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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Devastated decline in my mom / hospice

 

A few days ago I called 911 DUE TO EXTREME HIP PAIN SHE WAS SCREAMING. my mom is 83, has dementia with hallucinations. She's only 80 lbs can't walk due to leg pain. I couldn't control her pain with Percocet. She Had house call doctors. My mom was drinking and eating a small amount she lives with me.

When they gave her morphine at the hospital she was out of pain. The doctor told me that she didn't look good and has 3-9 months left. He suggested hospice. I went later to see my mom with my children and my mom seemed fine, actually yelling at us because we had to leave. I called the nurse at night and asked how my mom was and she said the same. 

'My mom was released the next evening. I said yes to hospice hoping they could control her pain. She came home by ambulance and she looked spacey didn't say anything to me. My mom did recognize me and my family before. The hospice nurse gave her a pain pill and was hoping the next day to talk to her. My mom was just crying in pain and calling for her mom. I had not slept good in a couple of days.  My mom never returned to her own self ( she was talking, eating, drinking) she had delusions, and was always crying in pain. But now she is like a zombie that won't talk eat or drink. I tried lowering her medication but then she'll just cry in pain. I'm heartbroken feel it's my fault and know she will die soon. I feel quilt and cry all day. I feel sick and useless. 

 

''I did get my mom to drink a little and have some applesauce. The last couple of days she will not open her mouth shakes her head no, mumbling and crying. I'm devastated that she won't drink or eat.  I don't understand what happened from the hopspital stay to home and it went downhill fast. 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,854
Registered: ‎06-03-2010

Re: Devastated decline in my mom / hospice

So sorry to hear about your Mom.  If it was me in your Mom's position, the best thing would to be free of pain, so if she isn't as aware as before, that would be a better alternative to being in pain.  Do the best you can to keep her comfortable and safe.   Sending prayers your way.



......You look like I need a drink.....
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,344
Registered: ‎06-10-2010

Re: Devastated decline in my mom / hospice

[ Edited ]

When a person is on "their last journey" as hospice explained to me....they often don't want to eat much and we should not force it.   They can seem to bounce back for a few days and then get worse again. It is different for everyone. If they don't go quickly there can be other signs such as vital signs that are abnormal.  In my Dad's case, he is allergic to morphine so he was given oxycodone along with another drug. Dad was in a nursing home and we called hospice into that nursing home so he received even more care.  Hospice told us they were only a phone call away and if there were any problems or questions to call.  If you need to call them several times a day....even for your own peace of mind, they should be there. I am praying for your mother.  This is one of the harder things to go through in life, I know. I wished I could offer you more help but please know that I care and am praying harder than ever.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 52,335
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Devastated decline in my mom / hospice

I assume you'll have hospice nurses coming to help care for your mom?  They should have literature for you to read regarding what you can expect at end of life.  They can answer any questions you have. 

 

I went through a similar experience with my dad.  At the end, he also didn't want to eat and that's okay.  They encouraged me to give him as much morphine as needed to keep him comfortable.  They said I could not overdose him. I was not all together comfortable with this and at times I felt as though I was killing him with drugs.   The last 36 hrs or so he was pretty much comatose.  It was a very difficult thing to experience; hard on the family and caretaker. 

 

There are definite stages the patient goes through.  The nurses should talk to you about them.  I wish you luck and hope your mom passes comfortably and you are at peace. 

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Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,777
Registered: ‎08-12-2010

Re: Devastated decline in my mom / hospice

Your story is heartbreaking, and I am so sorry for what you are going through.  I lost my mother 5 years ago at 87 and 6 weeks later my father at 88.  Fortunately they did not have dementia or suffer the excruciating pain that your mother has, but the loss of a parent is hard no matter the circumstances.  I just urge you to take as good a care of yourself as possible and lean on hospice and any who can help you through this difficult journey.  Sometimes things can escalate quickly and it is beyond anyone's control.  I will say a prayer for you as you deal with this hard time.  God bless.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 17,370
Registered: ‎10-04-2010

Re: Devastated decline in my mom / hospice

I hope I can respond in some way to help you some. While my mom was in Hospice at the end of her life, she only ate tiny tiny bits, the meds I'm sure helped her, but she just couldn't eat either. I think it's part of what's going on with the body at that time. (My dad also was in Hospice at the end of his time too.) It's enough to carry that their time is coming. Please don't add guilt to yourself at this time.  It's I believe, a part of what goes on with the body at this time.  Main thing for us, was that she had no pain.  Don't worry about the food at this point, I don't think they want to eat or can or need to.  We only know from this side of the fence what is going on.  You can hold hands, and talk soothingly to her.  She'll probably be ok to sleep, but she'll know in some way you are there.  Please be gentle with yourself, it's a major trama time to go through, be gentle with you too. My opinion only, but I hope it helps you too. 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,131
Registered: ‎11-20-2010

