A difficult subject-End of life

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
150 posts
Minnie wrote:Hi Sis,
I agree with you, I read Barrow girls last post in the thread, but found it very
close to the bone, I could not bring myself to answer it. I felt guilty about it,
but it brought back to many painful memories, which my mind is still finding
very hard to deal with, but I think your right if it helps
somebody talk about the last moments, we should listen and try our best to help,
even with a virtual hug.
I agree with you as well. When I had to do that segment in nursing school about the end of life, it was very hard for me. We had to watch this video about how to take care of a person when they die and how to take care of their body when they die as well. It was very difficult for me to watch because it brought me back to so many memories when my relatives died and some where very close to me. I think that it is very wise to talk about that in nursing school because as nursing students, we see that happen. I sure did see it and I continued to see it in my nursing career. One day, the client was fine and then I read the nursing notes when I came onto my shift that they suddenly died. My mind goes into a 360 when that happens. I think that people should talk about it and be open for discussions about it. Thank you for discussing it into your forum posts. Purplespider, CNA
Are there two different issues here? "End of life" can cover palliative care, maybe a year or even longer. However, Google "Signs of Dying" and there is a great deal of sensitively written, incredibly useful information available for those caring for someone in the last month or less. Three of our four parents died before I plucked up courage to Google "Signs of Dying", when my very disabled mum clearly didn't have much longer left. I so, so wish I'd done so before the first parent died, then I could have supported both mum in law, my husband, and my sons so much better. The hardest part of all is finding the courage to ask Google for the information.
unpaid carer for over a decade, faced with a dnr at a & e ,
ifs and buts ,I and you cannot turn back time,
the so called "services", took her from me, mistakes were made, the nhs said to me ,
" it was her time "
I blame myself , even though I am not to blame,

it was a mercy decision " that is CARERS UK "
(((HUGS))) Karl. The loss of a loved one is always incredibly difficult, but especially so if you are in A&E. Please don't blame yourself or feel guilty for what has happened. Sometimes things are out of our control, however I have been told many times that resuscitation can be very brutal, even involving broken ribs. Maybe justified and really good on a young fit strong man, but certainly not on a frail elderly person. I had POA for my mum and told the doctor that pain relief was the top priority, both of us knowing that it would require so much morphine it would put her to sleep forever. I shall always miss my mum, but am glad I could make that decision for her, and have told my eldest son that I expect him to do the same for me if required to do so.
Going to the empty house is also hugely difficult. Now is the time to be kind to yourself, focus on doing the bare essentials for a while so your body can get some much needed rest. Try to focus on the positive things you were able to do for mum, being an unpaid carer for 10 years of your life is something to feel really proud of, and you were with her right to the end, if I understand correctly. Come back here as often as you like, as there are lots of former carers who can help you with what you need to do next.
(((hugs))) Karl
I too have been told that resuscitation in elderly just does not help. Broken ribs are involved. Much harder for a frail person to get over. Please please do not feel guilty. You obviously have been a most caring son and now you need time to be good to yourself. Your mum would want that.
I know at the moment, words are probably meaningless, but give yourself time...
Bless you
A little message for Karl.
My mum did have resuscitation after a heart attack. The paramedics did all that they could, they were great, but mum died two and a half days later in a coma in Intensive Care. As a son you have done everything, now is the time for you to treasure happy memories.
I am very grateful for this forum, I had cancer two years ago, during the time that I was going through chemo etc my mother died. My dad was with her when she had the heart attack, he saw the paramedics try to resuscitate her, they did their best, they sort of succeeded, in so far as they got her heart going again, but she was in a coma and died two and a half days later.

The doctors and nurses were very kind and loving to her, Intensive Care, Kings College Hospital London. They were also very kind to dad and me, we could visit at any time. I was going through a tough time as I had an infection in the scar from my operation. I found it very hard when mum was in the coma as at one point her jaw was twitching all the time, later the doctor stopped that. Apparently if she had lived that jaw twitching thing could be a sign of brain damage.

The time came when the doctor said to dad and me " We are no longer prolonging her life" I asked what that meant and the doctor explained that my darling mother would not live and from that point on any machines would just extend her death.

At this point my Dad made the decision to be DNR.
About half an hour later my mum died. The doctors were outstanding. Dad and I were sobbing, two doctors and one nurse spent time with us, they held our hands, one doctor had tears , held back, in her eyes.

The next day I had a massive problem from the inflammation of my scar, also a temperature and my bloods were all wrong, as I was going through chemo at the time I was rushed into hospital.

That was when I experienced the most tender loving care ever in hospital. Praise be to Kings College, I don't mind giving them a plug as they saved my life (cancer) and helped my mum die in dignity. x
I lost my husband on 7th April. He suffered a massive stroke Dec 2012, and with carers I have looked after him since then. It has not been an easy road, as many of you will know. Carers late, carers early, district nurses as and when they choose. I would have not missed this last 5 years with my husband. I miss him so much. Carers and nurses were a necessary part of the package. Yes, I could not have done it without them. But they were often the ones that made my life difficult. I have lost my husband, my best friend, and my role, my existence. I haven't been anywhere for so long. Now I have to find a way to move on. I guess that will come with time,
Ann, so sorry to hear your news, I was widowed 12 years ago. For the next few weeks, try to avoid any decisions, try to listen to your body, how you feel mentally and physically. If you can't sleep well, talk to your doctor. Join Way Up, a very supportive forum for widows. Come back as often as you like, it's a forum for FORMER as well as current carers. Friendship Travel have a good reputation for singles holidays, if you are happy to travel on your own I can recommend a hotel in Crete just for single people.
Ann, I echo what BB says. I too, am widowed (though I still HATE 'defining' myself as a 'widow' - I'm a WIFE, I'm STILL my husband's WIFE, I always will be his WIFE) (the word 'widow' sounds like I am 'disowning' him).

My husband only took a few months to die from terminal cancer, so I do feel for you in respect of the years that it took your poor husband. But really, there is no 'good' way to lose a husband. A sudden death, a 'after a short illness' death, a protracted death - all all all a nightmare.

I do recommend Way Up - there is a section (last time I was there, a few years ago now) for the newly widowed, and we all poured out our grief. We knew that EVERY one of the posters there was 'bleeding from the heart' just as I was.

The first year is hell. No other word for it. Each day is a mountain to climb.

All I can say is that gradually, so gradually you can't tell it's happening, small 'islands' will appear in the ocean of grief, when you are 'distracted' and you almost 'forget' the hideous reality. Those islands slowly, slowly, slowly get larger and larger, and start to join up.

But the sea of grief and bereavement is always there, and sometimes we just walk over a cliff, even unexpectedly, and plunge down down down....it still happens to me sometimes, years and years later....

Go VERY easy on yourself. The 'paperwork of death' (dealing with financial affairs and so on), is a two-edged sword. In one way it 'distracts', gives us 'something to do' but in a way it hammers on our hearts with agony - every time I got a letter addressed to 'The Executors of Mr xxxx' I howled and howled and howled.

With kindest, kindest thoughts at this worst time of your life - Jenny
150 posts