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I had to take my father to the hospital today due to a low blood count. I was there all day today. He had to have blood transfusions. The doctor gave him the bad news and it was how it was said that made my father start to have angina pain.
Has anyone ever gone through that before with their loved ones doctor? I think he could of explained to my father in a better way then saying dying from an infection is painful when my father is already in bad shape due to his bone marrow. Of course I went out to my car and cried my eyes out. I felt bad leaving my father there but over the course of the last few months I have been burnt out to the max. It is Christmas now and I feel it will be Dads last Christmas but I am not playing God either. I have that guilt that I read about in here so often. feel guilty that I did not step up to the plate last appointment and questioned the low blood counts right then and there. They were going to do it again in January and I had Hospice come out and draw it yesterday and got a call last night that it was critically low. I think today was the first time any doctor (while as insensitive I felt it was) told my father the truth about his condition. Why do doctors put it off on family members to tell their loved ones the truth about their situation? I asked my father if his doctor ever told him these things and he said no. When I left the hospital I went over to the Chapel and prayed. I felt numb the whole drive home. When they got my father upstairs that doctor was more sympathetic and caring and said whatever dad wanted which even included going there for blood once a month. We also talked briefly about the respite and I will still hold on to that for next year as it is what I need. At this point with all the different doctors opinion my mind is wondering what is truth and what is not. Why can everyone including the nurses all be on one page as it makes the caregiver confused and I am just sitting here thinking how much more confused the patient is - my father. I am sad tonight and I have known Dad has been failing for sometime now and my stark reality hit me even harder today. Keep us in your prayers if you could. I appreciate all comments and miss my father here tonight EVEN after I have complained about how worn out I have been - I feel guilty about complaining. Is this normal?

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@Nan - You are so correct. No one knows when your time is up. Since this post my father had to have blood and I talked to his doctor that was tending to him. She was easy on the situation but forthcoming. I know about my fathers illness and all and I think he is the one trying to come to terms with it. I see it happening now. I know my father wants to live and hearing about dying makes him upset. How many others go through the same thing. I probably would want to know as well and then live to the best of my ability with the time I had left on this earth. For some that is easier said than done. I have noticed a difference since my father received the blood transfusion and I am so thankful that I stuck to the decision to have nurse come out to draw the blood. Who knows if Dad would of made it till his next blood draw in January. He was critically low and I know I will not let it get that low ever again without saying or speaking up. I have learned so much through this caretaking about many medical things that I did not know before. This may be our last Christmas with Dad or maybe not so I intend to make it the best for him. He is upset that he can not go and buy gifts and cards and I told him last night - Daddy you did it for 79 years and always with so much love each and every Christmas. I have wonderful Christmas memories to last a lifetime. We just do the best we can with each day we are here on earth. Thank you for all your comments. Merry Christmas to everyone here!!
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Snoozi, you made me think back to something that happened 31 yrs. ago. My mom was hospitalized because she had an irregular heartbeat. We had just moved to the suburbs and she didn't have any heart dr. because she didn't know she had a heart problem. So this "new" dr. we went to advised that she be hospitalized. Well, she calls me up and says: Get me out of this hospital. This dr. says I need to have a triple bypass and that I'm not going to live long enough to see my grandchildren grow up. He's full of baloney! So, I picked mom up and took her home. We eventually found an excellent cardiologist who properly diagnosed her (no need for surgery), put her on the proper meds and still tells her he wants to be just like her when he grows up. This is my mom, who I recently started to decline mentally due to the dementia, and is 95 now. My mom would often say to me, I"d like to send that dr who wanted to do that bypass a picture and show him my family. She not only got to see her grandchildren grow up, she was able to see her great grandchildren, yep all 13 of them!. The oldest one is 16 and the youngest is 3 . So when I feel so bad about what is happening to her now, I have to remember that she had 95 clear years. Her mind was as sharp as could be up until a few months ago, and I know that is a blessing.
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Hospice is a very compassionate organization. I recommend enrolling a loved one as soon as he or she is eligible.
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Thank you Sooozi. I admire your story and sorry to hear about your Mother's recent passing. I know the doctors have to do what they have to do. I just wish they could be more compassionate with the patient. Not all doctors are the same, that is for sure. This has been a roller coaster for me and sometimes I wonder when it will slow down so I can think again. I do all I can for my father and know that this Christmas may be his last so I will make sure it is happy and the love of the family will be all around him. Thank you so much for your comments. Blessings to you.
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Yes, I had a similar experience. After many years of doctors pats, at age 91 an emergency room doctor told us that my mom had congestive heart failure. Failure! What did that mean? I had NEVER heard of it before and I was stunned. I think hearing it also stunned and shortened my mom's life.

