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Old 03-31-2009, 08:23 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Brat View Post
There is, IMHO, a deeply imbeded 'spirit' (if you want to call it that) which can shut the body down. When that 'spirit' says it is time to move on, the time has come. That 'spirit' cannot overcome overwhelming disease or injury but can make the difference at a tipping point.

I say it is time to consider that the healing your MIL needs is emotional, that which you would want at the end of life. Were I in her shoes I would be scared of the unknown that she is facing.
I agree from what I observed in both my parents toward the end of their lives. Both knew that they were in declining health for several years but at the end, within a few months, each began to acknowledge that the end was near, especially when the decline in their bodies accelerated.

But oddly, in my dad's case he alternated between acknowledging his decline and denial, saying that he thought he was going to "beat it," and this was after he had just had surgery to implant a pacemaker.

Anyway, beyond all this, I believe that it's time in our society that we all acknowledge that end of life care in this country is really doing more harm than good. If our medical doctors could come to some kind of consensus on palliative care for the aged, the situation would be much alleviated for the elderly and their caregivers.

For example, in the case of my father, is it really a best practice to provide a pace maker for a 86 yr old man in poor health with advanced heart disease? After recieving the pacemaker, he died of heart failure three months later. When I was at his house, clearing out the bathroom, you would not BELIEVE the numbers of prescription medications he had been taking over the years. I filled bags with the stuff. I had to assume that he stopped taking some of them. But who knows?

I realize that this issue is difficult but I also think that death is such a taboo subject in our culture that we are making the whole dying process much worse than it need be.
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Old 03-31-2009, 09:27 PM   #22
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I agree from what I observed in both my parents toward the end of their lives. Both knew that they were in declining health for several years but at the end, within a few months, each began to acknowledge that the end was near, especially when the decline in their bodies accelerated.

But oddly, in my dad's case he alternated between acknowledging his decline and denial, saying that he thought he was going to "beat it," and this was after he had just had surgery to implant a pacemaker.

Anyway, beyond all this, I believe that it's time in our society that we all acknowledge that end of life care in this country is really doing more harm than good. If our medical doctors could come to some kind of consensus on palliative care for the aged, the situation would be much alleviated for the elderly and their caregivers.
Problem is, it's not up to the doctors. There's all sorts of political and religious agendas (recall Terri Schiavo?).

Quote:
For example, in the case of my father, is it really a best practice to provide a pace maker for a 86 yr old man in poor health with advanced heart disease?
Probably not. But what condemnation would there be for a doctor who refused to give a pacemaker to an 86 year old?

Quote:
After recieving the pacemaker, he died of heart failure three months later. When I was at his house, clearing out the bathroom, you would not BELIEVE the numbers of prescription medications he had been taking over the years. I filled bags with the stuff. I had to assume that he stopped taking some of them. But who knows?

I realize that this issue is difficult but I also think that death is such a taboo subject in our culture that we are making the whole dying process much worse than it need be.
Definitely.
There is a weird cultural/religious/... construct that cannot admit that we grow old and die (and on different schedules).
And, as a culture, we take it out on the doctors (and other medical folk).
If they tell us it's time to die, they're evil; if they try to keep us alive, they're evil.
And we aren't allowed to discuss it either way.
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Old 04-03-2009, 01:58 PM   #23
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MIL continues to decline physically but she's still got it together mentally with only a little confusion. She is exhibiting heart failure which is why they are giving her oxygen. She is still in the hospital because of her c. diff. diarrhea but there is always someone from the family there during the day to keep an eye on her and to keep her company.

The chaplain who served her assisted living facility visited her yesterday in the hospital and when he asked her how she was doing she told him her body was headed for the graveyard (actually the University of Cincinnati) but she was headed to see her brother and all the other relatives who had passed, Also, she'd be waiting for DH and BIL to show up and meet her. She told the chaplain each night she prayed for herself to die but also for all the sick people around her in the hospital to get better.

She is not sad or concerned. She just wants to go see everyone. She's done with this life and wants to get on with it. I'll be surprised if she's still with us in 2 weeks.

MIL was approved for Medicaid in 16 days from start to finish. The caseworker said it was simple because BIL provided her exactly what she asked for within 24-48 hours of it being requested. The caseworker said most people fail to gather and submit the required information in a timely manner so the process takes forever. It was not a complicated case since MIL has only a bank account, a pension check, and a SS check but we did have to dig up some documentation (proof of rent amount, latest bank statements, some receipts to justify expenditures from her account) to provide to the caseworker. Thank goodness for the internet and fax machines.

I love her very much and I will miss her but her brother will be glad to see her.
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