I am wonderig how long this death watch is

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by MidwestGal, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. MidwestGal

    MidwestGal Member

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    going to take. I guess somewhere it seems that antibiotics are in the protocol for a patient on comfort measures. I wish my aunt would put a stop to all the unnessicary meds, treatments and such.

    Grandma is out of ICU, now has a freaking mask and nasal cannula at 15L on both she runs in the 90% range when she is just laying there but drops to 58 to 70% O2 sats when she moves or talks.

    First thing she asked my mom was "where is the party dress you made me and what time is the party?" She has a few lucid moments but not many. Her nursing care today was crappy at best. My mom got there around 10 this morning, nobody brought the lunch tray until after 1. The nurse showed up at 2:25 with two meds and didn't despense the rest because she had a meeting to get to. My mom had to feed grandma the lunch as nobody bothered to check on her or her progress. Mom found the thickening stuff somewhere on the unit after looking for the nurse. Then some other nurse chimmed in with the comment "were going to see if we can get the thickening disconninued since she won't be here much longer." My mom should have asked for the nursing manager at that point. That comment was insensitive and just plain rude.

    So, who knows how many more days of this crap and wondering if the phone is going to ring or what. My grandma's wishes are very clear. She has lost her quality of life they should discontinue all but Oxygen and if she needs something when she gets anxious or in any pain. My mom is a retired nurse but after I brought up the point about the hanging another antibiotic she is going to bring it up with my aunt tomorrow. WTF is the point, they decided yesterday that if there was no improvement no more treatment of the infection. She is not going to get any better, let her finally have some peace and be free of all of the medical contraptions she has dealt with for so many years.

    As for grandpa, unusual confused today. Too week to take any of his meds orally so they all went in the g-tube. He seems to think grandma will snap out of this again. He is refusing to go see her at the hospital, grandma requested him to come up there she has "a few things to say."

    She told my mom today, "I know I am dying. I want all of you kids to share equally and not fight over what is left to whom, just love each other." She had maybe 5 lucid sentences in a 5 hour visit. Grandpa was so tired he didn't say much at all, which is very unlike him.

    I'm trying to get my mom to take my son and I down if she goes on Thursday. My son is asking to see her and if I am feeling well enough I would like the chance to say goodbye. The driving is beyond what I can drive on even a good day anymore.

    Yes, if I sound angry I am. My grandparents wishes are not being followed. They made decisions long ago and their decisions should be respected....period! Buying them another week or more is not beneficial to anyone in this case, it drags it on for both of them mentally, their children, friends, and grandchildren. Both of them know they are loved and will be missed, saw all 5 of their kids last week, most of the grandchildren. But, I feel strongly that their wishes of how they pass should be followed, as none are unethical....just let nature take its course.

    I want my grandparents to die with dignity and have their wishes carried out as they had planned them. They were both of sound mind when they made those decisions. Neither want to be on this earth. They want to go and be with their parents and grandparents as grandma put it so nicely. Their time here is done.

    I guess I don't see the point in going through the actions of treating for an infection with a lesser potant drug and keep this vicious cycle going. The family is not looking for more hours/days if they are not quality and are just passing more time. I sometimes think that modern medicine dictates that almost all patients should live even when the patient and their family know the envitiable and that they are to feel wrong if they choose not to do what the doctor wants. She said she wants peace, I think that is what they should let her have, in the most comfortable way possible.
     
  2. Drifterwood

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    I completely agree Thatgal. I think the medical profession has veered off in its ethics because of liability worries and a "because we can, we should" mentality.

    My best wishes for you and your family.
     
  3. findfirefox

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    You could come to Oregon, thats legal here.

    Please remember that in some states the hospital has to do all that it can do and they are not allowed to "harm" or kill someone even at their request.
     
  4. MidwestGal

    MidwestGal Member

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    I have worked in the medical fields since I was 15. It's not harming a patient to withold treatment they don't want. Ethically, I think they should follow their wishes. We are not talking about someone who is young that doesn't have many medical issues. We are talking about two mid to upper 80's adults who have lived their life and want to die the way they chose.

    Delaying death is not beneficial in this case. Nobody is waiting for organs to be harvested, emotionally it has to be hard knowing your already in impending respriatory failure and max'ed out on the O2. She decided no tubes. she does not want assistance breathing. Her lung capasity has decreased over the years. She has aspiration pheumonia in both lungs and did not improve on two other antibiotics. My aunt needs to step up as her power of attourney and say no more drugs, comfort only. I can bet if they load her with enough antibiotics they will make her well enough to discharge her to the nursing home for a week or so, then she will be back with the same thing. We have been through this more times than I can count in the past 18 months.

    The O2 they have her on is a ridculous attempt to compensate for her. She needs to be put on either the mask or the cannula only then let nature take it's course as her body wears down. If she gets aggitated or anxious (likely due to fight or flight response with breathing) give her a sedative and keep her as comfortable as possible. She has a do not resusitate order, these little things they are doing are really just prolonging the inevitable.

    As someone in the medical field it pisses me off they aren't following her wishes and as a granddaughter it pisses me off. Maybe part of it is my grieving process but she wants peace, let her have it and have as much control of it as she can.
     
  5. findfirefox

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    But dosen't it harm her if they stop treatment? She'll die.. (devils advocate here)
     
  6. _avg_

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    "Life, itself" has taken precedence over "quality of life," and when complicated issues like this are couched as a simple "life vs death" dichotomy...you can't blame the simple for favoring "life, itself" in such a battle. We are -- all of us (taxpayers, and more) -- held hostage by the tyranny of this majority.

    That said, I wish you and your family all the best; hopefully, her prolonged life will help ease the passage into death and smoothe the passage back into normalcy.
     
  7. MidwestGal

    MidwestGal Member

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    she is going to die anyway. She specifically wanted to go for QUALITY of life. She has asthma, COPD(non smoker), Previous Heart Attacks, Hypertension, Diabetes, recurrent aspriation phneumonia. Spending her final days in a bed, not able to be active or even have enough energy to have much of a conversation when she is lucid is NOT what she wanted.

    She, grandpa, and all 5 kids have all talked this over. My aunt is power of attourney and needs to put an end to the antibiotics that were to be discontinued.

    The only person I think this is "harmful" to is someone down in the ER that really needs a bed upstairs and isn't getting one because someone on staff isn't on board with her wishes.

    We can argue ethics all night. I plan on being a patient advocate when my own health issues are better. Be what you want, you obviously aren't the one seeing your parent in the process of losing both of her parents and coming home upset for the past several weeks. I am sure that will be something you learn as you get older.
     
  8. JustAsking

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    Yes, but this is the reason why people create Do Not Resuscitate orders and Living Wills. It is to get the hospital off the hook for this. When you are of sound mind, you can declare the limitations on what kind of treatment you will accept in these terminal situations. Don't forget that a patient can refuse any kind of treatment they want. The advanced agreement allows one to do that before they are unconscious or not lucid.
     
  9. Bbucko

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    Isn't hospice care even an option? It sounds exactly what they both wanted.
     
  10. Principessa

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    :mad: FFF, BACK OFF! Thatgal has a chronic debilitating illness which may make her deaf before she is 40 and a 6 year old son. Until a few months ago her grandmother actually lived in her home and she cared for her, and worked, and cared for her very active and adorable son. The last thing she needs right now is you or anyone else playing devil's advocate!

    Right now what she needs is our support and love, NOT to argue semantics and living wills.
     
  11. simcha

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    Gosh, I'm so sorry to hear about this. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family. I hope that you all have the strength to follow your grandparents' wishes. I know I wouldn't want to be kept alive and suffering if there was no hope for a decent quality of life.

    I like Bbucko's comment. It's time hospice was contacted. They're very good about making people comfortable as they pass and they help the family through the grief.

    Blessings on all of you...
     
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