For those that read my previous post, you know that I’ve worked 30 health care as a respiratory therapist and paramedic. My username reflects the motto of a paramedic and the job I dedicated to do.
During that time, I’ve seen many times where lives were not saved but extended. People uncomfortable in pain sad and miserable is there to variety of tubes and machines. Often times lying in their own feces or urine with open wounds draining the most terrible smelling fluids.
Often times these patients were getting good care but you can’t stand over a patient 24 hours a day 7 days a week and those times they were alone, you know they suffered.
And when they tried to die, we had to do everything that science created for us to “save” them. Burns on there chest from defibrillators. Bloating them with fluids until they were swollen beyond recognition. Slicing and dicing away at there body worse then if they had just died and had an autopsy. No we just could never let them die in peace.
Never mind the pain, and guilt for the family members who never realized that a month or more with a loved one on a ventilator, unable to speak, often unconscious,was not any “quality time”. But left with the choices of stop everything (the “I killed them” or “I let them die”) choice or do everything (“what have I done to them” or worse for the health care workers “What have THEY done to them”) choice, families are often more heart broken then is the loved one was allowed do die peacefully of natural causes.
That was never going to be me.
I had created my own Living Will that not only said no machines, no ventilators, but also no amputations and no dialysis. I even have a “wrongful life” clause that says that if anyone violates my living will that my attorney will file suit for extending my life artificially.
But in some kind of cruel joke I was struck with nerve damage that has left me with just enough ability to live without any artificial assistance but unable to function in any of the activities I did for years.
So I sit here, limited to doing nothing but feel the pain, but physical and mental, but nothing artificial that I can say “stop” that and allow passive palliative take place and have my life end in peace.
Passive death will take to long. I can’t just sit till I slowly rot away. Oh sure some day a disease like renal Failure may come along which I can say no to invasive treatment and alow death to come. but by then it may be years of immobility and feelings of uselessness that will cause my depression to go deeper and deeper. No that’s not for me.
So I must take an active role to end this, and do it while I still can have pride in the years I lived and not sorrow in the years I just existed. I have accepted that my role in this world has ended, and as such so should my life. I can say this with joy in my sole for I know some will remember my accomplishments over my end.
As to those that focus on the end, well they missed the point of my life and death. I just hope they find this blog and have it answer the “why” question they have.
So onto my exit strategy, where all my years and training in healthcare will be put to full use. But that’s for my next post