Monday, June 14, 2010

Quality of Life issues

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
                                           -Leonard Cohen

This business of living and dying - it's not for the faint of heart.  I've mentioned before, my husband's grandfather has been in and out of good health.  I honestly thought we had lost him two years ago.  So in that time, we've had holidays and celebrations - lots of good times. 

He is an amazing person, and wickedly intelligent.  If you can crack jokes in your 90s, you're wickedly intelligent, to my mind.

But he is really going now, and it's hard as hell to watch.  I won't go into the details, because it is an out of control situation that is driving me up a wall.  We are simply waiting. 

I don't want to mince words here.  We are waiting for him to starve to death or dehydrate. This sucks.

I believe this situation is inhumane. 

I know many may disagree with me.  They believe it's life taking its course.  I can't say.  I can say, I want things to be different if I make it to my mid-90s.  I want to have some time with loved ones and then be able to choose to move on.  That's not the law in my state but I want it to be. 

What's frightening is that no one wants to be at this place. Barely able to talk, unable to leave one's bed. (Does anyone actually realize what being unable to leave one's bed means until you spend time with someone unable to leave their bed?)

Someone I know said that we treat our dogs better than people, and honestly, I have to agree.  I know this post is angry and that's probably because that's where I'm at in the stages.

But no one deserves this. 

It's true, hospice has been called in.  They say he's not in pain, but when I saw him a few days ago I believe he was in some pain.  Who can say.  So thankfully no iv's have been ordered in - or feeding tubes. 

I simply understand the point that loved ones reach where you would rather someone be gone than alive in this state.  And this situation is totally incomprehensible (illogical) to me, which of course, pushes all my buttons.

So when it's my time, I hope that the law(s) will have changed.  I hope that we will allow people to choose and be able to go with dignity.  Sometimes the compassionate thing is to let people go - not to keep their bodies alive.


FaustoC said...

I couldn't agree more. You can always move to Washington or Oregon (or the Netherlands!) when you get older, each of them have more liberal laws. I think it's alright to be angry about the situation. On the other hand, there are some difficult ethical issues that come up when you do legalize these things, in terms of what makes up consent and how certain the diagnoses are, but we could be doing a lot better about these issues than we are.

Aerin said...

Thanks. Yes, I could move to one of those places, but I'm actually quite happy with where I'm at.

I agree that there are ethical issues and diagnostic issues, which is why there is great caution. That's a good thing. For me, however, it's really a "know it when you see it" type of thing for me. And this is it, IMO.

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