Does anyone else regret the time they saved their loved one from death's door? I do...now...

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My mother has been in a very slow steady decline since 2007, the year my father expired. Two years ago, my mother woke-up in the middle night having trouble breathing. I called 911 and had her rushed to the ER. At that time, the staff told me my mother was in septic shock (from a bacterial infection in her bloodstream) and was in kidney failure, heart failure, etc. Her numbers were wildly all off the chart with no steady direction. The staff said the only option to save her life was to hospitalize her for immediate kidney dialysis, big tubes will be inserted in her neck to flood her with antibiotics, etc. I told them no, she' going on hospice. She was already having health challenges before this so to put her through this torture didn't sit well with me. While on hospice I told the staff that Mom can only have an antibiotic and if her body is to recover, to heal then, it will on its own. Miraculously, she recovered - 100%. Everyone was shocked. I wasn't because she had a brutal upbringing so her body was built strong to begin with. Strokes (she already one in 2006 - and recovered from this too!) and brain aneurysms run on her immediate side of the family. Now I'm fret with worry that she'll suffer a series of very slow and painful set-backs (like repeated strokes) that her she'll be in such misery until the day she actually dies. While on hospice I had the opportunity to not have them do anything and just have her pass away right then and there. But I wasn't ready to let her go because she's my only living family member left. She's my Mom, you know?? And to suddenly be put in that position to just let her die...?? You know what I mean? I just wasn't ready. And now I'm so afraid my selfishness will cause her a road of immense physical pain until she actually passes away. My father suffered HORRIFICALLY from the complications of this and that medical treatment and I promised myself I wouldn't let the same thing happen to my mother which is why I'm her full-time caregiver. I don't want my mother to be in pain when she's on her deathbed so whenever something happens, I think of her quality of life, first. I think a family member's last memory of being in pain is just so awful. Yet, I'm also wanting Mom to pass away now so I can have a chance to have a life. I'd like to meet a man who cares for me as much as my father cared for my mother. And I'd like him to have children because I never had the chance to have my own children - Mom is my child! And I'd like to have a career (which I did...eons ago) because I don't want the only thing on my tombstone to be "She was such a good daughter...She took such great care of her parents..." I'm capable of so much more. Before Mom was on a hospice, she was a DNR but it was a general DNR and while on hospice, I escalated the DNR to include no IV, no aggressive measures to restart her heart, etc. And this is her current DNR. Her doctor treats homebound seniors and stated in passing conversation that we're all going to die from something and was in total support of my decision to escalate the DNR. He commented he's seen a lot of his patients suffer because the family members weren't ready to let go. And to dig the knife in my heart even more, Mom is suffering more now than before the hospice incident. It's a slow suffering but nonetheless, she has no quality of life. I promised myself to cut back on the wine - Not now! I'm having a glass to take the edge off. And I drink the wine, I have a lot of thoughts and I wonder what my life would've been like if I decide to let Mom die while on hospice. And then I cry because I'm torn with her being my only family member, now knowing she's suffering even more, and freedom I would've had if I let her pass away.

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careisgiving you can never know. I guess thats the way God intended it. My Mom died in May at 92. For some reason I expected her to live to be 96. I don't know where I got that number from. But I was always prepared for when it would happen. I never ended a conversation with her without saying I love you.

The week before she died there was something in her voice. I don't know but I knew something was wrong. I think maybe she knew.

