It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Hospice Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 06-09-2009, 10:08 AM   #1
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3
Copingdaughter HB User
Mom has COPD on hospice, need advice on morphine drops

alittle history:
about 2 years ago mom was suffering from persistant cough, many lung xrays never showed anything. She was sent to a lung specialist who diagnosed her with a lung infection he called MAC. here's the description for MAC:
MAC (Mycobacterium Avium Complex) is a grouping of bacteria, typically inhaled or swallowed, that causes a respiratory infection similar to tuberculosis and it is treated like tuberculosis using various antibiotics, anti - bacterials and often antifungals for 18-24 months.

Mom took the antibiotics but I am not certain she completed the course.

The MAC has left permanent damage, thus.. COPD. She is undergone hip replacement and stenosis treatments. Plus several bouts of pnuemonia. Her last hospital stay was a year ago, she was in bad shape, the doctor recommended Hospice and gave her DAYS to live. She was taken off all medication and she ended up rallying and actually having some great quality time with us. Hospice has told me that this happens sometimes.

She is now in decline.. she has fallen out of her bed and is suffering all sorts of aches and pains. Her COPD has progressed and put lots of strain on her heart. Hospice has prescribed Liquid Morphine Drops. I was very hesitant to start these drops, because I have heard and read that once they start on these the decline is accelerated. I am torn between wanting to use them to make her comfortable and trying to help her work through her pain so that she doesn't take it.

When she takes the drops she is more comfortable, but she is "doped up". She has told me she wishes she didn't need them, but when the pains get too much she does ask for pain meds. She has also been extremely frustrated by her condition and says she wants to die often.

I guess I'm looking for someone that has a similar dilemma. Some advice on the morphine and hospice. When do you know it's the "right time" to start administering the morphine.
Also, any advice on VA Aid and Attendance and any advice on burial planning on a budget. I am trying to be the level headed one here, and plan ahead, since we are on a limited budget.

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 06-09-2009, 06:21 PM   #2
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 714
Toonces1 HB UserToonces1 HB UserToonces1 HB UserToonces1 HB UserToonces1 HB User
Re: Mom has COPD on hospice, need advice on morphine drops

I have a unique perspective for you. My dad recently passed away and was given ativan and morphine drops. It certainly seemed to make him much more comfortable and I don't believe that it hastened his death in any way. I am also a sufferer of severe chronic pain, as was my dad. I never understood my dad's need for the pain medication until I had severe pain myself. Please do not make your mother suffer in unnecessary pain at the end of her life. I don't think that this short time she has left is the time to help her work through the pain. If she asks for pain medication, I think you should give it to her. I don't mean this in any way to be disrespectful, I just want us as a society to treat people in pain as humanely as possible. From your mother's perspective, not giving her the medication may help her live an extra day or week or month, but it may not be a month worth living if she has intractable pain. Your family is in my thoughts.

 
Old 06-09-2009, 07:10 PM   #3
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Paducah, Ky, USA
Posts: 13
misty125 HB User
Re: Mom has COPD on hospice, need advice on morphine drops

Hello "Copingdaughter", I can't say I'm in exactly the same situation as you are, but my situation is very similar. And I haven't had any experience with VA Aid and Attendance. But I am currently dealing with hospice and morphine.

First, let me say how sorry I am that you and your mom are having to go through all of this. It takes a lot of strength and patience to endure all you are facing. That's where hospice will be a great help. I don't know how old your mom is or if she is on Medicare, but if she is, it is my understanding (or at least in my husband's case) that Medicare covers the entire expense of the hospice care and the meds. For funeral provisions, you might check out "mortals handbook". It has invaluable information and tips about end-of-life care and funeral planning.

Hospice care involves care provided to the patient and the family by hospice nurses, social workers, PCAs (patient care assistants) and a chaplain. In my case, the PCA comes in three times a week to assist in giving my husband a shower. She is also available to assist in other ways. The nurse comes once a week to assess his physical needs and condition. She also coordinates interactions with the other members of the care team. The social worker and chaplain come once a month or as needed. As my husband's condition becomes more critical, they will come more often. I have heard so many good things about hospice, and so far, we've had very positive results.

