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I think I did a stupid thing...


sharyn

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Well today was 3 months since I lost my Dad.... I know in a past post, a few months ago, I had mentioned my intense guilt over giving Daddy morphine at the end, thinking it "caused" his death. Well, I promised that if after 3 months I was still haunted by this, I would call his Onc and talk to him about it and I did. He is a sweet and wonderful man, but what he told me was a bit of a shock. He basically said that after Daddy suffered the last seizure, he was a complete invalid. No quality of life, but, he could have lived maybe days or weeks like this. He stated that he felt strongly the decisions we made were the right ones as he knew that Daddy would not want to just "exist" and that would be what he was destined for - he would never walk again, feed himself etc. He would never be strong enough to receive another treatment. I didn't expect him to say this, I expected him to say, "we simply made him comfortable, his time was over and we simply made the end easier", So, now I am sitting here feeling like I basically killed my Dad - I regret making this damn phone call... sometimes it is best to leave well enough alone... I am praying for a sign that I did the right thing, that Daddy is not angry with me... I don't even know what I am typing at this point, I just wanted to vent here....

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Ok, Sharon. You have just got to stop doing this to yourself. Providing your dad with morphine to make him comfortable was the most humane and loving thing you could have done for your dad. It did not hurt him - it helped him. It helped him to leave this world in peace and without pain or discomfort.

Have you read some of the other posts on here lately about some who have died in extreme pain because they didn't have the right drugs? Now, those stories have just ripped out my heart and torn it to pieces. It just doesn't have to be that way. I don't think you would have wanted that for your dad, and I'm confident he wouldn't have wanted that either.

Sending you the biggest hugs ever. (((((((((((((SHARON))))))))))

If you can't accept the fact that you did the right thing, then I would beg you to get professional help. You will drive yourself crazy and hurt others in your family if you continue to carry around this guilt. I'm hurting for you - please get some help.

Love, hugs and prayers!

Peggy

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Sharon,

You have to stop beating yourself up over this. Realistically, noone knows if your dad would have had one more breath or not including the doctor. God made the decision, not you. You should be glad that he was comfortable and his passing was peaceful, which is what he would have wanted for you as much as himself. I know this is easy for me to say, not having been in your shoes, but I want you to know that I really think you did the right thing. He may have had a few more days, but I think he was ready. You trusted in God and he took care of your wonderful dad. He is looking down on you with pride and admiration right now.

You were a wonderful daughter to him. I wish you peace.

TAnn

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Sharon, second guessing doesn't help anyone. Quit it! I have followed your story and I see a devoted daughter who did everything she could for her dad. You did not contribute to his demise -- the disease did that. Focus on the good memories and know that he is now in a peaceful place, and very proud of you. How do I know this? I'm a dad. Blessings. Don

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Sharon,

You absolutely did the correct thing. My daughter and niece were the

primary care givers for my dad. My daughter felt the same thing about

the morphine as you. The hospice nurse reassured her she did nothing

wrong, but she felt guilt the same way you do. It took her awhile to get

over that feelling. I think it's a natural thing. Try not to obcess over it.

I know it's easier said than done. Try to think of the suffering that was

saved. Take care and good luck.

Mare

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I seem to recall reading that when Jackie O died morphine was there.

My own experience with morphine was following my surgery, and I pressed that button a lot!

Please, try not to beat yourself up. What would your dad be saying to you right now?

gail

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Hi Sharon,

I'm sorry the conversation with your Dad's onc didn't bring the peace you had been hoping for. Although, admittedly it is hard to find peace after the emotional turmoil lung cancer brings in to you life.

I've not shared this story with many people because of the guilt and pain associated with this memory. But I'll offer it as a different perpective. My Dad's last week went by so quickly , the day after Christmas 2003 my Dad demanded to be brought to Hospice, and as the days passed he grew more and more uncomfortable with shortness of breath and frankly, end of life issues. Maybe we were lucky because he knew exactly what was happening to him (although that hardly seems lucky) and asked to start on morphine to help help relax his breathing. The morphine truly helped him to be more comfortable for several days and things seemed to be going, well, as well as can be expected. Unfortanately, at this stage, as well as can be expected quickly turned to quite bad. Really bad. The combonation of the my Dad's failing health, and the morphine kept him sleeping and calm for most of his last day. Except for when his foolish daughter (me) noticed his eyes partially open (a sign of extreme relaxation) took his hand and looked straight into his eyes for, I don't know - a final moment of recognition or something. To make a long story short - I "woke him up" and will never, ever, forget the moments of panic and fear I subjected him to. He died about 15 hours later, and I've apologized to him over and over in the year or so since this happened.

