Need advice

njannrosenMay 21, 2011

My father has been in the hospital for three weeks. His initial diagnosis was COPD and now he's on dialysis because of kidney failure and they found a tumor in his bladder. The first week he was very bad and we had given them the DNR orders. He's managed to improve slightly but right now it seems he's just stable. The doctor's don't want to give us a prognosis. He's 85 and is not the type to fight to get better. He complains 24/7 and he has become forgetful and seems delusional at times. He refuses to do PT because it hurts, and wants to have help for the smallest thing.

A dew days ago he refused treatment and the Social Worker called to talkabout hospice care. We held a bedside meeting with the doctor, social worker and family members. At that time he said he wanted do everything to get "better" . Today he was refusing to eat, very argumentative and he said if he couldn't walk again he didn't want to live, but yet he wouldn't cooperate with the PT.

Is it a matter of time before it finally sinks in that his future is probably not what he would like?. He asked me what I thought and I said that if my whole life was going to depend on being attached to machines and bedridden ,I would prefer to end i t. I told him to think about it and to talk to the doctor about what is next. I think they will send him to either rehab or a nursing home. Neither option would be to his liking.

If you could give me any input, I would be grateful.

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Your father comes from a generation where you always did as much as you could do to extend life. Therefore, he really thinks that he can "get better." But at his age with his physical problems, his time is limited. How much? No one knows, but very few would bet on many more months. Will he accept this news? That's hard to tell to. One day he might, the next he might not.

Just tell him that everything possible is being done. And when the time comes to move him to a Hospice, you'll know it. If you have to give him a reason, tell him it's a special hospital where he will get specialized care. With kidney problems, he's probablly going to get more and more out of touch with what's going on.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 7:05PM
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