1 (edited by Lainy Wed, 19 Dec 2012 12:52:20)

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.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Response to MarinMommy Post

Thank you Lainy. I can't tell if it is the chest rattle but the breathing is deep with about a 4 second delay until the next breathe. He barely responds to our questions and barely mumbles responses. I've noticed him pick his sheets, and wave his arms in the air. Today I spoke to him in his ear reminding him how much I love him. How he has been one of the most wonderful gifts from God to me and that we will see each other again. He actually put one arm around my neck Lainy!

If you could only see us here in his room. Some of us are sleeping on the floor around his bed. Others in the living room.

Re: Response to MarinMommy Post

Dear Marinmommy, how wonderful that you are all together and don't think for one moment that he does not know. You will ALWAYS cherish that arm around your neck. All the things he is doing is his preperation for his transition. His arms in the air could be some agitation. Did they give you anything for agitation like ativan? Picking at sheets and bed clothes is normal, I even saw Teddy greet the beyond  give them bear hugs and kisses. This is such a precious time if you will, the best thing ever is that you are all there together. I do believe we all pick our own time to cross over and perhaps he is waiting for something.And yes, I am a true believer, you WILL see him again.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Response to MarinMommy Post

marinmommy...although you are not mentioning it I thought to point out that if necessary you may gently guide his arm, body, or legs in a comfortable position. 
This is the most precious of times forever embedded in your mind.
Hugs and love
Marion

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

Re: Response to MarinMommy Post

Hi all,

maybe I'm hijacking this thread, but I noticed my mother has somewhat the same problem. Right now she's sleeping, and her breathing alternates between a silent, "normal" pace (when I watch her I see that her breathing is regular) and what I would call a "dreamy" state, in which she seems to be snoring or somehow catching for breath - sometimes it even sounds like singing. Do you think it could be this so-called "death rattle" ?

As I mentioned in my introduction, her oncologist has given me today a pretty bad prognosis, so I'm trying to identifiy the signs that he may be right or not.

Re: Response to MarinMommy Post

Marcos.....hmmmm....not sure.  Does your Mom snore and have sleep apnea? Why don't you try to rouse her and see how she responds?
Hugs,
Marion

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

Re: Response to MarinMommy Post

Marion,

you're right, she has always snored. But this doesn't really sound like snoring when I come to think of it - it sound more like she's having a disturbed sleep or even something like a trance state. Sometimes it sounds like she's talking in her sleep, but most often it hear like a deep sigh.

I wonder if such changed sleep patterns "come with the package" in CC. I don't remember if my father had it (he died of lung cancer), but then again every tumor is different, as it seems.

Re: Response to MarinMommy Post

Marcos...the fluid in her stomach may also push on her diaphram causing some some of the symptoms mentioned by you.  But please know to call the physician for clarification.
Hugs,
Marion

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