My brother was found in a hypoglycemic coma 27 days ago. Hospital tested him at a 20 blood sugar level although the friend who brought him in, who is also diabetic, tested him before he took him to emergency and said he was at 95. Neither here nor there I suppose. He has been taken off the ventilator and is breathing on his own, has a feeding tube in his nose as he can't feed himself and his small toe is turning black. He doesn't live close to me so I just saw him this past weekend. The doctors say he is unresponsive but when I walked in his room with another sister from another state, he just smiled and smiled and although doctors also say his movements are involuntary both of us thought that with the smiles we got, he was raising his arms for hugs. He has sleep and wake cycles. Most of the time when he was awake, he would just sort of stare down at nothing. But sometimes he would kind of snap out of it and his eyes would look normal and he would look and follow things. The doctors don't think he will recover and he will never have any quality kind of life and have suggested pulling the feeding tube, essentially letting him starve to death. It just doesn't feel right to me. Even a dog can receive a shot that will put him in a peaceful sleep to never wake again. Has anyone out there had a loved one recover from this and improve at all? I have to be his voice but don't know what to say for him.
I personally have been at deaths door several times in my life. I have made it very clear that I am not to be kept alive. Resuscitation if great and had it not been for resuscitation I would not be helping you now. But if after I am brought back to life my body wont stay alive on its own then I don't want a machine keeping me here. I firmly believe that if its not your time to die then you wont.
That said, has your brother ever shared his feelings with anyone in regards to QOL? You've apparently been apart for some time. Has he expressed his feelings to the friend who brought him to the hospital? As you are his voice, I feel you should make a reasonable effort to question those whom he WAS close to and see just who he became.
I do not envy your situation. It is going to be one of the hardest decisions you will ever make. Subsequently, you should take the time necessary to try to discern how he felt.
Also. Keep this very situation in mind when you think of your sister and yourself. Make your feelings clear so noone has to agonize over your bed should you ever be incapacitated.
With deep regards - good luck.
My brother and I are very close but he told his friend he was tired of living and wanted to die somewhere beautiful. So left Texas for Tahoe, seeing our family on the west coast on the way. Then of course he didn't die and because he was living in his van and it was becoming cold there, he came back home. He had stopped first at this same friends about 4 hours from me before coming here That was when he was found in his van, unresponsive. We've had many talks about life and death. The only thing he ever told anyone was that he refused to be "cut to pieces" as his diabetes progressed. The doctors have told me they want to amputate half of the foot. I think sometimes we can all talk big about wanting to give up and die but in the end human instinct comes in to play and we fight for our lives. Maybe not, I don't know. But what concerns me is the fact that maybe he can recover, given the things I saw him do this weekend. Or maybe I love him so much I don't want to give up on him and am being selfish. That why I posted here today. I wondered if anyone had seen someone make it through this kind of thing before. How possible it was he could recover part of the person he was before. Thanks for reading and commenting on this, I appreciate it.
Recovery is ambiguous. I think he made his feelings clear. If your thinking is correct, the desire to remain alive will push him out of the coma and let him eat. Its not like the ventilator that actually kept him alive. The only thing holdinfu him back now is his own desire. Once his body registers the need for nutrition he will have the option to gather his strength and sit up. His starting off into space is no doubt his reflecting on the path he wants to take.
Just a note to say my sister was still at the hospital yesterday and when she walked into my brothers room, found him sitting up and looking around. When he saw her broke out into a big smile! She had to step out soon after as he was going to get a sponge bath and told him she would be back in a bit and he nodded yes to her! Makes my heart soar! We have decided that his foot will be left alone for the time being and the hospital will be moving the feeding tube to his stomach. Then he will be moved to a skilled nursing facility. He is on medicare and I had hoped he could be transported to a facility here but I've been told as long as there are facilities in Austin, it won't be covered with medicare. Out of pocket would be thousands I am told. Does anybody know of an agency that would fund this kind of move?
Thrilled at the turn of events. The bodies will to survive is astounding at what it can overcome.
Check with some of the cancer centers in your area. They will be more apt to know what's available in the lines of long term care as well as transfer options.
Good luck to you and yours. Please post what you find out. You could very well be helping someone else who needs the info.
Can't believe it's been nearly a month since I was here posting my first post. My heart is heavy today as I have had to make funeral arrangements for my dear brother. Ended up picking him up myself from the hospital and taking him to a facility near me. Still felt hopeful and as we drove home I put in a music CD I made for him and watched him rock his head back and forth in response. He was a musician. But then I realized every time I went to see him after he was settled in, he was deteriorating. I also realized I would lose him. He passed this last Saturday. And I know if he could talk to me, he would tell me I made the right decisions for him but I do feel some guilt in going against what the doctors suggested, thinking I knew him and his spirit better, and making him linger here on earth for my own selfishness or unwillingness to let him go.I will miss him.
You were made his voice noy the doctors'. You based your decisions on what he wanted. There is definitely no call for guilt. Be proud you had the strength to set aside personal opinion.
Its hard losing a loved one to death. Accepting in your heart that we won't die till its our time helps keep it in perspective.
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