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I watch my Mom in her sleep and she quits breathing for about 30 seconds, then gasps and takes about 4 deep hard breaths. I keep wondering is this it? Then she will breathe normally again. This morning at 2am, I heard this moan and it was constant; I tried to wake her to see what was wrong and she wouldn't respond. I took her blood pressure and it was 145/115. Again, Is this IT? Finally she stopped and began breathing normally again, B/P went down. This is a constant stressful thing to witness so soon after watching my Dad pass away. I truly hate this part of life.

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...I back up to change or add something and end up writing in broken English..:)
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When my father was on hospice it did feel like a death watch. He had suffered a massive stroke (after having a first stroke four years earlier), and the brain scans showed so much damage that he would never regain consciousness. I couldn't be there 24/7 because I still had a child at home (and in school) 100 miles away, but when I was there I talked to him and told him that I would take care of mom (they had been married for 60 years). Of course he didn't respond, but I've been told that hearing is the last thing to go. It sounds like you have been a great daughter and have done everything possible to help your parents. I agree, this is an awful part of like. The stress is overwhelming. Remember that you are doing the best that you can and take care of yourself.
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~Calli, I also understand being losing someone suddenly. Our mother passed suddenly 24 years ago at age 58. She had been under a doctor's care for newly diagnosed diverticulitis and colitis that seem to start after gallbladder surgery. We were devastated! That is when my sister and I became very involved with our father health once he began to have health issues back in 1995. We didn't want him to slip away like our mother. They are both forever in my heart..:)
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Thank you Summer.
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Mom has never been drugged up.
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I feel for you Calli and I am sorry for your loss. My father passed away a year ago in March and with all that needed handling with the estate (and law suit my siblings brought on) I feel that I've only gotten to mourn for moments here and there. I do think that caring for a loved one until their death allows you to mourn some along the way. I had one sister take part in the responsibility of our father and his home, and I am forever grateful to her. I don't know how I could have managed and kept my sanity without her. I am in awe of those who are "in it" on their own.
I hope that your mother passes peacefully for her sake and yours. ~Summer
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I have found Hospice is very good at getting the medications right. Often a drugged-up patient is more alert after Hospice takes over. Some patients improve to "graduate from Hospice". Those that don't are at least getting better meds and greater comfort and peace of mind.
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Thank you Summer & sorry about your Dad. When my Dad died in March, it was totally unexpected. He went in the hospital for high fever and seizures. Never had seizures before but he did have shingles on his arm....the shingles went into his spinal cord and into his brain spreading infection causing the brain to swell...and his kidneys shut down and he was gone. I was totally caught off guard. He was such a sweetheart and I miss him dearly. He and Mom had been married 70 years and had quite the love story. He was the caregiver for my Mom ( suffering from dementia) and I lived right next door to where I could take care of them both. I haven't recovered from losing him.....then left my house, my husband to move in with Mom because I felt I needed to keep her in familiar surroundings because she was lost without my Dad. Her dementia began getting worse after he died, and she spent the sundowning times looking for him all over the house. When I would tell her he had gone to Heaven, she would collapse in grief and so would I.

Fast forward to 2 weeks ago......Mom admitted to the hospital for UTI and AFIB.....2nd day suffered stroke. She went in walking, talking, feeding herself, going to the bathing and came out bedfast & totally dependent.

I am trying to come to terms with all this as I am the only child.....and having to make all the decisions. Hospice has helped me a lot.

I don't even know what to pray for lately......someddays I don't.
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~Calli, My father was on hospice then off and then back on again about 8 months before his death. In my opinion, when you know that death is near, possibly within a few days, it does feel like a death watch. For me, it is important that whether it be a client that I am caring for or a loved one, that no one should depart this earth alone, if possible. That can be emotionally draining on a caregiver. Staying close to my father during this time was so hard to watch as he was fighting it all the way. Just as I believe that no one should die alone, I also believe the caregiver should not be alone. We used soft music and soft lightening in the room. Spoke with my father and told him that we loved him many times. It will be one of the most selfless gifts you will give. I hope that you will have the support that you will need during this time. ~Summer
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