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Tough time, tough decisions

Old 03-29-2014, 07:03 AM
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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.
Thanks,
Mike
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:06 AM
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Prayers to all.
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:11 AM
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Sorry to learn about this, Mike. They can take some comfort in knowing that caring family members like you are there for them.
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:14 AM
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Praying for peace for all in this difficult time.
Passing away while sleeping, while it will be terrible, we should all be so lucky.
God bless.


.
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:47 AM
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Mike, Sorry for you and your family. This has to be hard on your in-laws.

I do not understand the problem with a feeding tube being installed. My step dad had one, and lived three years longer than he would had without the tube. So the chances that your SIL would last long enough to need the tube removed is slim.

I think it would make your in-laws feel much better to know their daughter is not starving.
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:47 AM
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My best to you and your family.
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:55 AM
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Group Hugs and Prayers ...
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:56 AM
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Thoughts and prayers for you and your family.
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:57 AM
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You bet
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:58 AM
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Terrible situation. Prayers for your family.
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Old 03-29-2014, 08:35 AM
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Prayers to you all. God Speed.
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Old 03-29-2014, 08:37 AM
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I'll say a prayer for your family, Mike.
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Old 03-29-2014, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by aFORDable View Post
Mike, Sorry for you and your family. This has to be hard on your in-laws.

I do not understand the problem with a feeding tube being installed. My step dad had one, and lived three years longer than he would had without the tube. So the chances that your SIL would last long enough to need the tube removed is slim.

I think it would make your in-laws feel much better to know their daughter is not starving.
The problem with a feeding tube is once it is in-legally- it is almost impossible to have it removed. This is a family decision and an extremely hard one. Been there - there were NO happy moments, NONE!
Prayers and understanding sent to the OP.
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Old 03-29-2014, 08:57 AM
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Certainly not a lot of options. When someone comes to their natural end, at least they can be well cared for and well managed through hospice and medications. I hope you can take some comfort in that.

Prayers to God that He takes her in His perfect time.
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Old 03-29-2014, 12:24 PM
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Of course the logical thing is to say your goodbye's and let nature take it's course. All our hearts go out to you and your family.
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Old 03-29-2014, 12:41 PM
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may the lord be with her
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Old 03-29-2014, 12:49 PM
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My family prayers and wishes go out to you and yours.
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Old 03-29-2014, 01:29 PM
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You are not alone, Mike.

We're here for you.



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Old 03-29-2014, 01:56 PM
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Thanks everyone. I just left the hospital. Wow, she is going down hill fast. Since last night she is mostly out of it. Even when her eyes open a bit there's no one home behind them. MIL talked to the Dr and asked the hard questions. If we remove the IVs how long does she have and will she be in any pain. The say no pain at all and a matter of days. If there were any chance of even a minimal life for her it would be different, but this seems to be the only way to go. It will be harder on the family than it will be on her. We never were very close, but I hate to see anyone like this. Her personality was not one that people flocked to, but we all love her anyway. I could give her grief and she would take it but anyone else would pay dearly if they tried it.
It's been a tough week with all this and on top of it my barber died. He was a good barber, but a much better man. I miss him.
I'll keep you posted.
Mike
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Old 03-29-2014, 02:11 PM
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I took care of my mother 24/7 for about 5 yrs with the help of nursing and volunteer organizations. I even built an addition to my home so she'd have her own kitchen, bath, bed rooms and really nice living room. As it turn out, she never was able to cook for herself or get in and out of her bed by herself. She ended up spending most of her time in a recliner in the living room and could get to the bath room with a walker.

Near the end, she was in and out of the hospital and nursing home. One morning at about 5am, I got a call from her primary doctor (he was also my doctor). He was at the hospital holding my mom and said, "Dave, I can keep her alive with machines or let her go, it's your decision". I made the most difficult decision of my life and said "it's time, let her go to the Lord". That was almost 15 years ago and it's very hard for me to write this, it's still very emotional.

Prayers sent. I hope the Lord gives you and your family the strength and wisdom to do whats right for all concerned.
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