My father in law was placed on hospice yesterday. He has had nothing - literally - to eat for weeks. Weight loss - which he did not need in the first place - has been tremendous - he is over 6 ft and weighs less than 120 at last wt which was about 2 wks ago.
He was getting IV therapy and taking ice chips/sips of water in the hospital which he was discharged from home to hospice yesterday as I said. He does not, that we know of, have cancer. There is a "bleed" somewhere inside they cannot find and he is not willing/able to go through surgery to find it.
He was given a blood transfusion about 5 days ago before the decision to place him on hospice was made. He is in his 80's and basically, his body has just had enough. He is alert and oriented. IV fluids were stopped yesterday before he was sent home. He has had sips of gatorade and ice chips since then. The hospice nurse who came out to do the admission told him/the family that he could live "weeks or months" just on the sips of gatorade/water/ice chips because the body will absorb all this and "hold it."
When I tell you sips I mean a normal size bottle of gatorade is going to last him DAYS...I have never heard of someone, especially someone who is already compromised, lasting months on sips of fluid and no food.
He does have a catheter - it was placed in the hospital and the decision was made to leave it since he is so weak and has fallen in the hospital. His urine is fairly dark and the output not all that great, because he has not eaten in wks he has not had a BM in about a month.
According to the hospital staff/his doctor, nothing has come out - not even the blood - he has about 3 L of fluid sitting in his stomach. He is on oxygen and that is another thing she said - was the oxygen would keep him breathing "longer than normal." She is young, seems fairly inexperienced and though nice I politely asked her, in private of course, about the stuff she said re: oxygen/fluids.
She said "new research has shown what I said to be true." I left it at that but would really like the opinions/thoughts of other hospice nurses on here as I do not want my father in law or his family to be under misguided assumptions on how this is going to go over the next wk and I think they are thinking he has a lot more time left than he really does.
Quote from CapeCodMermaid
Why would you suggest a gtube? What about quality of life?
After aging the definition of "quality of life" alters.
Last edit by RNGriffin on Jun 24, '12