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Thread: Caring for a dying loved one

  1. #36
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    Default Re: Caring for a dying loved one

    Quote Originally Posted by Beowolf View Post
    He is fortunate to have you.

    I wish you both well.
    I second this. Wishing the best to both of you.

    Jeff C

  2. #37
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    Default Re: Caring for a dying loved one

    Thank you both.
    War is peace.
    Freedom is slavery.
    Ignorance is strength.
    Trump is doing beautifully.





  3. #38
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    Default Re: Caring for a dying loved one

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Montgomery View Post
    An alcoholic can stop drinking. The problem is when they pick up the next drink they are on a roll once again.
    I was once seeing a therapist because a family member was drinking. I was told that the disease progresses even when the alcoholic is not drinking. If they resume, they get to where they would have been very quickly. I don't understand it, but I really don't understand the disease. I just try to be there for those I know with it and realize how very powerless I am to get them to stop. It really is all you can do. Good luck and don't blame yourself for what you cannot do.

  4. #39
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    Default Re: Caring for a dying loved one

    Thank you CWSmith. This disease runs in my family. I am very familiar with both AA and Alanon. I have a knowledge of alcoholism and co-dependency. I am not blaming myself, believe me. Nor am I judgemental wrt the alcoholics in my life.
    War is peace.
    Freedom is slavery.
    Ignorance is strength.
    Trump is doing beautifully.





  5. #40
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    Default Re: Caring for a dying loved one

    Tough row to hoe, Tom. Good luck, and try to stay on an even keel. (Mixed metaphors be damned!)
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  6. #41
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    Default Re: Caring for a dying loved one

    Best wishes and prayers for you and your brother, Tom.

  7. #42
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    Default Re: Caring for a dying loved one

    Thank you to both Mikes.
    War is peace.
    Freedom is slavery.
    Ignorance is strength.
    Trump is doing beautifully.





  8. #43
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    Default Re: Caring for a dying loved one

    It can be hard. At least here hospice comes in when there is a clear expectation of death and there will be no more medical treatment for anything, only palliative care for pain relief and comfort.

    With MaryEllen, when we got to the all's failed with various melanoma treatments, we had to look at her two other conditions - very serious asthma and cirrhosis of the liver from her many years as a 'highly functioning alcoholic' - and fully understand what palliative care meant if either of those should become unmanageable. The asthma was readily controlable with a nebulizer. The cirrhosis, which was a contraindication for a couple of possible immunotherapies that could thus not be tried, was unlikely to advance in any life-threatening way but one never knows in what ways the advancing melanoma would weaken her system and awaken something else. She had the usual death sentence to her question of "How Long?" Two months to two years. Can't tell.

    Palliative care would mean providing comfort and pain relief but not medical intervention to fight any secondary conditions. If your hospice works on that general model, your brother needs to understand that clearly. It would mean comfort but not actual life saving treatment for AFib, for example.

    In our case we had about nine months of hospice and they were wonderful. They gave me the freedom to be 'Blob of Comfort' and did all the heavy lifting of nursing and personal health care. They also were brilliant at allowing MaryEllen come to terms with what was happening, make important last decisions, and have wonderful clear time with friends and family. Since we all get to die, going with eyes open and profound support is about as transforming a way as anyone gets.

    Don't be afraid to get all the help hospice can give you. They are real.

  9. #44
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    Default Re: Caring for a dying loved one

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Montgomery View Post
    Thank you CWSmith. This disease runs in my family. I am very familiar with both AA and Alanon. I have a knowledge of alcoholism and co-dependency. I am not blaming myself, believe me. Nor am I judgemental wrt the alcoholics in my life.
    I'll tell you honestly that not a day goes by I don't thank God I was spared this disease. I take no credit for that. I was spared. From what I have observed, I would be unable to resist the attraction. I admire people who get sober and I feel for those who do not. Good luck to you both.

  10. #45
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    Default Re: Caring for a dying loved one

    I'm so sorry to hear this. My best friend is in ICU, unlikely to make it out. Started with AFib, then stroke, then cardiac arrest. They're trying to get him lucid enough to assess the brain damage. I've known him 46 years, he's basically family. So, I know how you must be feeling. Remember to take care of yourself.

  11. #46
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    Default Re: Caring for a dying loved one

    Thanks Ian.

    The ER Doc just told us my brother may go home. With more meds and more follow-up appointments. So he now must follow up with his personal Dr., the liver specialist and with a cardiologist.
    War is peace.
    Freedom is slavery.
    Ignorance is strength.
    Trump is doing beautifully.





  12. #47
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    Default Re: Caring for a dying loved one

    Thanks John.
    War is peace.
    Freedom is slavery.
    Ignorance is strength.
    Trump is doing beautifully.





  13. #48
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    Default Re: Caring for a dying loved one

    For those that may not know, Cirrhosis is not just an alcoholic disease. A relative of mine here in Memphis contracted non alcoholic Cirrhosis and was put on the donor list. He received another liver a year ago. We had great hopes. He developed complications with his lungs while in the hospital and never recovered. We buried him two weeks ago. Very sad. Another friend of mine is in Vanderbuilt right now trying to recover from a transplant. His liver was destroyed by Hep C that he got from a blood transfusion due to injuries in a car accident 35 years ago. Right now it is touch and go but he seems to be doing well. The new liver is not a guarantee for survival.

  14. #49
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    Default Re: Caring for a dying loved one

    So not at hospice yet. I hope he's at least looking around the corner, but not everyone does and perhaps not everyone really needs to. It's his call. He's lucky to have a brother who supports that.

