Sunday, April 17, 2016

Exits


I'm trying to think of happy deaths. You know, death surrounded by loved ones, favourite music playing, candles lit, hugged and loved to "the other side" from the peaceful hospice or home.

I can only think of one. One!

We have industrialized death. All the way through to formaldehyding bodies and encasing them in expensive varnished caskets and "laying them to rest" in ridiculous funeral "homes".

(See all the sanitizing language used?)

But it's the pre-death procedures that have me appalled. Final days, hours, minutes in a sterile hospital room or worse, a noisy ward full of strangers. Tubes and drugs and chemical injections. Bruised, battered and bloodied from all the medical procedures and "interventions". Especially, oh especially, when there is no hope. One is terminal. Stop the procedures already. Let me go home, my precious home, or a serene hospice, away from the loudspeakers, the clanking trolleys, the anguish of strangers, the nauseating smell of industrial food permeating the corridors.

Surely, mein gott surely, in this 21st century, a doctor, specialist, surgeon, knows when there's no hope. So why doe she put a terminal patient through surgeries, through chemo, through radiation when there is only a few months of life left? Surely it is all about the quality of that life then, rather than misery and hopelessness and immobility and the body unable to heal from incisions and the patient confined to bed and bedsores (misery piled upon misery)worried as in D****'s case, about the last thing left to her, her brain, abandoning her too? Or in H****'s case, her face turned to the wall in despair and loneliness and indignity?

Have we commercialized medicine to this huge degree? There's so much money to be maid from death and dying that Big Pharma and their poodles have to pick the very bones of these tragic potential corpses and leave them with absolutely nothing?

Surely when the lights are turned out for the final time, the leave-taking has to be better than this horrific travesty of compassion and "care".

PS sorry to be so graphic but truth is rarely pleasant and what I have witnessed in the last 20 years freezes my heart and I weep anew for my deceased loved ones.

26 comments:

  1. Death is a difficult business even when it's at home with loved ones, but that is surely where everyone prefers to be - unless they can't be comfortable there for some reason.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm a firm believer, after what I've seen and witnessed in the truth being told and released with morphine and a "Pill" and sent on their way. These useless interventions make me heartsick.

      XO
      WWW

      Delete
    2. For sure; this is a choice we need to have, and it's long overdue.

      Delete
  2. I so agree with you. We can't change what is happening now but we do have a choice in how we prepare for how we want to leave this earth. One of my cousins took an overdose. The other is holding onto her Alzheimer's inflicted nursing home husband desperately being fed and unable to move on his own. Horrible pictures both. There are ways to take care of ourselves. It's just being diligent in doing so and not delaying. For we all will die. We can't avoid it so do something about the methodology now for whenever.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon, exactly and be clear to those who love us as to what our wishes are. I too had a dear friend who clung desperately to her Alz husband even though at hiss retirement party he had stated specifically never to do so. He was in such dreadful condition I could no longer visit him.

      Hemlock Society here I come.

      XO
      WWW

      Delete
  3. My mother in law died in her own home with Terry, me and her caregiver in attendance. She was cremated. Even so, it was not an easy or happy time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry to hear this, Hattie, I wonder what we can all do to improve matters?

      XO
      WWW

      Delete
  4. what about a living will, giving instructions about the end of life, and what you want to be done then..instructions about the type and extent of care you want, 'do not resuscitate' instructions etc? this may ease your mind a little. i hope i do not intrude mistakenly, or where i shouldn't..but what tablets did you stop taking? are they to do with mood in any way? forgive me if i speak out of turn, but i have been aware of a lift in your mood recently, and this ipost does seem to return to a past dark mood. kind regards ann mcgee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No Ann, the only pills I reject at the statins which have been proved to affect the brain. Just a reflective post on the deaths of loved ones and how wretched the leaving of life was for them. Wondering how that can be improved. Yes I do have a DNR and will cross bridges as I come to them. My mood has lifted. Naturally. I am thinking of ceasing the counselling after this week's session.

