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New here but not to grief...

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Hi all. I don't know really what has brought me here other than I just have no one to really talk to about my grief. This unfortunate journey started for me 4 years ago when I lost my mother to cancer. I was in my 20s at the time and I just felt so robbed. I continue to feel this way even though I know I was very lucky to have had her for as long as I did...some are not so fortunate. Fast forward to this past May. My father, who is my whole world since my mother's passing, was involved in a work related accident which resulted in a traumatic brain injury, multiple strokes and severe brain damage. He spent a couple of months on the vent and was eventually weened off, but he has never woken up since he was given a sedative in the ER that night. His EEG's show brain activity but I guess the damage is just too severe. He spent a couple of months in a long term acute care facility and about a month at a brain injury rehab center with no improvement. His neurologist suggested bringing him home on hospice which we have done. He also suggested taking away his nutrition, hydration, and oxygen (he has a trach but he's off the vent). There was no way I was ready to do that. So although he has been home with me now for a month, he is still being fed and kept on oxygen and being kept hydrated. He isn't on any other meds and his stats are always great. In my heart I feel that with him being so stable (other than the brain damage) it wouldn't be ethical to take everything away from him. It just seems so cruel. And it's only me here with him. I can't imagine watching him wither away and die at my hands. Also, he has a stage 4 bedsore on his back which is basically why he was sent home on hospice...that's my understanding anyway. Apparently it is not capable of healing. It's clean and I do my best to keep it that way, but it's basically just a waiting game to see when an infection or pneumonia creeps in (he has pneumonia twice before during his hospital stay). I am just so completely heartbroken and alone in this. Thankfully I have my religion to rely on but there are so many times when I just feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders and I just hope and pray that I am making the right choices for him. I know he is not suffering but there is a part of me that feels like it is cruel to keep him going in the state he is in. But it also seems so cruel to take away his food and water. I feel like I am making the less of 2 evils but I worry how much longer I can go on like this. He was my best friend and the only person in my life who really understood me and had my back no matter what. I am scared to go on without him. 

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Welcome here, colebop.  I am sorry about your mom and your dad. Someone in their 20s doesn't expect to lose either of them, although I lost my dad when I was in my 20s.

It does seem like the only choice we are presented with is the lesser of two evils.  

I'm sure you've talked with the doctors, hospital personnel, clergy, and hospice and you aren't given any clear direction.  I am so sorry all of this is on your shoulders alone.  Do you have a church that could help you, maybe spell you while you get out, pray for you, bring you something when you can't get out?  I do hope you don't live indefinitely in this situation and that there's some resolution.

I wish I had some way to comfort you or bring you relief.  We are here to listen and care whenever you want to come here.  When my mom was suffering from Dementia and Leukemia, this place was a great place to come to, and it's good to know there are people here that care.

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Dear one, truly you are up to your ears in a no-win situation, and I am so sorry this has happened to you. I hope that the hospice team serving your father is offering you the information, comfort and support you need as you provide care for him at home. I understand that you must follow your conscience and do what you believe is right, but in situations like this one, deciding what is right (especially when it affects the life of another) is extremely difficult. From what you have described, I assume that your father did not have a living will or an advance directive to guide you in determining what he would want you to do under these circumstances, so all of this has been left to you alone to decide. I hope you have someone you trust who can guide you and support you as you find your way through this, and as you make these monumental decisions that affect your own life as well as that of your father. As Kay says, we are here to listen and to care, and we certainly will offer you whatever support we can give. This is a safe place to share whatever is on your mind, and we welcome you with open arms and warm and caring hearts. 

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