Please know that it was cancer that killed your Dad, medical professionals would not have offered you morphine, or even as much morphine as he was allowed, without very good reason. If anything morphine probably kept him from experiencing the very very worst parts of lung cancer.

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Sharon,

My grandfather was a kind, giving man. He had an aura of love...and he was 89 years old when diagnosed with cancer - not lung cancer. He had been close to an invalid prior to his stay and diagnosis and the family put him in a nursing home because his 85 year old wife could not take care of him alone. She visited him every day, morning until evening. Gramma had a heart condition that was diagnosed suddenly and she was off to the hospital for a triple bypass. Things happen fast...

Grampa was sick, but no one thought he was "that sick" and he was in pain. The family was divided between him and his wife, visiting with both... My grandmother wasn't with him when he died, she was recovering from surgery. His daughters were with him as he died a very painful death since his doctor had not put morphine on his "drug list". He had been in pain for days. THIS haunts my mother. She heard her father crying out in pain and no one would help that pain go away.

Don't beat yourself up over what you think you did wrong. I can guarantee you that no one deserves to die the way my grandfather did. Surrounded by the love of family, yes, extreme pain - no way. If giving my grandfather some morphine had saved him from hours of agony, I'd have injected it myself. He was my favorite person in the whole world, you see.

Give yourself a break. Go for counseling. You need to learn how to grieve without blaming yourself for the end result. No matter what you did, he was going to die - and in the very end, it's NOT quantity, it's quality.

Take care,

Becky

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Sharyn,

I asked myself the same questions after my Mother died from Lung Cancer. And though I know, intellectually, that the dosage of Morphine she received was no where near a lethal dose I couldn't help but question myself. I hope that in time you will be able to accept that you did your Father no harm. You were a loving, attentive, daughter who was THERE.

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Sharon-

You did not kill you Father! We don't know his state at that point, including the doctor (he wasn't there and probably couldn't have begun to guess had he been there).

I only hope that when my time comes, it's surrounded by loved ones and I don't KNOW that it's comeing and that there is NO pain. I made my family swear to me that this would happen. PLEASE do not beat yourself up, he would not want that at all! He is looking down on you and wanting you to be at peace!

Hang in there!

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Dear Sharon,

Please stop beating yourself up over this. It does NOBODY any good. Speaking as someone who at times is in considerable pain a lot of the time, I'd choke the living crud out of a loved-one who wouldn't give it to me at the end. I was the one who gave my Mom her final dose of Morphine & I know she thanked me. Not because I killed her. I didn't. Because I helped her go with dignity & less pain. I asked her to go with God. I just couldn't stand to see her hurt like that any more. 5 minutes later, she left this world. This was not my decision to make. God made it.

I pray daily that God may give you the peace & comfort you need to deal with this in a healthy manner. You deserve it.

God Bless,

Melanie

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Sharon,

This is your other Mother speaking. STOP THIS THINKING THIS INSTANT.

Sharon, you loved your Daddy more than most daughters I have known. Your Dad would be horribly distraught if he knew you were suffering over this. Your Dad was a man of faith and believed as others have said that God made the decision, not you, not the morphine.

I gave Earl morphine the last day of his life. He was having some agitation and some trouble breathing. I knew there was no chance he was going to get better and I knew for sure that I wanted him to die peacefully with no fear and no agitation. I never, ever considered that what I did in anyway contributed to his death, only that it contributed to the peacefulness of his death.

Sharon, nothing you did hastened or delayed what happened.

Love,

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Sharon,

My husband was on morphine from June 2002, not for

cancer but for a broken back, the morphine took most of the pain

away and he lived through all his treatments for lung cancer

and died October 13th 2003, still on the same dosage of morphine,

he was only bedridden 6 days, so morphine did not kill him, it

made it possible for him to live 18 months longer active and happy.

