My mother as of tomorrow will have been gone 2 weeks.
She was in the last stage of alzhemiers. She knew hwe family was familar but not who we were.
She died from kidney failure.
Monday 3 weeks ago i was visiting she ask me how my garden was did i have tomotoes and squash, this surprize me i told her yes that i had brought her some but she wouldn't eat them she laughed and said bring me some more.
I went home told everyone what a good visit we had, you know usaaly it is just the opposite. i visited her at least twice a week most lately 3 in nh.
On tuesday I get a call that mom labs are critical they take her to the hospital i met them al well as my sister who works there as a nurse. She tells the er doc we do not want any heroic measures, which I didn't know she did.
My mom came into the er talking but really not understanding why she was there couldn't she just go home.
Her primaty dr had sent her there the er doc said we wanted o to go back to the nh . which we did with her sisiter and my self and the nh staff not understanding why they sent her back with labs worst then when we went in.
the nh started slowing a fluid drip. My mother potassium was crical level so she needed fluids lots of them and kexalate to get iy to come down,
See in april we had a situaution like this where my sister didn't want her treated but i over ruled her as well as my daughter who is a er nurse. so we spent three days got the potassium down but in doing so cuz fluid in her lungs which then had to be treated with water pills
ther is point to all of this i promise.
Every month my moms labs have been better in july best one yet so getting the bad labs was a shock.
I stayed there until i taught as well as the nurses that she was asleep on tues night. well she pulled the iv out three times which had to be put back in to get two bags in her so i came in early on wed to hold her hand so the fluid would go in. they had to go slow or we would dround her.
Thurs labs were no better.
My sister said we should stop treatment. the family was upset my children didn't understand before i made the descion i talked to her dr who was the one who told me my sister didn't want her kept in the hospital on tuesday and at this point we needed to either admit her and give her fluids rapidly which could fill her lungs due to her congestive heart failure or let her go that a death from kidney failure is what they call the gentle death.
My mother weighed 270, on wed night while i was there she wanted to goto the bathroom she taught she could still get up on her own she couldn't so they brought in the lift called and sit and stand. She is afraid of falling so any movement she didn'tmake on her own caused her motal terror.
when using the lift she couldn't use her legs so we all went down gently with it ,but getting her to the bed at this point was nightmare. She was so frighten. terror.
I tell you this because it is what made me agree to no more treatment.
Last stage alz, kidney failure with heart failure
Some would wonder why the choice would be so hard.
She was my mother who could still hug and kiss and tell me she loved me everyday i would go there and it looked like nothing was wrong with her.
The nursing staff agreed but the aides couldn't understand when they were told she was dying. So on friday I took her tomotoes and squash from my garden she aste a few bites of each. It was the last meal my mother ate after those few bites she would only drink a few sips.
all the grand children and great grands came in so did her sisters, she spoke to them all i stayed with her until 12 am my sister came in for the night shift we did this until sunday when we moved her back home with my sister. She wasn't doing much but lying going in and out.
One point on sat morning the really last words she spoke was something wrong, I don't think I am going to make it and she cried. will you help me.
I should have told her then but I didn't because I didn't think she would understand and if she did she would be so afraid. My mother wanted to live to be a 108.
I regret that.
we all stayed with her around the clock, She passed 4am thursday aug 16. My sister and I was with her. My mother was 75.
Death is not pretty even if it is so called gentle.
I told her I loved her and she was the best, we took her home , I bathed her at her last bath., but I didn't tell her she was dying and I should have.
Even through she didn't know me I knew her. Even through I think I did the right thing it doesn't hurt any less.
I fell so guilty.
Hug your love ones you know them.
DAMN this diease!
The following 2 users give hugs of support to: hillside6 ninamarc (09-03-2012), slenderella (09-02-2012)
Oh sweetie I am so sorry that your mom is gone, even tho we all know it is coming somewhere in the back of our minds we want to believe they will be there forever. I lost my m in earlier this spring and you are right death is not gentle, at least my mom did not slip away easily . I think that in some ways it makes it harder at the time but in time you will look back and see that y did everything that you needed to do at the time. Don,t second guess yourself it is now time to heal and although your pain is fresh it will ease and you will remember thoses moments that you have stored up, and you will remember them wilh a little smile on your face and only you will know why you are smiling, be good to yourself as there is much to do in the near future,
Big hugs from Judy..