Re: Devastated decline in my mom / hospice

I think the most important thing is controlling your Mom's pain.    You are a good daughter and caretaker.  If the doctor feels her time is near, you must keep her free from pain that makes her scream.  If it takes a larger dose and "zombie" effect, at least she is not in pain and perhaps where her mind goes is much more pleasant and takes her out of her current circumstances.  Please do not feel guilty - you are doing everything that is possible for your Mom.  The big change from hospital to now I would think is the Morphine, but she does need that for the pain, as you said the Percoset is not doing the job.  The fact that she is only 80 pounds and was eating very little before was the precuser to her current decline.  It is very hard to face the loss of a parent.  Perhaps Mom is ready since she is now refusing food and drink.  Nothing we can say can make it better, but please know that you have done the best for your Mom and she is lucky to have your care.  It is very hard being the caregiver.  Hospice can definitely help you.  You must also take care of yourself.  Blessings to you

New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎11-05-2012

Re: Devastated decline in my mom / hospice

My mother went through the very same thing, she broke her femur bone, they had to do surgery to repair, she never came back the same. She had stage 1 of dementia, after surgery she went right into stage 4, she was now introducing me as her sister at times. It was sad I could no longer have a conversation with my mother, it was hopeless. I missed that. She did pass away in a nursing home with hospice. When someone enters hospice they are usually given a little booklet, GONE FROM MY SIGHT, this booklet tells you what the dying process is, and eating is one of those processes that your mother will probably experience. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 31,300
Registered: ‎08-23-2010

Re: Devastated decline in my mom / hospice


@cutty wrote:

 

A few days ago I called 911 DUE TO EXTREME HIP PAIN SHE WAS SCREAMING. my mom is 83, has dementia with hallucinations. She's only 80 lbs can't walk due to leg pain. I couldn't control her pain with Percocet. She Had house call doctors. My mom was drinking and eating a small amount she lives with me.

When they gave her morphine at the hospital she was out of pain. The doctor told me that she didn't look good and has 3-9 months left. He suggested hospice. I went later to see my mom with my children and my mom seemed fine, actually yelling at us because we had to leave. I called the nurse at night and asked how my mom was and she said the same. 

'My mom was released the next evening. I said yes to hospice hoping they could control her pain. She came home by ambulance and she looked spacey didn't say anything to me. My mom did recognize me and my family before. The hospice nurse gave her a pain pill and was hoping the next day to talk to her. My mom was just crying in pain and calling for her mom. I had not slept good in a couple of days.  My mom never returned to her own self ( she was talking, eating, drinking) she had delusions, and was always crying in pain. But now she is like a zombie that won't talk eat or drink. I tried lowering her medication but then she'll just cry in pain. I'm heartbroken feel it's my fault and know she will die soon. I feel quilt and cry all day. I feel sick and useless. 

 

''I did get my mom to drink a little and have some applesauce. The last couple of days she will not open her mouth shakes her head no, mumbling and crying. I'm devastated that she won't drink or eat.  I don't understand what happened from the hopspital stay to home and it went downhill fast. 


 

@cutty

 

I'm sorry you are dealing with this .... I've been down this road, and it's not easy, believe me.   Sometimes differentiating between pain and anxiety is not that simple.

 

What I don't understand is why you think this is your fault .... just what do you think you could have done differently?

 

Sounds like what others have said .... you don't understand the stages and what to expect.  Did they give you anything to read, or have you looked online?   

 

IMO, as a loving daughter, you can be there to help keep her comfortable and ease her transition.  You can grieve later.    Get some rest when you can, even if you can't sleep regularly.

 

I wish you the best during this difficult time.

 

 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 18,504
Registered: ‎05-23-2010

Re: Devastated decline in my mom / hospice

There is not much you can do except let nature take its course. There's nothing you can do to prevent the inevitable, and there's no "fault" involved.

 

When it's time, it's time. Many times, leaving this world is ugly and painful, although we all hope that it won't be, either for our loved ones or ourselves.

 

If it was my mom, I would want her to not be in pain, regardless of how coherent she was or wasn't. I would want her to pass as nature dictates, so that she would no longer be suffering. But I can certainly understand the guilt people feel over that, even if there should be no guilt IMO. I can't think that ending suffering is a bad thing. I also believe that most times, if the dying person was coherent and able to communicate, they would say to "let me GO."

 

Also, and this is just me, I would want her to be in a hospice facility, not at home. There, she would have appropriate, knowledgeable care and you would not need to feel "responsible." End of life care is not for every caregiver, and there's nothing "bad" about that.

Life without Mexican food is no life at all