again, I know that this is a difficult subject for us all. I just hope that I get this right for my wonderfull Dad whom I love beyond belief.

Sally
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
A horrible situation, of course.

To my mind, the questions to ask are along the lines of:

is he in pain - if yes, then that needs to be helped

is he in distress - ditto

is he as 'with it' as you would expect? ie does he know what is going on?

is there anything at all he might eat? custard tart? mars bar? custard? dover sole? chips? sometimes they just don't like what is being presented and I am renowned for preferring not to eat anything if I don't like what i see. I'd rather go hungry. perhaps he is like that. maybe take in a bag of things he has liked in the past. Worth trying perhaps. food is food. if they are trying a liquidised diet for him, while that may be appropriate in their eyes, maybe it is not for him.

is he conscious? can he comprehend? if so, ask if he fancies anything to eat or drink.

I always ask my wife if she would like to have a cup of tea with me. when she knows I am having some, she will take a few sips.

at the end of all this, at least you will have tried your best.
 

Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,453
Oh Sally love,
What an horrendous place to be - whatever decision you make, it will be the right one, because you will make it out of love for your dad. Rereading your post, at this moment in time, you know what your dad wants. You say "Can I bear to let him go?" - Sally, if you believe that is what he wants, that he cannot be offered a brighter future, you have the strength. You have fought so hard for him, loved him so fiercely, listen to your dad's heart and your own.
Sally you know that you have the love and support of your friends on TP. We will be thinking of you and your dad this morning.
Love and hugs,
Helen
 

SallyB

Registered User
May 7, 2005
60
Hi, Thank You for your lovely comments Helen and Brucie.

I feel that I have tried everything with Dad's eating. I get to the point where I think he must be sick of me offering him food and drink.

We have just returned from the hospital and a meeting with the consultant. They feel that he has got a Pneumonia and are treating him with two different antibiotics. The good thing this morning is that he is brighter and is asking for sips of water and holding the cup himself. We have to wait until Friday morning to see if he responds properly to the treatment.

He doesn't appear to be in any pain or to want anything at the moment other than water.

Will go back this afternoon when he should be transferred to another ward.

Can only wait and see what Dad is going to do I guess and as you say Helen, I know it will be difficult but we will make the only decision we can.

Thank You all for listerning this is so much help and therapy for me.

Sally
 

PatH

Registered User
Feb 14, 2005
301
76
N.Ireland
Hi SallyB,
The two things I have found that stop my husband eating are chest infection and constipation.
I assume that the staff have checked this,even though your Dad hasnt been eating he may still need to 'go' . Certainly dehydration would make it difficult for him to go naturally.
Hope your Dad improves.
Pat
 

rummy

Registered User
Jul 15, 2005
700
Oklahoma,USA
"Hold your horses there little lady", as John Wayne would say.

I think this thread has gotten kind of sensitive and off track. First, ask the doctor if there is a physical reason they aren't eatting. If there isn't, could be their choice. Can AD sufferes make choices? Obviously so, they are chosing not to eat. Do we like that? Well, no, we're watching them strave to death and feeding is nurturing and nurturing is what care givers do. Do we force feed them, use a feeding tube, use persuasion, threats, plead with them?? Care givers personal choice as well.
I'm not going to say you should or shouldn't get them to eat when they don't want to. Is this a death wish on their part? Could be. There just might be some part of them that knows this really stinks. Or it could be that basically, the brain forgets what hunger is for, forgets that eatting will fix it and later on forgets that chewing and swallowing are also part of the process. Could it be natures way of letting them go? Animal instinct? Could be. Just because they can't reason doesn't mean they still don't have instincts. And we are animals afterall.

What I really think is this. You do what you think is right and what you think is comfortable and what you think you can live with. What anyone else thinks is really immaterial.

Good luck,
Debbie
 

Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,453
Hiya Sally,
Pleased that you found dad brighter this morning - hoping it means he has turned a corner!
Are you doing OK?
Love
Helen
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
rummie said:
What I really think is this. You do what you think is right and what you think is comfortable and what you think you can live with. What anyone else thinks is really immaterial
sums up caring generally, don't you think?

Good call, Debbie.

My view is to add that to take a consensus of views from others in a similar position, or who have been in a similar position, review and understand all the key options THEN You do what you think is right and what you think is comfortable and what you think you can live with. What anyone else thinks is really immaterial
 

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