4. She hasn't urinated in 6 months, now all of a sudden she is urinating not often but she has gone a couple of times. What reasons could she be doing it now.
5. Her mind is starting to get "fuzzy" and she is downright mean sometimes. (which is not to typical for her) is this common at the end of life?
6. She is having a lot of vivid dreams. I have checked her meds to see if the dreams are a side effect of any of them but it doesn't appear that they are. Are they a symptom of the dying process.
7. Is there anything we should know specifically about CHF and the dying process from it?
I am assuming that all of the symptoms she has add up to not very long to live, which we are sad and upset about but I am also the type of person who deals with stuff better when I understand exactly what is going on. My husband is her only child so we are her primary care-givers. The doctor said she wouldn't be surprised if she just had a few weeks left, so we are trying to make sure we are prepared and make sure we are doing everything we can do improve the life she does have left.
I am sorry to hear about your mother in law. I read through your posts. It is clear to me (and to you as well) that she is dying. I completely agree that a "comfort care" or hospice approach is not only reasonable but likely the right thing to do at this time.
Regarding the defibrillator, I believe this should indeed be turned off. She will not die from this. Rather, it will prevent her from being shocked by the device which can cause pain. And, if she did have a life threatening arrhythmia, she would potentially pass away comfortably in her sleep.
I also think it is reasonable, once the hospice is set up, to stop with the dialysis sessions. Within a few days, she would likely slip into a coma but her comfort would be ensured by medications, etc.
Again, I know this is a difficult time, but the fact that you are going through this with such detail and compassion, reassures me that you will allow her to die with dignity (and comfort).
*distended belly (she has a very large belly), weeping fluid in both arms, sleeping a lot, complete weakness (unable to sit, stand or roll over), no bowel control, dry legs and feet, pain in one foot, irritability, child like excitement (occasionally), slurred speech, extreme breathlessness with very little exertion, constant mucous producing cough, irregular HB (her nurse observed this), tremors in hands (not constant)
Thank you for any advice or information that you can give us.
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