  15. #50
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    Default Re: Caring for a dying loved one

    So hard Tom. My dad had liver cancer called me up to say he had six weeks. It's terrible to go through this for anyone. I'm sure your brother is glad that you're there.

  16. #51
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    Default Re: Caring for a dying loved one

    Thank you, Jamie.
    War is peace.
    Freedom is slavery.
    Ignorance is strength.
    Trump is doing beautifully.





  17. #52
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    Default Re: Caring for a dying loved one

    Prayers for you and yours, Tom.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

  18. #53
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    Default Re: Caring for a dying loved one

    My sincere condolences to the both of you. It's not easy. Not easy at all. My sweet M-I-L - a retired architect - lived with us for 16 years, and helped raise our two boys. When she went downhill, we hoped she'd be able to stay here thru the end. But she ended up in a small elder-care facility, as her care, even with daily visiting-nurse help, became too much for us. My sweetie, esp., pushed herself to the point of getting sick herself. Don't do that. Remember to take care of yourself also... or you won't be very good at taking care of him.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  19. #54
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    Default Re: Caring for a dying loved one

    Once again Tom, you are a good man and brother. Thank you for sharing.

    Let's hope the best for your brother to heal and manage with this. It is his burden to carry and yours to support.
    Be wary of your critics, at peace with your decisions, and work hard to be a better man.

  20. #55
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    Default Re: Caring for a dying loved one

    Wish peace and serenity to you and your brother Tom.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  21. #56
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    Default Re: Caring for a dying loved one

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    Once again Tom, you are a good man and brother. Thank you for sharing.

    Let's hope the best for your brother to heal and manage with this. It is his burden to carry and yours to support.
    This. Hospice really is an amazing thing. The Hospice folks were so helpful with my dad at the end.

  22. #57
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    Default Re: Caring for a dying loved one

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    It can be hard. At least here hospice comes in when there is a clear expectation of death and there will be no more medical treatment for anything, only palliative care for pain relief and comfort.

    With MaryEllen, when we got to the all's failed with various melanoma treatments, we had to look at her two other conditions - very serious asthma and cirrhosis of the liver from her many years as a 'highly functioning alcoholic' - and fully understand what palliative care meant if either of those should become unmanageable. The asthma was readily controlable with a nebulizer. The cirrhosis, which was a contraindication for a couple of possible immunotherapies that could thus not be tried, was unlikely to advance in any life-threatening way but one never knows in what ways the advancing melanoma would weaken her system and awaken something else. She had the usual death sentence to her question of "How Long?" Two months to two years. Can't tell.

    Palliative care would mean providing comfort and pain relief but not medical intervention to fight any secondary conditions. If your hospice works on that general model, your brother needs to understand that clearly. It would mean comfort but not actual life saving treatment for AFib, for example.

    In our case we had about nine months of hospice and they were wonderful. They gave me the freedom to be 'Blob of Comfort' and did all the heavy lifting of nursing and personal health care. They also were brilliant at allowing MaryEllen come to terms with what was happening, make important last decisions, and have wonderful clear time with friends and family. Since we all get to die, going with eyes open and profound support is about as transforming a way as anyone gets.

    Don't be afraid to get all the help hospice can give you. They are real.
    I give talks at our local hospice, not to the patients, but generally to the spouses and partners who also need support. I'm entertainment and distraction, just yarns about where I've been of late, Tierra del Fuego being the last big trip, and they're very well received.
    Hospices are often amazingly "alive" and inspiring places rather than sad, a friend of mine who is battling with stage 4 cancer but still on his feet is working at his nearby facility as a volunteer, helping care for those who are there in their last days, and is feeling very good about it. He wants to know the place, and feel at home there when its his time. Good thinking I recon.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  23. #58
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    Default Re: Caring for a dying loved one

    Very tough call, Tom. I'm so sorry. The best I can say is this - having lost my husband and my mother in the past two years I know that there will be much comfort in the future from knowing (as I am sure you will) that you did the very best you could for your brother.

    I can only offer my good wishes, but, for what they are worth.......
    "Mozart is the heart's touchstone" (Edwin Fischer)

  24. #59
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    Default Re: Caring for a dying loved one

    My first wife's hospice was greatly facilitated by a neighbor across the street whom we hadn't known all that well beforehand. God bless.

  25. #60
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    Default Re: Caring for a dying loved one

    This is something that I think about all the time. I had a very tough relationship with my father growing up and left home for good at 18. About the last ten years of his life we got to be very close and he turned into the father I had always wanted him to be.

    My father battled cancers the last eight years or so of his life. At the end they did an experimental surgery on him to try to remove all of the cancer from his head, he had a stroke during the surgery, was in a coma for 10 days and was never lucid again over the last four months of his life. I sat with him every day or every evening for those last 120 days or so until he passed, and I can say with honesty that something broke in me when he passed.

    Before my dad died I was the tough guy who never cried, who never let anyone know how I felt or what I thought, if I could help it. When he died it was like a dam of emotion burst and now I will shed tears if one of my kids hugs me, if I see my grandson do something cool or funny, if I see someone do something good for another person. It's like before I had some sort of a shell that melted away when he died.

    I hate it that my father had to die for me to become a more kind, more compassionate person. I feel so badly for you, Tom. For what you are going through.

    Mickey Lake
    'A disciple of the Norse god of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker'

  26. #61
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    Default Re: Caring for a dying loved one

    Such a difficult thing to go through... Oystagirl has a cousin who has been dealing with similar problems for years. You seem to be one of those people who make family a good thing. Peace, courage, and fortitude to you from the sweltering north.

    What are you doing about it?




  27. #62
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    Default Re: Caring for a dying loved one

    Praying for you and your brother Tom.

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