I have been taking care of my grandma (just turned 93) for 2 months now. She broke her hip 4 years ago, refused to do therapy or walk and was placed in a nursing home. Up until a month ago she would allow getting her out of bed (she put very little weight on her legs) and sit in a chair for 3 or 4 hours. When she came here she was getting rehab 3 days a week and participated. Then she said she wouldn't get out of bed or go see a doctor again and they put her on hospice. She refused her thyroid med after Thanksgiving and refused her blood thinner (extremely small dose) the day after Christmas.

She has repeatedly expressed a desire to pass on and has a DNR. She is rarely confused so she knows what she is doing. She said she just wanted to make it through her birthday and then Christmas and didn't care after that. She was making a lot of "goodbye" type statements, telling me how at peace she is and even that she loves me (that's only the third or fourth time in my life she has said it to me). She was sleeping a bit more for the week before Christmas and seemed to be getting much weaker. On Christmas day she was up all day and very perky and we all thought the end was very near. Now nothing makes sense.

She is still able to roll herself over in bed when I clean her up. She has a remarkable amount of strength in her legs. Her urine output has decreased some and her sleeping habits have changed a bit. The newest development in the last week has been bowel habits (a favorite topic here I have It doesn't seem to matter what she eats, it causes a big mess. I have also noticed that she requests meals around the same time each day and can still eat a fair amount.

I am starting to wonder if the change in bowels is because her body can't process the food well; that maybe this is the start of her body shutting down. While cleaning up a big mess last evening she finally did admit that she is usually not very hungry. I have told her that if she isn't, she shouldn't eat...that it can be more harmful to her than good. Or that if all she really wants is a scoop of ice cream she can have it, etc. But then she says she has to have bowel movements which I tell her aren't necessary...only if a person is eating. Then it's that starving to death wouldn't be very pleasant and I have explained that it's not starving to death if your body can't handle the food.

I am very stressed at this point and having a lot of emotional issues (for too many reasons to go into here) about caring for her. Honestly, at this point it would be a sort of relief if she passes away. Am I reading too much into the change in her bowels? How about the fact that she is more argumentative and lies and has gotten extremely demanding? Or that she is refusing to things that I know she can do? I am thinking of asking them to start giving her Ativan instead of the .125 mg of Xanax because I know the Ativan makes her a little loopy and easier to deal with. I feel I'm being selfish and not a good granddaughter. But I'm tired of feeling like I can't please her and arguing with her and spending a half an hour, two or three times a day, cleaning up poo. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

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