I'm grateful for hospice.

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My mother was dying. She was in pain. The meds available did not help.

We brought in hospice. They relieved her pain and anxiety so that she passed in a comfortable and easy way. I am making sure that my kids understand that I do not want to die wracked with pain and anxiety. My mom said to us "let me die, just not in pain".


I'm grateful for hospice, too. I was so green and didn't know anything about the death process, and I made mistakes thinking I needed to nurse my 103 yo grandmother back to health. One thing that gives me peace is knowing that she was on pain medication during the time she was dying, while I was fussing with her and trying to "help" her to drink and sit up, etc.  It also helps knowing more now about nerves and organs shutting down during her active dying phase.   Things make more sense about what happened, why no urine output, etc.  

One thing I wish for, but may not be realistic: I wish the hospice team had told me that death was inevitable, and not to force food/liquid, that this was *only* about comfort care in the end of life.  I was told in so many words that "Hospice Care only means there won't be any resuscitation given, but other than that, business as usual." I've learned since that Hospice also means there is an expectation that someone will pass on within relatively short time frame. Maybe since no one has an expiration date, Hospice doesn't want to give on which makes sense, just in my particular case it would've been better to give me a "Your grandmother is declining and likely won't live much longer" speech, and also tell me that means to not fuss over her and try to get her healthy.
Barb, I'm grateful your mother had hospice care. I'm grateful on behalf of so many of us here on AC who had Hospice helpers in the last days, and grateful for the dulled pain and senses of those who were actively dying. I sure hope that I get humane comfort care in my end days, too.
I experienced hospice for the first time 17yrs. ago when my father was dying from at the time an untreatable leukemia. He only wanted to be pain/anxiety free, be in his own bed,in his own bedroom with his books and music and his little dogs in the bed. I was already an experienced ICU RN at the time but still just a daughter. He was 72,still alert,oriented. Hospice made it happen,and as an only child having to deal with my mother's histrionics I was ever so grateful.They accomplished his pain control so well he was very alert the night he passed, probably had a stroke, he had been watching tv with my husband and eating ice cream.But he was in his bed,in his bedroom and his dogs in the bed. I couldn't prevent death , but hospice helped me with what could be controlled and that was the quality of his time left. Now I am starting the 2nd experience with hospice as my mother has just been placed on hospice this last Sat. However, she is alert, we had had the BIG TALK years ago when things were calm and no one was sick or in the hospital. At present she is back to her AL apartment, only used a sitter for the first week and physically she is doing better because her pain is very well controlled as well as her anxiety and now has returned to hobbies she has always enjoyed. This honeymoon period will only last so long. Things will progress. Even if I had 5 sitters in the room with her all the time she is still going to die,no matter if I become the caregiver daughter of the year and I am recognized by the Pope for how good I care for mother she is still going to die.I think I have gone thru the 7 stages of grief (good to look up,helpful info) several times a day for the last week but I also recognize I started the grieving process when she first moved in with me. As a nurse I could tell when things were starting to wind down, little mile markers.So I have been "lucky" in a way to have time to adjust to this process, I still have my moments of sobbing,depression,scared,sounding like a wounded animal but they don't last as long and come further apart. The MDs have told me no more than 6 months,who knows,but I will keep you updated and hope thru my experience others who may be looking at this choice may learn something, feel better, I don't know. Ask me questions.Look forward to hearing from any one who is looking at having to make this choice or is scared about it. Talk to me.
Timbuktu; Losing our mothers is a hard thing. It doesn't seem to matter if they we good moms or bad moms, it still hurts.
My mom had breast cancer when she was 65 (30 years ago) and I was able to convince her to get good care for that (she wanted to go to the local hospital for a drive by mastectomy; she fortunately agreed to Memorial Sloan Kettering, where they kept her for two weeks).
My mom had a stroke at age 90 which brought on vascular dementia, so we had 4 years of gradual decline. Mom was eligible for hospice two years ago (2015) but POA brother thought that palliative care was a better choice. so we ran with that.

Mom fell in August and developed pneumonia; we brought in hospice to control her pain and anxiety.

Facing a cancer diagnosis, I think that the anxiety must be a huge thing. You need also, I think, to separate the fact that you have no control over your mom's mortality.

I know. Hard to accept.

On the afternoon that my mom died, I kept thinking "if only we can control her pain from whatever is broken, we can clear up the pneumonia, get her through this, and then she'll be fine".

Except that she HADN'T been fine for a long time. I got that denial was taking over and that it is in many ways the best defense. You feel like you've got some control over the situation, when in fact you have none.  I can remember contacting an Aging Care pal whose mom had been on hospice and graduated, seeking the idea that my mom would be able to recover.  I kept thinking "if only I could....."

I'm so sorry that you're going through this.
I have heard many wonderful things about Hospice too. It gives me comfort to know they will be available when my LO is ready. I realize that people have different experiences, but, it does hurt me when I read negative things about them. I try to keep an open mind though.
They were wonderful for my dad when he was passing, and for my family, with a year of follow up contact that was wonderful.

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