      XO
      WWW

      Delete
    2. ah, good. i did turn down statins myself. i am happy that your mood has taken a turn for the better. the whole matter of having a 'good death' is one that exercises many, and there are only so many provisions that we can make....as you say, we will cross bridges as we come to them. kind thoughts, ann

      Delete
  5. I am hoping that being explicit about my wishes will be enough. It will be for my family since I have expressed my wishes casually and seriously and consistently through the years, written them out too.
    Doctors and nurses are just people and sometimes their own feelings/beliefs about death and dying get in the way.
    I have also requested an outdoor cremation! I am so lucky that we have the only place in the U.S. here in Colorado. I have talked it up so much that several family members want to also. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very limited options here on burials, Candace, you are fortunate with choice. I'd love to feed a tree for instance :) You are right about medical staff having their own biases. And I do follow the money :)

      XO
      WWW

      Delete
  6. It's absurd that people are kept alive with all sorts of drastic medical procedures when they're quite clearly on the way out and should just be left to die peacefully. Unfortunately I think there's still some resistance to doctors simply "letting someone die". But I hope that's what they do in my case if I'm obviously done for.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And so much money to be made also Nick by unwarranted expensive interventions. I saw that in D****'s case and it made me so angry for her.

      XO
      WWW

      Delete
  7. Harry was being almost force fed till a couple of days before he died. I think Nursing Homes are afraid of being accused of neglect.
    I daren't think about what kind of end I shall have but I guess we can't tell. Best not to dwell on things and to make the most of what we have now.
    Maggie x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right Maggie, we can't obsess, I think the post was far more gloomy than what I intended which was just curiosity really and how to make things better for those dying.

      XO
      WWW

      Delete
  8. It is appalling to think of being kept alive by those machines when there is no hope of recovery. Sometimes people in our church have a peaceful death, surrounded by loved ones, which is a blessing. Yet sometimes the legal system intervenes to keep people alive at all costs. Sad.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yes Terra and I do wonder what the driving force is, my cynicism says money, I could be wrong, I want to be wrong but I've seen a lot of needless suffering.

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  10. The less said the better about modern medicine as practiced in hospitals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true, Ramana, I was up against them myself today. I have trouble tolerating the "we know best" attitude when I present reasonable contradictory arguments. :)
      XO
      WWW

      Delete
  11. I'm caught straddling a proverbial fence. Given my choice when faced with a terminal illness, I'd choose to choose my own time. I'd give myself as much kindness as I've given our elder dogs when they no longer wanted food or activity. I'd choose not to bankrupt my husband--emotionally and physically as well as financially--by seeking useless treatments while hoping for a miracle that doesn't come. However, I remember how very betrayed I felt when my mother--two decades younger than I am now--chose no further treatments when I was two months away from delivering the first grandchild she'd begged me for years to have. I wanted her to fight to stay a little longer with my youngest brother who was a young teen who didn't get along with our father. Of course I understand now and I did then, too, in the logic part of my brain, but emotions aren't always governed by logic. I don't want to leave my daughters or grandchildren thinking I didn't love them enough to fight to stay with them. So, I've written as clear directives as I can, and I will decide the rest when the time comes, if I'm given the choice of making my own decision.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know a few who hung in for the sake of children, Linda often at great cost to themselves with regard to unbelievable suffering and mental deterioration. It is a very complex issue and there is no one size fits all solution at all. I was basically just siting the recent few I knew and loved who suffered needlessly with dashed hopes.

      XO
      WWW

      Delete
    2. Yes, I certainly wasn't arguing with your points or your conclusion! I agree with you.

      Delete
    3. Ah, yes, I often think "bravery" is applied far to often when patients are possibly struggling to die. Merely musing.....

      XO
      WWW

      Delete
  12. Yes, the end of life is far from easy for so many. Good to know you've completed how you want your care to be and DNR instructions as we all should. There are so many variables that impact us when we cope with health issues, especially as we age. Then some people want to cling to life, no matter what, for as long as they can for many reasons including personal philosophy, religion, family, etc. We have so many life-extending medications now that can complicate the inevitable happening. Pneumonia has been said to be the old people's friend, but often a patient or family will ask doctor's to combat that illness. Perhaps its important to make peace in our own minds with what we desire and make sure others know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I so agree Joared. I've seen some sadness with pneumonia too when some should have been let go ( last stages of alzheimers). Being at peace and respectful is the key.
      XO
      WWW

      Delete

Some of you are having trouble, I've removed captcha and verification so we'll see how that goes. My apologies. Blogger is putting up far too many roadblocks. Thanks for the emails alerting me.
wisewebwomanatgmail.com