Ever provided hospice care to your own loved one?

  1. I have been a nurse for 22 years. My husband has just been given 3 months to live. He is 47 years old. He had a bowel resection for his colon cancer in January. He completed 6 hellish months of chemo with 5FU. All that time the ca was spreading to his liver, which now houses mutiple large tumors. I plan to care for him at home. I have left work in order to do this with LOA. So far so good, but I know things will get very difficult. Right now he sleeps most of the day, his blood sugars are on the high side.(He has also been a diabetic for 35 years.)I am wondering if any nurse has provided such care to their dying loved one, is it difficult to be objective, I am looking for suggestions for the long road ahead of us. Thank you kindly.
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   tinkertoys
    My heart goes out to you{{{:kiss }}} God bless you for you love and dedication. Your husband is a very lucky man to have you!
    Even though you are an experienced nurse, in this case, you're not a nurse... you're his wife. As hard as you try, you will not be able to be objective, and treat him as you would a patient. Please, PLEASE seek out a hospice group. They will help and support you both as much, or as little, as you need. Let them help you, and do what they can do for you both, so you can be to your husband what noone else can be. This time will pass too quickly. Don't let it go by in a blur of stress and exhaustion because you tried to do it all... He needs you right now. But not as his nurse... as his wife.
    May God Bless you both.
    Terra
  4. by   DACCKN
    HI GIRL, HOPE THINGS ARE OK FOR YOU AND YOUR HUBBY, IT IS OVER A WEEK SINCE YOU POSTED, AND I JUST FOUND THIS SITE SO.........LAST SEPT. I RECIEVED THE PRIVILEDGE OF TAKING CARE OF MY MOTHER, THERE IS SOMETHING TO BE GAINED BY A BUMPY ROAD, AT ONE POINT IT FINALLY GETS SMOOTHER....TAKE EVERY ADVANTAGE OF ANYONE WHO WANTS TO HELP YOU..PLEASE LET THEM AND IN ANYWAY THEY CAN, THAT IS MY BEST SUGGESTION, NEXT IS AS HE IS SLEEPING, READ TO HIM OR TALK ABOUT THINGS YOU DID TOGETHER, THIS HELPS HIM, AND IT VALIDATES YOUR TIMES WITH HIM. MY OLDER BROTHER IS A HOSPICE RN AND I AM A HOSPICE LVN, IT DOES MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE SO LET YOUR NURSES, NURSE HIM AND YOU JUST LOVE HIM...............
    JUST HOLLER AND I'LL BE RIGHT HERE.
  5. by   Constance Ann
    I am sorry to hear of the prognosis of your husband. I took care of my father in his last days and he had diabetes and CHF and Lung CA. I made tapes of music, mostly Christian and placed head phones on his head. I tried to remember that sounds may be amplified so kept the music low. I also did not spare the sublinqual morphine when he was making noises that were more grunting when he was too sleepy to talk. He could not communicate after awhile, but I tried to keep his pain level down even if he slept a lot. I stroked his head and washed his face with a cool cloth and kept whispering in his ear how much I loved him and how great it was to have him in my life. I counted it such a priviledge to be with him and care for him. I slept in a recliner at the end of his bed and I did sleep intermittently. I always seemed to get enough sleep and took naps when he napped. This will be the hardest and yet the sweetest time. Until the experience ends, you will probably not know what I am talking about. Please keep us posted and I will put you and your husband in my bible and pray for you each day. When you can sense God or pray, that's when others can step in for you. Sincerely, Constance Ann
  6. by   researchrabbit
    I assisted my best friend (also a nurse) when her 21-year-old son was dying of a brain tumor. Hospice is wonderful -- they were a lifesaver for her.

    And, from being with my friend and her son, I observed exactly what Constance wrote about.

    It is also important for you to take care of yourself. You may wish to appoint a friend as gatekeeper (as my friend did with me) so that you only deal with as much of the outside world as you wish to. You'll be in my thoughts.
  7. by   renerian
    I cared for my dad and his mother via hospice as their 24 hour caregiver. I am so sorry your hubby is so ill. I commend you for doing what you do. It is the last thing you can do to show your love to your family. You will be tired but do not give up. Don't be afraid to ask for continuous care hours when he gets to the restless and can't lay still stage. The hospice can do that to help you.

    Hugs and we are here for you,

    renerian

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