NowakowDA Posted September 30, 2004 Share Posted September 30, 2004 I don't want to bother you with a trivial question but something has been eating at me since my mother died two months ago today. I have come to believe that as a result of actions or my inaction I contributed to my mother's death. My mother died on Thursday, July 29th of this year. Every since that event, I have been reliving her last night in my mind over and over again. I am my mother's only son and I was her sole care giver during her illness. She was diagnosed on June 3rd after an xray taken on May 22nd showed a mass in her right lung. It was inoperable. An MRI on June 20th revealed that she had two tumors in her brain. She had fifteen WBR treatments and was due to start radiation treatment on her lung on Friday July 30th. She was on 4mg of Dexamethason twice a day from June 20th till the end of her wbr treatment on July 20th. As her wbr treatments drew to a close, Mom started going down hill rapidly. She was very weak. She slept most of the time. Toward the end she could not get our of bed to go to the bathroom or even use the bedside commode. She suffered from confusion and a mild delirium (sundowning). She went on hospice care on Friday July 23rd. The last couple days of her life she was barely responsive and could not walk or even stand up. On Thursday they 29th, she would not eat or drink anything. She had a blank look on her face and could barely speak. She spent most of Thursday in bed, but early in the evening she wanted to set in her recliner. About 10:00 PM I was going to put her back in bed. When I started to lift her up she went limp and I almost dropped her. When I got her into her bed I noticed she was breathing rapidly but shallow. She seemed upset and a little agitated. When she got like this, it usually ment she had wet her lined paper under pants. I proceded to cut of the old paper garment and put a clean pair on her. When I turned her back over, I noticed her breathing had changed. She was now taking very short shallow breaths. I also heard a rattling noise in her chest. I raised the head of her bed so she could set up. The hospice nurse gave me two medications to give to her if her breathing got bad. The first was a small pill called Lorazapan (not sure about the spelling). The second was a liquid form of morphine. I was to try the Lorazapan first and if that did not work then I was to give her the morphine. She was clenching her jaw so tightly that I could not get it open to place the pill under her tongue. I was able to get the liquid morphine in her mouth. While I was waiting for her breathing to slow I called the hospice emergency nurse. While I was talking to the nurse I noticed that Mom's breathing had slowed but a change came over her. She looked like a fish out of water gasping for air. After a few minutes she got what I thought was a look of anger on her face and shortly after her breathing became very shallow and stopped. I could find no pulse either in her wrist or neck, then the was gone I waited for over an hour for the hospice nurse to arrive and pronounce Mom dead. While waiting, I got Mon dressed. The nurse said that from the description I gave her it sounded like Mom had a massive pulmonary embolism. What I thought was a look of anger, the nurse said was probably pain. From the time I first noticed a problem until Mom died was no more then 20 to 30 minutes. Since that night I have come to believe that my actions or my inaction caused the attack that took my mother's life. I am convinced that it started when I picked her up and put her in her hospital bed. If I had not tried to move her that night, she would not have slipped from my grasp. Instead of catching her, I should have let her slid down to the floor and put a pillow behind her. If I had done this she would not have had to under go the stress of being picked up and put into her bed. Had I called 911 instead of hospice when I noticed the her breathing was getting worse, she might not have died that night. When I brought this up with Mom's PCP (primary care provider) he said that if it was an embolism, then it didn't matter if she were at home or in the emergency room. If the embolism was massive enough, then it was going to kill her. As for moving her. He said that all I did was make her last few minutes more comfortable. He told me that it was her time to die, and there was nothing I could have done to stop that. Mom's regular hospice nurse told me that I should take some comfort in the fact that Mom died at home where she felt safe and comfortable. She said that this was better then dying alone in a hospital hooked up to a machine. Despite what I have been told. I am still convinced that I hastened the on set of my mother's death, and that is a terrible thing to realize. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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