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Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Message Board


Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Board Index


[QUOTE=dalton12399;3804642]Hi Everyone! I need someones advice out there. My mother-in-law has moved into my home on October 15th because we were told she is in her final stages of COPD. She is bed ridden, has a cathader and a diaper on and can't walk anymore. We originally were going to go with Home Health Care Nurse but they only come out 2 times a week and when they where here they said she needed more care so we went to Hospice. The Hospice nurse came out and took one look at my mother-in-laws legs and said 2 weeks at the most. She mentioned the color of them being the reason on why she only had 2 weeks. Well, 2 weeks have come and gone and my mother-in-law was eating and drinking but not eating very much but my husband would force her to eat because he is in denial. Hopsice nurse said again possibly 2 weeks, well those two weeks have come and gone and now we are going into a month and a 1/2 that she is still here. Well Saturday she slept all day and told us she just felt out of wack. Sunday up for a little bit, had a 1/4 cup of pudding and then slept all day. Monday, ate nothing all day, told my husband she wanted to go to the hospital and he said no because there really isn't anything they can do for her at this time, slept all day and night. Today, slept most of the day was not able to hold an understandable conversation but by the afternoon she was awake and wanted something to eat. We gave her dinner and she ate none of it but kept telling us it was good. I can't stand this emotional rollercoaster my entire family is on and to top is off we have my 8 year old son living in these conditions. Can anyone tell me, is this the sign of her body shutting down with her not eating or drinking that much and sleeping and being incoherant one or two days and then talking the next. It makes no sense to me. Some advice or information on what it happening here would be great!! Thank you!!!:)[/QUOTE]

I am also seeing this same thing happen with my mom.I am told she dont have much time left.but she is still holding on.
just wanted to see what the out come of this post was because I have also been seeing this with my mom.
clowerma,

I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this. I know so well the pain you are all suffering.

I posted in November of 2009. As you can tell from reading my post, I was very frustrated and worried about my Mother's condition. I did not understand what was going on and did not know what to expect. Little did I know how much worse things would get.

My Mother lived another five months after I posted. I would never have believed she could hold on that long. She went through a brief period of about four weeks after the doctor put her on prednisone where she got remarkably better. I suppose that was the gift she and I needed to prepare for the final stages.

Her final six weeks of life were very very difficult for her and for me and my family. Her breathing worsened to the point that she was winded after only a few steps. But the worst part of her illness was the deterioration in her mental status. COPD robbed my Mother of her mind. She hallucinated, seeing people who were not there, hearing sounds that only she could hear. She eventually did not know who I was. That was heartbreaking, let me tell you. She spent weeks in what the doctor and nurses told me was "terminal agitation" where she was desperate to get away. She became combative and physically impossible for me to handle. Our only choice was to admit her to the hospice in-patient facility so she could be properly cared for. She passed away after nine days there.

Hospice was a godsend. I was not prepared in any way to deal with the end stages of this illness as my Mother experienced it. Without hospice I don't know what I would have done.

There is no "typical" progression of COPD. I know the emotional pain and frustration you are going through. You don't want your Mother to suffer, you feel so bad for wishing it would end. I'm so sorry.

Peace,
Amy
WOW! I can relae to these posts about COPD. My mom has been suffering so long from this terrible disease. She has been on oxygen for 5+ years and has only left her home to be taken to the Dr or hospital. We (my sisters and I) have been preparing Mom's meals since before Thanksgiving. We place in small freezer containers and label. She only has remove and heat in the mircowave. The last 2 months she has problems just removing a container from her freezer. Her breathing is so labored now. Her PC dr put her on Predinsone in May to help but, it has not helped much. She has 3 inhalers plus anxiety meds, high bood pressure, high cholestral. Home health and/or OT and PT come M-F to assist her. last Tuesday she wanted me come by before I went to work. I did and noticed how swollen she was. She had a dr appt that afternoon so, i told her we would see what the dr said then. 2 hours later home health called me at work to come to her house. We had to call 911 and take her to the hospital. I feel is is very near the end. Friday the Dr released her to the skilled unit at the nursing home. I don't think her insurance will allow her to stay too long because she is not able to do OT and PT at their level. Plus I noticed her fluid is building back up in her legs. I can't imagine how scary it is to know you re suffocating death! I want to take her home and let her die there as she requested. But, I have no idea how mmuch longer she will last? i have so much guilt because I can't care for her as she did for me as a child :( My heart is breaking to see her suffer like this. Work will only let me take 12 weeks leave FMLA. What if she lives past that timeframe and i would have to put her back in a nursing home? I'm confused and uncertain!! I know the end is near and I pray that God doesn't allow her suffering to bad. What to do???
Hereigns,

I also needed in the worst way to know how much longer my Mother would live. I wanted her suffering to end and I could not understand what kept her going on and on. Every case is different so there is no simple answer to the question. The end stages when things get really bad can go on much longer than you would think possible. Some COPD'ers pass sooner from heart failure or other conditions.

