flyoverhere

whatever is on my mind….

between a rock ….


and a hard place…….

Mom has been diagnosed with a syndrome called, Failure to Thrive.  It is common in the elderly with chronic disease, limited physical and mental function and the loss of independence, as well as the loss of familiar surroundings due to the need for nursing home care.  The manifestation of this syndrome is the refusal to eat and drink a sufficient amount to nourish the body.  According to the director at the nursing home and her doctor at the hospital,  I will be asked to decide what, if any measures to take to try to alleviate her condition.

Mom is currently back in the hospital.  She was transported by ambulance on Tuesday with severe dehydration, mal-nourishment and extreme physical weakness.  The nursing home has made every effort to get her to eat but over the last few days she refuses to even drink more than a couple of sips of water.  Most likely a feeding tube along with hospice care will be recommended.  I have heard lots of horror stories of massive infection and pain associated with it.  As an only child, I along with my DH and our children will have to consider and decide on the options, none of which are good.  I know what I would want in this situation but having to decide for Mom is breaking my heart.  At this point there is not much of an option for quality of life, it comes down to quantity.  At what point does ‘helping’ become torture?  I am praying for the right answer.

Grace and Mercy to be able to deal with the hard stuff!

The following link describes the Failure to Thrive syndrome.

http://www.aafp.org/afp/2004/0715/p343.html

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15 Comments

  1. joburta

    Lura, my heart breaks for you and your Mom. Undiagnosed…but my sister and I think that is what my mother did. Nearly like a pact. When Dad wouldn’t eat, Mother wouldn’t either. Mel kept taking her to a stomach doctor and she did have some problems but nothing that severe. Mom actually had an e coli infection that put her in the hospital. They wanted to induce a coma to let her rest and fight the infection. Everything had cleared and was looking good. As they were waking her up she had massive coronary.

    Lindy says, some people don’t die from catastrophic disease they just cease to exist. They know the time is nearing an end and they shut down. Her goal is to make them comfortable and have as much dignity as possible. We feel like Dorothy has also decided to cease to thrive. Emotionally anyway.

    I will pray for strength and wisdom for you. And that God be merciful to all. None of this easy

    • No it isn’t easy. My thoughts have been all over the place. I have been praying through this whole ordeal that Mom wouldn’t have to endure the ravages of this cancer and that I wouldn’t have to watch her suffer. She is suffering now and just wants to be allowed to sleep. Maybe I already have my answer but is knowing for sure even possible? I think that Dorothy decided to quit a long time ago and it isn’t easy to watch. I pray for both of them always. I can understand why your Mom wouldn’t eat when Buck wouldn’t, they were truly ‘One’.

      As always the prayers are appreciated.

  2. And prayers are being said for you, FOH, your mom, DH and your entire family. Odd as it may sound, my heart is breaking for you. I know you will keep trusting in the Lord.

  3. I send prayers your way every day, FOH. It can’t be easy to shoulder this responsibility, and the knowledge that you just really don’t know if you are doing the right thing must be heavy in your heart. But one thing I do know is that you will do whatever is best for her.

    Don’t doubt yourself, for God guides you.

    • The prayers help and I pray that you are right.

  4. Ann Thrasher

    I’m so sorry to hear this, Lura. You and Aunt Odell have been on my mind a lot lately. Please know that you are in my prayers and that I’m here if you need anything!

    • I know that I have a lot of support, thanks for your support too!

  5. FOH,

    I very sorry to hear this sadden news. Everyone in your family will continue to be in my prayer’s. May our Lord give his strength, comfort and guidance to deal with this most difficult time in your life.

  6. Judy Cruse

    Lura I continue to pray for you, Odell and your family. How heart breaking this is. I think I would know what I would do for me but not what I would do for my Mom. Donnie told me that no matter what do not put in a feeding tube and as much as it hurt me I did as he wished, eventhough a feeding tube wouldn’t have really helped him. Whatever you decide don’t make yourself feel guilty. Sometimes love is having to do what is the hardest. Like you said is it quality or quantity of life that is the choice. Please just let your heart be your guide because God is in control. Love y’all, Judy

    • Thank you again Judy! I know that you know where I am.

  7. Azygos

    Laura,

    This is what I do for a living. I am a Hospice Nurse practitioner. I have written about this but unfortunately my website was deleted by my host when they discontinued their server. As a long time reader (seldom comment) e-mail me and I will give you my cell phone number and we can talk about this. I have been through this with my own family and is one of the reasons I now work as a Hospice Nurse Practitioner.

    I will continue to pray for you and your mother

    • Thanks for reading! I will get an email off to you shortly.

  8. It is hard to know the right answer. 😦 My heart goes out to you.

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