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Braybuddy
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Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 8:26 am

The end came quicker than any of us ever imagined. On the Friday she was fine but by Saturday her speech was slurred and she seemed a little distant. Ever stubborn to the last, she refused point blank to see a doctor.

By Monday she seemed better, although tired, and unusually she stayed in bed for the day. She was at last persuaded to call a doctor, but it had to be her own, who wasn't available till the following day.

By early evening she had a snack of cheese, toast and tea, and after talking to her husband for a while said she was tired and wanted to rest.

He checked on her regularly and she seemed to be asleep, although breathing a little heavily. After two hours he tried to wake her. She continued to breathe, but wouldn't respond.

By the time the ambulance was on its way all her close family were around her and she slipped very quietly away.

She went the way she always wanted to go: at home and surrounded by her family and friends and in no pain.

She was the most considerate and generous of women, always concerned about other people, and was the person everybody in the family (and outsiders) would turn to in a crisis. Now that we all need her she's not there.

While we loved her very much and she didn't want to go so soon (she was going to be around for at least another 20 years), EVERYBODY in the family agrees that it was for the best, if the only other option was to be kept alive for years by medical devices.

She would have HATED that. Who wouldn't? Why do we insist on draining the last evidence of life from someone, sometimes cruelly, just for the sake of it?

If someone is religious, surely they have no need for men to play God and keep them alive aritifically; if they are not they should not have a problem with letting someone go when their time has come.



In memory of a remarkable, wonderful woman.
 
luv2fly
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 8:29 am

Well said to say the very least. Sorry to hear about your loss. Take care my friend.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
Confuscius
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 8:39 am

Why do we insist on draining the last evidence of life from someone, sometimes cruelly, just for the sake of it?

One should make a Living Will with a DNR order.

My condolences...

[Edited 2006-04-26 01:55:49]
Ain't I a stinker?
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 8:40 am

Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 1):
Sorry to hear about your loss. Take care my friend.

Thanks Luv2fly, much appreciated m8.
 
ctbarnes
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 8:43 am

Quoting Braybuddy (Thread starter):
Why do we insist on draining the last evidence of life from someone, sometimes cruelly, just for the sake of it?

Why indeed! Prolonging life is in many cases not in someone's best interest if there is no improvement in one's quality of life. Yes you may live a few months longer, but if it is going to be in pain and suffering you really have to ask if this is humane?

What a wonderful tribute Braybuddy! Thank you!

Charles, SJ
The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
 
ABfemme
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 8:50 am

Quoting Braybuddy (Thread starter):
surely they have no need for men to play God and keep them alive aritifically

Braybuddy, I have first hand knowledge and thoughts on this - I will post my thoughts tomorrow in the light of day, for now I am very touched by what I have read - She was indeed a remarkable woman

Kind regards

Claire

ps - If you want to IM me I am there for you, don't hesitate.
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kmh1956
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:03 am

That's one of the loveliest things I've ever read in this forum. You and your family have my deepest condolences, and thankfully great memories instead of rememberiing the constant whirr and click of life-support machines.
'Somebody tell me why I'm on my own if there's a soulmate for everyone' :Natasha Bedingfield
 
AR385
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:06 am

I am very sorry for your loss. My father passed away rather suddenly 1 year and 3 months ago. He was my best friend and my best teacher. Even today, the pain has not gone away. Even today, when I come home from work I always expect to hear the greeting he had for me ever since I came home from kindergarten.

So I guess I am one of the few who can say that I understand how you feel right now.

On the other hand, I am not sure this thread was meant by you to start a discussion on keeping life at all costs. I will only say that I really share your pain, I hope you find resignation soon, and that maybe later we can start a discussion about those issues. Maybe right now is not the time. And I do not mean to be patronizing.

You and your family will be on my prayers and I will offer Sunday mass for you.
 