He died peacefully in his sleep, not from morphine but from cancer.

Sharon, you did all you could to take the pain away and you did

well, do not let the words of a doctor take away the peace you

should have, no doctor can pin point when a person can die, days,

weeks or years, those are words his words, not your father will,

God knew when it was time for your father to go.

Peace for you Sharon, you were and still is a loving daughter.

Hugs

J.C.

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Sharyn,

I think alot of us feel alot of the same emotions about how our loved one has died.

I know for me I felt alot of the same things. The would have, should have, could have's. But I did something after Randy died that maybe others have not done. I got his medical records.

When I first got them I read them but did not read them calmly. I was looking for what I could have done to make things easier for Randy and what else I could have done for him not to have pain like he did. I re-read those records a couple of weeks ago.

There was nothing I or anyone else could have done to stop him for passing on. He was given everything that could have been done for him to help him with his pain and to make him comfortable. It was just his time to go. Nothing I could have done could change what God's plan was. It took me along time to accept that what happened was totally out of my hands and in the hands of God.

Had Randy survived his heart attack, he too would have lived an invalid. He would not have wanted to live that way, nor would he want for his family to have to suffer through that with him. God's way was to take him quickly to end his suffering on this earth. It is not easy to accept, but it is reality.

I wish you the best of luck in coming to terms with what you did was the best that you could have done and that your father died peacefully and with the dignity and grace that we all hope for when our time comes.

My heart goes out to you. It will take you some time, but you will come to understand as the rest who have replied have done.

Much love and peace,

Shirleyb

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Sharyn,

I hope that I never have to make the decisions that you had to make; and I cannot imagine the weight of those decisions. But, if you think long and hard about all the advice you have been given by so many others that have walked in your shoes and give yourself a few minutes to relax and reflect...I think that your Daddy will send you the message that you need. Stop second guessing yourself and listen for that message from your Daddy. Until then, I will say a prayer that you get some peace.

Love,

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Boy, I can't add much to what everyone else has said, but I will tell you this. Dave read your post and told me about it this morning. He has told me several times since his multiple metasasis returned, that he does not want to be in any pain, ever, no awful pain. He said after reading your post that you did the right thing because you made your dad comfortable and that's what he, Dave, would want.

You were THERE with your Dad, all the way. You did nothing wrong. Nothing. You did EVERYTHING right and your Dad, and God, both love you for that.

God Bless,

Karen

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Sharon,

I'm going to be controversial on this one, so some of you should not read this. I apologize to those of you who disagree with me, but I feel very, very strongly about this issue, and I have to voice my concerns.

Sharon, the issue is NOT about your father's pain management. The issue is INFORMED CONSENT. You would not be beating yourself up or questioning your choices if you had KNOWN that giving your father morphine would shorten his life by a matter of days or hours.

I am concerned that we have abdicated our decision making to doctors and hospice because too often we don't want to face the enormous responsibility of knowing. I believe that doctors and hospice workers are aware, either consciously or subconsciously, that morphine causes death to occur sooner. They may believe it is more humane to spare the family that knowledge.

Those of us who have administered morphine to dying loved ones -- would you have made that decision with full knowledge that it would shorten your loved one's life? Would you have been able to face that likelihood and do it anyway? I would. I did.

My father was in great pain for only a short period of time, and the morphine made it manageable. But I gave him that morphine knowing that it might end his life. I did it with fear and trembling, and tears, but I did it. I am relieved that his pain became manageable quickly, and we were able to manage it without morphine for the last couple of weeks.

As a side note, one of my brothers did not participate in the fact-gathering and research, nor would he listen to it. Unfortunately, this brother -- on his own -- decided to give Dad morphine 30 minutes before Dad died. He did it because my stepmother was in distress about the noises Dad was making, even though everyone (including hospice) told her that it was NOT pain. Another of my brothers is having a difficult time forgiving that because the morphine most likely ended Dad's life before we could get there.

Difficult, difficult subject. Difficult, difficult decisions.

