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Active member
May 8, 2007
Good morning all.
I have a question about breathing, and hope someone could answer it for me. My hubby has been hospitalized for two months now - palliative care unit. Yesterday he was put on a morphine pump for his breathing - he says it helps. How can that be? Doesn't morphine slow down respiration? Prior to this, he's been on oxygen and uses a bipap also when resting. He was originally hospitalized for pneumonia, and a subsequent heart attack. When I asked him why the pump, he said that he was struggling for breath and the doc said it would help. He has also doubled the dose of morphine he was receiving.

What does this mean? I have an appointment to talk to the doc on Friday, but in the meantime I'm scared! Is the end near? He's declined so much in the past two months - still wants to come home, but I have no idea how we'll manage - he can't even have a bowel movement on his own! No matter how much laxative he's given, the nurses have to "pull it out" - poor man! He cannot do much on his own - lower body totally gone, upper not far behind, in major pain in his hips, legs, ankles, and feet.

He receives Atavan and a sleeping pill nightly, has a nitro patch on during the day, and also has an asthma-like treatment every fours hours - also other drugs too numerous to mention. He's not eating much at all either.

Can someone help please?
beaner, I am so sorry to hear about what your husband is going through, God bless him. Your questiuon is, "Is the end near?" God, I wish I knew what to tell you. From what I have experienced in the past, my Mom was given morphine, when the end was near, so was my son. But the people that are giving this morphine to our loved ones are supposed to let us know whether the end is near or not. I am not too familiar with morphine, but my mom and son were given it, when the end was near. We were told when our loved ones were expiring, I have experienced this 4 times in my lifetime. Als is such a bad disease, and oh so tricky. It affects folks differently. beaner, may God bless you, and your loved one.

I don't know much about the morphine but I wanted to tell you I am praying for you and your husband.
In Friendship
I am sorry to hear this, Beaner.

In answer to you question about breathing better on morphine, I wonder if it is just that the morphine keeps him calmer and lets him not stress about not breathing well. I know if I could not breath well, I'd need something to make me feel "better," even if it did not actually help me breathe better.

My thoughts are with you today. I am sorry to hear about your hubby's progression.
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