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Doctor recommended stopping IV fluids-Is this right?

Heeran's picture
Heeran
Posts: 173
Joined: Aug 2011

Mom is on hospice at home and keeps coughing up secretions since she has complete blockage.  Hospice nurse spoke w/ oncologyst and they are recommending stopping IV fluids.  I'm having trouble with this.  I know the constant coughing and gagging from the secretions is making her miserable, but stopping IV fluids means she dies faster.  I'm scared that I'm aiding in her dying faster.  Am I crazy for thinking this?  My dad is having trouble as well.  He keeps wanting to feed to because she's hungry.  I have mixed emotions and don't know if I'm giving up on her, trying to lessen her misery, or what?

Ladylacy
Posts: 468
Joined: Apr 2012

Is your mother still talking.  If so ask her.  The fluids are helping to keep her hydrated but are also causing her trouble. She could aspirate the fluids into her lungs and get pneumonia, that's what happened to my Aunt.   During my mother's last week she was in a coma and we were not giving her fluids.  We were told she could last up to 2 weeks or more without fluids.  

It is a hard decision to make but mother had told us she wanted nothing in the end to keep her alive and we just followed her wishes.  Those are my husband's wishes also when the end is near for him and I just hope I can make them for him.  I just don't want him to suffer as I am sure you don't want your mother to suffer.

Wishing you peace and comfort -- Sharon

JKGulliver
Posts: 82
Joined: Apr 2013

Can the drip rate be slowed down?  This might ease the coughing but still keep your mother hydrated.  You are correct in being uneasy about depriving your mother of fluids.  I would also ask a hospic doctor, not the medical oncologist.

Heeran's picture
Heeran
Posts: 173
Joined: Aug 2011

Mom is concious and lucid and I explained to her the pros and cons of the fluids.  And of course she is saying, "whatever you think is best."  This is the reason why I'm having such a hard time with this.  The ball's in my court.  Not sure if it's because we're foreigners, but since I was little, I have helped my parents with alot of things from an administrative standpoint because he didn't understand english well.  It's just the role I've taken on my entire life.  And now as my mom is in hospice at home, I'm at a loss of what is morally right.  A friend of the family is a hospice nurse and she stated it's almost cruel to keep giving IV fluids knowing that it is the cause of so much secretion torture. I would agree.  But I feel like I'm trying to kill my mom at a faster rate and that makes me feel horrible.  I didn't give her fluids today, that's 2 days in a row.  I feel so lost.

Ladylacy
Posts: 468
Joined: Apr 2012

If she understands the pros and cons, then she needs to make the decision, not you. This is not fair to put it all on you.  She decided on her own no more treatment, so you shouldn't feel guilty or terrible about anything of this. 

I know that it is a hard decision, been there done that before and will have to do it again.  In the end you have will have done the best you can without any input from her so you shouldn't feel guilty.  The hospice people you are involved with can help you in your decisions.  Her doctor can also.  Whatever happens, please don't feel bad about your decisions. 

Wishing you comfort and peace -- Sharon

Josie60's picture
Josie60
Posts: 81
Joined: Jul 2012

Continue the discussion with your parents. Does she have a living will? that might help everyone feel better about the decision.The doctor and hospice nurse or consular should be able to give you information to help everyone with decisions.  My mom died recently, I had to make similar decisions about withholding treatment as her systems shut down (not cancer related just her time).  It made it easier to know I was following her wishes. 

 

So sorry to hear things have reached this stage.  Prayers for strength and courage to face the next few days.

MartinG5602's picture
MartinG5602
Posts: 22
Joined: Jun 2012

My heart goes out to you as you struggle with your Mom's Hospice situation. Please talk to the nurses with Hospice and call their office anytime. If your Mom is in pain, her pain can be handled with morphine . Both my parents had Hospice and those very kind people were wonderful to me and both my parents. You must not feel guilty about your decisions as you go forward. You are doing the loving and most kind thing for her. Hospice is there to help her pass easily and very peacefullly as the right time comes. I put Mom's favorite music to her ears in her last days and she always shook her head to tell me she loved to listen. Providing beautiful music comforted both of us. God bless.

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