Not eating or drinking

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by ANITRAM, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. ANITRAM

    ANITRAM Registered User

    Feb 2, 2019
    28
    My MIL has been in a CH since Christmas and her challenging behaviour has caused lots of changes to her medication over the last few months . She is a lot calmer but still very vocal and aggressive when awake . About 3 weeks ago she stopped eating and drinking . The CH have had the GP and dietician visit and we have tried everything to tempt her to eat . Earlier this week she was admitted to hospital dehydrated and they gave her fluids by drip for 24 hours . All tests have shown no infections and she is medically fit for discharge . Each hospital visit we find her asleep curled up like a foetus . She has lost so much weight and her bones are pronounced . She has dressings on skin tears and is refusing her dentures so looks terrible . The doctors have reduced the drugs she was on to a minimum dose and are sorting discharge . Is this the end ? Our daughter gets married in 3 weeks and I can't think about the wedding ( only funerals ) . My husband seems to shirt around the issue and doesn't ask about how long she has left . He thinks that she will be at the wedding even though she hasn't eaten for about a month or stayed awake for more than 15 minutes at a time !!! He even got cross at me last night because I said we need to accept she won't be at the wedding . I am so sad at what should be such happy time for us with our daughters wedding .
     
  2. karaokePete

    karaokePete Registered User

    Jul 23, 2017
    4,998
    N Ireland
    Maybe what seems like denial is your husband's way of dealing with his grief.

    Would it be best to concentrate on the wedding and make that a happy event, as no one will be able to say when a funeral will be needed. At end of life people can rally and then fade again any number of times.

    Whatever way it pans out, I wish you and your family all the best.
     
  3. ANITRAM

    ANITRAM Registered User

    Feb 2, 2019
    28
    Thank you for your kind words . It’s now 2 days to the wedding and I’ve been awake since 4am . I feel so guilty that I just want the wedding over with . My MIL is back at the CH with one to one support . The plan is for her to come to the wedding for photos . The CH manager and another are bringing her . I feel so angry that dementia has ruined everything and can’t stop crying
     
  4. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    3,153
    Nottinghamshire
    I understand your feelings @ANITRAM but your MIL will be looked after by the staff.

    I hope the wedding goes well and your daughter gets a lovely celebration . Try to concentrate on her now.

    Let us know how it goes.
     
  5. Sarasa

    Sarasa Registered User

    Apr 13, 2018
    558
    @ANITRAM , sorry that your mother in law is so ill, but I think, if you can, try and concentrate on the happy occasion of your daughter's wedding and as @Bunpoots says let the CH staff look after your MiL. My dad was seriously ill when I got married, though anyone who saw him jump on a chair to make a speech wouldn't have thought so. The family knew though and my mum spent a lot of the day being worried about him. When he died a month later his death somehow got mixed up with the wedding memories and the happy day was never something I could talk to her about. Now she can't quite remember if I'm married or not. It would be so sad if that happened to your daughter and you.
     
  6. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,698
    Female
    South coast
    My mum didnt manage to get to my daughters wedding, even though I tried various things to manage it. I was sorry, but, needed to concentrate on daughter.

    The carers will look after your MIL and if she makes it, she makes it and if she doesnt she doesnt. Either way the day will not be "ruined". Try and make it happy for your daughter.
     
  7. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,289
    SW London
    I'm sure your MiL would not want worries about her to spoil the day for anyone, would she?

    I do sympathise, though. My mother was already in late-stage dementia when my daughter got married, so since she no longer really knew any of us, wouldn't have had a clue what was going on, and disliked any sort of disturbance, there was never any question of her being present at the wedding, which in any case for various reasons was in France. We were going to be away for some time and I was so worried that 'something would happen' while we were away.

    In the end she declined quite suddenly and died (at 97) just a few days before the whole family was leaving for this wedding. It was impossible to arrange the funeral before we all left, so it had to wait until we were all back at least a week after the day.

    I was so glad I was able to be with her at the end, and that it didn't happen while we were all miles away, and I knew her former self would never have wanted the day tainted with sadness because of her. I could almost hear her former self saying, 'For heaven's sake, go and have a lovely day - don't worry about me.'
     
  8. ANITRAM

    ANITRAM Registered User

    Feb 2, 2019
    28
    Thought I should update this post as we are now almost 2 months post wedding and MIL is still with us . She came to the wedding in a taxi with the care home manager and a member of staff after the service and before the reception. She stayed less than an hour but was able to see her granddaughter married and was included in a few photos . She obviously can’t remember but we can . The 1:1 care is now being challenged as it was supposed to be an interim arrangement for 6 weeks ( I think everyone suspected she was nearing end of life ) and the CHC assessment was earlier this week . What a rollercoaster of emotions we are dealt when dementia is involved .
     
  9. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,698
    Female
    South coast
    Im so glad your MIL managed to attend the wedding and to be in some of the photos. I think that will mean a lot in years to come.

    People with dementia can surprise you at how long they can last. The body seems to cling to life. I was told 3 times that mum was at end of life, only for her to bounce back, although eventually, of course, she didnt.
     
  10. ANITRAM

    ANITRAM Registered User

    Feb 2, 2019
    28
    Thankyou for your reply . MIL seemed to rally after the wedding but has since declined - sleeps a lot , won’t eat or drink , has skin tears and blisters that won’t heal and IF she is awake can be extremely agitated and surprisingly has the strength to injure staff if they get too close . It took four people to restrain her a few days ago ! I am broken ( numb almost ) and just want the torture to end for her and the family but find myself feeling so guilty when I have thoughts of her dying .
     

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