My Mother had the edema in her legs and abdomen for a year before she passed away. Her doctor put her on lasix which helped some. It is fairly common in this condition to have these other conditions and be on several meds. My Mother took many pills each day for high blood pressure, anxiety, edema, constipation, etc. She was on morphine for the last 15 months of her life. Lots of COPD'ers take many more medicines.

Clearly your Mother is having trouble taking care of herself. Can you and your other family members work out a schedule so someone is there with her more often than not? Have you thought about hospice? You'd have to talk with her doctor about that. You have many life-altering decisions to make right now. I can tell you have your Mother's best interest at heart and are feeling helpless in the face of all this. If hospice isn't the right choice at this point in her illness, they may be able to put you in touch with volunteer agencies in your area to help with your Mother's situation.

No one knows how much longer your Mother will live. It is human nature to want her suffering to stop so don't feel guilty about feeling that way. It's ok. < edited >

Peace,
Amy
Thanks Amy! It is one of the hardest things I have been through. From what I have read she is at the end of this disease. I understand the end can be quick or drawn out. I pray that my Mom doesn't suffer.

Our work schedules do not allow us to provide 24 hour care. Mom is too weak to stay alone now. We know she has fallen at least one time while home alone. She has had difficulty reheating the meals we prepare and has forgotten to take her meds on several occasions.

Mom is now in a nursing home to try rehab. It could help some. But since going to the NH on friday evening, her swelling has gotten worse :( Her shorteness of breathe is worse at times and her trembling is bad too. I do have peace of mind that she is getting her meds on schedule, having some OT and PT, and eating well! We have placed her in a NH that is more close to us kids than her permentant home. This allows more visits from family. The Dr was in today and has ordered a few changes.

If I knew the end was in 1 to 2 months I would take leave from work and take her home. But, only God knows what His plan is for her. I have a cousin who is a assistant director of nursing at another NH. She has told me how bad it could be caring for her in the very end :( I pray she doesn't suffer like that. I can't imagine how scary it is to know that you are suffocating to death. I have 2 good friends who had to place their moms in NH and they have been a great support. Thanks for responding to my post. It is a nice place to research what others are going through.

Many Blessings
tonya
Hi Everyone,

After reading these passages I think I'm more confused than I thought I was. My mom is 63 and has been told she's in "end stage" COPD. Hospice is in our home but after reviewing Hospice's criteria for COPD patients it's not the typical 6 month time frame used by their assessment teams. Her pulmonologist has said 8 months maybe. Mom is still a horrible smoker (I think more now than before the "end stage" prognosis). She is on 24 hour O2 but makes sure she turns it off "a half hour before I go outside to smoke." We live in Florida. The humidity today is 80% and the temp is 85 degrees. You all know how the heat affects a COPD'er.

She's on HUGE amounts of lasiks(?) for the fluid retention, spiriva, advair, albuterol, rescue inhalers, cough meds, anti anxiety meds, high blood pressure meds, and we could go on and on. Her skin is paper thin. She is shaking uncontrollably (all day). She becomes breathless walking only 5 feet. She has lost 40 pounds in 4 months. She keeps falling because she is so week. Her appetite is ok (only because she knows that I feed those whom I love - she's eating to please me). Does anyone out there recognize these symptoms? Can anyone judge by their personal experiences where mom is at? I know it's differs from one patient to the next, but an average would be helpful. Do I need to push Hospice for in-patient care yet? Mom wants to stay at home as long as she can but my husband and myself work full time M-F. We cannot be there 24/7.

