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 Mom has pneumonia 
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Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:28 pm
Posts: 464
Location: Minnesota
Post Mom has pneumonia
The doctor says this is very likely her end of life process. She had such a good week last week, then got sick. She responds to voices and my sister has been able to wake her and feed her some yogurt and such. I'm not sure I'm thrilled about that. If she is really is at end of life, wouldn't pushing her to eat only prolong the process? But then, not feeding her is a comfort issue, isn't it?

It feels like my sister is not willing to let her go. She even told me she thought that the NP was trying to speed things by giving Mom too much morphine. I see this as an opportunity for her to slip away before things get any worse. If morphine makes it easier, I'm all for it.

It's nice to know you guys are around.

Kate

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Kate [i](Cared for Mom for years before anyone else noticed the symptoms, but the last year of her life was rough and we needed to place her in an SNF, where she passed in February 2012)[/i]


Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:18 pm
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Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:28 pm
Posts: 464
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Mom has pneumonia
How much morphine is too much? Mom is getting 2mg at least 4 hours apart. At what point does morphine begin to contribute to death?

Thanks.

Kate

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Kate [i](Cared for Mom for years before anyone else noticed the symptoms, but the last year of her life was rough and we needed to place her in an SNF, where she passed in February 2012)[/i]


Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:18 pm
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Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:36 pm
Posts: 48
Post Re: Mom has pneumonia
I'm not knowledgable enough to answer your question. I just wanted to say I am thinking of you. Peace to you, your mom, and all who love your mom.

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Donna G, 52, helped Dad take care of Mom, who died at home surrounded by family in June 2012.


Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:14 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
Posts: 610
Post Re: Mom has pneumonia
Hi Kate,

So sorry to hear about the turn of events. I'm sorry I don't know about the morphine dosage issue, but if it were my mother and she was nearing the end of life, I guess I would just be concerned about her comfort and leave the dosage issue to the nurses.

Just wanted to say that I checked into the lack of food issue at the end of life, and I was told by that there isn't a sense of hunger like you would expect. In fact, I think it was maybe endorphins kick in and the person feels a sense of euphoria. This is what my niece, a NP in oncology told me, and of course she deals with the end of life all the time. We were discussing things so I could be better prepared for my mother's end of life. I then verified this information with a geriatric physician and a couple of RNs I know. I have read other sources that also say that feeding at the end of life is not a good idea. So, in fact, I don't think that not feeding your mother is a comfort issue.

I wish you strength during this phase of your mother's illness. You have been with her all the way. Take comfort in that.

Julianne


Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:15 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: Mom has pneumonia
I'm sorry to hear about your mother, Kate! The morphine question is difficult to answer because there is no real answer. Some patients in extreme pain can take huge doses of morphine--it takes more and more to keep their pain under control [thank heavens that we have more efficient delivery systems today, using smaller doses more frequently which is more effective and safer]. Sometimes, morphine will build up in the system and contribute to death because the organs become less able to metabolize and excrete it, but it is not usually the cause and it can mean the difference between a comfortable end of life and an uncomfortable one. Just my humble opinion and one based on my professional experience.

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Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:03 pm
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Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:02 pm
Posts: 386
Location: East TN
Post Re: Mom has pneumonia
Kate….

thinking of both of you….

prayers

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Craig - Patient - Male - 56 years old - Lewy Bodies diagnosed on March 23, 2011 - cognitive disorder NOS dx 2007 - RBD REM dx 2007 issues for 20+ years - intention tremor 1974 - other issues many years


Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:19 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3406
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Mom has pneumonia
Hi Kate - do you have the hospice end of life pamphlet? It describes how feeding a person in their last days and maybe weeks is NOT helping their comfort, in fact it is doing the opposite. Their bodies are trying to shut down and meds and food can be detrimental to their comfort. When my dad needed a lot of morphine at end of life, his comfort was much more important than longevity. Sounds like that is your thinking also, but not your sister's. I'd use the hospice materials to help your sister understand what is best for your mom at this point. Sending a giant hug, Lynn

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Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:11 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
Posts: 610
Post Re: Mom has pneumonia
Lynn, you have refreshed my memory. The info I read on the detrimental effects of feeding someone in their last days or weeks did come from a hospice publication.

Julianne


Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:39 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Mom has pneumonia
Hugs to you dear Kate.

I think the feeding issue is a comfort issue -- for your sister. She is more comfortable giving her mother food. And that is understandable. All our lives we understand the emotional and physical importance of food. It is hard to turn that off and start thinking about letting the body shut down. I hope you can help you sister understand this. You have taken such excellent care of your mother all along. This may be the last service you can do for her. But of course you want comfort for yourself and your sister, too.

We all know this journey must end. We don't know what the exact circumstances will be. I have heard that pneumonia is a relatively easy way to go. I hope that is true for your dear mother.

I am thinking about you tonight, and hoping for peace for your family.

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:09 am
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: Mom has pneumonia
Kate,

I'm sorry that your mom may be nearing the end. I hope if this is her time that her passing is peaceful.

It's a shame that you and your sister don't see eye to eye. I'm sure that's very stressful.

Robin


Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:30 am
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Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:28 pm
Posts: 464
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Mom has pneumonia
Mom passed away at 11:05 this evening. Even in her death she showed her sense of humor. She'd stop breathing long enough for us to think it was her last, my sisters and I hugged and we'd suddenly hear her take yet another. I come from a long line of very stubborn women.

Thank you,everyone for your support.

Kate

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Kate [i](Cared for Mom for years before anyone else noticed the symptoms, but the last year of her life was rough and we needed to place her in an SNF, where she passed in February 2012)[/i]


Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:57 am
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Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:02 pm
Posts: 386
Location: East TN
Post Re: Mom has pneumonia
Kate…

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Craig - Patient - Male - 56 years old - Lewy Bodies diagnosed on March 23, 2011 - cognitive disorder NOS dx 2007 - RBD REM dx 2007 issues for 20+ years - intention tremor 1974 - other issues many years


Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:35 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3406
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Mom has pneumonia
Kate - thinking about you and your sisters, and so glad you were able to be there at the end of your mom's life. She must have been comforted knowing you all were there. Sending you a big, big hug. Lynn

_________________
Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:23 am
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
Posts: 610
Post Re: Mom has pneumonia
Kate, my condolences for the loss of your mother. It sounds cliche but it is true--she is beyond suffering now, and I hope that knowledge brings you comfort. You are in my thoughts today.

Julianne


Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:45 am
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: Mom has pneumonia
Blessings to you and your family, Kate. Your mother was a remarkable woman and you are a remarkable daughter. God bless you for being so faithful in your care.

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:18 am
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