Best of luck to you careisgiving. Whatever happens I wish you the very best. And your mother.
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Thanks to all who've shared their stories with me. It's just hard when you think you're ready to let go and when the time comes, you decide, "Well, let's see if our loved one can recover on his/her own without major medical intervention..." and he/she does?! My mother's PCP stopped by today and said she could easily live another five to ten years in her current state. Immediately, I felt like someone had kicked me in the stomach. I've been working on a game plan to get my things going and I have to believe whenever these are in place and ready to go, then The Universe/God will take Mom away. I have to believe she's still here with me for a reason. You know what I mean?
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I sense if Our ailing Love one's Who are at the end stages of Their Life could only speak to Us when They are at crisis point, would probably say to Us
PLEASE LET ME GO..LET ME DRIFT OFF INTO THE NIGHT, WHERE I WILL SUFFER NO MORE.
Human nature being such a powerful thing, and Love for One's own..easier said than done. Some times it is much tougher for Us Caregiver's on the wings seeing those We Love suffer, than it is for the Sufferer. I applaud You CAREISGIVING, You did what any good decent Christian would have done. When the END comes You will know that You did Your very best.
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I think many of us can relate. I had my uncle intubated when he couldn't breath, he was a DNR but was begging for someone to do something and I couldn't let him go that way. He then contacted MRSA, they put him on antibiotics, he then said he just wanted to go home (to the nursing home) to die please. SO I stopped all antibiotics and he beat MRSA on his own. He lived another couple years after that, but not much quality to his life, I second guessed and cried over my decision many a time, but what was past was past. He passed a few months ago and OH how I miss him, but now I have my Mom, ( alzheimer's) in the same nursing home, and I wonder when it is my time to not have to take care of someone? This is a great site to vent and air your feelings, share your triumphs and your losses. Big Hugz to you!
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My dad regretted his decision to allow doctors to place a pacemaker in my grandma after about twenty minutes of CPR in the ER after she fell I'll at home. She was never really herself after that and was unable to return to her home. She spent the next several years miserably living in a nursing home.
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Boy how do I relate to all these comments! I had exactly the same scenario. Twice my mother was at deaths door. The first time I was living in Virginia and my father sent for me as my mother had suffered a suspected stroke. I arrived in the UK and found she had been rushed to hospital and was just lying in a side room. The doctors were doing nothing after many hours and then said " she can go home now" I was giving her ice compresses for her terrible headache.
I told them no way is she going home, she will die there! So they took her to a ward gave her a lumbar puncture and found she had bleeding on the brain. Then the system kicked in and she made a good recovery! She never had good health after that so I have mixed feelings. The next time she was reckoned to be at the end and I was allowed to sleep on the floor in her hospital room for a week while she was supposed to be dying but was saved by the dedicated emergency team. By this time she was 84 and just became more and more of an invalid after that with me caring for her. She lived to 90 but did not want to.
It was just a nightmare but I cant regret saving her as that is the natural thing to do. I still wish I could have alleviated her pain in the last year or so of her life. You cant go back - only do what you have to do at the time. It helps me to know that I am not alone in this dilemma. There was no alternative at the time. Guilt guilt guilt - but it was not our fault - just life kicking us and our loved ones .around. Thinking of you all trying to do the very best you can.
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I went through the same thing with my Mom. About two years ago I had real concerns about her. She was living alone at the time. I had keys to her place and stopped by constantly to check on her. This particular day I walked in to find her sitting on her couch in her underwear. She had wet herself and was talking to herself. I called 911 and after admitting her to emergency we found out she had sepsis, was in kidney failure, had suffered a heart attack etc. etc. What followed was a nightmare year. Six weeks in hospital, another six weeks in a rehab facility that released her back home against our wishes. Six weeks of home health visits that failed cause she would refuse entry to them and I would be called. So four times a day I would rush over when the home health people could not gain entry.

I used to think it was fortuitous that I arrived at my mom's door that day. She surely would of died that day and after a year in a nursing home where I know my Mom wished she were dead even though she put on a brave face for me, I wonder if I had not arrived at her door that day maybe she would of died and maybe that would of been for the best for her. I cherish the extra time I had with her but regret that she had to suffer and be depressed the last year of her life.

She died in May of this year and I miss her terribly but know that she is where she needs to be.
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I already told her doctor that if Mom were to show signs of cardiac and/or respiratory distress - I'm not calling 911 - I'm calling hospice. The escalated DNR is already in place. I love her so, so much and she truly is like my child - but she is suffering so more now that my stomach aches. I'm a firm believer in The Universe and I just have to believe that there are still lessons I need to learn - though I don't know what they are - and after I learned those lessons, then Mom will pass. Other than keeping me busy 24/7, I just have to believe there's a reason why she's still with me after surviving the septic shock. I'm having surgery in a few months for a female-related issue and I have to be under anesthesia. I've been delaying this surgery because, well, I've been waiting for Mom to pass away because with any surgery there's always risk of complications. This female issue is really affecting my quality of life so I've made the decision to move forward with it. It's only a 1.5hr procedure from start to stop, but I'm terrified I'll have complications - and then no one is available to care for Mom. After years of caring excellently for both parents, now I'm faced with this or that health issue. So, it's just not for her having no quality of life that I want her to pass - I'm having health issues and the stress of being an only child to now one parent is difficult. Ugh...I just have to believe it's just all going to workout somehow...
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I think you made the right decision to try and help your mother, you end up feeling better that way than not attempting anything. If your mother should get bad really you can always try hospice again, and no meds this time , but believe me there is guilt when you go that route too. Either way is so very hard.
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TSM1013, Very well written and I agree with this wholeheartedly. I love it when I meet a bright upbeat senior. Unfortunately, the ones in my sphere are miserable creatures dependent on polypharmacy for their poor quality ongoing unhappy existance. The Anasazi people only had a life expectancy of 38, and until the last century most of our grandparents passed in the late 60's. Now we implant machines in their hearts, thin their blood and artificially keep them going with multiple drugs until they are 100+. I am starting to think IF I make it to 80, I will stop taking any drug and let nature run its course.
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