ArmitageShanks
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:08 am

Maybe if she had gone to the doctor immediatly she would still be alive and well.
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:12 am

Quoting ArmitageShanks (Reply 8):
Maybe if she had gone to the doctor immediatly she would still be alive and well.

Sure. Or maybe hooked up to drips, drugged up to the eyballs and on life support machines. Or maybe not. We'll never know and don't want to.
 
JAGflyer
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:15 am

Sorry about your loss. My grandmother is also at a point where I just want her to be at peace. She has been in the hospital after a stroke last Friday and is not communicating or cognisant at all.
Support the beer and soda can industry, your recycle old airplanes!
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:21 am

Quoting JAGflyer (Reply 10):
My grandmother is also at a point where I just want her to be at peace

I think if you live to be a grandmother you have achieved a lot in life. I understand completely how you feel, JAGflyer, and when the time comes you will look on it as a release for her. Best wishes.
 
searpqx
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:30 am

A beautiful tribute Braybuddy - Thank you for sharing and my condolonces to your and your family.

Quoting ArmitageShanks (Reply 8):
Maybe if she had gone to the doctor immediatly she would still be alive and well.

Was that really necessary?
"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
 
andessmf
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:34 am

Sorry to hear about your loss, Braybuddy, and your tribute was magnificent. At least she went quietly w/o much pain or suffering.

The position of keeping someone alive is very difficult. We can all talk about it, but it must be difficult to make the decision to 'pull the plug' while knowing that your decision will end that person's life. I wish never to be placed in that situation, but much rather have my loved ones go quietly into the night, after living a long, full life.
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:43 am

Quoting Ctbarnes (Reply 4):
What a wonderful tribute Braybuddy! Thank you!



Quoting ABfemme (Reply 5):
or now I am very touched by what I have read - She was indeed a remarkable woman



Quoting Kmh1956 (Reply 6):
You and your family have my deepest condolences,



Quoting AR385 (Reply 7):
I am very sorry for your loss



Quoting Searpqx (Reply 12):
Thank you for sharing and my condolonces to your and your family.



Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 13):
Sorry to hear about your loss, Braybuddy,

Thanks for all your kind thought and words a.netters. . there are humans in here after all!

I'm hitting the sack now amd will hopefully catch up on this and post tomorrow.
 
Dougloid
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:51 am

I think that it's a decision that's personal. I'm old enough to have seen a fair number of people in my family get on the boat with Brother Charon.

It's one thing for a person who's lived a long time. My father died in 2001 and I sometimes find myself having imaginary conversations with him about really interesting stuff-he was a metallurgical engineer and just about the smartest person I ever met. He worked his way through MIT on scholarships and ROTC-he was the son of a fisherman.
When he went, he'd been in declining health for some years, and his mobility was limited. It was a choice for him. He got baptized at the age of 81 and put his affairs in order.

My aunt, who I was devoted to, died of uterine cancer at age 54. But it was her choice that no heroic measures, chemotherapy, radiation, radical surgery etc be taken. As a result she went rather quickly. It was a choice she made.

See, here's the deal. The people we love and admire the most aren't cowards-they've already made up their mind to go forward into the unknown.

And that's why we miss them so much. Because that's what made them who they were-it's character and bravery, is what it is.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
luv2fly
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:55 am

Quoting ArmitageShanks (Reply 8):
Maybe if she had gone to the doctor immediatly she would still be alive and well.

And maybe if my parents stopped having kids after me I would have been the youngest! Yet they did'nt Blance, the did'nt!

I think you owe Braybuddy an apology!
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
767Lover
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:59 am

Braybuddy,

Beautiful words. I am so sorry for your loss.

767Lover
 
ArmitageShanks
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:44 am

Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 16):
I think you owe Braybuddy an apology!

It's just my opinion that her symptoms were a sign of stroke and she should have gone to the hospital ASAP. Maybe it could have been fixed easily.
 
luv2fly
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:54 am

Quoting ArmitageShanks (Reply 18):
Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 16):
I think you owe Braybuddy an apology!

