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Sat Mar 15, 2014, 09:35 PM

My Grandmother is nearing the end of her journey.

My grandmother is 94 years old. She has lived a long life but she is coming to the end and I just need to talk/type ( for the Grammar minded)


She was very healthy and active until the summer of 2013 while walking in the mall for exercise with her friend she had a stroke which started a series of them. By Nov 2013 she had a serve one that we where told may cause her not to see Christmas. Well she saw the New Year but is basically blind and was slowly declining.

I went to see her earlier this past week and they had the air boots on her ( wife explained they are used to help with bed sores and keeping her in better condition) but her body is basically breaking down. She was on Oxicontin and screaming she was in pain. The doctors and social workers are meeting with my Dad Tuesday and my Grandmother has already been placed on Anti anxiety drugs and will be placed on Morphine soon.

The way I was explained though it might be in the next 2 days but after gathering info My wife said it may be a little longer probably not more than a week.

So if anyone has ever dealt with this and can give me an idea of what will happen next let me know. I am about 90 minutes away and I may sound cruel but after seeing her earlier this week I just don't want to see her like this. I don't want to remember her like this.

22 replies, 1344 views

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Arrow 22 replies Author Time Post
Reply My Grandmother is nearing the end of her journey. (Original post)
diabeticman Mar 2014 OP
applegrove Mar 2014 #1
diabeticman Mar 2014 #6
Thinkingabout Mar 2014 #2
diabeticman Mar 2014 #7
Thinkingabout Mar 2014 #10
CherokeeDem Mar 2014 #3
diabeticman Mar 2014 #8
Hoyt Mar 2014 #4
diabeticman Mar 2014 #9
BainsBane Mar 2014 #5
diabeticman Mar 2014 #12
GoldenOldie Mar 2014 #18
msongs Mar 2014 #11
MFM008 Mar 2014 #13
Hoppy Mar 2014 #14
flvegan Mar 2014 #15
diabeticman Mar 2014 #17
flvegan Mar 2014 #20
KentuckyWoman Mar 2014 #16
diabeticman Mar 2014 #19
nadinbrzezinski Mar 2014 #21
Liberal_in_LA Mar 2014 #22

Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Sat Mar 15, 2014, 09:44 PM

1. Vibes to you all. Never been through that.

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Response to applegrove (Reply #1)

Sat Mar 15, 2014, 10:20 PM

6. Thank you

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Sat Mar 15, 2014, 09:53 PM

2. My slight experience is when the breathing changes it is usally within the next 48 hours.

The wisest advice given to our family was take time to say goodbyes, thank them for deeds they have done, tell her you love her and if it is your religion you will see her in the next life. This is mostly for her family left behind but I cherish my moments.

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Response to Thinkingabout (Reply #2)

Sat Mar 15, 2014, 10:21 PM

7. Thank you. I did earlier this week

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Response to diabeticman (Reply #7)

Sat Mar 15, 2014, 10:25 PM

10. It will be her victory

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Sat Mar 15, 2014, 09:56 PM

3. I lost my mother in December....

She suffered from dementia, which my father and I suspected, but could never get her doctor to address. The doctor kept telling us it was the medication she was on and kept adjusting the dose. When she was finally diagnosed with end stage dementia, she had been admitted to the hospital for due to a fall. That was Sunday, she died on Friday,

I am thankful her last few days were under the care of the palliative care team and she was admitted to the hospice unit on Thursday and died on Friday. She was given morphine almost immediately and the pain and severe confusion she suffered faded. She rested comfortably until the last few hours when the morphine was no longer helping.

The nurses explained that everyone goes through the process differently, but for the most part, she never suffered. Her breathing became more erratic toward the end, blood begins to pool in the extremities from lack of circulation the last couple of days, and eventually her breathing became more labored. She would take a breath, then stop breathing for a few seconds. The interval between breaths increased. until she took her last breath. It was calm, peaceful and made easier for my dad and me by a very caring Hospice staff.

I hope this helps. Trust the people who are there to help you and your family through this. I am thankful my mother went peacefully and wish the same for your grandmother.

Peace to all of you.

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Response to CherokeeDem (Reply #3)

Sat Mar 15, 2014, 10:23 PM

8. I am sorry. thank you for the information

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Sat Mar 15, 2014, 10:01 PM

4. Doesn't sound cruel at all. My late wife couldn't take being with her dad when he died in a

nursing home. He had been very sick and actually died quite peacefully. I stayed with him the last few days.

Since doctors have a plan and there are others there to be with her, I'd concentrate on supporting them. But, don't underestimate the benefits of being with everyone and talking about the good times.

