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Old 03-29-2014, 07:03 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Lafayette, La.
Posts: 3,920
Default Tough time, tough decisions

This goes back 30 years. My wife's oldest sister, at age 20, had a tumor on her pituitary gland. Surgery removed it and full head radiation followed. For the most part all was well except that she had to take medication to keep her balanced. In the last couple of years she has gone down hill very fast and has had to live with her parents. Doctors are learning that about 30 years after full head radiation the blood vessels begin to deteriorate, and hers definitely are. It was slow at first with minor seizures, difficulty with mobility, and mental acuteness left her. After she progressed from using a walker to being forced to be in a wheel chair, her parents, with much anguish, were forced to put herin a nursing home because they just couldn't handle her physically any more. She weighs a little over 200 lbs.. That decision alone was killing my in-laws.
Now, after a month or so in the nursing home, she went to the hospital for an infection. She really doesn't know where she is and has become almost non responsive after having a couple more seizures. There is really no hope for any recovery of any kind for her. She has lost the ability to swallow and is getting all her nourishment from IVs. Her parents have signed a DNR and they are meeting with hospice today. No nursing home in the area will allow the use of IVs, and a feeding tube is out of the question because once it is put in, it is almost impossible to remove.
The real anguish for them is to send their daughter back to the nursing home to be made comfortable and basically watch her starve to death. If they take her off the medication for the pituitary imbalance she may just go to sleep and never wake up.
It is really a very sad situation. Everyone in the family is affected by this, but it's killing her parents. They know what it is like to loose a grandchild but these circumstances make it especially tough. We all want to do what we can to keep her going but with absolutely hope of any kind of recovery we all think this is the best course of action,but for sure the most difficult.
Sorry for the long post, but I don't think I could tell the story any shorter.
All I can ask is a few prayers for the family.
beenie is offline