It's just my opinion that her symptoms were a sign of stroke and she should have gone to the hospital ASAP. Maybe it could have been fixed easily.

And that might be way people always say "hindsight is 20/20" Though this is life and life does not give you a do over. What is done is done, and adding you callous remark does nothing expect show a lack of respect in a difficult time.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
ArmitageShanks
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 12:46 pm

Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 19):
And that might be way people always say "hindsight is 20/20" Though this is life and life does not give you a do over. What is done is done, and adding you callous remark does nothing expect show a lack of respect in a difficult time.

Don't get me wrong I feel terrible that he lost a loved one. That is one of the worst pains in the world, but to say that it's pointless to seek medical help when it is obvious is just not smart.
 
luv2fly
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 12:51 pm

Quoting ArmitageShanks (Reply 20):
Don't get me wrong I feel terrible that he lost a loved one. That is one of the worst pains in the world, but to say that it's pointless to seek medical help when it is obvious is just not smart.

Well you can not change what has already happened, so what Mom always said to do, "If you can't say something nice don't say anything at all!"
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
bill142
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 12:57 pm

Please accept my condolences on your loss. I know from experience that it is hard to deal with.


But I guess, in answer to the question of why people do it, I guess its a somewhat selfish thing in some cases. Ie a will cannot be executed while someone is still alive, or the though of them being alone and not being next to someone is too much to handle.
 
CO7e7
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 12:59 pm

Braybuddy, I'm very sorry for you loss.
You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 2:52 pm

Quoting ArmitageShanks (Reply 20):
but to say that it's pointless to seek medical help when it is obvious is just not smart.

I understand your point ArmitageShanks, but we wonder now if she knew something we didn't. Twice in the previous month she had mentioned death in conversations with me. I don't believe in precognition, but maybe she had some indication of her illness and said nothing to anybody.

She HATED to see people kept alive artifically and always said to shoot her if she ever got like that. So maybe her refusal to see a doctor was a recognition that the game was up and she wanted to exit this life at home, and her death was a death to order, if ever there were such a thing.

[Edited 2006-04-26 07:52:50]
 
andessmf
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 3:58 pm

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 24):
So maybe her refusal to see a doctor was a recognition that the game was up and she wanted to exit this life at home, and her death was a death to order, if ever there were such a thing.

Perhaps she did know something. But I still feel for you, and for her. But what else can you ask for. She was a grandmother in good health who died peacefully, leaving everybody with good memories, no memories of her suffering in the hospital, with your last reminder of her laying in her bed as an empty shelf.

I propose a toast: 'For a life well lived, congratulations'.
 
searpqx
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 7:27 pm

Quoting ArmitageShanks (Reply 20):
but to say that it's pointless to seek medical help when it is obvious is just not smart.



Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 24):
but we wonder now if she knew something we didn't

Braybuddy, I think you've made an important point. My Grandmother discovered that she had advanced liver cancer as well as a host of other health conditions that basically made her terminal. She choose not to tell anyone, including my Granddad, instead instructed her Dr. that the only treatment she wanted was that that would allow her to function 'as normally as possible'. When the end came it was sudden, she suffered several massive strokes, and was gone within 72 hours. When everything first came out, we were all shocked and angry. The Dr. told us, that with treatment, she probably could have survied another year or maybe even two, but she would have been mostly bedridden. Over time I've come to realize, based on letters she left and what she'd told the doctor, that she knew she was going to die, and fairly soon. She wanted to be remembered as the active, vital woman that she was, not as an invalid tied to her bed. And you know what, that's exactly who is in my memory. I still miss her, and I wish she'd given me the time to say goodbye, but I'm happy knowing she was doing what she enjoyed, working in her yard and feeding the wild birds right up until the moment she collapsed.

It sounds like your grandmother did exactly what she wanted, in the manner she wanted to do it.

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 25):
I propose a toast: 'For a life well lived, congratulations'.

