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Before my mom was discharged from the hospital, her doctor recommended Hospice. I decided to go with them, but at my home. My guilt comes from the fact that, when mom eventually stopped eating and drinking, the nurse never suggested IV’s and I said nothing... how could I be so stupid to think without nourishment and water she wouldn’t pass... I can’t forget it and it’s been almost 18 years!!

It seems you got the answers you needed. Before a natural death, it is most common for the dying person to refuse food and fluids. It is as if the body is preparing itself by not taking on the work load of digesting food or processing fluids through the kidneys. The elderly dying person seems to be instinctively aware of this when they refuse food and fluids.

In medical emergencies, IV's are needed to increase blood volume, causing many people to think this is a necessary life saving procedure. But in your mother's case this would not have been helpful or discomfort relieving. I'm sorry the nurse did not think to explain this to you. It sounds as if your mother experienced a comfortable natural death and you should feel no regret, whatsoever, for the treatment she received.
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My gratitudes!! I needed those answers!! She never had to use morphine, which was a blessing. I’m so thankful to our Lord for bringing this website to me!! Again, Humbly grateful!!
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You are so correct in prolonged use of fluids in the dying body can add enormously to suffering.
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Given intravenous fluid would have prolonged your mother's misery enormously. The body will do all it can to survive with even minimal amounts of fluid; but surviving doesn't mean thriving. In fact, the dying body cannot HANDLE fluid. The heart cannot beat strongly enough, nor the kidneys filter out toxins well enough to prevent great suffering; the body bloats with fluid, the lungs fill with fluids. It is several more weeks to months of torture for patient and for those who must watch this prolonged suffering.
If you are suffering this after this long time it is only because of a lack of good information. Please speak with a doctor who cared for your Mom, the Hospice if still in business, or others who can discuss with you the dying process, and the dreadful results of pouring in fluids at that time. Consider some therapy to deal with the life passage that comes to us all, that we all must pass through. I am so sorry for your grief.
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What were your mom's final wishes? Did she want to die naturally without any intervention? Hospice typically won't hydrate a patient or offer life extending treatment. There goal is to offer a pain free comfortable end of life. Providing IVs to a terminal patient can actually contribute to suffering. When a patient stops eating and drinking their days are few. Artificially providing nourishment could cause some undesired complications. It's time to let go and accept the fact that your mom died in comfort.
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