My heart goes out to you.
Bless you and your family!
Let me tell you firsthand from my person experience - Doctors dont know! They have statistics and theories and case studies they go by, but when you are talking about the brain - the wonderous brain that is a mircacle.....no two brains are alike! The information in your story that he comprehended your questions, to me (and I am no doc) screams brain activity and processing information.
Let me share my story about my brain injury. I am 44, this happen (wow) 30 years ago - what a trip! sorry, off track.
We were passsoniate 4 wheelers and were at Pismo Beach, CA when sand highway and the beach was open to drive on. I was in the back of a racing Jeep with no seats just sitting on the metal. Dad went up the front of a really steep hill (at night) with no other side just a drop off. We flew through the air and dad turned the motor off, my head flung back heard and hit on the tailgate at the base of my head near my neck. I was unconcious - I was in a coma for 4 days. I had franctured eardrums, strained back, concusion, cuntusion, and a fractured skull. They told my parents that if I woke up I would be vegetable in a wheelchair for the rest of my life.
I woke up on the 5th day asking if there any cute boys in the hospital and could I have some pretzels. I have not felt ONE DAY of pain from that accident in my life. I have problems from it like balance issues and I cant ride on carnival ride (dizzy) but my point is, doctors have no definate. They dont always know. From the studies I have done on this, it is m opinion that the back seriously affects movement and function. It could be something happened to his back that caused his health problems, but I guess I want to say that whatever it was - for whatever reaason, he has passed. I am soo sorry for your loss, I lost my sis a few months ago. My advice is wait until you meet him again and let him tell you. I dont think you will get the answers from doctors.
Bless you and your family this Holiday season.
~peace and grace.
I will say that doctors truley do not know when it comes to the point when we stop feeling and are "brain dead" There have been cases of people being brain dead showing signs of pain as they are being preped for donation. Conversly there are peolple who show absolutely no signs of pain or awarness at all.
Removing a ventilator could be seen as merciful as he would have just went to sleep and never woke up. I see it as putting his life in Gods hands. Dealing with death can be hard, as I just lost my dad and towards the end they bascially put him into a morphine induced coma and he died from the morphine surpressing his breathing.
Angela, it is our nature to want to know what happened but something like this will probably never be known. Accept the fact that the Good Lord wanted him and he is now in a better place than we are. I have a feeling your dad is still around you. Have you noticed any lights blinking, pennies on the ground, or other odd things? That's your dad. Good luck to you and your family.
Everyone who is replying , I thank you so very much. I read them all. I would also like to ad this. When we had the machines and IV's removed from Dad, it was approx. 5 to 6 hours before he passed on. The nurse came in and gave him a shot of something that was supposed to keep him peaceful and relaxed. The doctor had mentioned that they could give him this shot and we said we would let them know if we did want it. We never said we did but they gave it anyway. During the 5 or 6 hrs, Dad lay there and never opened his eyes again. His breathing/snoring sounds were a little loud but he did have some sleep apnea.
Did I mention the time during those 2 weeks that his body temp went up to 104.6 and wouldn't come down. They put him on a cooling blanket to bring it down. They said it wouldn't come down on it's own because the part of the brain that controls temp, wasn't working.
If anyone knows any other stories or opinions, remember, I am reading them.
Your story is a sad one. I dont want to fuel your fire, but staying alive 6 hours after life support is disconnected would defintely cause me concern. I am no doctor, but I thought life support meant sustaining life and the only way the person is alive. He was alive without it..........you have a tough road to process that. I am very very sorry. However, nothing we can say, do or solve brings our loved ones back. I hope you heavy heart can heal and move forward in your life no matter what the circumstance.
My husband father was killed in a long term hospital (long story) and his temp was 105/105 also. It is hard to accept when they might have lived. This was in 1990 and still we have days that are hard, missing him.
Take care, keep posting me, Okay?