Hear Hear!
"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
 
777DadandJr
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 7:41 pm

Hey Braybuddy,
My condolences and prayers to you and your family. It sounds like she was a wonderful woman.
Having recently lost my mother, I can relate all to well with every emotion that you are feeling. My mother, like your grandmother, did not want her life prolonged, unnecessarily.
I feel that it is a wonderful gift for her to give to her family, because it takes away the uncertainty of waiting and wondering when the end will come.

Take care, my firend. Find comfort in each other, and find peace in her memories.

Russ
My glass is neither 1/2 empty nor 1/2 full, rather, the glass itself is twice as big as it should be.
 
oly720man
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 8:28 pm

Sorry for your loss Braybuddy, but I'm sure, as you say, she went the way she wanted to go, in her own home, and not kept going in some impersonal hospital because we have the technology to do it.

My grandmother had a stroke that left her disabled on her right side and she had to go to a special stroke recovery unit at the local hospital and would then go to a retirement home, which meant selling her own home. She was upset about that and that she couldn't sit out in her nice garden and talk to the neighbours. In some ways it was a blessing that she died a couple of days after she was moved to the retirement home because she just wouldn't have liked the fact that she was so dependent on other people for everything (mobility, feeding, washing) and simply that she'd lost her independence. Life vs quality of life. She was in her 80's when she died.

And she's still fondly and humorously remembered. When someone uses the wrong word, or mispronounces something (she once went to an antibiotic restaurant and had kung-fu sausages.... or someone had hessian brandy.... or a mangolia tree in the garden). And the spirit of granny lives on if your plate disappears from the dinner table, even though you haven't finished eating.... that was one of her tricks.



This sad tale reminds me of a friend who was a paediatrician in the SCBU at the University of Texas in Galveston. I went on a tour of the hospital with her and she showed me a baby in an incubator. This baby was only being kept alive because of the equipment attached to her and this was because the law in Texas said that if a baby was born alive it had to be kept alive, regardless of any medical complications or the fact that there was absolutely no hope of any recovery. Sad, but sometimes because we can do it doesn't mean we have to.
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kazzie
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 8:35 pm

im sure those words meant more to her than you will ever know. Amazingly written, May she rest in peace...

Just Remember, A life is Lived, but only to be lost. It is always better to have lived it than to have lost it early, So put a smile on your face  Smile
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BHXFAOTIPYYC
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:33 pm

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 15):
My aunt, who I was devoted to, died of uterine cancer at age 54. But it was her choice that no heroic measures, chemotherapy, radiation, radical surgery etc be taken. As a result she went rather quickly. It was a choice she made

My mum's twin sister died in 1987 at 52 with cancer. She looked like an inmate from Belsen by the time she died weighing about 70 lbs; seeing her next to my mum was like seeing a "before" and "after" picture. Unfortunately she did go through the chemo, radiation and surgery for a few years, but this was more for her husband (my uncle) and her daughter (my cousin). The limits of human endurance are unbelievable at times, but this was a cruel and horrible long drawn out process. My Mum warned me afterwards that she would never take the same path if it happened to her.

Braybuddy, you have my deepest sympathy at this difficult time. That was indeed a beautiful tribute you wrote.
Breakfast in BHX, lunch in FAO, dinner in TIP, baggage in YYC.
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:36 pm

Quoting 777DadandJr (Reply 27):
My condolences and prayers to you and your family.



Quoting Oly720man (Reply 28):
Sorry for your loss Braybuddy,



Quoting Kazzie (Reply 29):
May she rest in peace...



Quoting BHXFAOTIPYYC (Reply 30):
you have my deepest sympathy at this difficult time.

Thanks to everyone for their heartfelt words and sympathy. I must add that I certainly didn't post this thread looking for any -- you'd need to be an absolute nutter to look for it on this site -- but I appreciate very much all your thoughts and words.

I deliberately never mentioned who the woman was, but some people have taken it to be my grandmother, which is wrong. She was no relation, but meant more to me than any of mine, and I'm not being hard or mean to the rest of my family, but they know why.

