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Why do people seem to get better a little before they die?


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Old 04-12-2007, 19:30
snoopy33
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I`ve heard this said many times, is it true and if so how can it be?
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Old 04-12-2007, 19:30
Toxic Bunni
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Maybe it's a trick. Redeem yourself and you live, cock it all up again and that's it! Bye bye!
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Old 04-12-2007, 19:31
cheesy_pasty
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Perhaps they're putting up a fight and to others it would seem like they're getting better. A lot of the time, it's just a front unfortunately.
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Old 04-12-2007, 19:33
enigma.
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I think it's to do the body releasing endorphins at or just before the point of death, to making dying less traumatic.
Or at least that is the theory, I haven't actually tried it.
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Old 04-12-2007, 19:34
pault2006
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I`ve heard this said many times, is it true and if so how can it be?
When my grand-dad died 6 years ago, he looked like he was recovering from being ill and then he died.

Could it be that your mental strength (will to live) makes you get better before nature takes its course?
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Old 04-12-2007, 19:35
Salvation_Quirk
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I'd assume that being dead is the illest you can get so anything less ill than dead must seem pretty good.
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Old 04-12-2007, 19:36
Snozzwangler
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From my small experience of people dying, I'd say that wasn't the case at all.
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Old 04-12-2007, 19:38
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My Mum put up strong fight after her first stroke, but alas it only lasted 4 months before the 2nd one which was killed her. To nurse someone whom had always be active and her wits about her, left me devastated and depressed.
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Old 04-12-2007, 19:44
Realist71
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I`ve heard this said many times, is it true and if so how can it be?
It can sometimes appear to be that way however I believe it may just be an acceptance or calmness as death approaches.

It's also worth pointing out that in many cases though, it can be very unpleasant until the very end.

I suspect that in reality, it is probably a minority who appear to recover slightly, immediately prior to death.
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Old 04-12-2007, 19:49
burnbrae
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I`ve heard this said many times, is it true and if so how can it be?
unfortunately i have had 2 close deaths and i can only say in my case neither 'got better' before death
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Old 04-12-2007, 19:52
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My girlfriend worked in care homes for a few years and saw quite a few people die. one of them was a woman in her 90's who'd had dementia for many years and hadn't really had any awareness of anything or anyone around her, including her husband. A couple of minutes before she died, though, she sat up and said "I love you, Donald (his correct name). Goodbye". My OH said it was really strange, as though this woman had one moment of absolute clarity before she went.
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Old 04-12-2007, 19:53
Hancock
 
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My girlfriend worked in care homes for a few years and saw quite a few people die. one of them was a woman in her 90's who'd had dementia for many years and hadn't really had any awareness of anything or anyone around her, including her husband. A couple of minutes before she died, though, she sat up and said "I love you, Donald (his correct name). Goodbye". My OH said it was really strange, as though this woman had one moment of absolute clarity before she went.
Thats so sad
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Old 04-12-2007, 19:58
burnbrae
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My girlfriend worked in care homes for a few years and saw quite a few people die. one of them was a woman in her 90's who'd had dementia for many years and hadn't really had any awareness of anything or anyone around her, including her husband. A couple of minutes before she died, though, she sat up and said "I love you, Donald (his correct name). Goodbye". My OH said it was really strange, as though this woman had one moment of absolute clarity before she went.
my mother in law insisted her mother was in the room waiting for her....often wonder about it
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Old 04-12-2007, 20:01
ollybelle
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My girlfriend worked in care homes for a few years and saw quite a few people die. one of them was a woman in her 90's who'd had dementia for many years and hadn't really had any awareness of anything or anyone around her, including her husband. A couple of minutes before she died, though, she sat up and said "I love you, Donald (his correct name). Goodbye". My OH said it was really strange, as though this woman had one moment of absolute clarity before she went.
A similar thing happened to my paternal grandmother who died of cancer aged 52. She did not have dementia but had been very weak and in a coma for days and just before she died she sat up with her arms stretched and said Hello father (it was taken to mean her dad the God ) Some plants flower just before they die.. also does anyone know what the 'death throes' are as I have always taken it as a last burst of energy before death
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Old 04-12-2007, 20:06
pault2006
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My dad's 67 and he's had dementia for at least 8 years.

He hasn't said a single word for about 18 months now and I'd find it really difficult to handle if he suddenly spoke just before he went.

I got emotional when my mum asked him who I was 3 years ago and he said, "My son" (couldn't remember my name).
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Old 04-12-2007, 20:11
ollybelle
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my mother in law insisted her mother was in the room waiting for her....often wonder about it
My 96 year old aunt who had a degree of senile dementia didn't eat for a few weeks before she died. When given food she said her mother had come and told her not eat as her time had come. RIP
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Old 04-12-2007, 20:14
Stewing
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I'd assume that being dead is the illest you can get so anything less ill than dead must seem pretty good.
Ha ha ha you have MADE my day..

