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Possibly triggering: Can someone keep me company? FIL is Dying and I'm struggling

(140 Posts)
supermanslefttesticle Sun 19-Nov-17 20:47:20

I've sent MIL and DH to bed as they've been keeping 24 hour vigil by his bedside and they are both exhausted. We're doing hospice at home, so they are just upstairs and I'm sat by his bedside watching xfactor and drinking tea, it's surreal.

FIL is in the final stages of cancer. It's been fast, diagnosis was 6 weeks ago and he's gone from no symptoms at all back then to now being at the very end. He's unable to communicate verbally now and I think he's going to go tonight or early tomorrow morning (I used to work on a palliative care ward and he's at the stage where I'd have called his family to come in). The last 48 hours have been super quick. He was getting out of bed on Wednesday and talking fine, but now he's sleeping most of the time and occasionally screaming out as if he's in pain sad district nurses have been in to load him up on pain relief so he's out for the count at the moment which is good.

I'm just struggling to hold myself together and I could really do with some company while the rest of the family gets some much needed sleep.

Anyone about?

Angrybird345 Sun 19-Nov-17 20:48:51

No words but hand holding and thinking of you.

Angrybird345 Sun 19-Nov-17 20:49:54

Do you want to talk about X factor? I haven’t seen the past few episodes. I last heard one of the girls was a right diva... the one who won the Pink competition.

fucksakefay Sun 19-Nov-17 20:50:32

Hand holding. You strong woman taking this on yourself and letting your MIL and DH sleep.

OstentatiousWanking Sun 19-Nov-17 20:52:19

flowers my DGF has aggresive pancreatic cancer. Sending you strength.

Frouby Sun 19-Nov-17 20:53:47

Handhold here.

I sat with my stepdad and my mum when he was nearing the end. My mum napped and I read a little. Looking back now it was very surreal but I am glad I was there. More for my mum than anything else.

Have you eaten? Had plenty to drink? flowers

supermanslefttesticle Sun 19-Nov-17 20:55:54

Xfactor has been a bit rubbish, they seem to be pushing original songs this year which is all very well and good, but why couldn't they do that the year Lucy spraggon was in?? She was fab.

Neither MIL or DH slept at all last night or all day today. The night before neither of them slept much either so they've done 48 hours on about 3 hours sleep sad . they are trying to stay up to support each other which means neither of them will yield and go to bed hence why I've put my foot down and sent them both under the promise I'll come and get them if anything changes. Worried if they don't get any sleep, when FIL's time comes they will both be too exhausted to process it properly and it will be much harder on them both.

I think he'll go tomorrow morning, which happens to be my birthday sad

Cancer is a massive cunt.

BasiliskStare Sun 19-Nov-17 20:56:35

Super - my Dh sat next to his father ( my father in law - obviously) for the last day and night of his life ( DFIL's) ) - he said it was a strange time. But he is glad he did it. & he did other stuff as well on his iPad as FIL was not speaking , but he spoke to him & is just happier that he did. He has no idea to this day what his father understood , if anything. But he just thought someone being with his Dad was a good thing.
Best wishes

mousemoose Sun 19-Nov-17 20:57:40

Sending you flowers and good thoughts. A surreal part of our lives; it really brings home those funeral words ‘in the midst of life we are in death’. Hope you are okay.

Angrybird345 Sun 19-Nov-17 20:58:00

Shit, I know it’s awful for your fil but to happen on your birthday... you did the right thing sending them to get some sleep. Have you got some drink and food?

supermanslefttesticle Sun 19-Nov-17 20:58:48

I feel less guilty for mumsnetting hearing stories of things other people did too, thank you flowers wasn't sure if it was disrespectful to be watching tv etc, not sure what the protocol is here or what's appropriate? MIL turned the TV on earlier though so I'm taking the lead from her.

