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Old 05-14-2008, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Branson, Missouri
7,282 posts, read 17,215,172 times
Reputation: 3753

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I think whether he recognizes you or not, you should be there and hold his hand, hug, etc. for you. You'll feel better about it in the long run.
My dad has been gone for 21 years and had cancer. I made a promise to myself that I would be there when the time came for him to die. I, along with some other family members and friends believe we were there for him and I'm sure he appreciated it even though his last days were full of hallucinations.
If you think you're going to lose it, it's okay. Go with your feelings. I personally did lose it when I knew my dad was on his way out and so did some of the others. We're only human.
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Old 05-15-2008, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
2,725 posts, read 4,784,519 times
Reputation: 2215
Quote:
Originally Posted by movin'on View Post
I guess this question goes out to anyone who's had a loved one with a prolonged disease when you just know it's the last time you will see the person.

My father's had Alzheimers for many years and is 92. He's in a lockdown ward and miserable. I live out of state and only get up there a couple of times a year, as it's difficult to go more often. Anyway, when I was up there last Spring he ended up in the hospital and we thought he was going to die - Dr was talking about DNR orders in front of him! Then in October I saw him again and had a feeling he'd go in about six months. He's had three episodes recently, one of which he ended up in the hospital again. His blood pressure dropped to 90/50 in the last one, which was yesterday.

At any rate, I do believe this is the last time I will see him and I just don't want to lose it in front of him. Any advice? Thanks.

Hi. first let me say I am sorry you are gong through this. I guess it's just the natural prgression of life though.

My Mom was disgnosed with Liver Cancer I hadn't seen her in ~10 years. I booked a flight to go hang out with her and maybe rebond.. who knows. =) Well 1 1/2 months after disgnoses I hopped on a plane to go visit. Instead I watched her die over the course of 4 days. It was without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever had to do and watch but I am glad I was there for her.
It is odd how they talk about DNR and such in front of them but they are the ones who have to make that call.
Just keep your chin up and stay strong in front of your pops. You can break down during the visit breaks.
I wish you the best. hang in there.
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Old 05-15-2008, 05:43 PM
 
6,342 posts, read 8,723,655 times
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The number one thing I would do is make sure he understands that, if he questions anything else in his life and regrets anything, not to regret that he raised you. Make sure he knows that you couldn't of asked for a better father, and that in the end, you wouldn't of had him do it any other way.

The biggest causer of emotional pain for the dying is regret, and if you can relieve him of any regret in regards to you, which only you can do, than it will be that much easier for him to cross-over.


My two-cents...hopes it helps.
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:26 PM
 
5,244 posts, read 4,285,379 times
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MY mother passed away a few years ago. I remember a few days before it happened, I took a good look at her; her face, her mouth, her hands, her nails, I mentioned those things because when I looked at mine in comparison they were the same. To this day, I still look at those parts of me and feel her with me. You'd be surprised how they know when to go, she held on until the day after one of my siblings was able to get there to say goodbye.
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Old 05-15-2008, 07:33 PM
GLS
 
1,985 posts, read 4,837,801 times
Reputation: 2408
Quote:
Originally Posted by movin'on View Post
I guess this question goes out to anyone who's had a loved one with a prolonged disease when you just know it's the last time you will see the person.

My father's had Alzheimers for many years and is 92. He's in a lockdown ward and miserable. I live out of state and only get up there a couple of times a year, as it's difficult to go more often. Anyway, when I was up there last Spring he ended up in the hospital and we thought he was going to die - Dr was talking about DNR orders in front of him! Then in October I saw him again and had a feeling he'd go in about six months. He's had three episodes recently, one of which he ended up in the hospital again. His blood pressure dropped to 90/50 in the last one, which was yesterday.

At any rate, I do believe this is the last time I will see him and I just don't want to lose it in front of him. Any advice? Thanks.
I have had the privilege of caring for a number of terminal patients, including consulting in locked dementia units. A patient dying of cancer or other causes that retains their mentation is usually capable of philosophical or emotional discussions. Their faculties may be clouded by narcotic analgesics, but most of them are capable of engaging in a fulfilling end-of-life discussion. Your situation is significantly different and you will need to modify your expectations. The post by Elmonellie points you in the right direction. Small physical comforts may be all he can comprehend. We provide a structured environment and try to avoid loud noises, sudden movements or any activity that will startle the patient. If he is capable of any "discussion" let him lead. When you enter the facility start by meeting with his caregivers. He will probably have one or two favorites. They can tell you what kind of a day he is having, and the small things that put a smile on his face.

