How do You prepare for a death?

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Dr-A
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2105
   Posted 6/16/2009 9:51 AM (GMT -6)   
With my UC doing pretty well lately, I am about to be faced with the death of a loved one. My grandfather, who I have always been very close with has taken a turn for the worse and probably won't make it to my sons birthday in September. Living a few states away I have been separated from the issue, but the realness of the situation is starting to hit home. He made his funeral arrangements this week, and I am going home in a few weeks to visit.... hopefully not for the last time. I talked with him on his birthday a coule days ago, and we just didn't mention it at all.

I usually deal with stress by pretending it isn't there, but I don't think that will work with this one. How in the world do you prepare your body for this if you can at all? I don't even like to think about it.
Proctitis DX 1999, Pancolitis DX 2008
Golimumab study (100mg every 4 weeks)
L-Glutamine 5000 mg + 600 mg pyridoxal alpha-ketoglutarate
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notsosicklygirl
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Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 16285
   Posted 6/16/2009 10:03 AM (GMT -6)   
I always try to tell myself that it is for the best. I know that is kind of sick but I feel like if someone lives to be old, they have lived a long life and hopefully a happy life surrounded by friends and family that love them. Maybe they aren't able to live it how they want to anymore and life has become a struggle. They will finally be at peace and not held back by their physical condition. I am sorry to hear that your grandpa is ill. I hope he has lived a full life and I know he will go on to be freed.
Diagnosed with mild proctitis in March 2007: Treated with Canasa (as needed)
December 08: Began treating with Asacol 400mg (9/day) + Canasa 2x/day - Anemic
May 09: Off Canasa, taking Asacol (9/day)
Back on Canasa every other night + Asacol (9/day) + Probiotics + Iron
Reducing to 6 Asacol/day + Canasa + Probiotics + Iron - So far so good!!! -SPOKE TOO SOON! Back to 9/day...


Eva Lou
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Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 3442
   Posted 6/16/2009 10:44 AM (GMT -6)   

You can't prepare yourself, it's some sort of self-protective biological mechanism kicking in... my Dad died from cancer 5 years ago- at Xmas his docs told him no more than 6 months, I didn't believe it. Of course I knew he was sick, but.... The day he died, I had seen him just the day before & knew it was bad, he was so weak & in so much pain, but still the news of his actual death was rough. You just can't prepare. Even though you may have months to do so! He died at home though, which was nice. 


diagnosed with UC '02
meds-
Asacol- 8 tabs/day
Remicade-10mgs/kg- since 4/07
Imuran- 150mgs/day
various probiotics
Fiber supplement
 
 
 


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 6/16/2009 10:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Death can be very hard to deal with as I'm sure most people know, and I don't want to sound like I'm a cold fish or anything but for me it just depends on who it is that has died...some deaths have affected me much worse than other deaths, I found it a little strange at first until I quickly realized that one particular person (as well as a cat we had) was so much more important in my life than some of the others.

Thing is you never know for sure how you will be affected and that makes it harder to prepare for some people, there just is no wrong or right in how YOU feel when it comes to death, it is what it is, but a fact of life for us all. I certainly don't worry about my own death, infact there have been many days that I looked forward to it, no more suffering and such.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 6/16/2009 11:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Dr-A,

I just lost my Mom this past January. She had had a series of strokes over the previous 6 years or so. I kept thinking that I was preparing myself knowing that things weren't looking good. I thought that I had accepted the fact that time wasn't on her side, but when the time came it still was very much a shock to me. I had visited with her on Christmas eve and we had had a wonderful visit, she was laughing and seemed much like her old self. Well two days later she started going down hill, slipped into dementia and then eventually developed pneumonia and passed. She had been on a respirator at the end and we had to remove her from it and I stayed with her the whole time.

There really is no way to prepare. Just spend as much time with your grandpa as you can, tell him how much you love him, share funny stories, just enjoy the time you do have with him.

God Bless,
Gail *Nanners*
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Liza D
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 166
   Posted 6/16/2009 11:24 AM (GMT -6)   
I am so sorry to hear about your grandfather. Both sides of my family deal with death differently. Dad's side sees it as "going home" and all live pretty long- Grandma is 94 years old!

On my mom side, they try to ignore it too. When her father died she had a really hard time with her colitis. She had to fly back and forth from LA to Michigan. It wasn't until the funeral that it really took a toll on her body.

If I had to prepare for a death, I know I also flare after the fact. Once things are in order and start to get back to "normal" is when it creeps up on me. I would start with a low fiber diet and if you see symptoms, go right for a clear liquid diet. That is hard to do because if you are like me all you want to do at that time is eat.

Good luck. I wish your family the best.
UC (Pancolitis... 90%!) December 2001
Arthritis (2003)
Upper GI Ulcer (2006)
Osteopenia (2008)
Depression/Anxiety (2002)
J-Pouch May 2009

Meds just stopped working so I took the problem out! No more colon and all kinds of excitement!


Lonie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6448
   Posted 6/16/2009 11:25 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm not sure how to prepare -- not sure you can. My late husband died about 3 years ago, and it was sudden; not expected. My Dad has late stages of cancer, and I know his time is limited, but I wonder if it will be any different even though I have each day to relish his sweet personality. He and my Mom tell me not to feel sorrow for they have lived a wonderful and full life. As to prepare your body -- I think it goes into a shutoff mode while you deal with the stress. Then you need to take time to grieve and rest. Sorry, friend.

Carol

Remicade - will have my 29th infusion on July 8
Vitamin B-12/Biotin, Probiotics, Vitamin D-3 (2000 IU)
 
Co-Moderator for the UC Forum
 
 


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30596
   Posted 6/16/2009 12:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Dr. A...I can truly relate to all you're experiencing, and however you're dealing with it is OK. I guess there's no right or wrong, and for me being in a situation where a friend of mine is dying of cancer that's spread throughout her body....I don't know if I'll go visit her at this point.

