My mother had an ischemic stroke 4 days ago that covered 2/3 of the right side of her brain. The same night she over took a prescription of klonopins that her doctor gave her. She has been in a coma since the stroke, and has not responded to any type of commands. The physician at the hospital has informed me that there is not much hope of her ever recovering from this, and as her daughter, I have been appointed as her POA. He called me this evening to discuss her plan of care. He mentioned surgically putting a feeding tube through her belly as well as performing a tracheotomy. Is it at all beneficial to get a second opinion? My mother would never want to live in a vegetative state, or with any type of physical/mental ailments. She has expressed this to me many times in the past. Any suggestions?
I doubt another dr will tell you anything different. As far as your Mom's wishes, I can see she wouldn't want to be on a ventilator, this is a life saving act. But the trach and a feeding tube is supportive care, and won't keep her alive if she's going to pass on from this, but it will keep her skin from breaking down because of malnutrition and causing her pain. The trach will help clear her secretions.
We faced the same situation with my mother. We found that that our doctor said she would not recover from the stroke and her cancer. We started a feeding tube but she somehow pulled it out. She went to a nursing home. We removed all support and stopped any nutrition. She received fluid and that was discontinued as well. The aid would use a sponge for fluid. She passed and even with this minimal care she hung on for quite some time.
It will be up to you how long you want her to stay in this vegetative state. Search your heart and ask the tough questions. Would you want this prolonged life with no hope? You say she would not have done so by her choice. What you decide will be what you can handle. what she will need is what is best for her. Blessings to her and your love, karen
Moral questions are always difficult. A trach and a feeding tube are only life prolonging. If I were telling you from a nurse point of view I would tell you follow your mom's wishes not yours and from what you have said this means only providing comfort care at this time. IE turn in bed, mouth care, ect. God bless you and we can only pray for you mom and you
This is never an easy thing. If you know that your mother would not want to live in a vegetative state then tell them no on the tube feedings and trach. Tube feedings and a trach may keep her alive (in this vegetative state) for many more years. If this is not what she wanted, even though it is a very hard choice for you, you need to tell them no (if this is the case) I know, for myself (and this is just my opinion) I wouldnt want to live this way. The essence of the person is gone when one is in a vegetative state with no hope for recovery. To keep them alive only prolongs death when the essence of the person who was your mother is already gone and all that is left is the physical body and not the spirit. If your mother expressed wishes that she didnt want to live in a vegetative state, say no to the trach and tube feedings-they will only prolong her life in this vegetative state. The Dr legally has to offer them to you as choices.
This is why it is so important, even for young people, to make up a living will or advanced directive so that someone is never put in your position. It is not an easy place to be. Search your heart and if you know she wouldnt want to hang on like this then pray, and let her go.
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