Follow
Share

My mom and dad have both trusted me with their health for the last 10 yrs and for the last 5 yrs, I have accompanied them on all of their medical appointments (made the appts, ordered the car, etc), managed their meds, etc. Any given week could be 2-4 appts. This is the hardest part - my father trusted me and I feel in the end, I betrayed his trust by giving up so quickly and choosing hospice. I fought for his care when he broke his hip in June and was there everyday in the hospital post op. Then had to fight even harder for his care when he went to rehab - he was there 6 weeks before he got the mrsa infection - I was there daily and also had to fight for his care and mostly do lots of the heavy lifting ie taking him to bathroom, giving him haircuts, etc. But then he got so sick and I felt lost. When he was finally rushed to the hospital after lingering 9 days in the rehab, he was just so sick and I was continuing to fight for his care but when they mentioned he would have to go back for 6- 8 weeks in rehab with a temporary feeding tube, urinary catheter, bedsore, picc line for antibiotics, etc - I just gave up out of fear that he would suffer to much in order to possibly get better. I feel I needed to give him more time. I was just too afraid. Everyday I seem to meet someone who has a parent in their 90s (my dad was 89) and they tell me stories of how they are bedridden but being cared for at home by a son or daughter. It leaves me feeling broken that could have been my dad.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Sometimes I have a tiny feeling of regret that I didn't opt to fight when the nursing home told me that they couldn't keep mom's O2 levels up (she had pneumonia), but my rational mind knows that nobody lives forever and pushing to continue the life she was living in the nursing home would not have been a kindness. And as I look back at the time I was caring for her at home I realize I made mistakes and I likely inadvertently caused her suffering because of it - there is no perfect way to age and die, just a lot of hard, hard choices.
Helpful Answer (13)
Report
Mhillwt Mar 2019
thank you
(0)
Report
So this very sad series of events leading up to your loss of your father ended six or seven months ago?

If you haven't already, it is time to seek professional grief counselling. You have been through severe, traumatic stress, in addition to the loss, and you deserve help to get you past this experience. There is no shame or weakness in not being able to do it alone.
Helpful Answer (11)
Report
Mhillwt Mar 2019
yes7 months....ive been in intense counseling yet it continues ie guilt
(1)
Report
Please learn to let go of your guilt! You can only do the best you can and it sounds like you are.
You don’t state your dad’s age or diagnosis; sounds like he developed sepsis from MRSA infection?

Human bodies give up and everyone passes away. I am positive that you as his daughter took the best care of him.

Whatever the disease/illness/condition is/was prior to his passing is the cause of his death, not hospice. Hospice treatment focuses on comfort and relief from pain until one succumbs to their illness. Nature taking its course.

Don’t feel guilty. Think about the fact that all the care you gave your dad helped him extend his life longer & the joy you have to him throughout his life.

Good luck
Helpful Answer (8)
Report
shad250 Mar 2019
He was 89 mrsa OP mentioned
(1)
Report
See 1 more reply
I completely understand you. I felt the same way about my Mom. She had made it very clear that she wanted whatever measures were to extend her life. No matter the risk. No matter the hardship.

In the end, there was nothing left to do.

Yes, I could have put her on machines to extend her life....but I would have also extended her suffering. Her pain could no longer be controlled.

if you have ever seen someone linger in great pain...you would never think about taking your father down that road.

yes, I think we all feel guilty for not doing more, knowing more, seeking more resources, etc.

but, you need to know that you did make the right choices. You did the best thing to be done. Accept that no matter the outcome, you were going to feel guilt. If you cannot move past it, then seek the help of a therapist.
Helpful Answer (8)
Report
Mhillwt Mar 2019
yes...he was in emotional pain but not sure about physical pain ie it was hard to watch
(1)
Report
I’m so sorry about the loss of your dear father. My 89 year old father-in-law died last June, after out-patient hernia surgery. He was in good health (except for bad knees) still driving, mind as sharp as a tack, riding a lawn mower cutting his two acre lawn. Surgery is really never simple in one so aged. It only takes a small issue that completely spirals out of anyone’s control. My poor father in law passed away 4 weeks after his surgery, he went into rehab as a TOTAL assist. He contracted sepsis, then developed some kind of super bug UTI that made his urine dangerous to caregivers, then it was determined his kidneys were failing. Dialysis was mentioned by one Dr. We decided to forgo treatment, this sweet man was so sick & dialysis is hard even on much younger bodies. We KNEW it was best to send him to hospice, but oh, the awful feeling that we were sending him somewhere to die! (My husband is an only child, so I was heavily involved in these decisions, not that it compares to your love for your Dad) I had to REALLY work on my thought process... we weren’t sending him somewhere to die, we were RELEASING him from sickness & pain. Everything we could’ve done would only have created more pain & greatly diminished his quality of life. Our brain tells us that it’s time to let go, but our hearts can have a much harder time accepting it.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report
Shane1124 Mar 2019
Mollymoose I know it was a difficult decision for you but you absolutely did the right thing. Sorry for your loss as well.
(2)
Report
See 2 more replies
I can understand your thoughts. The end of life is a crisis which continues through the funeral, then there can be a huge let-down while you crash. All grief involves thoughts about how it could have been avoided, could have been different, and often this includes anger. But it is not true that you ‘killed your poor father’. You know full well what killed him, and it wasn’t you. It wasn’t the urologist either, it was the infection which your dear father’s body couldn’t resist. When your father regained consciousness and wanted to go home, he wanted to go home and be well. You couldn’t make that happen.

