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Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,997
Registered: ‎03-25-2012

My ex-husband, father to my four girls, had his fifth major stroke a week ago.  He has now had five strokes and two heart attacks in the last fifteen years.  He is 83 years old.  He has survived them, but has lost mental and physical capacity with each one.  He's had to have daily care for many years now.

 

He lives in CA and my girls have flown out there every time he's been stricken.  This time he said no, as he has refused all feeding tubes and IV hydration.  He is in hospice at home with nurses who come every day.  It's been seven days now with no food and particularly no water.  He is totally paralyzed on his left side and cannot swallow.

 

The doctors gave him three to five days at the outset and today is the seventh day.  Google research indicates seven days as the limit of how long someone can go without water.  One doctor has seen someone go ten days.

 

He was always a dynamo, extremely successful, socially involved, and has traveled the world.  Other than not seeing his children very often over the last 25 years, he has had a very full life.

 

Even though he has obviously mentally and emotionally given up, his vitals are still strong and his body refuses to go.  I don't think I would want this for myself, and my girls are really emotionally drained.  My heart goes out to all of them.

 

The doctors have told his wife that if he continues on to ten days, it will match the hospital's record for a patient to live without hydration.  Beyond that he will be the record setter.

 

Has anyone here ever heard of this?

Formerly Ford1224
We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Elie Wiesel 1986
Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,580
Registered: ‎06-15-2015

 

Hi LilacTree,

 

It is always sad for me to read or know about these types people and the stories of their life and get close to the ending. I personally have never known of a similar life story, or known someone exactly like you describe your ex- husband.

 

I honestly do not even know the legalities of this type of situation. I am guessing he is seen as "being of sound mind" and able to make his own decisions. It does not appear to me as a will to live, more like his body and mind are not in agreement on this.

 

Gotta go, too many things going on in our home right now from toilets overflowing when I was in the hospital. Ruined our finished basement/some of main floor, and all of master bedroom. Have drywallers/painters all working here right.

 

My thoughts will be with you, your girls and ex-husband, this has to be heart wrenching for all of you.

 

 

hckynut(john)

 

 

hckynut(john)
Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,512
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

My next door neighbor's father had a massive stroke from which there was no hope of any kind for recovery. The family moved him to hospice and withdrew care-no tubes of any kind, including no hydration. The man lived for three and a half weeks before he expired. I couldn't believe it: every morning I would see our neighbors and expect the news....and it seemingly wouldn't come. My heart goes out to anybody in this situation: there is nothing easy about it.

Poodlepet2

Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,997
Registered: ‎03-25-2012

@hckynutjohn wrote:

 

Hi LilacTree,

 

It is always sad for me to read or know about these types people and the stories of their life and get close to the ending. I personally have never known of a similar life story, or known someone exactly like you describe your ex- husband.

 

I honestly do not even know the legalities of this type of situation. I am guessing he is seen as "being of sound mind" and able to make his own decisions. It does not appear to me as a will to live, more like his body and mind are not in agreement on this.

 

Gotta go, too many things going on in our home right now from toilets overflowing when I was in the hospital. Ruined our finished basement/some of main floor, and all of master bedroom. Have drywallers/painters all working here right.

 

My thoughts will be with you, your girls and ex-husband, this has to be heart wrenching for all of you.

 

 

hckynut(john)

 

 


From what my girls are being told, the doctors have now told his wife that he could go 30 more days at his current level of bodily vitals.  This sounds unbelievable to me, but pretty much negates what they had told her prior.

 

About the legalities, apparently my ex was able to tell his wife, who has POA over all of his issues that he no longer wanted to live, so it is she who has made the decision for no life saving measures.  What's the use?  He would only have another stroke and it would start all over again. 

 

This is horrible for him, for her, and for my girls.  My oldest is out there, but my other three are waiting.  They went out there for his recent stroke last fall but they have jobs and children here.  They also cannot afford flying back and forth to CA.  My oldest can get the time off and can also afford it.

 

What a nightmare.  No one would let an animal suffer like this, or its owners for that matter.

 

Thank you for your thoughts, John.

Formerly Ford1224
We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Elie Wiesel 1986
Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,997
Registered: ‎03-25-2012

@Poodlepet2 wrote:

My next door neighbor's father had a massive stroke from which there was no hope of any kind for recovery. The family moved him to hospice and withdrew care-no tubes of any kind, including no hydration. The man lived for three and a half weeks before he expired. I couldn't believe it: every morning I would see our neighbors and expect the news....and it seemingly wouldn't come. My heart goes out to anybody in this situation: there is nothing easy about it.

