Topic: Response to MarinMommy Post
Dear Marinmommy, I am very sorry to hear about your Dad. Could the noise you hear possibly be the chest rattle? Breathing becomes irregular. A loud, deep breath is followed by a pause of not breathing, five seconds to a minute, before a loud, deep breath resumes and again slowly peters out. Sometimes excessive secretions create loud, gurgling breaths that some people call a "death rattle." This breathing or loud rattle can be alarming, but the patient is unaware. Oxygen can give comfort. And there is now a patch that can bring that noise down.Be calm, stroke the arm, speak softly. On the pain issue it cannot hurt to give him meds if needed, as the body starts shutting down so will the pain. Hearing is the last thing to go so talk to him and let him know you love him. You also might want to tell him that it is ok to go to his peace, this helps release him and you as well. My prayers go out to your family.
10 Signs Death Is Near
1. Loss of appetite. May refuse meals. Near the very end, one may be unable to swallow. Don't force-feed; follow the person's cues. Offer ice chips, a popsicle, or sips of water.
2. Excessive fatigue and sleep. May sleep most of the day and night, and become difficult to wake up. Permit sleep. Avoid jostling the person awake. Assume everything you say can be heard, the sense of hearing is thought to persist, even when unconscious.
3. Increased physical weakness. A decline in food intake and leads to less energy.
4. Mental confusion or disorientation. Organs begin to fail, including the brain. The person may not be aware where he/or she is or who else is there, may speak less often, may respond to people who can't be seen, may be confused about time, or pick at bed linens. Remain calm and reassuring. Speak softly, and identify yourself.
5. Labored breathing. Breathing becomes irregular. A loud, deep breath is followed by a pause of not breathing, five seconds to a minute, before a loud, deep breath resumes and again slowly peters out. Sometimes excessive secretions create loud, gurgling breaths that some people call a "death rattle." This breathing or loud rattle can be alarming, but the patient is unaware. If there's a lot of phlegm, allow it to drain from the mouth. Oxygen can give comfort. Be calm, stroke the arm, speak softly.
6. Social withdrawal. As the body shuts down, they may gradually lose interest in those nearby. He/she may stop talking or mumble, stop responding to questions, or turn away. Before receding socially for the last time, the patient sometimes surprises loved ones with an unexpected burst of alertness. This can last less than an hour or up to a full day. Maintain a physical presence by touching the patient and continue to talk, without demanding anything back. Treasure an alert interlude if it occurs, as it's always fleeting.
7. Changes in urination. Little going in means little coming out. Dropping blood pressure, part of the dying process, also contributes to the kidneys shutting down. Loss of bladder and bowel control may happen late in the process.
8. Swelling in the feet and ankles. As the kidneys are less able to process bodily fluids sometimes the extremities take on a swollen appearance.
9. Coolness of the fingers and toes. In the hours/minutes before death, blood circulation draws back from the periphery of the body. As this happens, the hands, feet, fingers, toes become cooler. Nail beds may look more pale. A warm blanket can keep the person comfortable, or they may be oblivious. The person may complain about the weight of coverings on the legs, so keep them loose.
10. Mottled veins. Skin that had been pale develops a distinctive pattern of mottling. This is from reduced blood circulation. It may be seen first on the soles of the feet.
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.