Any ideas or comments would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
Librarabbit, I feel you pain. My mother is 67 yrs old and is on alot of medicines. I weighed her today as I do weekly and she is 82.2lbs. She can no longer cook or clean. I do that for her. My dad does the shopping and washes clothes because he seems to enjoy do it. She has started losing nearly a pound a week. I talked to her this morning and she is giving me excuses, I don't have time, I'm not all that hungry,etc.. I told her that if she doesn't start eatting shes going to die. She tells me that we all have to die sooner or later. I said yes, but you CHOOSE not to eat and your giving in to the diease.
I told her I feel Im losing the battle with trying to help her. Shes is tired of eatting the same things at breakfast, I dont see how when I never fix her the the same things.
I feel her days are shortly being numbered. She gets very winded walking from room to room. She is now complaining about being cold when its not cold in her house. She doesnt get out unless to go to the doctor. Which, isn't very much anymore.
I've told her the reason shes cold and sleepy all of the time is her bodys way of telling her to eat. She doesn't buy it.
She keeps this up I will lose her to COPD before Christmas of this year. The doctor says shes at the severe stages. It saddens me that even with my help shes giving up on life. She wants to see my son, her grandson grow up, at this rate she won't.
I wished I knew what to do to help her, to make her eat. I've told her to drink more ensures, she said they make her cold. The nurse that comes once a week has told her what to do, doctor has, she doesn't listen.
Im losing my mother and there isn't a thing I can do about it.:(
Proud Daughter, what I have learned is that we show our love by feeding them. Food gives and sustains life therefore we feel we have to feed them. I do know that the calories COPD'ers burn just trying to breathe is as if you and I just ran a mile, and that's them just sitting at the table. Imagine trying to eat a beef roast with all the fixings if you just ran that mile?

We did move mom to in-patient care today. The turn happened Friday night with extreme labored breathing. It looked as if a machine was sucking all of the air out of her lungs and filling them back up again (really too weird to describe). Then Saturday was her day of clarity. She helped make Easter baskets. Helped color eggs. Joked, laughed and admitted she had accepted her fate (which is huge because we were in the denial, anger and bargaining stages for a while). Sunday she found eggs and gave hints to where the baskets were. She had a great brunch (ate like a champ) spent time outside with my daughter and came in to take a nap. She hasn't been back up since.

The care she needed was too much for me to take on 24/7 care in my home. Her feet and legs are blue. Her hands up to her elbows are blue. She started talking to her mom and my dad who are both gone. The cat hadn't left her side in hours. I could not have allowed mom to pass here with my 11 year old in the home (how scary). She is resting peacefully now and I will post more tomorrow.

Your mom will eat when she's hungry. Trust me. She will not starve herself. But remember what she needed to eat a year ago is not going to be the same amount that she needs today. At some point she will only eat to please you and not herself. What I had on hand in the fridge at all times were: egg salad, tuna fish (already made the way she liked it in a container), hard boiled eggs (peeled - 3 at a time so they didn't go bad), cottage cheese (not the small individual container - they're too hard to open), puddings, fruit cups, cut up fresh fruit (remember p is for poop - these fruits help with constipation; pears, peaches, plums, prunes), an opened can of her favorite soup, and cheese cubes. She may just want to pick at things instead of eating a full meal. I hope some of this helps. This disease is a nightmare. Make sure you take time for yourself now because it really takes a toll on you when the end does come. Keep writing, let me know how your mom is
Librarabbit, You have helped me alot. I just came from my moms for lunch and she ate thoses Kraft mac&cheese containers that you cook in he microwave. and 2 brownies. 6 oz of sprite. She normally eats the whole container, but the last few times shes ate them she is eating less and less. Today she at less of it than she ever has. She did eat a very good breakfst so I didn't say anything to her.
You have given me some ideas on some food that I can get her to help her to eat.
Her feet are swelling but the right one was the only one that was discolored. That has changed recently. Thankfully. She keeps her feet proped up alot which helps with the swelling.
I do feel she is giving up in her own way. All I can do is try to keep food for her to snack on and hope she will eat it. I've told her months ago that she needs more calorie intake than a normal person does because it takes so many calories to just breath. He nurse and lung doctor has also told her this. It is like I have a 67 yr old child who you can't "ground". I don't see her needing to go to in patient care or anyhing like that just yet. I don't see her agreeing to go myself. She has said as long as she has her own mind and can speak for herself she won't go. I can leave her along.
Everytime I come to her house I take a deep breath and pray this isn't the day I find her"asleep" on the couch. It's a sign of relif when I don't see her there. My son who is nearly 15 use to go to her house everyday after school to see her, get a snack but that has stop. I think she was fearing he would find her. Since he is older, I have told him what to do if he ever found her asleep and he couldn't wake her.
The diease is such a sad thing to witness. The only good thing that has come from this is my son has seen first hand what smoking can do to you and he has said he will never smoke. He doesn't want to go through what she has and doesn't want his children to go through what I have.
I pray that you mother has more good days than bad ones. The good days always make my days better.:)





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