She was a next door neighbour who took me under her wing when my own mother died when I was five. My father had to work and couldn't afford a minder, so she offered to take me in, where I lived while she fed me and sent me to school every day. Her marriage was a disaster, but she had one son and would never have any more children. He was one year younger than me so we grew up like brothers, with the rest of my family living next door. Of course my dad gave her money for all the necessary things, but what she did was unasked of and done willingly.

So for the rest of her life she took the place of my mother. Even though she would refer to me as her "other son", I only ever referred to her as an aunt, which I'm now beginning to regret. It was more out of habit than anything else: in those days it would have been disrepectful for a kid to call an adult by their first name so I was told to call her "aunt", but in reality she was much, much, more than that, which is why I used words such as "remarkable", "generous" and "wonderful", do describe her.

And I'm not going to be morbid or melancholy about it: she had a terrific personality and always wanted to know every single detail of what was going on in our lives. So sometimes we had to be discreet, but there were times when she'd floor you with a question. And we all lived in fear of invoking her displeasure. One cold glaze would be enough to know you'd done that.

Quoting Searpqx (Reply 26):
she suffered several massive strokes, and was gone within 72 hours. When everything first came out, we were all shocked and angry. The Dr. told us, that with treatment, she probably could have survied another year or maybe even two, but she would have been mostly bedridden.

I'm glad you told me that Searpqx, as she did have a stroke, or several. Nobody would have wanted her to hang on like that.
 
FOMEA
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:43 pm

Braybuddy,
Sorry to hear about you Loss.
My Deep condolences.




Regards
F-OMEA.
On the internet you can be anything you want..its strange so many choose to be Stupid.
 
Nordair
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:48 pm

Quoting ArmitageShanks (Reply 20):

Don't get me wrong I feel terrible that he lost a loved one.

You have a very odd way of showing it. But it is nice to know that you are not the inhuman piece of trash you appear to be.


Braybuddy, my condolences. I am sure your wonderful rememberance above would gladden her heart.
"It is never legitimate to use the words of scripture to promote a loveless agenda." - Right Rev. Dr. Peter Short
 
AeroWesty
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:50 pm

Braybuddy, my sincere condolences to you and your family. I was with my mother and grandmother when they passed, and it was a peaceful event for them both, so I agree with your thoughts on this.

Smile when you think of her, it sounds like that's what she would have wanted.

-Westy
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777DadandJr
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:01 am

Hey Braybuddy,
My apologies for the assumtion that she was your grandmother. Though, after reading your reply 31, it seems she was mother, grandmother, friend, mentor and confidant. How lucky you are to have had this kind and generous woman in your life.
My mother also died from stroke. She had had one in 2000 and all but recovered, when she had another, massive one about a month ago.
All I can say is that you may have lost your friend, but, oh what an impact she had on your life.
Stay strong, my friend. Always cherish the wonderful gift that she gave you.

Russ
My glass is neither 1/2 empty nor 1/2 full, rather, the glass itself is twice as big as it should be.
 
rolfen
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:24 am

Did you watch "million dollar baby"? see it.
rolf
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:24 am

Quoting FOMEA (Reply 32):
My Deep condolences.



Quoting Nordair (Reply 33):
Braybuddy, my condolences.



Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 34):
Braybuddy, my sincere condolences to you and your family

Thanks guys, and to anyone else above I've missed.

Quoting 777DadandJr (Reply 35):
My apologies for the assumtion that she was your grandmother. T

No apoligies necessary 777DadandJr: I referred to someone else's grandmother in a post and I could see where this could have been misinterpreted. I'm sorry to hear about your mother, and you too take care.
 
Pope
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:46 am

I read somewhere that in the US on average about 75% of your total lifetime health care spending will occur within 2 years of your death.

There's a distinction between being alive and living. Too many people are kept alive by others who can't bear the thought of living without them.

