What is the best thing to do for mum?

stef01

Registered User
Jan 20, 2006
5
Northern Ireland
My mum has vascular dementia for about 3 years. Mum had to move into a Nursing Home on 19th May 2006. Prior to that I looked after her at home. She had a stroke in the NH around the 19th August 2006. Four GPs called out to NH to see her and said there was nothing wrong with her. It was plain to me that something had happened to her. I had to take matters into my own hands and insist she was admitted into hospital. She was admitted through casualty were we had to wait for 8 hours in a corridor before she could get a bed in a ward. The hospital only kept her in for a week. They said she was an erratic eater. Before I got her admitted into hospital she couldn't speak or walk. She was able to speak and walk before stroke. She went back to NH and was only there for 8 days when she had to be admitted to hospital again due to dehydration and an infection. She was only taking a couple of spoonfuls of pureed food for the care assistants and myself in NH.

I spoke to a doctor yesterday who told me that she is dying and there is nothing they can do for her now. They started her on a drip through her veins, now all her viens have collasped and she is now on sub fluids through a butterfly thing under her skin. She is being kept artifically alive. She is also on morphine. We have to make the decision on whether to stop fluids and let her pass away quicker or keep her on the fluids until the end.

I don't know what to do for the best for her. She can't tell me as she can't speak or communicate. When she is awake she cries and just stares into my eyes she is also quite alert, she doesn't like the nurses turning her every 2 hours as she is in pain. Has anyone else been through a decision like this?
 

Helena

Registered User
May 24, 2006
715
My personal view is that you are merely prolonging the agony for all concerned inc your Mother by artificial hydration

It would be kinder to have the drip stopped and allow her to peacefully slip away

My other is 90 and has VD which seems to be progressing rapidly and certainly thats the decision my sister and i would make if the same situation arises

As things stand if my Mother could choose she would not eve currently wish to be alive
 

Kathleen

Registered User
Mar 12, 2005
639
66
West Sussex
Unfortunately, I went through the same thing 2 years ago with my Dad following a stroke.

At first, they gave him fluids, but he worsened after a week and was almost completely paralysed , he could only blink, had no sight or speech at all, it must have been a living hell for him.

It was a horrible time, full of decisions we never thought we would have to make and I am so sorry you have to go through all this. We spoke at length to Dad's consultant and the IV fluids were stopped, he died 3 days later, they kept him calm and quiet and I truly feel he had no pain or distress during those last days.

Do what you can to make sure your Mum is as as relaxed as possible and spend time stroking her, holding her and telling her all the things she will like to hear, it will help both of you.

Thinking of you

Kathleen
 

Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,454
Hiya Stef01,
I am so sorry about your mum.
We have to make the decision on whether to stop fluids and let her pass away quicker or keep her on the fluids until the end.
I think that you have to ask the question 'What are the fluids doing?' - if they are simply prolonging mum's pain, then maybe , when you are ready as a family, you need to make the decision to let her go, and give her permission to go, so that she knows that she doesn't have to fight any longer. It is not an easy decision Stef, but look into mum's eyes and feel what it is she is saying - whatever you hear in your heart will be the right decision.
Take care. There will be friends here to support you through this time, so post whenever you feel like it.
Love Helen
 

nicetotalk

Registered User
Sep 22, 2006
155
stretford
HI STEF01

I am so sorry to hear about your mum i lost mine at the age of 62 on the 6th of march this year. The doctor told us she did not have long she was addmited to hospital where they put her on a drip this only made matters worse it was prolonging her illness. If we as a family knew what we know now to what was going on in the hospital we would of said No to them putting a drip in her it is horrible i know but i see it as prolonging things. Its a tuff i know but what we went through in hospital was just awful and i would not want to see anyone else go through it. Everyone if different and maybe not many will go through what my mum went through but i only wish from my experience i would of known or been told the outcome. Iam sorry if this sounds a bit depressing but iam jsut telling my experience. I hope you go with your heart and make the right decision.
love kathy
 
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Nell

Registered User
Aug 9, 2005
1,170
68
Australia
I think the other TPers are right. Prolonging the end is not in her best interests or your's. Mu Gran died like this about 25 years ago. It took 9 days from the last fluids to her actual death (so be prepared for what can be a long time) but she was in peace. My Mum (her daughter) and Mum's sister (only living children) sat with her, talked to her, stroked her, and also dampened her mouth and tongue if they were dry. The end eventually came, altho' it did seem (at the time) to take forever. But the good thing about this, is it does give you and other family time to say "goodbye".
Thinking of you, Nell
 

plastic scouser

Registered User
Sep 22, 2006
49
Hale Village, Liverpool
Hi Stef01

This is a terrible, terrible dilemma for you...

