Torn Apart


(Northern CA)

I've never sought out one of these forums, but I'm hoping someone can help me. My beloved mom is now 82 and in a full time care facility. An existing condition, normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) was made worse when she had a stroke 6 years ago. She had a shunt implanted to regulate the spinal cord fluid in her head to help with the NPH; however, it was removed when they treated her for the brain hemorrhage at the time of the stroke.


Over the last 6 1/2 years, I have seen her go from being a sharp,alert and conversing adult, but to date she is lethargic and barely responsive desiring to sleep most of the time.

In addition, she is refusing to eat anything and is growing week. I know she is suffering from the NPH, as she is displaying all of the classic symptoms.

At this point, I don't know if I should be pushing for treatment to alleviate her suffering. I don't even know if she is in pain! It's even hard to know if she would even make it through the surgery to place another shunt that was previously removed.

I am going so crazy with this, because I can't fix it! I know the care facility will keep her comfortable through this journey.

I feel like my mom is giving up and letting go.

While I know she could benefit from the shunt surgery, is it fair to put her through that? Does anybody have any insight or have they experienced this sort of scenario before?

Please help! This is killing me!

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you are not alone
by: Anonymous

From my experience you don't really have to worry about them giving up and letting go...until... One sure sign that they are ready is they quit eating.

I am so sorry you have to watch this, but it is very good for you to be there. For the both of you. There is no way to prepare for this, at least for me there wasn't.

Just know, you are not alone. Can't the doctors advise you about the surgery? Best of luck to you both.

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