Tam, thank you for keeping in touch and up to date with my story. If you ever need to talk about anything, I am here to listen also. Oh, also Dad was supposed to be having seizeres and they gave him meds through IV and finally got them stopped. They told us that his brain was in a constant seizure for the 1st few days. Sometimes we could tell because it looked like he was biting his tongue or chewing. I know I have to hold on to the fact that Dad is in a better place, Heaven, no pain or sadness for him anymore. I just hate the thoughts that we listened to the doctors and their tests. Mom kept praying for a miracle, maybe God would have let us keep him and he would have been ok, just like you.
Did the doctors tell you the drugs stopped the seizures or just the outward physical symptoms, because sometimes a doctor will in effect paralyze a patient so they don't die from exhaustion from the constant seizing.
As I had to deal with my dying father this year I know how poor Hospice and end of life care can be, I was fortuante that my Dads PCP (and mine) has excellent bedside manner and was willing to tell me everything that was going on with my father even if it meant breaking confidentiality.
Also there is a lot doctors just don't know about death and the end of life process. It still remains one of the greatest mysteries of medicine. There are many cases of patients who have severe dementia or other disorders becoming 100% luicid in the minutes and hours before death. I to question if there was anything that could have been done with my father, but I have to understand that it was probably best he went quickly instead of being stuck in a hospital bed for weeks or months.
How are you holding up.
I know you wish you could have your dad back no matter what condition he was in, but trust me THAT IS A DAMNED MISERABLE ROAD.
My sister had brain surgery in Feb 2006. I prayed 24/7 for her to make it "through the surgery" and she did, but she was an invalid for 15 months before another tumor killed her May 4, 2007.
She had no quality of life, just sitting in a chair drooling, she could not even potty, had to wear diapers - anyway my point is.....sometimes out of love we need to let them go where they dont have to live with the pain! If your dad had come home needed medical assistance it is soooooooooo hard. Hard on everyone and it is sad to see them like that knowing they ised to live life. I know, as I to also that wishes are what keep us moving forward and help us get through the days. I spent an entire month after my sisters funeral crying and not leaving the house. I now can laugh, and enjoy life again because I have a beautiful family that is there for me. Lean on those who are left and live life with them.
The advice I can give you that helped me accept that my baby sis and best friend is not "phycially" in my life are. I have her picture on my cell phone sceen and the ringtone from Fireflght that says - "Its you that I search for, and its you I cant live without!" I kiss her pix everyday and make her memory a part of my life. She is forever in my heart. And there are 10,000 what ifs related to her surgery and health but they mean nothing, really.....time does not go bakcwards, only forwards - have you ever heard the saying.....there is a reason the rear view mirror is so little and the windshield is so big! Try to look through the windshiel more and the rear view mirror less because it is behind you and everyday you spend in the past is a day of the future lost!
I am here off and on ( I work 50 hours a week, have a family and grandkids, and go to college online - so it may be a few days before I post, keep watching though.)
My thoughts and prayers are with you that your heart will find the peace it needs to start healing. You will never forget, but you can go on - you DO have the strength!
~peace and grace!
I still read everything on here although I haven't had much time lately to write back. Thanks to all and feel free to write anytime. Angela
Angela, How you doing?????
Tam, I sent you a message to be added to friends list. Did you get it ?
Nope. Is there something I can do to initiate it?
shouldnt brain death mean a person cant respond? wasnt he blinking and his eyes open to me that dont sound like brain death does it you??
I wish my sister loved me even half as much....
Something happened to your father. It was a terrible thing and your post sounds like he was in a lot of pain. Maybe he was lucid at times and maybe he didn''t answer your question about feeling because deep down he knew it was over. Maybe he did not want to give you false hope. Take care of yourself, and I hope you feel better soon.
prettyinpink400 and savik, thanks for writing. No, I don't feel that he was brain dead. Seems like we, especially Mom, keep thinking about the what if's... She can't help but wonder if when Dad fell he might have broken his back or something happened to make him paralyzed. At the hospital they sure didn't do any xrays or anything to check and Mom has even mentioned to them several times about Dad's past back surgeries for ruptured disks and his back still bothered him at times.
