Topic: Questions

My mom died about a month ago in hospice from CC; actually from a blood infection and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.  My dad and I are both questioning whether we did the right thing by putting her in hospice (she was there 1 1/2 days), whether at the time she knew what that meant, if there was anything else that could have been done,  if she died because she was given an overdose of painkillers at hospice, that we somehow talked her and ourselves into thinking that it was time for hospice.  If I really start thinking about it all these questions come up and it upsets me.  Can anyone give some insight?

Thank you.

2 (edited by marions Tue, 25 Aug 2009 21:02:23)

Re: Questions

I am sorry to hear about the doubts about the decisions made but, you will notice that it is a common occurrence with us survivors.  From what I have learned and have seen on this board is that these blood infections are one of the major causes of death for this cancer.  In fact, many of the postings, beginning in 2006, bring up this subject frequently.  I am a strong believer in the elimination of suffering and I don

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

3 (edited by booklover Tue, 25 Aug 2009 20:46:43)

Re: Questions

Infections were common for her, especially during the last year or so.  Her dr. said it's a common problem because the plastic that the drainage tubes are made of attract bacteria.  On a positive note, there is research being done at the U. of Notre Dame involving an antibacterial nanocoating that could be used on various medical devices combined with a sensor that could provide an early alert for infection--maybe I will write to them and tell them how important their research is.

Both the hospitalist and her specialist thought that she was reaching the end, and she seemed to understand that when they talked to her, but she was so drugged up on antibiotics and painkillers in the hospital to the point of hallucinating that I'm not sure she "really" understood.  My dad thinks he didn't do enough to help her, but there really wasn't anything he (or anybody, really) could do.

Re: Questions

You did the best you could under the worst of circumstances. Marion is right, this cancer forces us to make many important decisions, in some cases in a very short span of time when we are still reeling from the diagnosis and learning about this cancer.

I keep thinking back to when my mom came home from surgery and the home health care goofed and didn't send someone when they were supposed to and when I called the next day she had already worsened and I think I should have called the day before to make sure someone was coming like they said, then maybe she wouldn't have ended back in the hospital so soon again.

I found some helpful info on caregiver's regret here:

http://www.hospicefoundation.org/griefAndLoss/guilt.asp

Patty

Re: Questions

We do certainly understand your line of questioning.... If I had a nickle for everytime I questioned if I did enough for my Dad, or if he knows that my intentions always had his best interest at heart, or if I could have done something different to make him more comfortable, etc..... I'd be looking at early retirement.

My own family had many 'discussions' on the topic of hospice and my Mom felt like calling them in was an invitation for death, and would not hear of it. But Dad was dying, whether we called hospice or not (which we did less than 24 hrs. before his passing- and they never made it). He would have died whether they were involved or not, it was just his time. 

It's very natural to wish you could have done more, that's love. You made the right decisions and your Mom loves you for all you did.

Tess

Re: Questions

I agree with everything that has been said above.   My situation with my husband was similar to what you described except that he died, in the hospital,  the morning I was trying to get hospice set up. I too have thought & felt what you are now and have to believe that everything happened the way it did for a reason and that there was nothing more I could have done or say that would have changed it.  As Patty said, we all did our best with the circumstances we were given.  I think we all have these doubts. 

The "what if's and if only's".

It has been almost a year since Jim passed on and I am going through some of that again now remembering those last days, so your posting this question at this time and the wonderful responses you have gotten are also helping me.

Patty, thanks for posting that link on care givers regret.   It is helpful and comforting.   I am wondering if it can be posted somewhere more visable and easily accessable for others going through this same thing.

Booklover,  We are all here for you.  My thoughts & prayers are with you & your family. 

Love & Hugs,
Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: Questions

This is all so true and so hard.From my experience as a daughter and a wife,I know that this questioning and going over things is ultimately part of the recovery process.                     Janet x

Re: Questions

Thank you all for your helpful words.  I try not to play the "what if" game, but as I've been unemployed since May I have a lot of time to think!  I try to keep busy and do pretty well during the day, but thoughts seem to creep in when I'm trying to go to sleep.  Some of the information on the link posted above looks helpful--I'll share it with my dad.