When my mom passed I changed my profil picture to a butterfly, as I believe like a butter fly my mom with her death she emerged from a cacoon and was set free to fly amongst the flowers that she so much loved..
__________________ Forever in my heart
The following user gives a hug of support to jagsmu: hillside6 (09-03-2012)
Hillside, there is no room for guilt in this disease. We do the best we can and that is as much as we can do. We do not create the situation, we just deal with what comes our way. I do understand your decision because I made the same one with my Dad who died March of 2010 and have also made the same decision regarding my Mom. We can try to hang on to them but is it fair to them?
Death is not pretty but it is something that will happen to each of us. We don't know when it will happen. I have no assurance that I will wake up in the morning. This disease just puts the inevitable end on a time line. Medical science may be able to delay it but they can't stop it.
You are blessed to have the good memories of your Mom. Hang on to those good memories. Let the pain be washed away these good memories. Try not to second guess your decisions. It is a very difficult situation and you do the best possible for your Mom. And do not worry that you didn't verbalize to her that she was dying... she knew it. You did what you needed to do. You told her you loved her. That is what will carry your through. Her love for you that you now carry in your heart and your love for her that you showed her often.
The Following User Says Thank You to Gabriel For This Useful Post: keaner (09-29-2012)
so sorry to hear about your mom. my mom has been gone over 3 years now from this horrible disease. guilt always comes with this disease. but it wont get you anywhere. you did so much for your mom. we all need to hug our loved ones. hugs to you.
I am so sorry that you lost your Mom.
Please don't feel guilty. You and your sister did what you could. It was no good to have her suffer as you said. She was suffering with the pain of getting up and etc. She hated the IV. So there is no point to make her feel terrible. No regret please as she would not understand even if you told her - you could only upset her if you told her some truth.
Surely the family and kids may not understand because they have no details. Maybe later on you and your sister can fill the blank for them so the other kids understand this. It is not easy. Last minute decision and etc.
My late FIL passed away on July 8 and it was sort of a hard decision too - no hospital and no food IV. He probably could live longer if he went to the hospital. But again, he could have died earlier in the hospital. He stopped walking/talking properly already. So we let him go. However he was not in hospice yet. He had oxygen. The only critical thing we did was that there was no hospital and no food IV. He died in the NH peacefully. Actually the death was a surprise because the NH had his sickness under control (could not breathe and had oxygen for a week.) However if he had scan or test in the hospital, things might be better, but we chose comfort care. He was not eating well that week either. We knew if he lived again, it would not be long anyway. The time was to come sooner or later this year. Just was surprised that he could not make it this summer.
We all feel a bit guilty, don't we? It was easier for us because he was in severe stage of Alzheimer's and had late stage of heart failure. His life had no more quality although he could smile at my husband. No walking and talking and eating... so it was easier for us.
Your Mom was talking before she died. But she was suffering. Alzheimer's is a terrible disease.
I am sure she is at peace now. Please don't feel guilty. Your sister was there with you making this decision together. Please take care of yourself now.
I am so very sorry for your loss. Please try not to beat yourself up. I've been where you are, just 9 months ago. The waves of guilt at times were brutal, though my mind and heart really did know that we did right by my stepdad.
You're correct when you say "death is not pretty even when it is so called gentle." This is all so fresh for you. I promise you it will get better!! It's almost impossible to make sense of all of it at the time. Be kind, very very kind to YOU as you begin this healing process. Forgive yourself for not telling your mom she was dying. Think of it this way - she might not have been able to process that information, and it might have really scared her. You did a great job. Lots of love & healing coming your way -
this was a beautiful story and I am glad you got to be there with her for those very special moments. I am sure you heard that it gets easier and it does but it was nice to hear all the love in your story my prayers to you.
The Following User Says Thank You to jroseliver For This Useful Post: hillside6 (09-29-2012)