My dear MIL had ‘more time’. She died three months short of 100, but she existed through over 5 years that she had told me she wanted to avoid – she was totally bedridden and couldn’t talk, feed or toilet herself. She had asked for another great walk on the beach in winter, pneumonia a second time, but this time no doctor, but she was too weak. My guilt was about that promise.

We all have our regrets. You honour your father best by remembering him with love, and making a worthwhile life for yourself. Best wishes.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report
Mhillwt Mar 2019
thanks......and im sorry about your MIL.....I always thought my strong father would make it to 100 but he died at 89....I do feel that the urologist was very negligent but that's another story....
(0)
Report
It sounds like he did hospice in a facility. I just had to do hospice at home for my brother. You term they would have been termed we and me. Without the morphine, ativsn, and haldol, he would have been in great pain and distress, yet we could still wake him for several days. Those drugs are gradually increased to relieve symptoms as we were not concerned about addiction. We followed the hospice nurse advice about the gradual increase when symptoms became worse.

Grief is different for each person but it may be carried on too long now. You have several suggestions to seek some professional help. A lot of employers have help hotlines. Just remember that there may be 2 days this year that will give you trouble...a birthday and anniversary death day
Helpful Answer (5)
Report
Mhillwt Mar 2019
yes he did in inpatient at hospital that was treating him...….It felt like euthanasia since he went so quickly..
(0)
Report
I'll tell you my experience with caring for my dear husband through end of life in hopes it will relieve some of your guilt by seeing the alternative. I was the sole care giver.

Others who went through it warned me how the last month is intense. I kept him with home hospice. In hindsight, he would have been much more comfortable to spend his last month in the hospice house with 24/7 care. My husband was inadequately medicated for pain. In my circumstance, I would prefer to see him sleeping through it, with short waking moments for quality visits with me instead of his waking moments for medical care.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report
Mhillwt Mar 2019
thank you......I wasn't sure if my dads pain was emotional or physical......but once the meds started he was no longer alert....a few times he woke up and started to look around and knew he was trapped in a hospital bed and begged me to take him home and out of that bed....I relive that in my mind constantly......I wonder if he would have been happier at home but he was too sick to move.
(2)
Report
My father died at 82 from MRSA after open heart surgery. He had not been terribly sick before although he was not good about taking medicine. I will just say that when one is compromised it is very hard to fight that infection off. He never fully regained consciousness. It was terribly sad but he had suffered a small stroke from the operation. I know he would have had a hard time dealing with that. I have to look upon it as being his time. There is no point in guilting yourself. The quality of a life is more important than the duration of years representing it. Living into one's 90's may be fine if there are redeeming qualities but not just for the sake of making it that long. I hope you can find ways to cherish memories and not be absorbed with thoughts of an age that was not reached.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report
Mhillwt Mar 2019
thank you and im sorry that your dad also got the dreaded mrsa….. yes, for some reason I was so focused on his 90th birthday celebration and never thought he would die 4 weeks before it...
(0)
Report
Mhillwt,
You are suffering from “misplaced guilt”. YOU did not “cause” anything to happen differently than it would have.
I was a hospice nurse and I can reassure you that none of the drugs (Morphine, Ativan and Haldol) are given in lethal doses. Elderly folks process and absorb meds differently and the effects can be stronger and longer lasting. I have been at the bedsides of dying people who were agitated, scared and in pain. That is no way to die. Better to be medicated. They sleep because their bodies are worn out and they can finally rest without fighting the anxiety and pain.
Aside from suicide, the Good Lord is the only one in control of “when” we pass on.

Your grief and guilt will lessen in the months and years ahead. You will have a clearer picture of the decisions you made. Remember WHY you made those decisions-because you didn’t want him to suffer. You did the right thing. It was his time. You were not playing God, you were carrying out His orders to be compassionate to others.
(((hugs)))

I just lost my mother 2 weeks ago. There was nothing I could have done differently. I told them to give her whatever she needed to keep her comfortable.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report
Mhillwt Mar 2019
Thanks ….and im so sorry for your loss! I guess the whole experience was overwhelming and the fact that they told me he might get better with a feeding tube(temporary), picc line with 8 weeks of antibiotics, urinary catheter etc is what haunts me......he was gravely ill with a poor prognosis but they never said terminal......I gave up on him out of fear of prolonged suffering evenif he got better...the feeding tube is what made me say HOSPICE.....yet after 7 months, im still haunted..
(0)
Report
See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter