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Apr. 22nd, 2011 04:49 pm (UTC)
Everything you suggested is being done. Hospice nurse is there every other day. Only drug we haven't used yet is the morphine liquid. She won't even consider it. She still has her wits about her. She is one strong independent woman. That's why we are pissed. She will get up to smoke, but won't eat. Very frustrating!
Apr. 22nd, 2011 05:11 pm (UTC)
When a person loses control over their body and their body starts to 'let them down' and succumb to a disease, having control over something, anything, is critical to the person.

Phyllis can control her smoking.

It doesn't matter if smoking is harmful.
Surely no one. at this point, is concerned about it's effects on her physical/physiological health and the effects on her emotional/mental health may well be positive and worth-while.

I think anyone pissed off is reacting to a sense of helplessness and that's understandable. It may help to see the smoking as Phyllis' ability/attempt to declare herself as 'in charge of herself' to the extent that she can be.

I wonder, if family members supported Phyllis in her choices by not being negative about them and not making comments about the smoking, whether she might not be so insistent on the smoking and the 'not-eating.' I don't know this, only wonder.

It is a terrible and frightening thing to find that you can't help yourself against a terrible disease so choice, to be redundant, in things that one has, are important.

btw - one of my students, many years ago, had a patient in the end stages of COPD. The patient would take off her oxygen mask, go to the lounge, and smoke. One of the floor nurses would try to argue with the patient. It was senseless. The woman knew her outcome and loved to smoke. Damage to her lungs was already done so what should she do? Make her remaining time a misery of desire for cigarettes? So the nurse could feel better? Nah.

Edited at 2011-04-22 05:19 pm (UTC)
Apr. 22nd, 2011 09:57 pm (UTC)
I know you're right. We all have been supporting her, and been taking turns every day to not leave her alone. Four other nieces, my nephew and me. We all live close by. My niece Angie, has MS and is taking care of her at her house. I just got a call that her feet are swelling up. My God, I have a feeling she's going to die on Easter Sunday. Trying to wrap my brain around it. Thanks for all your posts. It's helping. Probably going to head back there tonight. Hugs You!
As if things aren't bad enough, my nieces and nephew both smoke.

Edited at 2011-04-22 09:58 pm (UTC)
Apr. 22nd, 2011 11:01 pm (UTC)
I don't want to wear you out with my posts, Annie, but, I had a thought after my last PM. Besides taking what control she can, it's likely that Phyllis is angry about what's happening to her. Most of us would be so the smoking may be a way of saying, F___ this! Supporting her, making her comfortable and loved - the things that you all are doing - are the most important. Too late to be concerned with cigarettes and your other family members who smoke probably need that outlet at this time.

I hope you all support each other as well as Phyllis. The caregivers need care as well as the patient and don't need to feel any guilt for needing it.
Keep in touch and let me know what is happening.



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