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Hi. My grandmother is currently in hospital (she is 91) and has a infectious fungi uti bug now that is causing her pain in her kidneys on her side and also has a chest infection with fluid on lungs. She has been in hospital for 5 weeks now with a recurrent uti infection and chest maybe 2-3 weeks now. It has come to the time where doctors told my mum that they can not do anything else now because they have tried everything. She had two fits yesterday (head went back and couldn't breathe) so now she is on oxygen. We just want her to go peacefully but it is a hard time because we want her to move on peacefully and pain free but will be a sad time to let go too. Was just wondering what morphine actually does and how long till she may pass? Doctors are meeting with mum tomorrow to discuss what they will do with i guess doseages, but they said they will stop treatment and will just give her morphine to relax and calm her so she is not in pain. They think she is nearing the end of life and that the infection from bladder may go septic or she will get pneumonia.


If you have any advice please let me know.
I appreciate any answers or advice, thank you in advance.

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Oh, Barb, I just read this about your mom passing recently. I'm sorry.
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hunnybub; I came across your post quite by accident today; my mom passed away, quite peacefully on August 25th. She was getting morphine in the last 36 hours as she seemed to be in pain, but she was already actively dying when it was started, so no, I don't think it sped anything up.

Hoping that you are well and all is okay with you.
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Did they? wow that is amazing that they can even feel them too, its good, allows them to feel comfortable and safe which is the main thing.
Trying to organise annointing of the sick for her today hopefully, shes a Catholic so she would like that. She got communion and a prayer yesterday but hasn't received the sacrament yet.
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Hynnybub, thank you for the update. That is one thing that got me through my Dad's passing was the thought that he would be once again with my Mom. What a reunion that must have been :)

I have heard that those close to transitioning will be talking to those on the other side. Even reaching up for them. Both my late parents did.
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Thanks for checking back in, hunny. Going through the same thing with my mom. Let us know how you are, dear. We care!
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Hi all
I seen her yesterday and she had colour in her cheeks, was talking a little bit and was still her old funny self. Was hard to say goodbye knowing she didn't know it was goodbye but it was good because you could see she was happy to see us. The family is there with her today, breathing is very slow and long pauses but she said she felt good yesterday which is good, as she feels no pain. It won't be long but everyone is doing okay because she isn't in pain and although its horrible to watch, its better she gets to go peacefully when she is ready to make that decision.
They are doing morphine every 4 hours through like a cathetar in stomach, and are giving her some things for her mouth the not dry up

Thank you for all the replies, i thought i would let yous know
She will be at peace soon and reunited with her family, she feels at peace talking about the people who are not alive so that must be some sort of comfort for her which is pleasing.
Once again, thank you for the support xx
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Hunnybub, you are so lucky to have had a grandmother up to your adulthood. That can be a very precious gift, and not all people have it.

I understood that both of my grandmothers were going to die, and most likely long before I would die. I expected it and I trusted the next generation to handle it. When my father told the hospital not to attempt surgery on his mother, I knew that he was following her wishes with love. I wasn't aware of any of the details of my out-of-state grandmother's death. I wouldn't occur to me to question how it was handled. All of her children were kind people who loved her. They did the right thing as they saw it.

Of course it is a very, very sad time for you. You want her to stay with you longer. You wish she would get well. But those aren't options. The options her children have to choose from are letting her die with comfort measures in place, or letting her die more naturally (probably in pain). There is no option to "not let her go."

I hope you can support your mum in her decision, and to trust that she is acting in love. Be glad you have no part in this decision, except to accept it. Right now you are extremely upset. In time that will transform into gratitude for having had Gramma in your life.

I wish your family peace.
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hunnybub, no, morphine does not speed up the end of life... one passes on the same timetable whether they use morphine or not. I think some people feel it does go quicker but that is because the patient was placed later then sooner into the Hospice program.

The amount of morphine given is no different than the amount given to you or I if we had major surgery.