When my father was diagnosed with cancer, after everyone left the hospital room, he called me over and looked at me in the eyes and said, you know what you have to do if the time comes. He then signed a durable medical power of attorney naming me his health surrogate instead of my mom.

I had tears rolling down my face when he said, your mom just won't have it in her to do it.

He lived his life to the fullest and always told us that he never wanted to be hooked up to a ventilator for days or weeks on end. Though he was relatively young (58) he had come to peace with the fact that death might be near. Three months later he got a fungal lung infection as a result of the chemo. They put him on a vent and after a week told us that his lung function was so damaged that he would never recover.

It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do when the doctor gave me the papers to disconnect the vent. My mother was screaming at me that I was killing my father and how could I live with myself (obviously she was overwhelmed with grief and several years later she apologized). Holding my father's hand on one side and my brother's on the other, I saw my father take his last breath after the vent tube was removed.

If you love your family make sure that you get living wills and/or durable medical powers of attorneys set up. The time to discuss these things isn't when you're in a hospital room with all the emotions running high.
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Thu Apr 27, 2006 1:00 am

Quoting Pope (Reply 38):
It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do when the doctor gave me the papers to disconnect the vent. My mother was screaming at me that I was killing my father and how could I live with myself (obviously she was overwhelmed with grief and several years later she apologized). Holding my father's hand on one side and my brother's on the other, I saw my father take his last breath after the vent tube was removed.

Sounds a horrific way to go Pope, and your mother's reaction was unfortunate, if understandable at the time. At least you know you have nothing on your conscience when you did what your father wanted.

It's a crazy world out there sometimes.
 
Pope
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Thu Apr 27, 2006 1:09 am

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 39):
Sounds a horrific way to go Pope, and your mother's reaction was unfortunate, if understandable at the time. At least you know you have nothing on your conscience when you did what your father wanted.

It's a crazy world out there sometimes.

To this day I feel that my father's last lesson to me was in the way he died. The lesson, enjoy life everyday because it really is fragile and you'll never know when your time is going to be up. Don't sweat the small stuff. Enjoy the little things, a sunrise, a smile from you child, a passing loving glance by your wife.

At the end of the day there are only two types of problems in this world - those that can be solved with an American Express card and those that can't. Only the second kind really matter.

I now realize that I didn't appreciate life until I experienced death in a very close and personal manner.
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
andessmf
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Thu Apr 27, 2006 1:18 am

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 31):
I only ever referred to her as an aunt,

In Latin America, aunt would be used for a non-relative as a sign of love and respect.

Quoting Pope (Reply 38):
It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do when the doctor gave me the papers to disconnect the vent. My mother was screaming at me that I was killing my father and how could I live with myself (obviously she was overwhelmed with grief and several years later she apologized). Holding my father's hand on one side and my brother's on the other, I saw my father take his last breath after the vent tube was removed.

As I said, this is a decision that no one wants to ever go thru. But you complied with your fathers wishes. There was nothing else that you could do. My respects to you for doing that.
 
ArmitageShanks
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Thu Apr 27, 2006 1:41 am

Quoting Nordair (Reply 33):
But it is nice to know that you are not the inhuman piece of trash you appear to be.

Oh but I am. That's the beauty of internet forums... you can be anyone you want.
 
saxdiva
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Thu Apr 27, 2006 1:51 am

Braybuddy... sorry for the loss of your friend. Kindred spirits are hard to come by, and it sounds like she meant a lot.

Best wishes,
Leanne
 
luv2fly
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:11 am

Quoting ArmitageShanks (Reply 42):
Quoting Nordair (Reply 33):
But it is nice to know that you are not the inhuman piece of trash you appear to be.

Oh but I am. That's the beauty of internet forums... you can be anyone you want.

Most likely the reality is dead on of the persona!
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
AR385
Posts: 6735
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Thu Apr 27, 2006 4:04 am

Pope, my experience was similar to yours.

