• July 12, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    This week the death of my father-in-law brought a concern I have to the forefront.

    My father-in-law was 86, with alzheimers, and was diagnosed with an obstructed bowel. The family was asked if they wanted to go ahead with an operation to see if the problem could be corrected. They were advised he had only a 50% chance of making it through the surgery because of his age. The family said yes to the surgery, however did agree to a Do Not Resuscitate order. Fortunately for Dad, his body shut down before they could do the surgery.

    Which brings me to my point…..why do families insist on trying to prolong a life that no longer has quality?

    I am a person diagnosed with dementia. When first diagnosed, I had my Power of Care redone, and specified No Heroic Measures……which means….let me go! Don’t keep my body here, just because medical technology allows it.
    I guess unless you have personally experienced what it is like to sink into that quicksand of oblivion, you can’t fully comprehend the daily struggles of just living.

    So unless the magic cure is just around the corner, please….no operations, no feeding tubes, no antibiotics…..NO HEROIC MEASURES!

  • July 12, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Amen to that Mary…Good God AMEN to that!
    Jim

  • July 14, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Mary I respect your opinion.Everyone should be able to say when they have had enough but some of us just keep encouraging them to hang on just a little longer.I tell them we are waiting for Jesus to come back. I have to do this to get them to eat. To continue to thrive to live or they may die before seeing the grand kids from out of state.If they make it to their next visit and it is a good one it is all worth living for. But in many cases they tell me of the terrible hell they are going through. Over and Over again and I say Go towards the light..It should be a personal choice.Some say put them in a home at first signs of dementia and do not give the treatment medication for they Just prolong the inevitable. Prolong the inevitable?Then I have seen where people are tube fed and mess the bed for over 20 years just so mom can visit and say “yep she is still alive”.Go towards the light.I just love the 94 year old that is miserable every evening cause I can not take her home.She complains saying “If I had known it would be like this….I am 94 years old, worked hard all my life and I can not go home”.Since she enjoys the coffee so well and the early breakfast and lunch, cracks out “Can you get me a little whiskey for medical purposes?”every now and then I tell her “Hey, it is not my fault you wanted to live to be a hundred years old”. She smiles and says “Yeah I know it honey.How did you know that? That was between Me and God?”
    And there I find the answer to the question!Should we prolong the inevitable?The answer is personal for everyone that answers. It is between You and God.
    Good thing that you know this Mary but for those that don’t…Share it with your next of kin in a Living will Or other documentation. Like we say in nursing If you did not document it, you did not do it.If you do not document your wishes it is like you did not have them. So document your wishes before the time comes.
    Enjoy life,this is not a rehearsal. HUGS! Marcus

  • July 22, 2009 at 7:40 am

    Oh Mary how I agree with you. Both my husband and I have agreed that we do not wish to be resucitated unless we are going to have a useful life. As my husband has Alzheimer’s and also Asbestosis, two uncurable diseases and I have Enduring Power of Attorney over him, I would not agree to him being resucitated if anything happens. It doesn’t mean that I don’t love him but what quality of life would he have. Regards Jocelyn

  • February 11, 2010 at 4:11 am

    I realize this subject was brought up 6 months ago, but I’m in here cruising for insight with the same question. My mother who had dementia just had surgery for a herniated bowel. She is almost 85. My sister and I (her only family) agree that prolonging her life is not ideal as her quality of life and awareness is gone. However, the doctors said they can fix the bowel, she’s in pain, etc. The family really has no choice but to proceed. Which they did – surgery was successful. So here we go again, for a while longer, until something serious enough occurs. In the mean time, she’s in ICU, but when she gets out of ICU she will need 24/7 attendance in the hospital. The hospital does not provide this 24/7 care IN the hospital. The family is required to provide it themselves or hire someone to do it. I’ve never heard of such at thing. With the hospitals filling up with the baby boomers and a larger percentage of them with dementia … WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT?

  • February 11, 2010 at 4:12 am

    I realize this subject was brought up 6 months ago, but I’m in here cruising for insight with the same question. My mother who had dementia just had surgery for a herniated bowel. She is almost 85. My sister and I (her only family) agree that prolonging her life is not ideal as her quality of life and awareness is gone. However, the doctors said they can fix the bowel, she’s in pain, etc. The family really has no choice but to proceed. Which they did – surgery was successful. So here we go again, for a while longer, until something serious enough occurs. In the mean time, she’s in ICU, but when she gets out of ICU she will need 24/7 attendance in the hospital. The hospital does not provide this 24/7 care IN the hospital. The family is required to provide it themselves or hire someone to do it. I’ve never heard of such at thing. With the hospitals filling up with the baby boomers and a larger percentage of them with dementia … WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT?