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The latest on my mom

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In the middle of Feb, mom fell on some ice as we were going to see our lawyer. It took a few days to convince her to go to the Dr about her back, and when we did, we found out she had "collapsed " 2 vertebrae. I didn't know that meant broke. She was hospitalized for a week and has been home since. About the only thing that came of this stay was the installation of a pic line. Now I have this to care for at home too. She has steadily gotten weaker and has difficulty making it to the bathroom now. We will have some equipment delivered tomorrow to help this situation. I had to leave her alone for what I thought would be a half hour on this past Monday and the phone kept ringing so she got up to get it, and fell again on her back again. She is having trouble getting comfortable. We had a Dr. appointment yesterday and he didn't have much to say. Tuesday the Hospice nurse was there and commented on moms coloring, and lung sounds. Mom had some purple mottling on her legs, and her face is taking on a grayish cast. She is breathing more shallowly now too. The nurse said she wasn't hearing air moving in the lower lungs, and when I told her Dr. this, he listened, made a face that looked rather negative to me and said nothing. In fact there wasn't really anything positive that he said at her appointment other than that he would see us next month (standard dismissal from his presence). I am concerened about her coloring too and the way she is breathing. Sometimes she jerks in her sleep but doesn't wake. I have been up all day and all night now with her for the last 3 days, catching a cat nap here and there. (Kind of like when you first bring a baby home, you hear every little sound). I am so afraid of going to bed and coming out in the morning and finding her gone, or worse yet having my daughter find her gone. What should I be looking for? Her appetite is starting to go, she is still showing some confusion, but she is drinking more fluids when she is awake.... Do you think its time to alert family to come yet, or do you think there is still a little time? Her Dr. said 3 months yesterday, but I don't know if he really believed it. Do I talk to long in these messages? I don't know how much to say at any given time..... Thanks for reading this.

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First, I can hear the distress in your words, and for that I feel so bad and helpess for you. I Your doctor does not seem to be giving you the information you want or need to know. What we finally had to do was be assertive with the hospice nurse and the doctor, even as we knew that that they don't know everything nor can they predict everything. Finally, I took the doctor ourside the presence of my father to talk. I did get more information that way. You could also call the doctor and talk since it seems you are the primary caregiver.

Also, hospice should be providing your mother and your whole family with care right now. If that takes more than a weekly visit and some phone calls then you should ask for what you need. They are supposed to be attempting to care for all the needs, physical, emotional and sprititual.

You might want to call in other family, not just for your mother, but to lend support to you and your other immediate family members, too. You don't have to be alone in this.

And don't be afraid of writing too much. Write what you need to write and ask what you need to ask. There is always someone here who has walked on a similar path and who may be able to help.

I have never been the caretaker for someone with cancer. I am faced now with being the patient, and I only know that it all seems like an untravelled path, but there is help out there from those who have been or are on that path now.

Keeping you in my thoughts.


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Try to get some answers from the doctor or the nurse,

the only make short visits, you are there all the time and

see more than they do.

Keep asking and tell them you won't stop till they tell you


Unfortunately very often you have to squeeze answers from them.

Good luck and prayers going your way.


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Leslie, what you are describing is what happened to my Buddy in the last two to four weeks of his life.

I got a blow up mattress from K-mart, full size which enabled me to sleep right with him in the same room. They are very cheap. There were many nights without much sleep during that period and many nights i was so glad I had that mattress in advance of needing it.

Also, the hospice nurse knows what stage or has a very good idea what stage your mom is in. When I called in hospice for Buddy, she told me she felt he had about two weeks. When she saw the look on my face, God love her, she said maybe four weeks. Her two weeks was correct. This nurse came 3 days a week and would have started coming more but my Buddy took a fast turn and went quickly.

If you need someone to talk to you can pm me anytime.

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