Dying is a complete shut down of the physical, sensory and mental functions of the body. It could take place instantaneously or it could be a slow form of illness which takes months and sometimes years. In slow dying, the physical stages are more pronounced.
The pre- active stage of dying differs from person to person and the illness from which they are dying from. Normally, the intake of food registers a decline. There may be swelling of the arms and legs. The process of healing of wounds is slow. Infections set in easily. The person withdraws from activity in which she participated before. She makes preparations for her death -- the funeral, hymns etc. She tries to complete her responsibilities like financial accounts in the bank and what she would like done with her finances. She generally discusses this with her immediate family or whoever is close to her.
The following may take place in the active stage of dying. All may not have these symptoms, but many of them are common in an average death.
Vision becomes blurred and unclear. There is difficulty in hearing or understanding. The limbs turn weak and unsteady. There is the problem of excreting body fluids. The stomach cannot digest food. Mental processes slow down. Memory is weak. Hallucinations take place. There is tremendous agitation and difficulty. Breathing is abnormal. Some times, the person may not be able to speak. Blood pressure drops; the tongue contracts. The limbs turn cold and the body gets rigid then finally breathing stops.
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