Take care.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #4)

Sat Mar 15, 2014, 10:24 PM

9. Tanks for the support

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Sat Mar 15, 2014, 10:02 PM

5. I was with my grandfather in similar circumstances

as he was dying of lung cancer. He was in a great deal of pain. It is hard to watch, but I think it helps your loved one to be there. I think many others in our family felt as you did and were afraid to be with him. It's hard for me to explain, but I am glad I was with my grandfather in days near the end of his life, both for him and me. I stayed with him because I didn't want him to be alone, but as difficult and painful as the experience was, I felt it was an important one for me to be part of.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #5)

Sat Mar 15, 2014, 10:29 PM

12. I understand and respect your thoughts. I am sorry about your Grandfather and his situation.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #5)

Sat Mar 15, 2014, 10:58 PM

18. The hardest loss and the first was my Mother

And the hardest. She died after Avery long illness and I thought my heart would break. 15-yrs later I lost my older sister, father and brother within a matter of 13-months . I was with each one as They passed on to another journey. I was able to tell each one how much they meant to me but knew they were all entering another space and another journey. It seemed to bring them comfort and me a sense that this was not the end of our journeys together. My once held fear of death has been replaced with a quiet peace and I and my spouse have been able to have the talks with our children and grand-children. My mother and siblings died of cancer and my father of heart failure. I was diagnosed well before my siblings and not expected to survive, yet 26 years later I am still hanging around and passing my beliefs on to my children, my grandchildren and nieces and nephews. My eldest daughter has become an ER, Trauma, Flight, ICU RN and in her words "priveleged to be with her patient and their families," as they passed on. My only granddaughter was asked to sit with her best friends mother as she lay dying and although she found it extremely difficult as she had known this gentile woman formost of her life, she discovered it not only helped her through her grieving but also the daughter/best friend.

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Sat Mar 15, 2014, 10:28 PM

11. go see her no matter how uncomfy you feel. you will be super glad you did when she is gone. nt

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Sat Mar 15, 2014, 10:44 PM

13. your there for one thing.

I never met 3 of my 4 grandparents. My dads mom died in her 60s ...booze, drinking got his dad to in his 40s. Hard drinking irish...
My moms dad died in the 60s of throat cancer...smoking.
I only met my moms mom 3 times. It took 20 some years and the 2 of them on one of Oprah's 'reuniting' shows in 1989 to speak to each other.
See, her family broke up in the 40's,there were 10 kids including 5 older ones, 5 younger ones and and no one bothered to find my mom a home, she was the only one farmed out to a foster home. She joined the Army.
She didnt forgive easily. Her mother died in 1993. So I never really knew any of them.


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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Sat Mar 15, 2014, 10:51 PM

14. Morphine will stop the pain but will expedite her end.

 

Probably within 3 or 4 days. Given her age and condition, probably around two days.

The question for the physicians iis, if she is screaming in pain, why is there a delay in morphine?

I am sorry for your impending loss.

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Sat Mar 15, 2014, 10:54 PM

15. What does she want? She's the one ending her journey.

If she wants to see you, then it's the least you can do. Don't let your ego ("I don't want" get in the way of her last wishes.

You won't remember her "like this" but you'll remember the experience. You'll remember her how you choose to remember her.

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Response to flvegan (Reply #15)

Sat Mar 15, 2014, 10:57 PM

17. She is blind and didn't recognize my voice earlier this past week. I don't think she understands

what is happening to her.

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Response to diabeticman (Reply #17)

Sat Mar 15, 2014, 11:03 PM

20. What if she does?

Compassion has nothing to do with you. I would cover all my bases. Regret is the worst thing to live with, especially self-invoked.

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Sat Mar 15, 2014, 10:56 PM

16. Look you gotta do what you gotta do

As long as grandma is getting what she needs and you two have finished your business then being at her bedside is optional. She doesn't need the entire family ogling her last breath. If you want to be supportive of those in the family who can be there then do so.

If it's any help though for some reason many people perk up the last days or hours. Not all but pretty common. Even with that, the end is a real bastard to watch.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Reply #16)

Sat Mar 15, 2014, 11:01 PM

19. Thank you for your thoughts

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Sat Mar 15, 2014, 11:05 PM

21. As your wife explained, she will go to sleep and never wake up

 

essentially.

They are dealing with pain control and all of that. And you, well, it is never easy to let go, but in the end we all have to.

You will need to be strong (maybe) in front of your grandfather, but find time to cry. If you cannot do it in public, do it in private. And whatever way you chose to, go though the grieving process. I wish I could give you a heart felt hug in person.

{{{{{{HUG}}}}}}}

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 01:39 AM

22. ..

 

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