Sharon -- you're questioning your decision. I don't think that's a bad thing. That's how we learn in life, by reviewing our choices and deciding which choices were good ones and which ones we'd like to do over. That shows that you're a person who cares deeply about others. You're a person who wants to be the best person she can be. That's a good thing.

In the end, your father was going to die. He died with you beside him, loving him, devoted to him, willing to make whatever sacrifice you had to make for him. Death doesn't get any better than that.

I am truly sorry if I have hurt anyone, but I just can't let this go without voicing my very strong concerns.

Pam

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Sharon, You did the right thing.I too am a dad and I want to live as long as I can.However when I get to where I am in so much pain & have no quality of life left even to the point that I am unable to enjoy my family and friends I told my wife and kids to put me in a boat (with a fishing rod,rifle,and knife)and give me a good hard shove & walk away.

I am sure your loving dad is watching over you and does not want you feeling any guilt.I'm very sure he approves of everything you did for him and he will somehow someway be able to give you a sign that will assure you that everything you did was right and he is at peace with it.

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Sharon,

In my opinion, you certainly did not kill your dad - you gave him eternal life in heaven without pain. I would not want to see someone I loved suffer any more than they had to. You did the most humane thing a daughter could do. I would much rather see my dad slip away comfortably than to watch him suffer without any quality of life. I would not feel guilty about it. And my dad would not want it either.

Take comfort in the fact that you were there for your dad through thick and thin. I'm sure he's looking down and smiling at his beautiful daughter, thankful for everything you've done for him and is as proud as any father would be of a daughter.

Janet

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Sharon, I think that your dad went because he was ready to go. There may have been other things going on in his body that caused the shut down, and the progression to passing. My mom was only on a 4mg Morphine drip when she passed, but the tumor blocking her trachea caused a build up of CO2 in her system which then leads to a coma like state. When the body cannot move enough O2 it starts to shut everything down; usuallly from the extemities in, the heart and brain being last. I asked for everything to be stopped except the morphine. I didn't want her to hurt, but to go on home. The what if I did this or that,would they have been here longer, thing that is playing in your head is what I did. I had to stop it. I'm a respiratory therapist and I knew there were other things we could have tried, but how much suffering would she have gone through? Yes, these things may have extended her life, but what would her quality of life been like?! I could have taken care of her trach tube and even a ventilator, if need be, but what kind of life would that have been? She didn't want any of that, she had made that clear along time ago. I have seen so many people suffer trying to die or going through a slow process of death that you pray that they can die soon because they are suffering so much! I feel that what you did was very unselfish and a very strong show of love for your father. We never want them to go, but what it boils down to is this; If God didn't want your Dad when he did pass, he never would have passed then. Everything works in God's time, not ours. The morphine didn't send him home, God took him home. We'll all go home in God's own time.

Sorry I rambled on so long, just trying to offer a daughters and respiratory therapist's view. I hope I don't upset anyone.

Praying for you to find the peace I'm sure your Dad would want you to find.

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Sharyn,

In no world would it have been acceptable to deny him pain relief in an attempt to potentially extend his life by a few days or weeks. It would be inhumane to allow him to suffer and to DEPRIVE him of medicine to MAYBE give him a few days of MEANINGLESS existence. Where are you going with this?

Lisa

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Sharyn...it just breaks my heart right in two to see you wrestling with this issue. I have very little to add to what has been said here by some many others. At the end, I gave Dennis morphine. Did it speed his death? I don't think so, but maybe it did. Did he die more comfortably because of the morphine in his system? ABSOLUTELY!!! ALthough you and I both believe in God and miracles, neither of us could possibly believe that there was further hope for the recovery of your dad or my husband. It was absolutely killing me to see my loving husband of 26 years in such a state. I know that Dennis would have wanted me to administer morphine in an attempt to make him more comfortable. I have read many of your posts on this board and know that you were a completely loving and dedicated daughter. I know that your dad would be really hurt to know that you are having these feelings of guilt. Please, stop kicking yourself in the *ss for something that you didn't do. God determines who lives and dies and when life and death occur. Your dad was living on God's schedule and he had endured enough suffering. Please, give yourself a break!!! I'm saying prayers that you will get through this and find the peace you deserve!

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