I have witnessed many families struggling with how to be during the last hours of a person's life. Online ISSN:1526-632X, The most widely read and highly cited peer-reviewed neurology journal. You may try to drip a few drops of water from a spoon, or let them chew on ice chips if they can, or hydrate the tongue with a small sponge imbibed with water. Sit quietly, and tune in to your breath. Better instead, is to calm yourself down, and bring gift of your quiet presence to your loved one. Do not share information that could be upsetting or disrespectful. It's important to know that in these final stages, the person may close their eyes often. 'Orthopedic Surgeon'. 8) Do not shake the person into coming back to life. 7) Do not be surprised by the look and sound of death. As they may still be able to hear you, take the opportunity to say the things that are important to you both. So is the sight of tearing, half open, glassy eyes, and the touch of a stiff body, cold as stone. Eyes glassy, tearing, half open This is normal. endstream endobj 49 0 obj <> endobj 50 0 obj <> endobj 51 0 obj <>stream 8) Do not shake the person into coming back to life. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. Your loved one's comfort is at stake. The hike led to a fall. NOTE: The first author must also be the corresponding author of the comment. higgs-boson@gmail.com. ©2020 Verizon Media. All rights reserved. Exception: replies to comments concerning an article you originally authored do not require updated disclosures. Mostly, I have been struck by the lack of knowledge and the misconceptions that people have about the needs of a person approaching the very end of their life. I was watching him die. So is the sight of tearing, half open, glassy eyes, and the touch of a stiff body, cold as stone. 0 Even if the person appears unresponsive or speaks in a way that does not to make sense, refrain from talking in the third person. The second is to take care of yourself. h�b```f``e`b``;� Ā B@1f6Ƴ �AǗ=�a,;8���!>��8��C���,H2���1��f`�41�00 .�b� s�XY�4#w���d�� � � 60 0 obj <>stream %%EOF What I witnessed wasn't a miraculous improvement in intracranial pressures. 5 references maximum. Or you may end up standing by a hospital bed in what has to be the most unsuitable environment for a peaceful death, the critical care unit. Reflections: Neurology and the Humanities, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000005253, Neurology: Neuroimmunology & Neuroinflammation. Rather reassure them with a calm voice, and decrease any unnecessary stimulation that could increase the restlessness. endstream endobj startxref 1 Appearance 2 Plot 3 Characters represented 4 Never Complete One-shot 5 Conception 6 Trivia 7 Gallery The finger puppets usually have large, round eyes and are small enough to easily fit in Near's fingers. Their eyes may often be half open, which can be distressing to see. If possible, be an advocate for the person and ask your family to have the discussion somewhere else. As a volunteer with the Zen Hospice Project, I have witnessed many families struggling with how to be during the last hours of a person's life. reflexive eye movements may be suppressed by vestibulotoxic drugs, such as benzodiazepines, in the absence of a brain stem lesion. Audio: Listen to Arya Shah read this story. As we made our way down the checklist of death, he fulfilled every criterion. Holding their hand, gently stroking them may also help lessen the agitation. Your organization or institution (if applicable), e.g. No comments have been published for this article. Part of HuffPost Wellness. This is also a time of change and transition, both physically and emotionally, and no two people experience the end of life in the same way. Patients often muster all their energy for their need to complete their goals. This is not about doing but rather being present, not getting in the way of the dying process. While you may be unable to accept the reality of her imminent passing, you need to respect the reality of her lying still, in peace. Gently massage their feet... 10) Do not move the person back to the hospital. This is a brain stem mediated reflex which can be tested in 5 authors maximum. Respect the hospice team's decision regarding which and how much pain medications to give. The truth is, being with a loved one during their last days, last hours of life can feel overwhelming. The death rattle can be scary to hear if you have never witnessed it before.

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