Both my parents were on the Hospice program and had received morphine for their pain. Both passed peacefully. Also note, a person passing may want to pass alone so not to give more grief to a love one, so don't be beside yourself if you aren't there at the moment of passing.
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My brother was on a ventilator and his time was coming...his ventilator was cut in half and given Morphine. The Morphine does relax the body. Without the Morphine death can get be ugly and messy, gasping for air. Nobody wants to have their loved one go through that. It was a peaceful passing, didn't even realized he passed until the nurse who was with us told us. It was maybe minutes after cutting back on ventilator and given Morphine.
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i agree with all comments
she is sleeping alot now and will only eat when my mum is in hospital with her and feeding her. All we want is for her to be pain free and to ease her breathing and to stop her moaning when lying in bed. Whether it is days, hours, or weeks, main thing is she won't be in pain.
Thank you for your advice, i will need to think and see what will i do.
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They are going to try to give her enough so that she isn't in pain, unfortunately that often means they are not awake often or at all. The dosage is nowhere near a fatal one, but anecdotal evidence does seem to show that people often pass soon after getting a dose of morphine or ativan (often given for restlessness and anxiety), I wonder if that is because once their body is freed from having to fight the physical symptoms they are able to let go.
No one should be forced to visit someone when they are dying, but sometimes we have to do things that are unpleasant or disturbing in order to achieve our goals. If your goal is to be there and support her and the rest of the family then you may need to "gird your armour" and go. If you are satisfied to leave it up to others then don't, they will have enough of their own stress without having to prop you up.
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Oh, I didn't even answer your question: In my opinion, no, morphine doesn't "speed up" the end of life, but even if it did, what would that matter? To have lived one more day, hour, minute in agonizing pain and distress? That's inhumane.

In hospice care, you simply can't "overdose" a patient, They give you just enough morphine each day or so. Perhaps others have had different experiences, but with daddy and with my FIL, their passings were peaceful and pain free.
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I am so sorry that your grandma is that ill.
As far as I know morphine given under these circumstances will not hasten death as the doses are far too low. It will relax her and ease her breathing. There comes a time when the person's immune system cannot cope with infections even when meds are given for the infection. It sounds like your grandma is at that stage and near the end of her life.
As far as seeing her as she is, as you say that is a very personal choice. You don't want to have any regrets if you can avoid them, but if it is too upsetting for you to see her as she is, then it may be better not to. I can't really advise you on this - it is something you have to work out for yourself. You obviously care for your grandma and I am sure she knows this in her heart. Again, I am sorry that she is so sick.
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Hunnybub--
Morphine used alone and in combo with other drugs can keep your grandmother from being in pain. It is commonly used for Hospice Care for end of life aid. Has no one spoken to you about this? It is so humane and peaceful. Why would you want someone to suffer unspeakably when there is relief? Why isn't the hospital NOW addressing her pain? Oh--I see they are. Good.

Don't go see her if it is upsetting to you. Some people are made for this kind of "life drama" and some are not. Don't worry about it. You obviously love her and she knows it--we don't all need to be present when someone is sick or even dying. Do what you can and be supportive to your mom or dad in this time. If that is all you can handle, that's OK.

When I was younger I thought I'd never overcome my fear of death and being around dying people. Time has taught me that I most certainly can be, and have been, at someone's side when they passed. It has been beautiful, peaceful and sweet. BUT, I had to grow up a lot first. (I lost 2 little friends as a child and I am sure that colored my fears).

I would hope for a peaceful passing for your nan and I hope you also have comfort in whatever you choose to be--involved or not.
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Also just wondering on about visiting, i know it is personal choice, but I'm just not sure if i want to see my nan in that way. I have seen her in hospital before and she did not look well so i am not sure if i want to see her now if she is worse
but don't want to regret not seeing her at the same time too. I know it is my choice, same with my sibling, but does anyone have advice on this too?
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