Sudden surge just before death.

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I'm still a little taken aback regarding the death of a certain sweet lady who resided in my cousin's Memory Care Wing. I had known her for a couple of years, since my cousin moved in there. She seemed to have no family or friends, so, I always visited with her too, when visiting my cousin. (I took her gifts, decorated her room, made sure the staff took notice of things, provided her a radio, gave her hugs and made sure she knew she was loved etc.) She couldn't talk, but she smiled big when I arrived.


She had been bedbound for about a year and didn't look good at all. Then a few weeks ago, she looked better. She was up in her geri chair with her jeans on! I was so surprised and wondered how she had this rebound. Sadly, it was shortlived and she just passed away. I know that she's peace now and that is the most important thing. I do marvel at the mystery though of how she surged forward in what looked like a rebound, then to pass away suddenly. I've read about it, but now I actually saw it happen.

8 Comments

Sunny, oh so sad that she had passed away. You did make her day whenever you visited.

My Mom had that "rebound" just before she passed. She was in her geri chair, doing some chatting even though her brain was so scattered, and I couldn't believe it, she was actually trying to feed herself. Poor Dad thought this was great news and that he could finally bring her home.... but I knew this was probably that surge I was hearing about, but I didn't say anything to Dad. I was right, not long after that Mom had passed.
They call it a "Rally", pretty common for the dying patient to have a burst of energy and alertness a day or two before departure. Family will often misinterpret this as a recovery of the patient and be totally devastated when the patient passes. Just take one day at a time.
A man I know who wasn't bedbound went through the surge before his death. He had been full of pain and depression, although he was still able to get about. His sister told me that he had been in good spirits the last two days of his life. I think his body knew that it was calling it quits and gave those two good days before the end. His death took most people by surprise, since he was in his early 40s.
Sunnygirl- She was "vibrant" for several weeks?
It happened with both of my parents, the day before and the day of, I never really understood it, and for a moment thought they could be rallying, but it wasn't to be, both passed away right afterwards. With my Dad, he had been very ill, in hospital with Pneumonia, and had been unconscious, we had the Priest in to give him Last Rights, but the very next morning, I went in to visit, and he was sitting up, very alert, and having a cup of tea! I said, Wow Dad, we had the Priest in here last night, giving you the Last Rights! He was happy about that, it was short lived, as he was later back to this deep unconsciousness and he died the next day. The nice thing about this is that it gives you the opportunity to say your goodbyes.
Zytrhr,
From what I observed, her upswing lasted about 2 weeks. I wasn't her actual family, so I was not privy to the details of her medical condition, but I did comment to the staff about how much improved she looked and they agreed and smiled. I suppose they knew what was going on.

She had been in bed and asleep much of the time for about a year. When I first met her she was wheelchair bound. She was spoon fed, incontinent, and couldn't even sit up. She was being turned to prevent sores. Each trip, I expected to see her bed empty. If she was asleep, the staff would encourage me to softly awake her, because she seemed to gather strength from our visits and they must have seen her improve due to the visits. I sure hope that was the case.

When I saw her in the tv room sitting in her geri chair, in her jeans, looking around, eyes wide open, it was a surprise. It was so unreal. I had read here about things like that happening and how it can signal the end and it was the case with her.

It made me a little nervous with my cousin, who celebrated her 65 birthday last week. I took her gifts, treats and cake and we had a very nice celebration. She was able to focus on her gifts, which she hasn't been able to do in a long time. And she was able to communicate verbally, much better than she has in months. She even looked healthier. I'm glad to see her better, but now I'm worried that she is not really making a rebound, but headed close to the end as well. I guess there's no way to tell nor anything that I can do about it. The important thing is that she seemed content and well cared for.
I see, sunnygirl. It was really nice of you to look in on and spend time with her. At least you know she is in a better place and in peace.
Oh yes. This lady was actually younger than my cousin! So, she was in her early 60's. I observed her when she was visiting the same doctor as my cousin. The same transport van from the Memory Care facility carried them and we would sit in the lobby and wait for the appointments.

She was in a wheelchair and was jerking very uncontrollably. I know it must be some kind of neurological condition. Later, she must have gone on meds, because the violent jerking stopped. She was still too weak to sit though and bedbound for a long time.

I tried to keep the conversation light and positive, focusing on her pretty nightgown, lovely pictures of horses and flowers that I took her. (I took them as gifts from my cousin. My cousin, loved to place them on her nightstand as a gift. Even with dementia, people love to give to others. I got her Christmas gifts just like I did for my cousin).

This lady had such a sweetheart personality. It was odd how she never seemed to have any visitors.( I know that at least one church lady visits everyone once a week.) I noticed that there were no decorations in her room, no cards on display......I figured that maybe her folks lived far away, but they didn't seem to send her any personal items, like pictures, cards, wall art, etc. You can spot the rooms that have zero personal touches. Anyway, there was no obit either. I looked. It's a very small town and anyway.....at least she knew that my cousin and I cared for her and valued her life. I know that she knew that. So, that's what matters.

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