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Congestive heart failure


ntetting

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I'll never forget the call I got from my mom Mother's Day morning in 2009. My mom woke me up and was crying and freaking out, but the only thing I could really understand from her is that my dad was on the way to the hospital and that I needed to get there as soon as possible. I honestly didn't think it was anything too serious, but I got to the hospital right away and to my surprise my mom was in a wheelchair eating applesauce hyperventilating and crying, so I knew that it had to be bad. When we were able to go in the room to see my dad, he was hooked up to all these machines and in a coma. After a while my mom calmed down and told me that she woke up and found my dad not breathing on the couch, so she called 911. She told me it took about 20 minutes for EMT to revive him. The doctors brought down my dads body temperature and I'm not sure why, but I think it was to preserve the brain somehow. A couple of days later we had a meeting with the doctor and said that so far there was no brain activity and that we should see how it goes for another 2 to 3 days, so of course we waited. I don't know why or how I did it, but I carried on somewhat normally with my life that week like going to work everyday. I did go to the hopital everyday, but didn't stay long and I will always feel guilty for not being there all the time because if that would of been my son, I would of never left his side. So that Friday our whole family met with the doctor and told us that there is still no brain activity and that best case senario would be that if he ever came out of the coma, he would need total dependant care. My mom decided right away that it was best to "pull the plug" and at the time I did agree with her because I was selfish and didn't want to have to have that responsibility of taking care of my dad the rest of his life, so that's what we did. We pulled the plug around 9am on May 15th 2009 and by 4pm he had taken his last breath and was pronounced dead.

I really didn't show much emotion because I had to stay strong for my mom because she was a total wreck. At the funeral she had a panic attack and had to be calmed down, so I knew for sure if I would have started to cry, she would have lost it even more. I don't know what was wrong with me at the time, but I went back to work the next day and continued to function normally for about a year and then it went totally down hill. Once the one year anniversary came, I cried everyday, whether I was on the way to or from work or just at home, I would cry till it was physically impossible to produce tears anymore. I finally decided to get help and was put on Cymbalta, which did work for quite a while, almost too well because I didn't have any emotion what-so-ever. I would think about my dad and couldn't cry even if I wanted to. Now it's coming on three years and I'm back to feeling like I was that first year where I am crying all the time and I'm still on the Cymbalta which worries me that maybe it's not working anymore. I hate relying on medication for this, but I don't know what else to do.

I know everyone tells you that it gets easier over time, but so far it hasn't and it's been almost three years. I don't want to keep living like this because it affects everything around me. I want to be able to remember my dad and have a happy feeling. It's so bad right now that if I drive past the cemetary he is buried at, I have a panic attack. I will always have the guilt that I did give up on my dad because I have read about congestive heart failure and people being in a coma for months and having a full recovery. If I could take it back I would in a heart beat and would have taken care of him everyday. Please tell me the pain will go away or if anyone has any suggestions to move on other than medication. I'm just so mad at myself that I didn't do enough research on congestive heart failure during the time he was in the hospital because he could possibly be here with me now. I remember one of the times at the hospital my mom was talking to my dad in his coma and he opened his eyes and a tear streamed down his face. The doctors told us he couldn't hear us and that it was his body inactively doing that, but I don't believe that. I think he was able to hear us and that was his way of telling us he was in pain. Sorry this is so long, but if anyone one could help me with moving on, that would be great.

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I think the guilt we put on ourselves is the most difficult part of grieving. If I had done this, he/she would still be here. If only I had done that, I could still talk to him/her. You loved your father. You made a choice with others in your family (and also based on the information given to you at the time by the physicians) that your father was not going to get better. And that is ok. When you read about those people coming back from comas after years they are typically young, healthy individuals. If your father had lived, would he have any quality of life? Would he have wanted to live with others having to care for him daily? I know my father would not have. I made the same choices. And I work in the medical field, so I knew he might have lived a little longer, but on dialysis, possibly on a ventilator, and with no quality of life. He would have hated that. Yes, I wanted more time with him. And yes, I miss him everyday and wonder if there are things I could have done to prolong his life. But in the end, he is gone. And I have to look back at the wonderful times we shared. He loved my son with all of his heart. And he loved me dearly. And I loved him. I know that you loved your father. You must let go of your guilt. We never truly know for sure the results of decisions we did not make. And in the end, we all die. Your father did not suffer for years, was not in agonizing pain, and was surrounded by family that loved him. I can only hope for the this for myself when the time comes. I think coming to this board, talking with others about my dad, and writing some things down has really helped me. Find some ways to get those things out that you cannot say. Mine were, "I am so sorry, Dad, that I did not have the strength and courage to be with you when the doctor first told you that you had cancer from head to to. I was in the waiting room crying my eyes out and I know you must have felt very alone and scared. Please forgive me." Also, "I am sorry, Dad, for lecturing you about drinking those beers two nights before you died." My dad was a functional alcoholic, and we thought he would start chemo and couldn't drink due to his liver. We found out after he died that the cancer he had did not respond to chemo (the results of the biopsies did not come back until 2 days after he died). If I had known I would never have said the things I did. I would have had a beer with him. And those are the two things I felt most guilty about in the end. I still tear up as I type them here. But it is getting a little easier the more I say them and type them and write them. It is not my fault he got cancer, and got sick, and I loved him and cared for him. When he got sick I was there night and day. And we had those conversations about life that we needed to have. It still seems so unreal that he is not here. Take care of yourself.