We found out my father had stomach cancer on the 23th Dec. 2004, after he collapsed on me vomiting blood. In hospital, when they brought him back to the room, my mother and brother told him he had a small ulcer that had caused a bleeding. I couldn't bear those lies. I had to stand up in front of my father, and told him exactly what the doctor said. That his stomach was 80% occupied by a non-hodgking lymphoma type tumor and that it had methastisized to his diaphragm, lungs, esophagus and liver.

He was terrifed, but he told everyone right there and there that he wanted no lies told to him. I had to enjoy the icy treatment from my brother and mother for several months afterwards.

On January 12th, 2005, he bled to death from a massive ulcer the tumor generated in his stomach. Two days before that, I discovered the bleeding but he told me to keep it to myself and that he did not wish to go to hospital.

I know that he wanted to pass away at home with us, but I still wonder to this day if I should have taken him to hospital regardless. I did not pull any plug. But I willingly followed his orders and called no one, and told no one and watched him bleed to death for two days on my own. Sometimes I get regrets and a miserable feeling.

Your Aunt did the right thing, because that is what she wanted. Remember her for what she was and keep the nice memories close to you. You have a lifetime of those so don't concentrate on the memories of her last few days. and

[Edited 2006-04-26 21:07:15]
 
DrDeke
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Thu Apr 27, 2006 4:30 am

Quoting Braybuddy (Thread starter):
She would have HATED that. Who wouldn't? Why do we insist on draining the last evidence of life from someone, sometimes cruelly, just for the sake of it?

I too am very sorry about your loss.

My grandparents are getting right up there in age and although they are doing well at the moment, I am all too aware that some very tough decisions could need to be made quickly at any time.



Quoting Pope (Reply 38):

There's a distinction between being alive and living. Too many people are kept alive by others who can't bear the thought of living without them.

I agree with you 100% on that (as unusual of an occurrence as that may be).

People tend not to think logically even during the best of times, and even more so during times of crisis. I think it's very sad that peoples' fear of loss and of death in general cause them to order medical treatments for their loved ones that their loved ones would in many cases almost certainly not want to receive. But I do understand that these fears are very powerful, and I can see why many people are unable to overcome them at such a time.

-DrDeke
If you don't want it known, don't say it on a phone.
 
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Braybuddy
Topic Author
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Thu Apr 27, 2006 6:23 am

Quoting Saxdiva (Reply 43):
Braybuddy... sorry for the loss of your friend



Quoting DrDeke (Reply 46):
I too am very sorry about your loss

Thanks to both of you, Saxdiva and DrDeke. Much appreciated.

Quoting AR385 (Reply 45):
He was terrifed, but he told everyone right there and there that he wanted no lies told to him.

You can rest assured that you did the right thing. Put yourself in your dad's place and you can realise how important it is to be told the truth. If you are seriously ill in hospital, why on earth would you want to be told lies?

Again, like with Pope above, your brother and mother's reaction was understandable, if unfortunate, but at least they realised in the end that what you did was right.
 
andessmf
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Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:53 am

RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Thu Apr 27, 2006 7:16 am

Quoting AR385 (Reply 45):
I know that he wanted to pass away at home with us, but I still wonder to this day if I should have taken him to hospital regardless. I did not pull any plug. But I willingly followed his orders and called no one, and told no one and watched him bleed to death for two days on my own.

It is very important to follow the wishes of a dying person, it is the last favor they are asking of you. It would be disrespectful to the person for you not to follow their wishes. After all, I would claim that all of us here would want our wishes respected. It is obviously very difficult for the survivors, but you all did the right thing.

And condolences for all of you who went thru this ordeal.
 
rolfen
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RE: Why Do We Keep People Alive At All Costs?

Thu Apr 27, 2006 8:34 am

Fate, buddy, you'll miss the love of your life for the most stupid reasons, friendships that never had the chance to be... young people dying, it seems that you cannot control when good things go away, but you can only control bad things.
rolf

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