In addition, remember this visit may be more important for you than it is for him. If there is anything you have wanted to verbalize to him, feel free to do that. Think of anything that 2 to 3 years from now you won't have to say, "I wish I would have told him X". It doesn't matter if he completely understands you. He probably won't, but he may. We find these patients may not grasp the intellectual meaning of a relative's last conversation, but they do seem to respond on some emotional level. If all you say is ,"Thank you for being my father", he will probably feel the comfort and warmth of your delivery. Don't rush your visit. Even though it is uncomfortable, take a deep breath and relax. He may sense this. Hold his hand or put your hand on his shoulder. Close your eyes and try to recall some joint experience the two of you had together (fishing? camping? learning to drive?). Verbalize it to him. He may surprise you be remembering some parts of it. If he responds your visit has given him the simple gift of recalling shared love and joy in the past.

Unfortunately, when you describe dropping blood pressures it signifies that you do not have long. End-stage Alzheimers soon begin to experience respiratory difficulties. Make your visit before the physiological deterioration accelerates. You have the empathy of everyone who has lost a loving parent by this terrible disease.
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Old 05-31-2008, 10:18 PM
GLS
 
1,985 posts, read 4,837,801 times
Reputation: 2408
Quote:
Originally Posted by movin'on View Post
I guess this question goes out to anyone who's had a loved one with a prolonged disease when you just know it's the last time you will see the person.

My father's had Alzheimers for many years and is 92. He's in a lockdown ward and miserable. I live out of state and only get up there a couple of times a year, as it's difficult to go more often. Anyway, when I was up there last Spring he ended up in the hospital and we thought he was going to die - Dr was talking about DNR orders in front of him! Then in October I saw him again and had a feeling he'd go in about six months. He's had three episodes recently, one of which he ended up in the hospital again. His blood pressure dropped to 90/50 in the last one, which was yesterday.

At any rate, I do believe this is the last time I will see him and I just don't want to lose it in front of him. Any advice? Thanks.
It has been some time since you posted. I hope your visit was rewarding to both you and your father.
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Old 05-31-2008, 11:18 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
14,330 posts, read 19,502,179 times
Reputation: 18436
Quote:
Originally Posted by movin'on View Post
I guess this question goes out to anyone who's had a loved one with a prolonged disease when you just know it's the last time you will see the person.

My father's had Alzheimers for many years and is 92. He's in a lockdown ward and miserable. I live out of state and only get up there a couple of times a year, as it's difficult to go more often. Anyway, when I was up there last Spring he ended up in the hospital and we thought he was going to die - Dr was talking about DNR orders in front of him! Then in October I saw him again and had a feeling he'd go in about six months. He's had three episodes recently, one of which he ended up in the hospital again. His blood pressure dropped to 90/50 in the last one, which was yesterday.

At any rate, I do believe this is the last time I will see him and I just don't want to lose it in front of him. Any advice? Thanks.
Sorry to read this. I wish I could offer some words of wisdom, but I too am facing a similar situation with my dad (82) showing signs...how can anyone prepare for this? I don't know how anyone can prepare.
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Old 06-01-2008, 08:23 AM
 
Location: MN
314 posts, read 647,996 times
Reputation: 336
One of the things my mother and I found helpful--I told her I was happy for her to be out of pain and I knew she was going to a better place. Loving parents even at the end want to know you will be okay [do we ever grow up in their eyes?] One of the things is letting go of them so their transition is peaceful when possible. Talk about fond memories as much as his health will allow. The 800 pound elephant in the room dimishes when happy times are remembered.

You are in my prayers-hang on to your memories that way he will stay in your heart forever.

Ps-it really is okay to shed some tears as long as you can regain control and end on a happier note. We have emotions for a reason and stuffing them is not healthy. Blessings to you.

Last edited by future1; 06-01-2008 at 08:25 AM.. Reason: add Ps
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Old 06-01-2008, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
16,227 posts, read 22,542,684 times
Reputation: 24023
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexus View Post
Sorry to read this. I wish I could offer some words of wisdom, but I too am facing a similar situation with my dad (82) showing signs...how can anyone prepare for this? I don't know how anyone can prepare.
I would suggest trying to familiarize yourself with it, by reading all the information you can and learning what to expect. So sorry.....
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