1. City Claire

    City Claire Registered User

    Nov 1, 2004
    36
    Oxford
    Hello All

    I'm sorry to post on something that is perhaps too personal/very sensitive/upsetting for others, but I've just been told by one of the docs at the hospital where Dad is that they would like to talk to me and Mum about what our feelings are if a situation where Dad needs resuscitating arises (I don't think they think it will necessarily happen right away but they're not equipped to deal with these things in quite the same way as a 'normal' hospital I think, as it's a small specialist hosp partly for elderly people with mental health probs and want to make sure we understand that amongst other things I suppose). Dad hasn't been eating or drinking very much this week and has been back on a drip for a couple of days after having to go on one last week when he was sick (might be an ulcer), although the doc said he's actually brighter today than he has been, 'chatting' a bit.

    I'm in shock I suppose, I knew Dad had been going downhill since he's been in the hosp (early Oct) as we felt it wasn't feasible to cope at home anymore and he seems very frail - but I hadn't quite got to thinking about this. I'm a bit worried about introducing the subject to Mum as she had a bad bout of angina last night and had to have the doc out and have an ECG, which may have been 'cos she went to see Dad on her own for the first time yesterday and was upset 'cos he was in some pain. But still I do want to talk to her about it over the weekend when I'm with her (we'll be seeing Dad both days hopefully) before we go and see the doc on Monday.

    Is there anywhere I can look for info? I have printed out the 'later stages' fac tsheet, I'm afraid we never discussed this poss with Dad before he was at a stage where he wouldn't understand really...

    I'm afraid I'll only be online until about 6pm then off 'til Monday as I don't have access at home.
     
  2. JoJo

    JoJo Registered User

    Sep 25, 2003
    38
    Shropshire
    Hi

    I don't know whether this is particular to my county but my dad was sent a form recently asking his wishes now before he became too ga-ga to fill it in.

    He took it surprisingly well - whether he understood it totally I don't know! - but I found it hard to take. But it will be his wishes when the time comes and that is a comfort.

    He chose not to be resuscitated should he have a heart attack or to have aggressive treatment should he get something like a chest infection - just medication to keep him comfortable. He says when the time comes he won't fight it!!

    I know it seems hard to think about these things now - and I had a huge wobble about it - but its better than plunged into a moral dilemma when your dad can't think for himself.

    Jo
     
  3. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    It is awful to have to contemplate, but I have already told Jan's home that I would prefer her not to be resuscitated if there is a major problem. Her condition may be more advanced than your Dad's, of course.

    I've written the same thing into my own living will.
     
  4. City Claire

    City Claire Registered User

    Nov 1, 2004
    36
    Oxford
    Thank you Jo, it is v. helpful to hear of others experiences, I appreciate you sharing yours very much becos it can't be easy. I suppose I was badly/wrongly assuming Dad wouldn't really be able to participate in the discussion - I'm so worried about upsetting him (he has been very easily brought to tears in the recent years of having vascular dementia) and making him think we don't want him around for as long as poss. And I suppose I don't feel at all convinced that Dad knows what he is agreeing to in many cases, I definitely don't trust a 'yes' or 'no' any more and Dad's hasn't been able to write for quite a while, though he can still read a few words at a time, but doesn't seem able to take in more than that probably. He can say the odd sentence, but we haven't really had conversations as such for quite a while, tho' we still talk with him and Mum always chatted away to Dad at home. But I'd better make sure to remember he has a right to know about everything that is going on!
     
  5. City Claire

    City Claire Registered User

    Nov 1, 2004
    36
    Oxford
    Thanks so much Bruce, yes it's awful to think about - Dad's 85 and has had v. dementia for over 6 years, has recently become much alot less mobile - to the point where he has been given an ?air mattress for his bed (I haven't seen it yet) and cushions like it to sit on to prevent pressure sores - he's got lung cancer in one lung and angina and they seem to think he may have an ulcer now which might be related to the aspirin he'd been taking as part of his medication. They've just started to give him some paracetamol for pain relief. Despite all this he still has a chuckle when we see him some of the time and winks at us sometimes still. I don't want Dad to go through unnecessary pain for no good reason, I suppose they will ask us about different scenarios and we will have to weigh it all up as best we can, it's just not going to be easy is it, whatever.
     
