The syringe driver

I keep replaying the day the syringe driver was put on my wife. I don’t think I realised that she would disappear so quickly once it started. Although we had talked at length about things before this, it was still a surprise to see how quickly she deteriorated and it keeps coming to the forefront of my mind. I wish I had just had one more hour to tell her I will see her again . To comfort her one last time before she became non responsive.

I find it very upsetting.

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Hi @Blake

It’s awful going through this…I fully understand how you feel, we didn’t realise how poorly my partner was right untill the very end. He only had the syringe driver on for two days before he died.

Even though you wife was unresponsive she could still feel your love. I know this because I was told that my love helped my Andrew pass more easily and he could hear me :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Maybe write you wife a letter and leave it out for her, I’m sure she will be able to read it.

Sorry if you don’t find this helpful but wanted to support you when your feeling this way.

Sending you hugs :hugs:

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I read her letters. I prayed to the Christian, Celtic, Maori, viking, and Muslim, Roman and greek gods and I speak to her every day.
I know she knows. There are signs.

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My husband had a week or so with the syringe driver. He kept refusing it as he thought that marked the beginning of the end but I couldn’t bear to see him in pain and so begged him to take it, which he did. It made his last days easier for him but I still replay all of the 2 and a half weeks we both stayed in the hospice. I would give anything to just be back there with him although knew it was not ever going to last.
I went through the whole 5 months from first symptom to the end dealing with it “so well”. Now 11 weeks on and I’m a mess most days on the inside but trying to cling onto hope that it will get easier.
So sad for us all x

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My father had a seringe driver before he died. A week after I Tel the ambulance when I visited and found in a dreadful state with awful GP not taking it seriously misdiagnosing his cancer for lesser so he had no chance and all that unnecessary suffering. My father had no chance. I stayed with him in the room by the ward. He hardly had consciousness. It will stay with me forever.
All these experiences of my family dying including horrendous experiences in all cases. I feel very anxious 18 months after my husband died after five weeks in hospital but not told he was dying until last when quick call impossible to get there in time. Awful was just there too late.

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I know how you feel. When my husband was moved to a hospice they increased the medication in the syringe driver and he began to deteriorate very quickly, they told us he probably had about 2 days left . We were not expecting this. He was alert and talking one minute and like a zombie the next. We were not told how quickly this deterioration would happen and we felt cheated. We asked them to take the syringe driver away and within a couple of hours of stopping the medication my husband was back to being alert and talking. We knew at some point the syringe driver would have to go back on but he wasn’t ready to go then and we weren’t ready to let him go. We had another 3 weeks with him before he agreed to going back on the syringe driver because he was really suffering by then and he died 6 days later.
They say euthanasia doesn’t exist in this country but I believe it does in the form of the medication used in syringe drivers. I know that it is to stop suffering but it was not the right decision the first time for my husband and as a family we were glad to spend a couple more weeks with him. I think patients and relatives should be made more aware of what is going to happen :broken_heart::broken_heart:

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Totally agree with this. Having said that. My wife was in a lot of pain and did want it all to stop. She had suffered, like so many, terribly with pancreatic cancer. Hadn’t eaten for six weeks. Her body was completely done and riddled with cancer in the end. It was all just heartbreaking. Not sure I will ever recover from it all. She certainly won’t, which is the worst part of it all.

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My husband also wanted it all to stop in the end. He reacted badly to the medications. He had cancer of the esophagus, heart and kidney failure but we were all so glad that we got those last few weeks with him. :broken_heart::broken_heart:

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I wish I had know this
My Mum was also alert and chatty till they put the sryinge driver in
I feel like I’ve been cheated of time with my Mum

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My wife was on a syringe driver for around ten days although her massive stroke meant she was unaware of her me or her surroundings. She had vascular dementia.

I have to believe she wasn’t suffering. I received reassurance from the hospital that the stroke wouldn’t have been that painful and it caused unconsciousness almost immediately. After that she was in a coma with the morphine driver allowing her painless peace. At least that’s what I’m advised and for my own peace of mind I have to be convinced that was the case.

Knowing that your love one is suffering and there’s little you can do is tremendously difficult and heartbreaking. I just wished I could’ve taken her suffering away and by some magic taken it upon myself.

I know watching them suffering is horrendous. I have questioned myself a few times about stopping the syringe driver the first time around but our 3 sons, the rest of our family and our close friends have agreed that I made the right decision and we all got those extra few weeks with him while he was still alert and able to talk to us. He asked me to take a bottle of his favourite whiskey in and he was able to have a little sip and a toast with everyone, his final good-bye, that he otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do :broken_heart::broken_heart:

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I’m sure you did your best for him.
He knew it at the end.

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I’m so sorry for your losses and that you didn’t get to your husband in time. We put our faith in the medical professionals but they do sometimes get it wrong :broken_heart::broken_heart:

It’s the Midazolam - I believe they use excessive doses, which is exacerbated when mixed with opiates.

I only allowed the syringe driver to be used when my partner wasn’t able to take medication orally anymore, in the final stages of end of life

please forgive me but what is a syringe driver, i have never heard of one thanks

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@SueF1 it’s a motor driven plunger device with a large syringe thats set so it gradually delivers a medication over 24hr or 12hr period, usually with a peripheral IV, but in my partner’s case it was connected to the PICC line

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Yes they used Midazolam and Oxycodone in my husbands syringe driver along with something else. My husband reacted badly to these medications.

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I’ve bn through this too. People don’t tell you these things about death. I sat with my mum for two whole days then she died just hours after I’d gone to get some rest. You never think you’ve said enough, but I’m sure you did.

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My partner had been on oral opioids for 11 months (morphine and then oxycodone when the morphine doses became too high) so her body was accustomed to the opioids.
It’s an impossibly difficult decision - there comes a critical mass point when their comfort and ease in the ultimate transition becomes paramount

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Hi Blake
Everything youve just said rings so true with me . I had so many experiences with a syringe driver my partner had one while in hospital and also when she came home until she passed i had to make sure she had the medication the dustrict nurses needed for it . Watching your partner fade away like this is so hard and I i also wish i had more time to say things that were never said but i always made sure she knew I loved her :heart:

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