Her will to live is only allowing her to suffer a long death...miniscule amounts daily, and I've come to realise I see no dignity in that type of process. I know what I've learned through this...I will never do as she's done it.

Closer to your situation, another friend who has CD just experienced the death of her beloved grandfather. She was quite distraught at the nowledge that he was wanting to die, and when she went to visit him, she asked him how he felt about it and what his thoughts were on death, etc.
His shared thoughts brought her comfort....and she viewed his death as extremely sad, but not tragic. One doesn't want to see loved ones suffer.

My mother, on the other hand, died June 21, 1994. I pretty much had to ignore much of it hoping she would survive until I graduated from the program that consumed me at that time. I wanted the summer to connect with her, etc. My brother was living with her, and his girlfriend (a nursing student) was caring for my mom....because my mom decided she didn't want to die in the hospital but wanted her kids to care for her. WTH??? Like we have practice at it?
A lot of emotional distresses for me, but I had to stay away based on my mom/brother's relationship until the critical stage happened.

When my mom died (on my graduation day), it was a relief in the way I didn't have to deal with the life-long rejection I felt. It took a while to find any information on how I was supposed to feel (even though I was in therapy)...as pb4 stated, the quality of a relationship pretty much determines how much grief and loss one feels.

Again, the same with my dad's death a few years later...he didn't even want my sister to tell me he was in the hospital. say what??? How does one show actual feelings other than hurt/confusion when there's competition but perceived not caring?

I did have a male friend whom I knew since 1960....he was truly an integral emotional part of my life as a teen and in my early 20's. But, we went our separate ways, and on occasion ran into each other catching up on each other's lives. He died suddenly in 2004 and I still have a severe feeling of loss in my heart knowing that he's not here, even though I barely saw him.

So, whatever my point is....you will never be prepared, but I think the bottom line is your reaction will be what you believe how you are to react. You may flare, so prepare yourself that way by possibly increasing your meds...for the calm after the storm is when it can hit.

There is a book called "Tuesdays with Morrie"....very fast read, but insightful as to connecting with someone who is dying.

The fear of going through it is the hardest I think....but maybe other family members are wanting to share how they're feeling and no one is asking. Maybe connect that way and you may be surprised that you're not the only one.

I'm impressed that your grandfather has made arrangements. My mom had her arrangements too, but when she was in a bad state, the pastor from her church laid the guild trip of being creamated and she had to call in the funeral director to come and help her pick out her coffin. I won't say what I told the minister after the funeral.

Apologies for this being long-winded...but unfortunately the older we get, the more experience of loss we have. No wonder "old" people are sad and miserable sometimes. Acceptance of what we feel and think is really the key.

quincy
*Heather* Status: maintenance Asacol 6 daily + Salofalk enemas every 3rd night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~UC meds: Asacol (3 x2 daily); Salofalk enemas nightly for flares & taper to maintenance 
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed; Ranitidine (reflux);  Effexor XR 75mg(depression);  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma) 
~vitamins/minerals/supplementsProbiotics....(Natural Factors Protec, Primadophilus Reuteri Pearls). @ bedtime
~various digestive enzymes as needed
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!
 


jujub
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 6/16/2009 1:06 PM (GMT -6)   
My heart goes out to you, Dr. A. I've lost both of my parents, and it really isn't easy.
 
One thing I've learned is that it's important to give the person a chance to talk about dying. If you consistently pretend everything is fine, your grandfather may not feel able to talk openly with you. It was helpful for me and for my mother and dad to be able to talk about it, and be sure we'd said everything we wanted to say to one another. I cherish those conversations now, and I've never had that feeling of "I wish I'd told Mother this while I could."
 
Take every chance you can to make memories. Video your GF telling stories about his life or history as he sees it. Then you can share those with your children and grandchildren in the future.
 
I hope the journey is peaceful for both of you.
Judy
 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC diagnosed 2001.
Flared for 5 years, finally in remission with Remicade since March 2006.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from steroids.
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. 
"My life is an ongoing medical adventure"
 
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potty girl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 835
   Posted 6/16/2009 2:31 PM (GMT -6)   
I lost my Dad to cancer when I was 20, well no matter what most 20 year olds will say at that age you are not real mature at times. So I handled it differently then, compared to how I would now. My theory then was to distance myself from him while he was alive thinking then I wouldnt miss him as much when he was gone, very selfish on my part. If I had it to do over I would have spent the time he had left getting to really know him, and letting him really know me. But at 20 that didnt accure to me. I didnt live with my Dad growing up so now I wish I had got to know him better. I didnt want to see him in pain so I didnt go to see him as often as I should have, And oh how I wish I would have now.I dont know if there is ever a good way to prepare yourself for something like this. I like to believe they are at peace and no longer in pain.
Rona

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subdued
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 6/16/2009 3:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Several of my relatives died suddenly (through accidents or by suicide) while I was living overseas. I never got the chance to tell them I loved them and how important they were to me. I wish I had.
Joy - 47 yrs and counting; Colitis Dec 06 (also have IBS); Currently in remission

Figuring out how to reduce a flare or get into remission is a trial and error experience. Don't expect your GI to have all the answers. He was trained in making diagnoses, prescribing medications, and surgically removing the colon. He was not trained in alternative treatments. That's why they are called alternative treatments.

Lexapro (for stress), Probiotics and Vitamins, Anti-inflammatory foods, No pro-inflammatory foods when flaring, No HFCS, No foods high in fructose, No artificial sweeteners -- Fecal transplantation worked, Prednisone stopped working, Colazal stopped working, Asacol stopped working

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