MrsZB Sun 19-Nov-17 20:59:01

Hand holding x

supermanslefttesticle Sun 19-Nov-17 21:00:54

I've got biscuits and tea and there's cheese and biscuits in the fridge I think.

Angrybird345 Sun 19-Nov-17 21:00:55

Having the tv in is fine. Have you seen the new bt advert ? Is about tv bringing families together. A kid watches sound of music at Christmas time, then when she’s a teen, then a mum, a gran etc. Love that film!

supermanslefttesticle Sun 19-Nov-17 21:03:04

@angry I have and it reminded me of my mum who also bloody lives that film! She watches it every Christmas and forces us to sit through it too grin I was about 14 before I realised it had nazi's in it because mum always used to skip through all the bits that weren't singing! hmm

myrtleWilson Sun 19-Nov-17 21:03:23

I know you're a palliative nurse so know all this but when we went through this with my sister (in hospice rather than at home) - the nurses suggested we put some music on for her (that she liked) Am not saying that watching the X factor is wrong at all - but if you felt like a change perhaps some music he liked?

supermanslefttesticle Sun 19-Nov-17 21:07:16

myrtle that's a good idea, thank you. DH is a musician and FIL used to drive him to all his gigs, so yesterday DH sat down here and played the guitar for him for a few hours until he ran out of songs. FIL was really settled apparently.

I think FIL is asleep at the moment, it's hard to tell but his breathing is regular and deep, and he hasn't vocalised for a while, so I think he's out. If he starts to stir though I'll stick on some Motörhead grin

supermanslefttesticle Sun 19-Nov-17 21:11:37

Also bit of an insensitive question but what do we do when he dies? Who do we call?

I've only ever dealt with death in a hospice setting so I'm not sure what the protocol is here? Do we call an ambulance? I think it will be me who deals with that stuff so I could do with knowing the process, do I have to call right away or do we wait a while? I'm not sure.

fucksakefay Sun 19-Nov-17 21:15:18

111 I should think. It's the out of hours service nowadays.

myrtleWilson Sun 19-Nov-17 21:18:33

with my mom (unfortunately I've gathered more experience than I wanted over the last couple of years) - we had a Macmillan sitter with us - and coincidentally the district nurses were there too - so they were able to do the paperwork/make calls -otherwise I think you call the out of hours GP?

DozyDoates Sun 19-Nov-17 21:22:21

I have no real advice but just a hand hold. It can be so hard being the strong one but well done for sending the others to bed.
I’ve lost two close relatives in the past 18 months and I wish I had been able to spend some last time with them, as difficult as it would have been.

Cabininthewoods69 Sun 19-Nov-17 21:24:57

Hand hold i sat with my dm earlier thos year while cancer took her. It wasnt easy but im glad i did it. Im still grieving now. We lost my mil 13 days later. Still working through it now.

Unmanned Sun 19-Nov-17 21:27:36

So sorry for what you’re all going through flowers if you’ve had the district nurse team in then call them. They were wonderful with us after my mum passed they can do the necessary paperwork etc x

supermanslefttesticle Sun 19-Nov-17 21:30:31

Fab, thanks guys I can call Macmillan or the district nurses, both teams are involved.

Macmillan offered MIL a sitter but she wanted FIL to have familiar faces with him which i can understand. They were very pragmatic about his diagnosis, they discussed where he wanted to be at the end and how he wanted things to happen and his choice was at home which it looks like he'll get, so that's something.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 19-Nov-17 21:31:31

How are you going to wake your DH and MIL?

If he passes in the morning as you anticipate, they'll be downstairs. But if its in the night will you be able to call on them without leaving your FIL?

Can you put your DH phone at his bedside and set it to vibrate so it gently buzzes if you phone him ?
Not sure how the best way to do this is?
Its hard to make the decision in that moment to stay or to leave him momentarily. Your DH and MIL will need to be there are want to be there.
Music is good yes, the sense of hearing is the one that stays active longest.


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