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My mom is in the hospital. Everyone knows she's dying except for her. Everyone keeps mentioning hospice to me but then they order more tests and keep giving her treatments to live. She's confused sometimes but also lucid at others. She talks bout coming home and what she's going to do at home. She asked my friend yesterday who is a nurse if she was dying. She doesn't understand that she is but no one will come right out and tell her. Her kidney function is at 10 percent. Dialysis could kill her. I don't know what to do or what decisions to make. I don't have the heart to tell her this is the end. Any help with this is appreciated.

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I agree with Windyridge regarding JesseBelle's post. She totally covered it and did so with such caring and compassionate words.
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Jillie, I'm glad Hospice is involved. You sound as though YOU are in a lot of pain over this (it IS your mom after all) and you you should avail yourself of the social work counseling services that Hospice can offer.

You sound like a smart, capable "fixer" and having your mom be grateful to you for working your magic again must be torture for you. But don't feel like you have to be honest and admit that you can't fix this, at least not to mom. She's got her defense mechanisms firmly in place and this is no time to rob her of them. Be there as a loving daughter and adopt a "we'll see" attitude, both out loud to mom and to yourself.
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Maggie, no need to be rude. My mother looks at me and thanks me for saving her life (for the third time) only this time I didn't. She keeps saying how much she'll need to repay me when she's better. Did you even read what I wrote? Get off your high horse, look at my cute mothers face and deal with the fact she's looking at me as though I saved her. I didn't. She doesn't get there's no more medicine to fix her. Dealing with that daily (that she thinks I saved her) is unbearable. You can take your comment and shove it.
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Jesus Christ. Why mustyou tell her? Why must she understand it. Lordy.
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Jillie, I just got the phone call today from my mother's Hospice nurse giving me a heads up that mother is slowly getting worse. She has been in Hospice Comfort Care for a year, and it has been such a blessing for me. I was allowed to be a daughter instead of a caretaker. Even though I am prepared, I am not ready. Mom would turn 98 in November, but I do not think she will make it.

Let Hospice take the burden off of you and enjoy your last moments with your mother.
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Thank you all for your answers. She went into hospice yesterday. She still thinks this is all for her to get better. Sweet thing is making sure to drink water for me and even asked for yogurt (she's not hungry but she knows I want her to eat). Hospice and I explained to her that this is just for comfort not a cure. Funny thing is that she's better at home than she was in the hospital. Maybe I'm in denial too but her spirit is just so amazing. I'm just taking it day by day and let go of control. That's the hardest part.
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Talk to her about what she would want IF she were dying. That way the important stuff gets said and done and you know what to do and not to do for her. It rarely helps to just kick someone's denial out from under them - it helps people cope when it is not to a pathological degree, and they are doing things they need to do to help themselves and others to the best of their ability.
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I think my mother (in a NH) has known she's slowly dying for some time. For months, every time I visited she tried to give me her wedding band and I always refused. A week ago, when she tried to give it to me again, I said no, it's bad luck. Her response was that it will be even more bad luck if she dies and it's stolen or lost., so I accepted it. Although she's been going down hill for some time, since that day she's gone down alarmingly ... it's only a matter of time.
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I was going to respond to your post but then I read JessieBelles post. Nothing more to say. She covered the issue totally.
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Jillie, I don't believe you need to really confront her about dying. Her body will let her know. Does she have everything in order for when it does happen? Advanced directives, will, and funeral plans help take care of the business of dying so we can live out the rest of our lives. My father died slowly for about 10 years. He said he was ready for the Lord to take him home. It wasn't until the final two months of his life, however, that he was aware that the end was on him. Something in his body clicked and let him know. He never said what it was, but he stopped ordering things from catalogs and told me that he wouldn't want a new chair at that time.

I don't know if there is any way we can tell a person they are dying without stepping on their inner territory. Death is a journey that each of us has to go through on our own. We can be there to support a person and hopefully make it easier when death does come.

Maybe your mother does know somewhere inside that she is dying and it is why she asks. If there is no fixing things, having tests won't change things. If you're a medical proxy, you could choose palliative care for her. Hospice would be good, by most geriatric facilities understand palliative care. There is no point to disruptive, expensive tests when they won't improve the quality of life.
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