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My mom lost 10lbs since last month, she is at 75lbs. Suffering from painful rheumatoid. She is in morphine off and on, only when she wants it. Lost hearing in one ear and 75% in the other. She doesn't want solid foods and has shortness of breath. I just want to be ready and know what to do.

Worried in Cali is correct. You will see changes in breathing. You may also see a mottling and cooling of the lower extremities. The use of the morphine makes me think she is on hospice. Do discuss this with them and tell them that you want the signs you can watch for. I think you are trying to plan out in your own mind what it will be for you/what it will feel like. You never really can do that. Spend the time quietly talking with her about things you remember, and the love you bear her.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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Cheyne stokes breathing is usually seen in Neuro patients and occasionally cardiac patients. This breathing does not mean end of life. Breathing usually becomes shallow with occasional gasp but each person is different. Speak to the hospice nurse to answer more specifics on the natural process of death. None of us can predict the exact timing.
As the patient fails to thrive eating and drinking slows and the person can slip into a coma. It sounds like soon: weeks, days, hours? Speak to her as if it is the last time and be on good terms. Realize that you need to sleep and care for yourself and it is difficult to predict whether you will be with her with her last breath.
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Reply to MACinCT
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Contact Hospice in your area they will help you as well as your mom.
There is a great pamphlet called "Crossing the Creek" you can read it on line. There are many other pamphlets that will tell you what to expect. When Death is Near is another.
But Hospice will help you with all the things that you will have to do, they will make the phone calls that need to be made. they will guide you and support you.
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How much time do we have left? It's the burning question on everyone's mind and almost impossible to answer. I know that with my mom I kept trying to figure this out. Sometimes it looked like days and other times I thought maybe she could go on for months. The signs are outlined in various pamphlets and online articles. Unfortunately there is no exact list of steps that every person follows.
Refusing solid food and only accepting clear fluids is often a sign that she is ready to go.

One thing to be aware of though is that many people have a "last hurrah". It's an odd surge of energy near the end of life. She may sit up in bed and chat quite lucidly or want to get up out of bed when she hasn't been up for days. It can be heart breaking if you think your loved one is suddenly on the mend and then they end up passing away the very next day.
Also don't be surprised if she tells you she has seen or talked with loved ones who have previously passed. This is not uncommon. Don't tell her she's wrong or confused. Many people have said that spirits of loved ones are present near the end of life and are waiting on the other side to help us "cross over".

Tell her you love her and that everything's going to be alright. She can hear you even when she seems "out of it".

Don't feel bad if you're not in the room when she does pass. That's VERY common. It's as if they wait till you've stepped away or gone to take a break, and then they can let go. ❤
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buenosaires59 Sep 9, 2019
Thank you, very good information.
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Cheyney stokes is end of life breathing. You can Google it.

When you say " I want to be ready and know what to do", what do you mean?

Have the hospice folks discussed how to keep mom comfortable, how to keep her mouth moist? Have they given you instructions on how to use the comfort meds? And assured you that you can call them any time? Even in the middle of the night? (((((Hugs))))))).
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buenosaires59 Sep 6, 2019
Well is a long story, but her mind is still very good unless she is under heavy opiates, she has been needing more oxygen lately. Hospice is giving us all the supplies we need to keep her comfortable. We do call anytime, it's just that they don't really know what is going on, they tell us her circulation is poor, thus the swelling. We are using the syringes now, but I hate to see her sleep all day. thank you, Hugs. I need to get some rest now
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I'm told that Hospices usually give out a booklet with information about what to expect, have you read it? If you don't have one you might find this article helpful

http://www.virtualhospice.ca/en_US/Main+Site+Navigation/Home/Topics/Topics/Final+Days/When+Death+is+Near.aspx
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Actually cheyne stokes is also seen at the end of life.

https://www.crossroadshospice.com/hospice-caregiver-support/end-of-life-signs/breathing-patterns/
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Reply to worriedinCali
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Thank you all for the great information. Yes, she is still taking her morphine and doing well. Blood pressure 120 and lungs have a little gurgling. She got a bath today from nurses which is rare. She likes only us to do it. She asked for chicken and potatoes for dinner :) Oxygen all night but is at 94 right now. You have a good weekend now. It is good to talk to someone else. With her hearing gone it is difficult to share things with her, but we can listen and love her. She always talked a lot but now is like she is in a trance. (((Hugs))))
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AlvaDeer Sep 6, 2019
This being in a trance is what I as a nurse always explained it as. The dying do turn their faces to the wall as our old expression goes. No matter HOW much they loved those in their lives they turn away and they busy themselves with the business of dying. I think it is the last trip we take. I am convinced it can be a very good trip. They seemed always to me, as almost in a drugged state, in a dream state, hovering somewhere where we could not reach. Still between worlds. With you in heart. Hugs to you.
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This appears to be beyond your expertise and abilities...perhaps if she's not already, you need to seek a nice and reputable hospice care...her weight is alarming (although I know nothing of her physiology) and it is probably best to have expert medical staff to care for her end of life time...with your visits/presence, you can still remain connected...always remember her life before this period!
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Reply to SonInLaw491
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More and more time asleep is part of the dying process. The Hospice "What to Expect" booklet is enormously helpful.
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