Chaos Attraction

Probably Another False Alarm

2006-12-19, 10:33 a.m.

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Around the end of the day yesterday, I got an e-mail from Mom saying she had discussed "turning off things to have things come to an end" with the doctor. That was about all she'd said.

I didn't immediately e-mail her about this, which got me into big stinking trouble later. "Everyone else immediately wrote me back!" Well, shoot, I'd figured I'd HAVE to call her tonight anyway, and wasn't this kind of long to discuss in e-mail while at work?


Anyhoo, the gist of the conversation:

(a) Dad signed some sort of "don't take any extreme measures to keep me alive" paperwork- back in 1998.
1998?! Nobody fucking told me about this?
And even worse, despite KNOWING that he actually stated wishes that equate to "Don't let me end up like this," he was allowed to end up like this?!
I mean, the thing I've always been told is that "we have NO IDEA what he wants." Mom would try to ask him and he'd cry and never answer, and I presumed that they hadn't discussed the matter back when he could still speak. So it was always presented to me as a complete unknown as to whether or not he'd want to be let go or if he'd want to be strung out forever because any amount of torture is better than death. (And most of my exes would agree with the latter option, so I know at least some people like it.) And it was a fairly likely assumption to make that a born-n-raised Catholic would want to string it out for-fucking-ever.

So finding out that she frigging knew all along (though I'm sure she's been all "la la la, denial!!!" about it for 7 years) he didn't want to end up like this...well, there are no words.

(b) The doctor is against euthanasia. Gee, what a surprise.

(c) However, not treating him too much the next time he gets pneumonia is A-OK.

(d) The doctors have no idea if/when/how he is experiencing pain, so they're just going to put him on morphine 24/7 now.

(e) Dad can't even blink yes/no coherently.

(f) After being told about the insurance cutoff, I gather the doctor said something along the lines of, "Would he really want you to blow your entire life savings to keep him alive at this point?"

(g) Bottom line, Mom is looking to discuss hospice care with somebody or other when I am there next week. I can't help but think, "Great, then after that I can go see my shrink. I am sure as fuck going to need to."

I was e-mailing Jess about this crap yesterday and she said something like, "Well, don't have him die during Christmas, it'll ruin it forever." I gather Aunt Susie said the same thing.

You know what? I just don't care any more even if he dies on Christmas Day. On a strict "ruining the holiday" level, I don't think it'd make that much difference except to make it harder for Mom to forget on what day he died. (She went on about how she feels bad when she forgets the death days of relatives until it's nearly the end of said death day.) On a "this ruins Christmas forever" note, well, that already happened. Weirdly enough, Mom agreed with me on this.

And of course, the real ugly thing about this is that if he lives past December 28, that's $48,000 that has to be coughed up to keep him alive as of December 29. So "keep him alive until January so it doesn't ruin the holidays" is ah....a problem.

I am no longer getting my hopes up that this will actually happen, though.

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