My once independent dad took himself to the ER 2 mos ago because he hated to worry us. He ended up with pneumonia and his COPD ended up taking a bad turn. It happened so fast. He would sound great for days and then bad for days and we talked multiple times per day because I couldn’t visit with the pandemic. I was calling nurses almost everyday to follow up and make sure certain things were happening. He ended up on oxygen, but then didn’t need it a few days later. Then he ended up on oxygen again, but this time 24/7 and couldn’t live without it. Fast forward to the last 2-3 days, which we didn’t realize it was his last few days or I would’ve been more forward with nurse. His CO 2 levels climbed real high because he hated the bipap mask, he felt suffocated with it. His CO 2 levels were usually 30’s, not bad and the last day they climbed to almost 80. He started pulling his oxygen out the last 2/3 days and when I’d call, the nurses couldn’t get him on the phone, they said he was so confused. His cell phone had broke so I had to call nurses those last couple days to get through to him. They kept telling me he was too confused to get on the phone. If I could’ve just visited, maybe I could’ve got through to him to keep his oxygen in. His oxygen ended up going to the 70’s so they transported him to hospital from health care rehab. That last night I talked to the nurse at 8pm and told her my concerns with him pulling his oxygen out and she said he was on an alarm. Fast forward to 11:30 that same night, I get call from doc that he’s unconscious and pulled oxygen out and was in the 50’s now. They intubated him, get him stable again and he codes twice. I don’t know if there would’ve been brain damage, but I’m beating myself up that I couldn’t get through to him the last 2 days to keep his oxygen in. They said he would go from lethargic to ripping everything out and they didn’t think it was registering with him that he wouldn’t be able to breathe without the oxygen. My heart is just broken that he spent those last moments alone, unable to breathe probably and I could’ve been sitting there with him, instructing him to put it back in and to wear the bipap mask to bring down his high CO 2 levels that was causing the confusion.
I’m completely crazy and ready to call the doc for a more clear explanation, but he’s going to think I’m nuts. I just feel my dad really had more time. I don’t get it.

MAUI, I'm so sorry for the loss of your dad. My employee has COPD. She's 67 yrs old and has a portable oxygen pack. For the past 3 winters (here in MN) when she's gotten a cold it goes badly and takes her quite a while to recover. This past winter she took a trip out of state to visit her parents and again got sick and this time was hospitalized and then in rehab and it took her a month to get strong enough to be driven back to her home. I'm not sure how advanced your dad's COPD was, but because of the timing of it, do you think HE had covid-19? It is possible the hospital and medical staff didn't recognize it because it was pretty early in the pandemic. Your grief is heartbreaking, and the thought of a loved one dying without their family is just gut wrenching. We were worried about my employee being away from everyone and what would happen. My MIL's facility just this week reported 3 cases of the virus and we haven't been able to be with her since mid March. We're hoping for the best, bracing for the worst. May you have peace in your heart as you come to grips with his loss.
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Reply to Geaton777

My mom passed in March. I’m quite sure that her trip to the ED 10 days before her death sped her death. They gave her a liter of IV fluid and she had end stage chf.
However, I know that they were trying to do their best for her. I’m sure she was dehydrated and needed fluid. If I’d been there, I might have been able to intervene. Ultimately, she was close to her time, or her body would have been able to handle what happened.
When we get older and weak, we just can’t handle the same interventions that a younger healthier person can handle.
Your dad was in a weakened state and this pandemic came at the wrong time for him. Maybe you could have made a difference, maybe not.
Ultimately, you need to forgive yourself for this. Without the restrictions, he could have been exposed to Covid. You just don’t know what would have happened if the circumstances were different. Remember your dad and the love you shared. That is the best way to honor his life.
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Reply to AllOverNow

Nobody knows when they are going to die. That's why it's important that we maintain good relationships with the people in our lives.

I'm so sorry for how your dad went. In time, you will find peace in this. I know many people who went into the hospital for something simple and routine and died with no warning. My older brother, for one.

Even if you had been there, I doubt you could have saved him. You tried, and even had you been standing there fussing him 24/7---it was probably just his time to go.

Drs and nurses are taking this VERY seriously and I am sure your dad's dr did the best he could. Patients who pull their own IV's or oxygen --hard to care for.

PLEASE don't play the 'coulda, woulda, shoulda game. It will drive you crazy. If you are a religious person--pray for peace. Don't make yourself feel worse for what you could not do.
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Reply to Midkid58

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