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I’m new to this and am a caregiver to my wife of 41 yrs..She is currently in Hospice care and I’m told she is close to the end of her life. I’m not sure I am on this forum correctly as a caregiver.


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Well if this is the right forum and I can post, here I go.

I’m taking care of my wife and the Hospice nurses tell me my wife is close to the end of her journey. When her O2 drops dangerously low she takes her oxygen off and becomes very combative and confused and makes statements that don’t make sense. Once I get her oxygen back in. the 80-90 % range she gets better on all fronts but seems confused all the time. I’m sure it’s the amount of drugs I’m giving her every 4 hours around the clock but feel inadequate and guilty as well as anger at times.

Anyone have any advice ?

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I'm glad that the nurses are preparing you. They know better than doctors when someone is nearing the end of life, and confusion is part of her process. Please be sure to stay in communication with the nurses. The hospice provider can send someone to stay with you and your wife toward the end. You may also want to connect with their social worker about your feelings. What you're experiencing is completely understandable, and they should be able to give you some emotional support. 

Watching a loved one go through this is extremely difficult. Forgive yourself for your emotions. You are doing your best for your wife. 

May she reach the end of her journey in peace. All the best. 

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Hello and welcome,

You"re in the right place.  I'm sorry to hear that your wife is nearing the end.  It's good that she and you have the help of hospice. Judy and Jack have given you some  excellent advice and I can't improve on it. Let us know how we can support you in this difficult time. Take ccare of yourself, too. Your feelings are normal.

Bridget O

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My mom passed away (30-some years ago) of cancer--she was on a ventilator (and in a hospital) and was just like your wife--confused and combative at times. I was trading off bedside duty with my dad and my aunt, but I definitely remember feeling stressed and angry at times--just wanting it to END already. She wanted to, too--at a lucid point she asked to be taken off the ventilator, but things were different then and my dad couldn't get the hospital to comply.

I hope you will forgive yourself for being human--it's stressful for anyone to watch a loved one go through this. Do try to get some support for yourself so you aren't struggling with this alone.

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Thanks LexieCat -
Yes she has made similar statements to me already. I just tell her I cannot do that for her. My hospice situation is all at home and I'm the only one caring for her.

She wants to be moved to a hospital or Hospice house but with COVID they are all full. The nursing homes locally are having run of COVID and I thought that would be an option but to me that would be like turning off her oxygen due to the high risk of such a facility right now. I just cant make that decision.
My hospice care company has offered me " respit care "( sp. ) so I can get a break for 5 days. But the place they would take her would be a nursing home so that is out.
Then I wrestle with the guilt of even needing the break ! Sleep deprivation seems to be more of an issue for me.

Well,we do what we must and I'm sure that when she's gone I will wish I had this time with her. Thanks for responding- It helps to just tell someone who knows

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I'm so sorry to hear this.  I just wanted to share the Lung Cancer HELPLine with you.  It is staffed by oncology social workers and they can talk about how you are feeling or anything you would like to discuss. 

Please let us know if there is anything we can do to support you.  Thinking of you both.

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The decisions you are facing were the hardest I had to make with my parents. One wanted to depart quickly and the other wanted to hang on to the last. I am the oldest of 4 sons and finding accord with my brothers, their wives, nieces and nephews was extremely difficult.

Looking back I should have weighted the desires of my parents much higher than the rest of my family. You are right about keeping away from institutional nursing and hospice centers. Avoiding any threat to COVID is good thinking.

Stay the course.

Tom

 

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On 9/29/2020 at 1:25 PM, Georgia on my mind said:

Well if this is the right forum and I can post, here I go.

I’m taking care of my wife and the Hospice nurses tell me my wife is close to the end of her journey. When her O2 drops dangerously low she takes her oxygen off and becomes very combative and confused and makes statements that don’t make sense. Once I get her oxygen back in. the 80-90 % range she gets better on all fronts but seems confused all the time. I’m sure it’s the amount of drugs I’m giving her every 4 hours around the clock but feel inadequate and guilty as well as anger at times.

Anyone have any advice ?

Georgia on my mind

I'm so glad you found our forum.  So many of us know the feeling of being alone during dark times and you were right to reach out.  I was with my mom and sister when each of them passed and while it was upsetting too watch them go through the end, hospice insured that each of them were comfortable until it was over.  My prayer for you is that you find peace, even at this sad time and you know that others who have gone through this are here to support you.  

Lou

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