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stillfighting431

I’m so sorry for your loss.Guilt is a very common part of grieving. It’s going to be 6 months for us on24 Jan. since mom died,but still a single day doesn’t go by when my sister & I don’t analyze all the events upto the day that mom died,trying to figure out if there was something that we didn’t do.We both still can’t let go of this nagging feeling that we could’ve & should’ve done more.

You tried to stay strong for your mom & so you didn’tgrieve for your dad the way you should have.You just kept on burying your pain deep inside you & suppressing all emotion with meds.But your intense pain has come spilling out & you can’t run away from it anymore.You have to go through the whole grieving process in order to find acceptance & ultimately heal yourself.There are no short cuts.It’s OK to cry,scream,yell & let all your pain & emotions out.You’ve to face your loss head on.That’s the only way to find closure.

You said your mom called for help when she found your dadnot breathing,it took 20 minutes for EMTs to revive him & he was in a coma there after with negligible brain activity before your mom decided to pull the plug.I’ve been there,so I feel your pain.My mom was suffering from complications of pneumonia,she was having regular episodes of respiratory distress.And after the 3rd episode she was put on a respirator.I was there when they’re putting in the tubes,she opened her eyes for a few seconds but there was negligible brain activity.I roamed around the ICCU unit ,sobbing,silent tears streaming down my face as I compared the monitors hooked to each patient.I could clearly see how mom’s heart was fine but her brain activity was almost a flat line compared to the other 2 patients on either side of her.I can still see the entire room in my head,I mentally visit it regularly .On her left was a chubby white haired woman with 2 broken arms & burns on her body but fully alert,while on her left was another healthy looking middle aged woman sitting up, sipping tea & gesturing me to get the nurse for her.I talked to both the attending & supervising doctors & they both told us there was not much hope left of my precious mom ever regaining consciousness but advised me to wait.I was told her BP was low & she was getting meds for it.In thatvery condition they made me go the the pharmacy on ground floor several times to get meds & equipment for her treatment(ICCU was on the 2ndfloor).4 hours later we were told her BP had plummeted & she was gone.

Those 4 hours seemed like 4 centuries to me .I relived my entire past & all my future life without mom in my head.I’d made up my mind if the doc. would’ve asked me, I too would’ve told her to pull the plug,since the chances of her living a decent life ,even if she woke up were next to none.I couldn’t be selfish to prolong her agony like that,I couldn’t see my proud,beautiful mom suffer anymore.It was time to let her go,although it felt like I was going to die myself with her.A part of me did die that day &whoever I’m today is not that same person that I used to be.I feel so incomplete without her,I miss her like crazy,I cry for her every day,but I know there was nothing more to be done.

So I think your mom made a very brave ,a very selfless decision to pull the plug.I know how she felt,how she couldn’t see her the man that she loved suffer any more.Please try to believe that too.

sadRN is absolutely right.It's only healthy people who bounce back from commas & even if he did come back his quality of life would have been poor.He wouldn't have wanted to go on like that.So please don't be so hard on yourself.Try to let your guilt go so that you can begin to heal.

sadRN I'm so sorry for your loss & I can understand what you're going through.I hope & pray that our hearts find peace.

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Still fighting i went through a similar thing in the ICU with the pneumonia and for some reason when they are put on a respirator it is just a matter of time. My mother was very thin from nursing home neglect and then she was discovered to have mrsa and then pneumonia. All of this because they said she was safer in a nursing home than at home which is not true. She never would have gotten mrsa or pneumonia had she been home. So now everyone will probably go to court over this.

I miss my mom alot. I had a dream about her last night. Lord have mercy. I miss her so much.

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Still fighting i went through a similar thing in the ICU with the pneumonia and for some reason when they are put on a respirator it is just a matter of time. My mother was very thin from nursing home neglect and then she was discovered to have mrsa and then pneumonia. All of this because they said she was safer in a nursing home than at home which is not true. She never would have gotten mrsa or pneumonia had she been home. So now everyone will probably go to court over this.

I miss my mom alot. I had a dream about her last night. Lord have mercy. I miss her so much.

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stillfighting431

Yes Debbie in my experience the old & frail don’t make it off the ventilator. I know you’ve been beating yourself up about leaving your mom in a nursing home but it’s not what I did but the end result was the same.My point is it’s not your fault,please don’t carry this huge huge load on your shoulders.You’re merely human & you made the best possible decision withthe information at hand.I can see how much you loved your mom.She was your whole life,your touchstone,so was mine.All you did all your life was take as best care of her as you could.I’ve done research,which has led me to believe that we’re all exposed to various infections at various stages of our lives.It’s the immune system that prevents that disease from taking a hold of the body.But the elderly,especially the ones that are not active have a compromised immune system so the previously dormant infections start to get active.My mom had successfully recovered from a total hip replacement .She developed a cold that led to chest congestion that converted into pneumonia & finally she picked upa secondary infection of TB probably from one of her hospital visits.My sister& I were by her side 24/7,did everything we could to make her well again but she still slipped through our fingers like water dripping out of cupped hands.Her body just couldn’t take anymore.

I know your mom wouldn’t want you to suffer like this,neither would mine & they know it wasn’t our fault. So please stop blaming yourself so that you can truly grieve for your mom & heal yourself.

[quote name='debbie8800' timestamp='1327167153' post='83053']

Still fighting i went through a similar thing in the ICU with the pneumonia and for some reason when they are put on a respirator it is just a matter of time. My mother was very thin from nursing home neglect and then she was discovered to have mrsa and then pneumonia. All of this because they said she was safer in a nursing home than at home which is not true. She never would have gotten mrsa or pneumonia had she been home. So now everyone will probably go to court over this.

I miss my mom alot. I had a dream about her last night. Lord have mercy. I miss her so much.

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