This patient support community is for discussions relating to stroke, rehabilitation, ability to eat/swallow, alertness, bowel/bladder control, depression, motor skills, nutrition, orthotics/braces, pain, prevention, senses, and spasticity.
Back in October my diabetic mother had a stroke on the right side of her brain. I want to know what exactly caused her to pass away. Was it the fact that she couldn't eat, being that she was a diabetic, eventually causing her to go into a coma and die or does the stroke itself do something like hinder her from breathing . Was there something that made her stop breathing because of the stroke itself? She was getting something through an IV but I'm sure there wasn't much nourishment there. I guess I'm hoping that she didn't starve to death although she passed a week after she had the stroke. If we had put a feeding tube in her would she have lived? I understand I should just accept this but it nags at me not knowing and I'm sure her quality of life would have been awful. I know she's not suffering now and I am glad about that but I would just like to know what the bleeding in the brain does. Thank you.
The bleed of the brain would of caused death of some of the brain tissues. This is what causes the loss of abilities that were there before. Such as speech, movement, writing, cognition, perception etc etc
I can't really say what caused your mothers death as i did not see her circumstances. Commonly the swallow is damaged after a stroke, causing risk of aspiration (food and liquids entering the lungs), and this is why they may opt for a nasogastric feed (tube down nose) or a peg feed (tube into stomach) if your mother was unable to speak to give consent for the procedure then the consent has to come from the family...
From reading this post i'm gathering this is what happened? If it wasn't, please forgive me.
If however that was the case, do not feel guilty for your decision. If you went ahead with the peg feed that would mean that your mother would never taste any foods or liquids ever again. Her mouth would become dry and sore, and she would never enjoy her foods, because the feed would always be down the tube. What else could she enjoy, if no longer this?
However, if she carried on to eat there was the risk of developing pnuemonia (pneumonia) because of aspirating foods and liquids into the lungs.
I do no know what the extent of yours mothers condition was as stroke effects people in many different ways and is such a complex thing.
Don't beat yourself up about it, at the time you thought what you did was best, and you should keep that feeling with you, that is was the best thing. It isn't your fault that your mother had the stroke afterall.
Death by starvation takes from one to two months. There were some hunger strikers in Ireland some years ago -- it took 60 days for them to die. If your mother was on IV, then her blood sugar was being regulated via insulin administered through the IV, so you can be confident that she did not starve to death, and that the diabetes was not a factor. When a stroke is severe enough to cause a coma, it usually depresses the autonomic nervous system, which stops the breathing process, can hinder the heartbeat, shut down the liver and kidneys, and cause death by multiple organ failure.
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