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Update on DH's father.
Old 12-26-2019, 11:54 AM
  #1

I texted a couple of weeks ago about my FIL, who is suffering from the last stages of congestive heart failure. He's been progressively getting weaker. A neighbor called us yesterday and reported that she went over to visit FIL and MIL, and he was pretty much non-responsive. We called hospice, and they said that he's still a few days from death, but not quite there yet. We plan to go tomorrow. I have to have a colonoscopy in the morning, so we can't go any earlier than noon.
BIL's wife has been a cardiac nurse, and is pushing to have us turn off his defibrillator. She says that if he starts to die, the defibrillator might give him a shock that will be a painful way to end his life. We tried to call the doctor to ask about that, but he is out of the office until next week. Hospice can turn it off, but they have to have a doctor's order to do it. Hospice also told us that they use a magnet to turn it off, and the magnet is very heavy and has to be laid on his chest.
We've never had any experience with cardiac issues before. We're a little overwhelmed.


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Old 12-26-2019, 12:14 PM
  #2

I'm so sorry. It is so hard to make these kinds of decisions.

Is there another doctor on call covering for your doctor, or even someone through the hospital, that you could call to at least have your questions answered?

Again, you are in my prayers.
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Old 12-26-2019, 12:39 PM
  #3

My dad had his defibrillator turned off when he was near the end and in hospice care too. The doctor explained to us that at the point he was at it would only make for a slower, painful passing and would not save him. My dad was still mentally sound and made the decision himself to have the doctor turn it off. He was so more much peaceful after that decision. (He had been "shocked" by it twice before when it went off during previous months of his illness, and he was terrified of it happening again.) He had it turned off on a Thursday afternoon at the doctor's office and passed away the following Monday morning. It was a very peaceful passing.

It is not a decision to make lightly, but in our situation it was the best one. Sending prayers for your family as you navigate this time.
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Old 12-26-2019, 01:13 PM
  #4

I have no advice. I just wanted to say you are in my prayers. This is a difficult time.
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Old 12-26-2019, 01:30 PM
  #5

I'm so sorry. You will be in my prayers.


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Old 12-26-2019, 01:33 PM
  #6

End of life decisions are very tough, no question about that. I don’t have any advice either, just wishing you and DH an extra measure of grace right now. If you were here, I’d wrap my arms around you and give you a heartfelt hug.
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Old 12-26-2019, 02:02 PM
  #7

Turning off the defibrillator makes a lot of sense to me. You might want to wait until you can get there tomorrow to do it, but get in touch now with whatever doctor is covering for your FIL's doctor. If there isn't someone, perhaps your FIL has a cardiologist who would write the order.

I'm so sorry. I hope that the end goes quickly and comfortably. It might be helpful to you to make arrangements to talk in person with hospice staff ASAP, perhaps tomorrow afternoon.
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Old 12-26-2019, 02:36 PM
  #8

Sending prayers and peace your way. Went through this with my own dad several years ago - Hugs to you all!
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Old 12-26-2019, 03:06 PM
  #9

My heart goes out to you! My mom was on a defibrillator near the end and she hated it. Constantly afraid it would "go off". I hope you are able to get in contact w/a doctor so that your FIL can have a peaceful passing.

Bless you during this difficult time.
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Old 12-26-2019, 03:08 PM
  #10

(((linda2671)))

Tomorrow is going to be a very difficult day. Decisions have to be made, and there are no easy answers. Does hospice have a doctor who could talk to you about turning off the defibulator? The hospice we used when my first husband was dying had a doctor who would write orders such as this.


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(((Linda)))
Old 12-26-2019, 06:31 PM
  #11

I am so sorry you are going through this. What a difficult time for your family. Sending prayers for strength and peace for all.
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Old 12-26-2019, 07:54 PM
  #12

I am so sorry. (((Linda and family)))
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Old 12-26-2019, 09:32 PM
  #13

I'm so sorry you are going through this. I lost my father in August. Hospice was amazing though. I would definitely try and reach the on call doctor tomorrow. Unless the doctor is in a private practice alone, most doctor's have someone to cover for them if they are gone. I'm sending prayers for your family.
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Old 12-27-2019, 01:16 AM
  #14

I am so sorry that your family is going through this. Hugs to you at this difficult time.
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