Monday, February 8, 2010


The doctor showed them the big yellow sign, meant to stop the staff in their tracks. This one said "Do Not Resuscitate." She asked my sister and brother-in-law if that was their desire. I thought they already had a "Living Will" but it turns out the attorney back home said to wait until they get to North Carolina, since the legalese would be different. But they responded, "Yes, that's what we want."

The thought of it cut me like knife. I needed clarification, just to be sure. "You mean, if they find you with your heart stopped, you don't want them to use those paddles to get you going again?" "That's right."

I told the doctor, we needed to discuss this further. I discussed it with their daughter who is snow-bound up north. She said to ask him separately what he would want for her Mom. She would abide by their decision.

I told someone yesterday that I would go ski-diving on my 80th birthday. While I don't want to be kept alive by extraordinary means (I'm saying this today at age 64), as long as there is some joy left, I want to hang in there. Maybe I'll see things differently if and when I reach 80 years. I hope not.


mk said...

kisura saraphen,
if more families spoke of death as a companion not as an evil or as the great enemy then if one wanted a certain stature to not occur at the end of their life they could be certain family would know it and respect it.

Smitty said...

I have personally let my family know my wishes. I have also provided for a healthcare power of attorney. It's a personal decision and we should talk about it with our families. Don't wait until it's too late and you're all bickering over a plug not a life.

Anonymous said...

Having worked in a hospital I have knowledge of the side affects of the resuscitation is that the quality of life is sometimes diminished severely but that is something that can be discussed with the doctor. It depends on how many times you have to be started up again and what the underlying health conditions are to begin with. This is something that must be discussed completely before a decision is made.

Anonymous said...

I feel the same way but now I believe in God's will to the extent that... well Who knows what he may be teaching me while I lie in this state? I dont know about the extra meds to keep me going. I think I would prefer to do w/o, but the meds for pain I will accept and I will ask to not be starved to death but to let me go when God so wills. I also agree with Monsignor that to think of death in a joyfully accepting way. I have often prayedthat my death and my families deaths be a thing of wonderous beauty for them.

Bob West said...

God has greatly gifted you
I enjoyed visiting your blog
God Bless;