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Topic Remove IV Fluids? Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By bhappick On 2010.11.05 11:51
My father-in law is 88, in advanced Parkinson's. For the past few years, he has had days when he "checks out" mentally. He hears us but doesn't talk or eat/drink. 2 years ago when he was sick in the hospital, he "checked out" for about 7 days. His living will specifies no feeding tube. Now, he has been in the hospital for dehydration (had a cold prior to dehydration, possibly, and wouldn't take anything by mouth). The only treatment the hospital has given him is IV fluids; today is day 5. He has been in his "check out" state the entire time, and hasn't had any nutrition for a week now. The hosptial is sending him home on Hospice care today.
Here is my question: What if he was going to "wake up" tomorrow, or the next day, and begin to eat/drink, as he did after 7 days previously? How do we know? His vital signs are all good. I don't want to cause him suffering by removing IV fluids. Perhaps hospice will provide IV fluids, but I don't think that's allowed at his assisted living facility. Does anyone have any insight to share? Thank you.

By sarakayhatch On 2010.11.05 17:40
I am a caregiver and I have seen people in the last stages of life. If your father-in-law is in a coma, not doing anything but breathing, no response then he is near death. It should take place in a very few days.
At that stage, in my opinion, he should not have fluids. Let nature take it's place.
Let him go. Hospice will probably advise the same thing.

By bhappick On 2010.11.05 22:25
Thank you for your response. He is not in a coma. He is in the same mental state he has frequently been in for the past 4 years. He will be alert and conversing and feeding himself one day, and "shut down" the next...back and forth. Other than the hospitalization 2 years ago, this is the longest he has stayed in this state. He sucks on a wet mouth swab and swallows the water. He flutters his eyes when spoken to. He is now in his own room with no IV fluids, and we are accepting the fact that he has gone too long without food and, unless the Lord has a different plan, this is his time to go. Thanks again.

By RhondaM On 2010.11.09 12:07
If he could say so, he would probably tell you that he is ready to go. He would not want you to do anything to keep him here any longer than the Lord chooses.

I recently (Aug 31st) lost my sweet mother to cancer, and a week before she passed away she woke me up wailing one night that she didn't want to live like this anymore. She couldn't walk or stand alone, she didn't enjoy anything, slept 90% of the time, and often didn't know who I was. She was ready to go, and it would've been cruel to try to keep her here. Once she started the dying process, she went very quickly and it was a blessing, although I miss her more than I can say. However, I would not want her back the way she was. She is happy and healed now and with my dad, and I believe I will see her and my dad again.

My dad was a PD patient and died in 2003 from aspiration pneumonia. He went quickly, too, once he started to die, which was a blessing.

I know that when my time comes, I want to be allowed to go quickly and not be held back by artificial means. If he no longer has any quality of life or hope of getting better, then you will feel peace when he is no longer in limbo, even though you will miss him and feel a loss.


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