Mom passed away yesterday evening - peacefully....though the multi-day process was not always that way. I am worried the hospital gave her too much morphine making her unresponsive quicker than necessary. She was admitted last Saturday for sugar levels near coma state - besides CHF, stomach, colon, pacreas inflammation - dx with auto-immune hepatitis and liver failure. She did not want extraordinary means - nothing invasive, etc. just IV, oxygen, meds, etc. She had not eaten much for the past 2 weeks and was very frail and weak ( barely talking). Hospital removed over a liter of fluid from her stomach. She did not want a feeding tube, etc - doctor said a 1-2 weeks before her systems would shut down and death would come. Wednesday she was in pain and we had the discussion. She agreed but was too weak to be moved so we had to stay in the hospital - luckily they moved us to a private room where I could stay with mom 24/7. My concern is that Wednesday she could talk - though weak and very little. Once the morphine started, she rarely was cognizant -only a few moments of recognition and response. By Thursday night she was restless and agitated - seeing and talking to relatives who had already passed on - but not aware or talking to me or the nurses. There were some "Help me" cries and her calling my name, but I could not figure out what she wanted --she wanted to be repositioned every few minutes constantly for a few hours - which we did. By Friday, she was quiet, mostly sleeping - the nurses kept a steady dose of morphine to keep her pain-free...doses started every 6-8 hours then increased 4-6 , then at the very end (after death rattle had started), up to every 1-2. Mom was tiny (about 93 lbs) and I am worried that she went from being awake and aware and talking on Wednesday, to most out of it by Thursday afternoon/evening. Sometimes I would ask them to check Mom for pain (I stayed 24/7 in the hospital since Wednesday) - sometimes they let her wait for a dose, other times they would administer it - the first few days through IV, then orally when 2 veins crashed. I am very glad Mom did not suffer in pain (my Dad died of colon cancer and suffered horribly), but I am afraid her death and "semi-consciousness " may have been expedited and hastened by the continual morphine doses in the hospital...please give me your experience/opinions...thank you....
The Hospice nurse told me after I told her I was afraid I gave my Husband to much the night/morning he died, that it would have taken more than what I had in the house to cause him to become "comatose" or to die with the amount I gave him. That did make me feel better, after all she has been a Hospice nurse for YEARS and before that an Oncology nurse.
What I am thankful for is that he was relaxed and comfortable. When I gave him the first dose of morphine earlier in that week I was actually able to move his arms that had been so contracted for so long. He actually looked like he was comfortable.
I would not worry that she was "over dosed" or that she was hastened to semi consciousness.
It's okay, this what happens to all of us at sometime, ready or not, here it comes...
I had a friend who always said that, death is okay... He was right, or hopefully is right. I haven't spoken to him in years.
This is an important time with this Pandemic. BE NICE BE KIND
SHOW AND HAVE A LOT OF PATIENCE...
GOOD BRAKES too. Yes, people are trying to show kindness and being polite, but sometimes, they need to look in their rear view mirror.. One person stopped all of a sudden for someone inching into traffic. This driver came to a complete stop for no reason.. The incher was waiting for traffic to pass before proceeding, and my friend had to slam on brakes on his truck and slammed the horn down to wake up the driver who decided" this morning it will be a good time to show kindness while a truck is driving the same speed just behind me. Oops, do big trucks take longer to come to a complete stop?" WELL Yes, they do.
At least he is getting his brakes looked at tomorrow.. Thank goodness - no accident either..
The situation seemed almost like telling a dog; SQUIRREL !! huh? squirrel? I got to go chase it.. it's just what I need to do at this moment I hear SQUIRREL
My Hospice on board the night my mom was going was not my Team. It was someone I never met before. She instructed and showed me how to crush morphine pills and slide it in my mom's mouth. Talk about a death scene.. I guess I have PTSD after that. another nurse came in early in the AM and showed me the other half of the potion I should have been giving Mom. That first thing of a nurse, she couldn't stay to go over everything, for got to tell me about the ativan. Wanted out as quickly as she came into the house. Think it was her first week. And the send her to us... Wonderful. Angel was quite the caretaker. He got mom relaxed, cleaned, comfortable, and relaxed... He was great, professional, and he knew I needed him.. since the first gal had to leave so quickly, I thought he did too. I told him to show me how to clear her passages, get her situated on her side with pillows and asked him what I needed to look out for. I told him, I have it, I can take it from here... He stayed, God Bless Him !!
Long story short... She doesn't need to suffer any longer. Now you get to know she is looking down on you, and laughing, dancing. She loves you, do not forget it.
Have you heard about dimes and/or pennies turning up in odd places? The other day, dimes and pennies were popping up all over the place...:) I believe it was from my loved ones. I talk to the all the time.
My mother and others I know had morphine at the end. Did it hasten their death by a short while? Possibly. Would I rather they had lived a few hours or days longer in pain/agitation/discomfort. No, I wouldn't. Medical people were treating their symptoms and keeping them as comfortable as possible, At that stage of life it is all that can be done for them.
My mother had a similar passing in that she became agitated at a certain point and the medication appeared to both calm her and perhaps allowed her to slip away. I’m not sure one is possible without the other.
I was grateful she was no longer suffering. I’m sure you relate to that from your father’s passing.
We are not ready no matter what. We are tired. But we are not prepared for the finality of death.
The description you give of your mom’s condition sounds like she was in a lot of distress.
Sometimes we try to save them from a bad situation only to have them suffer through a worse one.
It will take awhile for you to accept her passing and to understand that you did all that you could.
Let her go and be at peace.