Helping A Loved One To Transition Into Non-Physical
My Dad recently passed away Oct, 27, 2010. He was on a ventilator to help him breathe, which was placed in his throat (a trach).
I stayed with him in the hospital into the night. He was never able to speak, so I don't know if he wanted all the aggressive treatments that were keeping him alive.
One night, He was so weak, I held his hand and told him that I would take him home if that is what he wanted, (I was implying Hospice care), His eyes got round and sad as his eyebrows raised. I cant discern if that is what he wanted or did he want to try to fight for my Mom's sake.
He was transferred to a LTAC (long term acute care facility). They stopped dializing him, didn't do Physical Therapy, stopped a lot of his critical drips for his heart, and NEVER debreided the stage four decubitus ulcer on his tail bone.
Essentially, the continuity of his care was compromised. He went into Septic shock and Cardiogenic shock. Most notably, he looked extremely depressed and appeared to have lost the will to fight.
I have talked many nights to God. I told him I didn't even know how to pray, so here goes. I asked God to give me the strength and courage to explain complex med. info. to my Mom ( I work in healthcare). I asked for God to not take him in the hospital, but allow him to come home and pass away within his own home. I told God that Dad is a good man, and asked him to provide that dignity. Most of all, The Dr.s and Nurses were constantly pulling me aside insisting that I speak with Dad and ask him what HE wants. They were concerned that my Mom was in denial (which she was), and that I needed to assess my Dad's wishes.
I prayed so hard for courage,strength and peace so that I could go to the bedside and ask him once again. After saying "Amen", I felt an amazing calm come over my body which I have never felt before. I went to the bedside and his RN was walking out of his room, I told her what I was
going to do. To my surprise, she said"I'd hold off on that a while if I were you. This RN is 75, same age as my Dad.
He stayed in CCU for another 3 weeks getting stronger and surprising everyone. Then came the news that he was doing so much better that he needed to go the the LTAC I mentioned above. On Oct 27th,my cat caught a mouse and brought it in the house, so we were all running around trying to catch it. It was Chaotic and crazy! Suddenly.....I heard a "voice" not someone elses voice but my minds voice speak very adamantly to me and it said, "It's time to call the Hospital NOW".
John, Dad's night shift RN told me his vitals were poor and that he probably wouldn't make it thru the night. This was a sudden shift we were not aware of. I asked him to place a phone up to his ear for 20 seconds as me (his oldest and only daughter) said the special things I wanted him to know. I will share that I told him how proud I am of the long hard fight, and of course how proud I am to be his daughter. Then I told him. ". . .now you go on and go up to heaven Dad. Leave this tired, sick body and just be our Angel looking down on us. Don't worry, the boys and I will take care of MOM and we will all be together again one day. You are here in our hearts so just let go Dad."
Then the RN spoke into the phone and said he couldn't help overhearing what I said. Just then, the alarms on his telemetry went off warning of desaturating oxygen and blood pressure. The RN said, He's going now. Im sure he heard you. Funny thing though, Dad was in a coma at this point.
I seek evidenciary documentation of this occurring with a similar patient. I want to believe that he was waiting for us to tell him it was ok to go on. I feel the voice I heard was God allowing me to help my Dad pass on. I welcome your thoughts, Thanks for taking time to read my story.