One of the main objects of the hospice care is to make the patient's last days as comfortable and peaceful as possible. My husband has gangrene of the fingers, a condition resulting from advanced diabetes. He is on 12-hour morphine pills which I give "religiously" by the clock. He also has a fentanyl patch on his chest for pain, and 4-hour morphine pills for "breakthrough" pain. May I emphatically stress that it is critically important that the morphine be given as prescribed. IF the medication isn't given as directed, the pain will become much more difficult to control. In our case, my husband isn't going to get any better. He IS dying. The pain will only continue to get worse. As sad as it is, your mom is dying as well. The important thing is to keep her comfortable and let her enjoy as best she can her remaining days. A WONDERFUL book written by two hospice nurses is "Final Gifts" subtitled "Understanding the Special Awareness Needs and Communications of the Dying." The authors are Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley. I think you will find this book very helpful.

I'm hoping others who read and contribute to this message board may have more advice to share with you. Just remember, you are not alone. There are so very many of us out here who are going through very similar situations. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your dear mom.

Big hugs,
Misty125

 
Old 06-10-2009, 02:37 PM   #4
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3
Copingdaughter HB User
Re: Mom has COPD on hospice, need advice on morphine drops

Misty,
Thanks so much for your kinda words and advice. I too am very sorry for you and your husband. Sounds like he is in alot of pain. It's so hard for me to accept that we will die miserably like they are. My faith is really being challenged.

Mom has taken an up turn, didn't need morphine yesterday, and was much more coherent. Seems like everytime we think it's "the time" she pulls out. Every time she gets closer and closer tho, so shes just deteriorating slowly, so sad I don't know for sure that she is out of the woods from this fall, she is still declining, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, weakness and fatigue.

Thanks for all the advice

 
Old 06-10-2009, 02:45 PM   #5
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3
Copingdaughter HB User
Re: Mom has COPD on hospice, need advice on morphine drops

Toonces,
I appreciate your perspective. That is precisely my dillema. It's so hard to know if she is being for lack of a better word, "a baby". She has never been a person to push herself to exercise or work for more than a few minutes at a time. She's has a "wait on me" attitude. But, that being said, it is what it is.. .and if she's not comfortable, I feel I need to allow her to be comfortable. It's so hard when you think how much better she could be if she helped herself more.

I feel awful .. llike I'm talking about her behind her back, but I am responsible for her care and have a family of my own, gets very hard to be everything for everyone... so I get frustrated.

I'm so sorry for your pain, it's takes so much out of a person to deal with constant pain. I hope you find a way to alleviate it.

Thanks for sharing your perspective, it has helped alot

Last edited by Copingdaughter; 06-10-2009 at 02:46 PM.

 
Old 06-11-2009, 07:03 PM   #6
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: kinston,NC usa
Posts: 327
thisworld HB User
Re: Mom has COPD on hospice, need advice on morphine drops

Quote:
Originally Posted by Copingdaughter View Post
alittle history:
about 2 years ago mom was suffering from persistant cough, many lung xrays never showed anything. She was sent to a lung specialist who diagnosed her with a lung infection he called MAC. here's the description for MAC:
MAC (Mycobacterium Avium Complex) is a grouping of bacteria, typically inhaled or swallowed, that causes a respiratory infection similar to tuberculosis and it is treated like tuberculosis using various antibiotics, anti - bacterials and often antifungals for 18-24 months.

Mom took the antibiotics but I am not certain she completed the course.

The MAC has left permanent damage, thus.. COPD. She is undergone hip replacement and stenosis treatments. Plus several bouts of pnuemonia. Her last hospital stay was a year ago, she was in bad shape, the doctor recommended Hospice and gave her DAYS to live. She was taken off all medication and she ended up rallying and actually having some great quality time with us. Hospice has told me that this happens sometimes.

She is now in decline.. she has fallen out of her bed and is suffering all sorts of aches and pains. Her COPD has progressed and put lots of strain on her heart. Hospice has prescribed Liquid Morphine Drops. I was very hesitant to start these drops, because I have heard and read that once they start on these the decline is accelerated. I am torn between wanting to use them to make her comfortable and trying to help her work through her pain so that she doesn't take it.

When she takes the drops she is more comfortable, but she is "doped up". She has told me she wishes she didn't need them, but when the pains get too much she does ask for pain meds. She has also been extremely frustrated by her condition and says she wants to die often.