However, if as the other posters have said, you do decide to remove the fluids, then at least you will have some time to say goodbye and make your peace with your Mum.

I say this having just gone through the very sudden & unexpected loss of my Father-in-Law. As far as the family were aware he was a fit & healthy 74yr old who was there one minute gone the next. The worst thing about this was that my wife, her sister & Mother-in-Law are all feeling so guilty that they never said goodbye or that they hadn't seen him for a couple of days etc...

The only "good" thing that can come out of this is that you will be prepared for the end if and when it comes...

I'm not particularly religious but I'll say a prayer for you tonight - God Bless...
 

Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
My untie had a Stroke ending of last year was on a drip was keep artificially alive , I alone had to make the decision to take them all away they did then like a miracle to me she was communicating to me with her eyes flowing me around the room with her head. Looking at me then my daughter, she only had one tube in her nose fluid I think it was then few days later they took it away

Nurses keep saying don’t get your hope up high that this does happen then,she seem to say something to me that I could not understand, she then was spoon feed but could only move her arm, a week went by I got all my hope up that she was going to be ok ,even thought the doctor, nurses, said not to ,but I was not listening Then she had another stroke . I told them to put her on morphine and she died 2 weeks later peacefully as the saying go.

I did at the end of it all feel relief seeing her like that it was a nightmare for both of us. It was not living that is not what I felt was called liveing life so do not feel guilty if you feel like that is my advice ( I was partly brought up with my untie my mum sister so she felt like a mother to me )Just do what you think ,feel is right for your Mother . ((((HUGS))))
 
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stef01

Registered User
Jan 20, 2006
5
Northern Ireland
Update on my Mum

Thanks to everone that replied to me. We decided late on Sunday night that we would stop Mums sub cut fluids. It was an awful hard decision to make but I know it is the best decision for my Mum. Now we are just waiting. Mum's heart is very strong. The morphine has been upped and she is sleeping more but when she wakes she crys. I just hope that she is not suffering. The doctor has assured me that she is comfortable. It is a very sad time.
 

Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,454
Hiya Stef,
Thinking of and praying for you and your mum.
Take care .
Love Helen
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Stef

What a hard decision. I know because I had to make the same one eight years ago with my mum. It was terrible just waiting for her to die, but I'm convinced it was the right decision. As you and others have said, it is not life.

Stay strong, and remember that so many TPers are thinking of you.

Skye
 

dianemb

Registered User
Aug 17, 2006
20
Hi there, I am so sorry for you and your family. My Mum aged 71 passed away on
1st September after a very similar situation to yours. Be prepared , my Mum fought on for 3 weeks after drip was removed. We did however give her sips of thickening fluids for one week after and then for her last two weeks it was just mouth sticks to moisten her lips.
I really do know how you are feeling, please email me if you need to. i miss Mum very very much but please know that the decision to remove the drip was right. The drip was not giving any nourishment just prolonging the inevitable. My Mum, too, used to cry and really hated being turned. Mums end was peaceful. Be strong and just talk to her because she can hear you and most of all look after yourself
Diane xx
 
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Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,454
Hiya Diane,
I hope you don't mind but I have removed your Email address from the general forum for your own security. I suggest that you PM Stef, or she can contact you via PM.
Love Helen
 

stef01

Registered User
Jan 20, 2006
5
Northern Ireland
My Mum

My mum passed away on Sunday morning around 10am (peacefully). I was with her at the time. I know that she is now in a better place with no suffering. She lasted 13 days without any fluids, she was a fighter until the end. She will always be with me.
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Stef, so sorry about your Mum. But you made the right decision, so make sure the guilt monster doesn't creep up on you. Your Mum was at peace, and knew that you loved her.

Take care of yourself now, you need some tlc. Keep posting

Skye