I know it is ridiculous, but I deluded myself into believing that every time someone told my mom something about her world shrinking to nothingness, she would believe them and she would follow their instructions and die a little bit more.

I also felt the guilt of feeling crushed by watching her suffer and struggle with these awful messages. But! The good news is that she lived longer than they predicted. Also, I struggled with not knowing. She and I talked about it. She said she was up and down. There were times when I thought she was not going to wake up from a nap and the next thing I knew she went to lunch with a friend (while I was in a rage of uncontrolled worry and fear).

It is a roller coaster. We are here for you. We are all going through the same things you are. My sweet mom passed away comfortably, warm, loved in October this year. I was so sad.. and then my brother pointed out how lucky we were that she was heathy until she passed. The truth is that he NEVER came to the hospital when she was deathly ill.

I asked my mom what she did for her parents. She said she did nothing. She was off at cocktail parties and traveling with my father. Like my brother and me, we all make our choices on how we want to live our lives. I preferred to be there for her when she was in the hospital. My brother preferred to think she never went into the hospital.

The most important thing is that you do what you think is right, for you. No one can decide that but you. This journey can be sad and it can also be so rewarding when you get a chance to speak with your Dad and be there for him. I read somewhere that the elderly just don't want to be alone, so I did the best I could not to leave mom alone. I wasn't perfect... far from it, but today I am comforted to know that I did the best I could for her.

I am saying a prayer for you and your father tonight. Bless you both though this very special journey.
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Thank you Nan and jeannie. I appreciate your words. I realized this after I thought of the things the one doctor said and yes not all doctors have the same bedside manners as well. It was the look and the starkness that upset my father which bothered me. I was okay with what he said to me because I have known as much but Dad he never was presented with IT the way IT was done. Of course the doctor upstairs talked totally in a different and more compassionate bedside manner. No matter what the bad news is bad news and then again No one knows when or how long a patient or loved one has to to live. I have known folks that were told they had three months to live and lived for three more years so it goes without saying. I know in my fathers case just by tending to him how he is deteriorating. Does the news make me feel any better? Not really but it is what it is. I would of preferred his regular oncology doctor to break the news to him then the emergency room doctor who only seen him this one time. I think though that the emergency room doctors are trained to be blunt about everything. I do not like being coddled and I know most of us don't. I would surely want my doctor to tell me what all he or she knows of my condition and take it from there. I appreciate both of your responses at this time and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your care and compassion.
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Complaining is normal. Feeling guilty about it is normal.

Not all doctors are good about presenting bad news. Maybe there isn't a good way to present bad news -- no matter how it is presented everyone will feel terrible. Maybe a kinder tone and a sensitive presentation would make us feel better for a half an hour but, really, not matter how sensitively it is presented learning that a loved one has less than 6 months to live (or 3 to 5 days, as I heard about my father) or that a pregnancy is going to end badly, or that the dementia is rapidly progressing -- learning any of those things is devastating.

I agree that many doctors should be far more sensitive in presenting bad news.
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Yes it is normal. As much as my mom burned me out (to the point of a breakdown), I still feel guilty. I brought her home for a visit today and when it was time to take her back, she cried for me not to. I started crying too. I couldn't help it. Finallly a little while later she was ok with it. Up and down with this horrible disease. As for dr's I really don't know why some just blurt things out like that. When my dad was taken to the hospital, I had never met the dr. who was doing some heart tests. He just comes out and says" Well you're dad is going to die within 6 months:! Instead of crying my first reaction was I wanted to punch him! Unfortunately he was right, but his bedside manner was horrible. Then when my daugher was just 12 weeks pregnant, she had an ultra sound and her dr. told her he wanted her to go to the dr. upstairs because they had much better ultra sound devices, and he had a hard time getting a good picture of the baby'y head. So next day, we go there together (no one made it sound bad, so hubby & grandpa went to work.) This specialist has the ultra sound right on my grandaugher, (we see her kicking around), and this guy blurts out: Your baby has an anomoly. Her skull wasn't formed & she has anencephaly...your baby is going to die!! Talk about heart wrentching! It was horrible . Her beautiful baby girl was born, but passed away 5 minutes later. I now have 3 healthy grandchildren, but I will never ever forget the callious way that dr. delivered the news. There are so many good nurses and dr's out there, but all it takes is one to cause us severe pain. Just hold your dad and be there for him. Comfort him the best you can, and assure him you're his little girl and you love him. Take care of yourself too!
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