I know we can't bring him back , I can be content because I know Dad is in Heaven, he was a good Christian man. I just hate it because Mom tortures herself, claiming that she's killed him, that she shouldn't have had the machine taken off so soon. I try to tell her that Dad wouldn't have wanted to live as a vegetable (that's what the doctors said). Dad had even told Mom he'd never want to live like that. That's basically how my Mom's mother is living right now because of a masive stroke in Jan 07. Mom has really been hit hard with sickness and death of the 2 people she loves/loved more than anything in this world besides me. Maybe all of you who read this could please just say a prayer for my Mother. She needs peace in her life and to stop blaming herself with things.
I still read all coments, sometimes it's just a few days before I get a chance to.
I will definitely pray for your mom and for you. It is a lot to deal with. Guilt and what if's are very hard to live with, because it just eats you up and doesn't get better. I know, because I am one of those people and nothing good comes from it. I pray that your mom finds peace with this and comfort for her loss.
I know it' s been like 5 years since this post was written, but I must respond with my kindest regards to you and your family.
I'll try and be brief and hope I don't open up any wounds in the process.
I read each one of your posts and can tell you with 100% certainty (legally and morally) that your father was NOT brain dead!!! The second your father took a breath on hs own, the doctor should have changed his diagnosis and treated him accordingly!!! PERIOD!!! Everyone involved and responsible for the care of your father should, and still could lose their job, medical license and possibly be brought up on charges. I'm blown away by your story.
None of the above may have changed the outcome of this unfortunate situation, but then again.....it very well could of given your father a fighting chance.
There are laws and guidelines in place that every hospital MUST follow before making the determination of brain death. Was your Dad a donor? You can contact me if you feel the need to know more. God bless...
Angela, I dont know if you still check on this or not, but if you do I hope I can give you something akin to a straight answer. First off I have been a critical care RN for over 10 years so I have been around many people that are dead or dying. The simple answer to your question is no. Your father was not brain dead. Nothing you describe is consistent with brain death. Limb movement, spontaneous respiratory effort, gag reflex. All that and more in you story negate brain death. As for labs being drawn to determine brain death I have never heard of that. Obviously the medical staff, at best bent the truth to help you cope with the reality of the situation. At worst they outright lied to you for unknown reasons. Now, all that being said, the story you present does not sound like he had a good prognosis. However at only two weeks out from the time of the initial event it's hard to tell. As mentioned before his heart function may have been severely impaired. I assume one test you mentioned was an EEG. From what you describe I would bet it said something to the effect of "diffuse generalized slowing". Basically it's abnormal but says nothing specific. As for withdrawing care it is hard to say whether it was appropriate or not for a couple reasons. First is that without knowing all the assessments by nurses and docs and the tests and results (tons of info) it's hard to say. Second is that under any circumstance that doesn't include true brain death, withdrawal of support is very personal and everyone sees it their own way. Some feel its never ok. Others feel their loved one wouldn't want to live like that and they fully support and will even fight for that choice to be respected. One thing to rember that many of us in the medical field say is there is a difference between surviving and living.
My nana (great grandmother) was a healthy woman in her 90s and she was dancing at a friend's birthday party when she fell and broke her hip so she was in the hospital, then later moved to a rehab facility so she could do physical therapy. while at the rehab place she started getting worse and the doctors said she was drowning internally and there was nothing they could do about it. The doctors admitted to causing the drowning because of how much fluids they were giving her through an iv drip. They said it was not realized until it was too late. It angers me to this day that the doctors could so care less as to cause her to drowned internally and die. She died 4 years ago.
My Dad is in the Hospital from what started as him not being able to breath to a Heart attack. Now he is in a "Coma".
We waited a week for him to get an EEG which they said was "Inconclusive" He can't breath on his on but he's has slight movement in his right hand twice and he snores all the time. It's been 9 days and still no answers.
They are leaning towards Brain dead but I don't believe he is. Shouldn't they show me more proof than inconclusive?