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Question
Posted by: Liza | 2010/03/05

Feeling guilty...

My Dad had another stroke this morning. He was rushed to the hospital and my sister is now with him. Apparently he''s breathing on his own, but he''s not conscious. Half of me is worried he''s going to die, and half of me wants him to die so that he doesn''t suffer anymore. But its'' making me feel incredibly guilty. I''m already grieving every time I see he looks a year older every month. Its'' like he saw all his kids and grandkids over christmas and then he stopped drinking his medication - even though his pills are handed to him when he needs to drink it. He puts it in his mouth and then spits it out around the corner where the nurse can''t see.

I''m sitting at my desk at work - trying very hard not to bawl my eyes out.

Just a little wrung out at the moment.
Liza

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Such ambivalence is very common in situations like this, so don't blame yourself for being normal. To want him not to suffer needlessly is natural and a kindly impulse.
One wonders about him having started to sneakily stop taking his meds ( something good nurses should always be on the look-out for and deal with professionally ) - was he perhaps trying to sabotage his illness, and bring his life to a more rapid end ? This might, some people could think, have been an understandable and justifiable decision on his part, or might have reflected a depression that deserved recognition and treatment - at least it was something his doctors and nurses should have noticed and discussed with him.
However, from the sound of it, the matter is now out of your hands. You can only be available to visit and comfort him when he wakens, or be prepared to accept hsi end if that is what is coming.
It's sad, of course ; but as I often quote from the American writer Stewart Alsop who wrote about his own battles with cancer, "There comes a time when a dying man needs death, like a sleepy man eneds sleep." If so, let him sleep in peace

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: Rob | 2010/03/05

Thinking of you and praying that everything will be OK. Be strong!!

Reply to Rob
Posted by: Heath | 2010/03/05

Oh Liza, what an incredibly awful thing to be going through. My heart goes out to you. My Grandfather suffered a stroke and was not concious for about a week - he woke up one day, spoke to my mom and asked about something that he had arranged to be done (which we couldn''t answer him on as the guy was still not back) who had just arrived from Durban, and then went " back to sleep" . He died about 2 months later (but only after his friend was back and assured him that he had done as requested. I just felt at the time that he was " hanging on"  to make sure nothing was left undone! It was really a relief when he passed away but I do understand the guilt as well. He lived a very full life but it was still very difficult to accept. When my husband was killed tragically the grief was overwhelming (still is) - I think because he was too young - seems easier now to accept my grandfather''s death because he was older and it just seemed " natural"  that he passed away.

Reply to Heath
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/03/05

Such ambivalence is very common in situations like this, so don't blame yourself for being normal. To want him not to suffer needlessly is natural and a kindly impulse.
One wonders about him having started to sneakily stop taking his meds ( something good nurses should always be on the look-out for and deal with professionally ) - was he perhaps trying to sabotage his illness, and bring his life to a more rapid end ? This might, some people could think, have been an understandable and justifiable decision on his part, or might have reflected a depression that deserved recognition and treatment - at least it was something his doctors and nurses should have noticed and discussed with him.
However, from the sound of it, the matter is now out of your hands. You can only be available to visit and comfort him when he wakens, or be prepared to accept hsi end if that is what is coming.
It's sad, of course ; but as I often quote from the American writer Stewart Alsop who wrote about his own battles with cancer, "There comes a time when a dying man needs death, like a sleepy man eneds sleep." If so, let him sleep in peace

Reply to cybershrink

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