Monday, January 18, 2010

Sad Day

Today's a sad day for me. BF's mother died last night.

BF is a used-to-be-boyfriend but now we're just friends, but I was really close to her. She's given me her Maltese, Cody, so I'm sure you all will be hearing more about him.

BF's mother, Jill, had brain cancer only they just now found it. And that's what I don't understand. After all the hospitals she had been in and out of for other things, you mean no one picked up on it?

So it's a really sad day. I nursed BF through his father's passing, now I'm having to do the same with his mother's passing.

But what upsets me is Hospice. I wasn't there so I don't know exactly how much pain she was in these last few days but it wasn't but a few weeks ago when she didn't know she had it, she was the fine, or at least she didn't appear to be dying anyway. She wasn't complaining of headaches or anything but she was complaining about losing control of her hand (think that was the first sign or one of many undetected). And they all passed it off as maybe a stroke she had but didn't know she had. Maybe a stroke? Don't you think people know if they have strokes or not? Or do they?

Anyway, Hospice. After she got out of the hospital in Richmond about a week ago where they did a test to see how big the tumor in her brain was (very large and fatal as it turned out), she was sent home to live out the rest of her days. Doctors said she had maybe 4 weeks left.

BF said she was in a lot of pain so Hospice gave her morphine about 8 in the morning day before yesterday, but also doubled up on it. So she's been lying in bed since 8 in the morning 2 days ago. BF took a break to come over here while his two sisters watched over her. She never woke up.

At one point, she made strange breathing noises and the two sisters held hands and said, "Mom, if you want to go to Dad, you can go." Right after they said that, she took a deep breath (still not awake though) and died. Her mouth and eyes opened and that was the last they saw of their mother.

Even though she appeared to be asleep, she heard.

But this Hospice thing...my daughter is a nurse and she says when Hospice is called, it's near the end and they hurry things along sometimes and so giving a woman a double dose of Morphine...isn't that playing God?

10 comments:

  1. I know that many people think that Dr. Kevorkian is "evil". But the way I look at it he was ending the suffering of people and they were ASKING him to do it. This is the same thing but the people in question are already past that point. They did the same thing to both of my great uncles' - just kept upping the morphine until their systems shut down. Don't really see the difference. Love you and am here if you need me:)

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  2. I just think - or rather know - she would have been with us a few more days, weeks even. The family didn't want to call in private duty nurses as it would have taken up most of this woman's savings so instead they called Hospice. When you call Hospice, it's pretty well done. They have a job and they do it. Maybe the kids didn't understand that and I still have a problem with the whole thing. Thanks for your comment and support, Tracee. ;o)

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  3. Oooo, that doesn't sound good. My uncle was just admitted to hospice and I'm feeling so sad about it all. This was the first we knew he was sick.

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  4. Hi Kathy! Hospice came to the house so it was probably worse, but if they mention morphine, keep an eye on the situation, okay?

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  5. One of the main goals of Hospice is to try to enhance the comfort of the patient. I'd guess this was what they were doing and it likely did take care of her pain. It sounds like it also took care of her consciousness. Maybe it did quicken her death but it probably made it much easier on her and that is the intent of Hospice.

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  6. It happened to my 50 yr old uninsured sister, who was told that if she volunteered to go home with Hospice, they would forgive her the hospital bills. She was dead within a month. Liquid Morphine. Doubly does for a week, taken away (to increase the need?) and then they left a large bottle of drinkable liquid morphine everyday. And then she didn't wake up. A few days before she had gone to visit her daughter's home and went to the grocery. Then Hospice helpfully had my sister cremated within 6 hours, so no time to get to where she was from where I live in Tx 17 hours away...see http://havothsthoughts.blogspot.com/2009/08/wakes-who-pays-for-those.html

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  7. Omg Kari...I'm about to go check out the link...is this something so few people know about?

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  8. Thanks for your reply...I think this is happening more often than it should. I talked to my sister a few days before Hospice was in place and she said the Hospital and Medicaid folks said they were sending Hospice in place of VNA services (visiting nurse assc - many contracts with State Medicaid programs for outpatient care) as VNA was out of folks to assist her in the home to recover from the intestinal surgery that resulted in an Ostomy and a MRSA (medically resistant staph infection) with long term wound care for my sister's condition. (pardon if I'm rambling here). But the point is Hospice wasn't sent in for her to die, supposedly...yet she was in a month. Since then, I have heard several other stories with the same ingredients: Hospice, liquid Morphine, death in less than 5 weeks, followed by quick cremation. It's just a little odd to me. And my sister didn't want cremation, but with no life insurance - her wants could not be afforded. Thanks for sharing your story. I've followed your blog for over a year now and find it entertaining and honest.

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  9. By the way, I'm glad the dog went to a loving family. He looks ADORABLE!

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  10. Kari, have you ever thought about bringing attention to this somewhere like a reporter?

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