Perfect !!! Brilliant..go to top of the class and get your gold star.
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Old 04-12-2007, 20:25
sharon curtis
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I've had the misfortune to lose 4 close relatives since the year 2000 and I'm afraid none of them seemed to get better before they passed on.
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Old 04-12-2007, 20:37
fat controller
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There are only two in my family that I can think of that 'got better' just before death, the first being my great grandmother (my account of this is second hand from my mum and aunt, as I was a very small child at the time she died, and kept away) - she had cancer, and was being cared for at home, and was so ill that she hadn't been able to talk for days. Just before she died, she sat up quite a bit in bed, looked into the far corner of the room, up by the ceiling, and said "I'm coming James, don't rush me" - James was my great grandfathers name who had been dead for years - she died within the hour.

And the second was my gran, who had been in hospital for nearly four weeks with heart problems. We had been visiting twice a day, every day while she was in and had saw no form of improvement at all. It was the middle of summer, and on a particularly warm day, we arrived for afternoon visiting, and she was sat up in the chair beside the bed - the first time she'd managed to sit up since going in. She said that she really fancied an ice cream cone as it was so warm, and was laughing and joking, and had a rosy wee glow on her cheeks - she looked great.

Mum and I jumped in the car, and went to a shop nearby that sold Mr Whippy style ice cream, bought her a big cone, and took it back as fast as we could. My gran sat and devoured that cone, with a huge grin on her face - she looked a bit like a naughty child caught eating chocolate - and was in really good fettle when we left. Just before evening visiting that night, she had a massive heart attack and died.

I have no idea why or how this happens, but if I'm honest, in the case of my gran I'm glad it did - its a nice memory to have of her eating that ice cream with that cheeky grin.
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Old 04-12-2007, 20:41
NathalieR
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I know I have posted this before somewhere but I firmly believe people in this.

I used to work in an old people's home and I always remember my first week. A lovely lady had been really poorly all week apparantly and was expected not to make it. She wouldn't eat, and had no energy and it didn't look good. I used to look after her and one day I went in and found her sat up, drinking soup, smiling at me and had so much energy. I was so happy because I thought it meant she was getting better after all but she died the next day.

In my time at the home, this kind of situation happened probably about 20 times and I almost grew fearful if someone who had been ill suddenly got better!

I don't know why it happens, I think its some sort of subconcious relief being lifted but its hard to know.
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Old 04-12-2007, 20:41
SinSeer
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I have to say I have watched a number of close family and friends die and never observed any such thing. If anything, maybe the extreme effort of saying a final goodbye kills people off. I agree with the poster who says it is probably just wistful thinking. Sometimes on the part of those left behind and sometimes on the part of the dying.
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Old 04-12-2007, 21:02
NathalieR
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I have to say I have watched a number of close family and friends die and never observed any such thing. If anything, maybe the extreme effort of saying a final goodbye kills people off. I agree with the poster who says it is probably just wistful thinking. Sometimes on the part of those left behind and sometimes on the part of the dying.
Hi SinSeer, I normally (before my experience) would have agreed with this but I have seen this happen too many times for me to dismiss it as wishful thinking. I only ever had this experience with old people due to working in the home, but that also meant I was with them most hours of every day and could see any change as it happened.

I was naive to it for the first few times it happened but the other nurses would tell me if someone was about to die and I would (at first) always be shocked because of an improvement that person might have made. Also, it always seemed to be the same kind of "improvement" - energy regain, appetite back etc and by the end of my time there, I did believe that there in some cases, there is some kind of release or relief when someone is about to die, causing a weight to be lifted or something! Can't explain it but seen it too many times to doubt it!
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Old 04-12-2007, 21:13
Dakota.
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Can't say I've ever seen this happen
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Old 04-12-2007, 21:18
nethwen
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My dad's 67 and he's had dementia for at least 8 years.

He hasn't said a single word for about 18 months now and I'd find it really difficult to handle if he suddenly spoke just before he went.

I got emotional when my mum asked him who I was 3 years ago and he said, "My son" (couldn't remember my name).
I empathise with you: my mum had dementia too. It is heartbreaking to watch.

I`ve heard this said many times, is it true and if so how can it be?
A number of years ago a neighbour of mine - who had a spinal disorder and was almost bent double for a lot of years - suddenly started to walk upright again. She died two days later. It has always made me wonder just as the OP asks in the title of this thread.
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Old 04-12-2007, 21:20
pault2006
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I empathise with you: my mum had dementia too. It is heartbreaking to watch.
Was your mum quite young?

I noticed you're a student.
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