Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Don't Wait Until The Last Minute

I'm obsessed with death. Don't we all want to know about an afterlife? Every chance I get, I read and ask about people experiencing someone dying. Thus, I consider myself somewhat "educated" about this ultimate stage of life and contemplate experiencing my own death - I think it will be so cool - a culmination of everything. (I know, I'm weird). BUT, since my friend Arlene was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer in September, 2005, I have tried to discuss hospice care with her and her husband. Neither has wanted to have that discussion. He has said he "spoke to them briefly;" she indicated that she won't need hospice cause she has a stash of morphine to end it all if need be.... Excuses a plenty for not discussing hospice with me. Of course it not being my business, I'd shut my mouth and apologize for upsetting anyone. (Not that I didn't bring it up to them more than once). Well now, at the last hours, she is actively dying (couldn't locate the morphine if she tried) and he had to rush to locate a hospice and has just for the first time read about the stages of active death. They told me previously that an indebted discussion with her doctors regarding what to expect. Obviously it was not indebted as I am finding out. Her husband was beside himself (crying hysterically) on Friday due to some of the symptoms Arlene was exhibiting - sleeping excessively, forgetting why he helped her to the bathroom, seeing her cats (that are here with me) run across her bed, etc. I feel so guilty for not forcing the subject early on. When visiting the cats a week ago (September 23rd), I knew it was to be the last time and that Arlene knew her "time" was soon; her husband did not. Reasons I knew: she was speaking and walking ALOT slower than the week before, and she left Bari's favorite koala bear saying "it was time" to leave it (the only toy she has brought back and forth for visits over the past few weeks since giving me her cats - "babies"). Now she is in no condition to state her ultimate care wishes. Despite having her directives and will in place that is not preventing her husband from giving her pills as suppositories (as he told me today) and I'm sure she would have rather discussed an IV with hospice when she had the chance. PLEASE, for the sake of your loved ones, read the following "How To Choose A Hospice" located on the right hand side of the attached blog. Then search for anything on hospice to learn about end of life. If anyone is interested in reading about deaths - everything from talking to angels, to horrible suffering (knowing about this suffering helps prevent your own) - let me know and I will direct you to said articles.
Sorry if this seems so macabe but I think it is more macabe to be a mental wreck while trying to soothe a loved one. It ain't all about the drugs! (pixs of better times to follow) BTW - we first met our friends as neighbors building our homes next door to each other in August, 1994. So we are truly like family.


anthony said...

A very interesting subject, death. i have done some reading on the subject from a psychic (dont know if i beleive what i read but it was interesting) it was written by Sylvia Brown Life on the Other Side. Its a scarry subject for some but like you i find it fascinating.

I hope for the best for the friend you have written about.

NoMas said...

Thanks Anthony - sounds intriguing. I will have to check it out. Here's another very strange site, but this Bruce Moen sells his "method." As you said, "Don't know if I believe [it]...." At least some of his views in the FAQ are very interesting, especially his take on Hell.


Hammer said...

I liked kevorkians work. too bad he was shut down by the state.