I guess I'm looking for someone that has a similar dilemma. Some advice on the morphine and hospice. When do you know it's the "right time" to start administering the morphine.
Also, any advice on VA Aid and Attendance and any advice on burial planning on a budget. I am trying to be the level headed one here, and plan ahead, since we are on a limited budget.
coping daughter. let her have the morphine. my hubby pass in Nov. with lung cander. they gave him morphine which also helped with his breating. so sorry for you. also we had a beautiful house of 30 years. it was forclose because once he got cancer the money stop. he was self-employ. we had antiques , gun collection and many more things. Iv sold them to live. we had alot of savings but it took it all. that cancer. ugly word to me. but I feel blessed. we knew we wanted to be cematted. we talk about that years ago. and I sold a corner cabnet for $2,100. and thats how much cremation cost here. one morning I sat up in bed. never thought this. and I donated his body to school of medicine. not because of money. i believe in research and science. so I got busy calling colleges. they where so nice to me. so at the time . thats what we did. my 2 girls agreed. and it cost nothing. and I feel so good that doing this. he would still be helping others . its just a shell in the grave. he will always be in my heart. my heart goes out to you. no matter what we hurt. take care and post love faye , disney world

 
Old 06-11-2009, 07:34 PM   #7
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Paducah, Ky, USA
Posts: 13
misty125 HB User
Re: Mom has COPD on hospice, need advice on morphine drops

Copingdaughter, maybe we don't have to die miserably as our loved ones seem to be doing. As I understand it, and as the book I suggested, "Final Gifts" says, as the moment of death draws ever near, the act of dying itself seems to be without pain and fear, unlike what we might anticipate. From what I have read and from what research I have seen, the act of dying itself is most often peaceful and comfortable. Today I asked our hospice nurse to answer some of the questions my dear husband had about what is in store for him (he has been so afraid of dying). When she explained that his condition would never get any better and that eventually it would take his life, he actually seemed to perk up! I was almost shocked. It seemed like when he heard the bare facts straight from her he was relieved. Maybe it's because now he knows exactly what the prognosis is...he's not in the dark anymore so to speak. Now he no longer believes everyone is hiding something from him.

About three weeks ago, my husband had a bad turn and developed pneumonia. When the doctor said "pneumonia" I felt it was the end for my husband. I was devastated. I just couldn't bear letting him go. But like your mom, my sweetheart rallied and became strong again. So now, just as you and your mom, we too are in "limbo"...waiting for the inevitable, but at the same time determined to make the very best of this situation. I know such an event as the sudden onset of pneumonia could happen at any moment. I could lose him at any time, but then he could last for many more weeks or even months. One thing I have learned over time...that is that the human body is amazingly resilient...the will to survive seems insurmountable. I believe in God's own good time...the right time... our loved ones will pass over...at a predestined time(?).

Don't let you faith be shaken, Copingdaughter. What we are going through is the way of things. We all must say goodbye to our loved ones eventually. It's just so tough to face right now as you and I are.

Hugs,
Misty125

 
Old 06-15-2009, 11:59 PM   #8
Junior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Maplewood, MN,USA
Posts: 30
berg0449 HB User
Re: Mom has COPD on hospice, need advice on morphine drops

Morphine for COPD is more for helping the breathing than pain. My Dad was given 3 weeks to live when he went on hospice. We had the same hard decision on morphine. We did go with the morphine. That helped extend my Dad time. I know his case is not normal but he live another 4.5 years on morphine and hospice.
__________________
Just remember that doctors only practice medicine.

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Hospice wants me to stop feeding my dad daddiesprincess Hospice 47 04-20-2010 03:03 PM
Sign of Death with COPD dalton12399 Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD 4 11-28-2009 06:17 PM
Help/Advice neededASAP -Fentanyl detox, pain pat. abused meds will need meds in futre Confused089 Abuse Support 34 07-06-2008 06:33 PM
Anybody Familiar with Hospice??? goody2shuz Hospice 7 10-29-2007 09:28 AM
COPD anyone? bevann26 Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD 7 07-08-2007 10:45 PM

Tags
burial planning, hospice, morphine, va aid



Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Sign Up Today!

Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

I want my free account

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:44 AM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!