Topic: What are the signs of impending death?
My 64 year old husband is now in hospice care. He was sent home frome the hospital the end of June and told that he only had days to live. Our 6 children all rushed home ( 4 of them live out of state, 600 to 2000 miles from home). We had a good week together, but due to jobs, families, etc. they all had to return to their own homes and have since been sitting on pins and needles awaiting a call from me. They call every day to check in, they love their father very much and want to be here for him, but can't.
We were told that he would slide into a coma and within 72 hours be gone. Over the last few weeks, he has had days here and there where he was pretty unresponsive and slept all day and then late afternoon, he would wake up and be alert and want to move about. His feet, legs, and abdomen were badly swollen, and the hospice nurse has kept telling us he just has days left. The only thing I can think is that because his body was in excellent health except for the cancer, that it is helping him hang in there longer, I don"t know. I love him and don't want to lose him but I can't handle watching him die by inches either. The swelling went away in his legs and feet, but his abdomen is very swollen, he is getting weeker and more confused all the time, for the last week and a half he has spent all but maybe 2 hours a day asleep in his hospital bed. He has periods of restlessness which scare me to death because he wants to be up an about, but even with a walker, he has fallen several times and I am afraid he will break something and make things even worse for himself. He has had a few bad episodes of pain , but for the most part we are keeping it under controll. Is there a way to know if it truly is a coma or something that will let me know the time has come for sure to call my children and not be like the Boy calling Wolf". This is the most difficult thing I have ever experienced, I watched both of my parents die, but this is my spouse, my whole world has been built around him and our children. I am trying to stay strong, but this is so hard. Life has been a nightmare since Jan 2007 when his first major attack of pain occured, things have never gotten even half way back to normal since,
I would really appreciate any input you may have.