Living "weeks to months" with no food and sips of fluid? Really? - page 3

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... Read More

  1. 0
    Personally, I would not call the supervisor on the nurse. Atleast not immediately, because it sounds like you didn't particularly like what she had to say as opposed to being concerned about your father-in-law. perhaps you could have a discussion with another nurse visiting your FIL, or the on-call staff so you can have a second opinion. Maybe a conversation that goes in the lines of, " My FIL's situation is like x,y,z with a hx of a,b,c. Given that he's been literally NPO for such&such a time, and with low output, we just wanna be prepared as family as to an estimate time of his last days. His regualr nurse so&so made a comment that with recent research, pts have lived for such&such a time with the same situation that my FIL is in. Have there been such cases as well with your experience, etc, etc?" I think that would sound more genuine& concerned than just asking "is it true that.....?"

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  2. 4
    marshall, keep in mind that your fil had been receiving ivf up until he had been admitted to hospice...
    so that would sustain him longer than someone who had been dehydrated upon admission.

    the bottom line is, i have had pts that totally and thoroughly defied anything/everything i was ever taught.
    since then, i always told families they'll go when they're good and ready...
    and not a moment before.

    hospice has taught me that it is predictably unpredictable.

    would love to hear from you.

    Laura Z. Pam, Esme12, tewdles, and 1 other like this.
  3. 1
    I have been taught by many excellent nurses to NEVER offer a timeline to a family-you will always be wrong. We all can tell stories about patients whose deaths were unusual, people that held on for weeks while NPO, people whose loved ones stayed at the bedside around the clock for days only to leave for 5 mins on day 12 and guess what? That was when the patient died.
    We have a situation at work now-a newish nurse told me today "It will be 3 to 5 days" Really? I never did find out who gave her that info ,time will tell but I don't think this resident is going anywhere fast,she is young and her body is strong but now she is NPO,no artificial feeding. Thankfully the hospice staff on the case have been great with the family and are attempting to educate the staff but so many of us THINK we know it all and don't hesitate to share that knowledge.I have seen the upset this kind of thing causes a family-I have heard doctors (they really do think they are gods) predict death to the loved ones of a dying resident and when the prediction does not come true the family is a mess. Why can't we ever admit that some things are beyond our control?
    I hope your FIL is comfortable and you and your family receive the support you need.Good luck
    tewdles likes this.
  4. 1
    The medical director of the hospice where I work says that pt's can live about 14 days on NOTHING my mouth (that means when he gets to the point of no sips and no ice chips). But then again that is not considering the fact that your father has some sort of bleeding process happening that could accerlerate his decline. Again, as stated above, there are no crystal balls, but 'days to weeks' sounds more realisic than "weeks to months". Also, as stated above, oxygen will not prolong anything, it will only provide comfort. MY thoughts are with you during this difficult time.
    tewdles likes this.

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