  6. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Claire,

    These awfully confronting issues are far better thought over now before we are in the midst of it and also dealing with funerals, hopefully prepaid. It's going to be hard to do at any time. I can't imagine how bad it will be, but I just feel that sooner rather than later will be easier in the long run. That time will be overwhelming enough to deal with. You are doing the right thing here. It isn't morbid, it's practical and sensible.

    Best wishes,

    Jude
     
  7. City Claire

    City Claire Registered User

    Nov 1, 2004
    36
    Oxford
    Dear Jude

    Thank you - I can't get over how amazing everyone is on here - I was so worried after I put my first message up the other day, my husband teased me when I was so relieved/pleased with all the replies. I hope I can put something 'back in' eventually.

    I will take heed and try to ensure things are in place, to avoid adding to the stress at difficult times.

    Thanks again

    Claire
     
  8. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Claire,

    Hang in from day to day right now. Don't think about putting anything 'back in' for some time - apart from asking questions, which will help other new members as well.

    Sadly, the situations that you are faced with now are going to give you all too much experience to help others later on. It's a horrible position and you will find yourself having to make decisions that you never dreamed of doing. Just try and maintain some time for yourselves and keep your sense of humour intact somewhere in the process.

    It takes a lot of courage, but I'm sure you can do it.

    Jude xxx
     
  9. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Dear Claire, I was asked this at the hospital. It's hard isn't it. Amongst my tears, I said I don't want to lose her, but I also don't want her to suffer. The doctor understood, Mum came through a hip operation, but passed away a couple of months later at home, without pain. This was the thing where I was concerned, I knew the AD would get her in the end but, not being in pain, that was something they could control. Love She. XX
     
  10. City Claire

    City Claire Registered User

    Nov 1, 2004
    36
    Oxford
    Dear Sheila

    Thank you. I talked to my Mum about it at the weekend and it didn't come as too much of a shock to her after the way we have seen Dad go downhill so much recently. We talked to the doc on Monday and it seems they they feel that it is unlikely it would be successful anyway... so we have let them know we don't want Dad to be put through it. I can't bring myself to mention anything to Dad, I hope I'm not taking away any of his rights, but I just feel it would upset him so much (if he did manage to understand at all) and maybe frighten him.

    Claire x
     
  11. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hello Claire

    Well done - it IS agonisingly hard, I know, to do this.

    Don't worry about not being able to tell Dad, as he would understand and probably ask it of you in different circumstances. Don't think for a minute that you are taking away any rights from him.

    If you have any doubts, then just remember what the doctor has said.
     
  12. City Claire

    City Claire Registered User

    Nov 1, 2004
    36
    Oxford
    Hi Bruce

    Thanks, your words are much appreciated.
     
  13. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Dear Claire, well done, you tackled a very hard decision as I am sure your Dad would want you to for him, you stood his corner in the kindest way you could. That's the most loving thing any of us can do for another. Love She. XX
     
  14. Kriss

    Kriss Registered User

    May 20, 2004
    513
    Shropshire
    Hi Claire

    glad you've been able to face the decision - I'm sure your Dad would have made it himself given a chance - wouldn't we all?

    When we were called in to the Respite ward of our local cottage hospital when Dads health nosedived we were asked if we wanted him moved to the "general hospital". There was never any doubt in our minds that he should be allowed to leave us as peacefully as possible and we sang in unison "NO" when the question was asked.

    We were blessed to be at his side as he slipped away in the quiet of a side ward. The nurse on duty was wonderful, in fact the ones on duty earlier in the day were all magnificent.

    Not everyone will be as lucky as we were, circumstances will dictate, but what will be will be. When the time comes your love will go with him and he will leave his with you.

    You've taken another step and now you can face the next one.

    Kriss
     
  15. City Claire

    City Claire Registered User

    Nov 1, 2004
    36
    Oxford
    Thanks belatedly Kriss, hoping to see Dad tonight if traffic allows. I keep hoping that somewhere in there he knows we're always thinking about him even when we can't be there.
     
  16. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Claire,

    Well done for making such a brave decision.

    Jude
     

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