Poodlepet2


Obviously, this is possible, poodlepet2.  I will have to do more extensive research (for miracles perhaps?).

 

Thank you for your kind words.

Formerly Ford1224
We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Elie Wiesel 1986
Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,983
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

I would like to offer my prayers to you and your girls.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,652
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

I guess it's not a *will to live*, as that would be someone near death, who does not want to go.  No?

 

I'm thinking that if he's in hospice care, then he's being medicated for as much discomfort as possible.  I hope that's the case.

 

End of life is hard to watch for sure.  I've stood bedside of some of the people I have loved since before I could even talk.  And wept inside and out as I watched them go.  All were elderly, and it was all pretty much the same. 

 

Nothing terrified me other than the fact I was broken hearted facing the reality of totally losing them in my life.

 

How sad for your daughters, though.  The one who is there now and the ones who couldn't make it.  They've tried to do what they could before and I'm sure he would've understood the circumstances.

 

 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,340
Registered: ‎11-15-2011

@Lucky charm wrote:

I guess it's not a *will to live*, as that would be someone near death, who does not want to go.  No?

 

I'm thinking that if he's in hospice care, then he's being medicated for as much discomfort as possible.  I hope that's the case.

 

End of life is hard to watch for sure.  I've stood bedside of some of the people I have loved since before I could even talk.  And wept inside and out as I watched them go.  All were elderly, and it was all pretty much the same. 

 

Nothing terrified me other than the fact I was broken hearted facing the reality of totally losing them in my life.

 

How sad for your daughters, though.  The one who is there now and the ones who couldn't make it.  They've tried to do what they could before and I'm sure he would've understood the circumstances.

 

 


I agree that this is where you have to disconnect the mental and the physical body.  I remember my daughter saying when she was in nurse's training, "It really takes a lot to stop a heart from beating."   His heart must be strong, physically. 

 

Prayers for all of your family.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 607
Registered: ‎04-13-2010

@LilacTree wrote:

@hckynutjohn wrote:

 

Hi LilacTree,

 

It is always sad for me to read or know about these types people and the stories of their life and get close to the ending. I personally have never known of a similar life story, or known someone exactly like you describe your ex- husband.

 

I honestly do not even know the legalities of this type of situation. I am guessing he is seen as "being of sound mind" and able to make his own decisions. It does not appear to me as a will to live, more like his body and mind are not in agreement on this.

 

Gotta go, too many things going on in our home right now from toilets overflowing when I was in the hospital. Ruined our finished basement/some of main floor, and all of master bedroom. Have drywallers/painters all working here right.

 

My thoughts will be with you, your girls and ex-husband, this has to be heart wrenching for all of you.

 

 

hckynut(john)

 

 


From what my girls are being told, the doctors have now told his wife that he could go 30 more days at his current level of bodily vitals.  This sounds unbelievable to me, but pretty much negates what they had told her prior.

 

About the legalities, apparently my ex was able to tell his wife, who has POA over all of his issues that he no longer wanted to live, so it is she who has made the decision for no life saving measures.  What's the use?  He would only have another stroke and it would start all over again. 

 

This is horrible for him, for her, and for my girls.  My oldest is out there, but my other three are waiting.  They went out there for his recent stroke last fall but they have jobs and children here.  They also cannot afford flying back and forth to CA.  My oldest can get the time off and can also afford it.

 

What a nightmare.  No one would let an animal suffer like this, or its owners for that matter.

 

Thank you for your thoughts, John.


My dear MIL, a retired nurse, always says we as a society treat animals better than we do people in cases like this. She has witnessed many horrific situations over her working years.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,340
Registered: ‎11-15-2011

From what my girls are being told, the doctors have now told his wife that he could go 30 more days at his current level of bodily vitals.  This sounds unbelievable to me, but pretty much negates what they had told her prior.

 

About the legalities, apparently my ex was able to tell his wife, who has POA over all of his issues that he no longer wanted to live, so it is she who has made the decision for no life saving measures.  What's the use?  He would only have another stroke and it would start all over again. 

 

This is horrible for him, for her, and for my girls.  My oldest is out there, but my other three are waiting.  They went out there for his recent stroke last fall but they have jobs and children here.  They also cannot afford flying back and forth to CA.  My oldest can get the time off and can also afford it.

 

What a nightmare.  No one would let an animal suffer like this, or its owners for that matter.

 

If he is in hospice care I doubt that he really is suffering.  The persons suffering are the relatives.  I was on pain meds after an accident and I do not remember any of it.  My family told me about it later. 

 

I believe you can rest assured that he isn't actually aware of the situation even though he may respond to you as usual.   Pain meds can work wonders for the patient!