My dad

  1. My dad died in a nursing home. This was not entirely unexpected as he had Parkinson's Disease and had been in the NH for a couple of years. I had taken care of him at home previously.

    The question I have is that his death certificate states he died of sepsis. Is this in any way an unusual cause of death? I suspect the sepsis came from an infected ulcer, but I did not have an autopsy done and dad was very, very debilitated in the end.

    This was three years ago. I'm not sure if he was ill treated or if I'm just still feeling guilty about not taking better care of him. What do you think?
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   Shamrock
    Hindsight is 20/20. Sepsis is not an unusual cause of death. I think you are being too hard
    on yourself.
  4. by   BadBird
    Sorry for your loss, I think that you should see a grief counselor to help you work through some of your questions. As nurses we often wonder if we did enough and are hard on ourselves leading to years of guilt. Debilitated patients often die of sepsis, we see many in the ICU that come in from nursing homes, regardless of all the antibiotics in the world many die anyway but I think as a society we have unrealistic expectations, do we really think a 85 year old with severe multi system organ failure will live a longer and happier life. It seems that we try so hard to keep our patients alive and view dying as a failure, we must remember that dying is a natural process which we all will face one day regardless of the medication and care we are given.
  5. by   Dixen81
    Sorry for your loss, Texagain. I understand your pain and guilt. It has been five years since I lost my dad, and although I moved him into my home and cared for him myself, I always wonder if there was more that I could have done for him. I have to remind myself that death for him was a blessing, though, because he suffered so much for so long. The pain you feel is probably for yourself, as mine is for me. I miss him terribly. Try not to be so hard on yourself, and do see a grief counselor, or see if you can find some good literature on how to deal with grief and/or guilt. God bless you.
  6. by   renerian
    Don't beat yourself up. I lost my dad too. You always wonder if you could have done more.

    renerian
  7. by   debRNo1
    Originally posted by peggysue
    I understand your pain and guilt.
    Me too He wasnt healthy, but not debilitated, had ER surgery for an obstruction, home 2 months and recovering slower than I wanted when I found him on the floor. 3 long weeks in the hospital with all the ups and downs, finally signed a DNR, discussed hospice, he was dying and I knew it. During all this my ONLY sister (who lived with dad) ran off with someone she met on the internet. It was the absolute WORST 3 months of my entire life. She made an appearance at the funeral with the internet HUSBAND :imbar But before that she stopped at my dads bank and lawyer. I think he wouldnt have plummeted so quickly if not for the shock of her running off-

    Its a little over a year now and I am still in a fog, cant beleive he is gone, I miss him with all I am. His house is empty and his car is in the driveway-I dont go there- I cant yet.

    Im not one to give advice Ive beaten myself up over this till now, but I think I did the best I could by him till the end.

    sorry for your loss

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