If you have ever heard that question before you know where this blog is going.
Today, Well yesterday…it all blurs together when you are sleep deprived, a very dear friend of mine was asked this very question by their doctor.
I was there in a supportive role. Expecting such a thing did not lessen the sting.
Quality of life and death with dignity or Quantity of life while we do all this stuff to prolong your existence.
Many of you reading this might very well be asked this one day. How will you respond?
More than the how is they why?
You and I walk through our daily life expecting the sun to rise in the morning. We anticipate that whatever is on our schedule for this day we will have to deal with. Taking the kids to the doctor or school or possibly some problematic task to tend to at work we know it is on our calendar.
All of these things are distractions really. They are distractions from our own mortality.
If you are one of my many followers you no doubt have read my account of the accident that befell me years ago. You know that I faced death once. Facing our own mortality is different than facing your friends or families death.
My friend through some herculean efforts by different medical facilities could possibly live months to years longer. The steps necessary to pull that off would interfere significantly with not only their life but those of their loved ones.
How would you face such a thing?
If you put out your friends and family in a pretty big way, you could live longer. Your quality of life would be limited. You could ostensibly live a reasonably normal life other than spending several hours a week tethered to some machine.
My heart breaks for my friend. I don’t know what decision I would make if it were me, so it is impossible for me to judge them.
This situation runs askance of my beliefs, but I do think that assisted suicide should be legal. While Hospice is wonderful the person going through it must suffer while the organs and other tissues die from lack of nourishment or the buildup of toxins cause them to shut down.
Why in god’s name we cannot just allow them to go with a morphine drip is beyond me. This country alone kills tens of thousands of babies every year but is hung up on letting terminally ill patients push a button that starts a morphine drip. This action slowly overwhelms their body with a sedative allowing them to just float away. It is, in fact, an overdose.
As they sort out the legal details of who is paying for what the patient, my friend is in limbo as to where they will go to live out their remaining days on earth. Calls are made, but of course, they are not returned in a timely fashion. Insurance will not pay for long-term care if Hospice is involved and Medicare will not pay for Hospice if they still need medical care.
The merry go round of the bureaucracy is never-ending. To them everything is numbers. A funeral today is up to $20K if you already have a plot! That is here in Dallas.
Everything is about money!
Listening to the doctors, I got the idea that they were talking them into death with dignity and quickly as it is less expensive to keep you around since you need so much care.
Possibly I am jaded as I sat there for days on end watching my friend decline. I see the bureaucracy, and it is rampant! Wading through it is a nightmare.
- Do you have a living will?
- Do you have life insurance?
- Do you have a regular will?
- Do you have a long-term care policy?
No, not selling anything like this and I certainly do not want to bring you down.
You who follow me know that I love people and I want the best for my friends. In a genuine way that includes you who follow me here.
One never knows when the sun is not going to rise, and that is a sad but true fact. We don’t know what is in store after this life is over. We hope that we will be back with our loved ones and even snowball the cat. I see the afterlife that preachers sell, and I will not sell that here.
Having said that, I think and believe that faith is essential. A spiritual connection is paramount to dealing with the death of the body.
Christians call it fire insurance and I scoff at that. I must admit that if you don’t take it too seriously, it is funny.
I have many thoughts on this subject, and if there is interest, I will expound upon them at a later date.
If you are a spiritual person I encourage you to lift me up in your thoughts and prayers. I have this friend who will be dead in a short while, and I have another who suffers from an incurable disease that will most certainly end their life as they know it as well. Two close friends at the same time.
This will present a considerable loss to me personally. My writing has already suffered as the characters are taking a hiatus while I deal this.
My thoughts are with the one on death’s door and the other who is trying to find death’s door on which to knock.
Thanks so much for your kind thoughts and prayers.
Much Love -TW