Friday, December 28, 2007

Dad

.
Now I find out that while we were in Greece, some decisions were made about my Dad. In short, “they”, whoever that may be, are just going to let him die. All his heart medications have been discontinued, including his Coumadin, a blood thinner. Without that, he is subject to a blood clot at any moment, which could go to his heart or brain or lungs and kill him instantly. His pacemaker, which used to be monitored once a month to be sure it was working correctly, is no longer being monitored at all.

I don’t know. I’m exhausted and grieving and at this point I don’t even know the rights from the wrongs of it. He is too far gone to be in any emotional distress; likewise he isn’t in any physical discomfort. It doesn’t seem right just to give up on him. On the other hand, he is doesn’t know where he is or what is happening, so there doesn’t seem to be much reason not to let nature take her course.

Not that any of this is up to me. It’s up to “them”, with Mom’s consent.

Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy!

5 comments:

s-p said...

Anastasia,
I just found your blog. We eventually "gave up" on her dad. To face the inevitability of the ancestral curse and to permit the fallen order to finally overwhelm technology and science is a gut wrenching decision.
"They" are not doctors and lawyers and family, "they" are Adam and Eve. "HE" is Christ our resurrection and life. Easy words, hard realities.
May God have mercy on all of you at this time.

s-p said...

I'm sorry: an addendum...
We eventually gave up on my wife's dad after caring for him for almost 3 years. I assumed you'd know who I was talking about... Indeed, Lord have mercy.

s-p said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Yes, I knew who you meant, s-p. I've read about your ordeal in your blog.

Would it be too personal to ask you your rationale behind your decision (as if I couldn't guess)? You could send it by e-mail if you'd rather.

I'm certainly struggling with this. It doesn't seem right at all. I've even asked myself, couldn't we care for him ourselves, in our home, go the "heroic" route the way you did, but with such disastrous consequences? And the answer always seems to be, "No, not really..." At least not at the same time as we are coping with my sister's battle with cancer.

Anastasia

s-p said...

Hi Anastasia,
No, it is not too personal. But, it was ultimately my wife's decision since it was her dad. The hardest part of facing reality is realizing that we could not provide the care he needed any longer. When he fell a couple times and I was 30 miles away on a job, my wife had to go knocking on neighbor's doors up and down the street until she found someone home who would help her get him off the floor and back in bed. He would try to get out of bed and do things he was incapable of doing and she could not sit by his bed 24/7 and we could not put him in restraints. We knew he could potentially live as a vegetable requiring 24/7 nursing care, unable to speak or move for months or years. "Valiant" is romanticized commitment. Facing one's limitations is true courage in the face of guilt and sorrow. Fortunately Gil and we had a clear understanding that he wanted no valiant efforts or artificial life support or medications that would just prolong existence. Toward the end we took him off all his medications and he died within a few weeks, peacefully. We didn't have a lot of family to fight with over the decisions, thank God. You don't have the luxury of having cared for your dad (I assume) and perhaps you think you'd be more at peace with the decision if you knew you at least tried. But it sounds like the situation is so far gone that would be foolishness for the sake of assuaging guilt and in my mind neither of those are good reasons to take on an insurmountable task. It is hard to have faith that "our days are numbered... if we be in strength mayhap 4 score years, more than that is but toil and travail". Technology and medicine are wonderful for healing, but they are a curse if they are used for prolonging life beyond its inevitable end in my opinion.
Feel free to email me off the blog, I'm sure my wife would be glad to share her feelings with you too.