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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Decisions...

This morning at the crack of 4:30, I got up, got ready and left for the gym. I got there about 5:45 and pushed the voices out of my head that are telling me I am crazy.  I am crazy and I think that is a fact at this point.  Anyway, I took my place in the hot room and began to watch the folks shuffle in.  When all was said and done, there was probably 30 at the 6am class.  I made it through and started my day.

The discussion at the end was about how a person comes to do the things they do.  I thought about it all day...

How do we come to do what we do...what we think and what we will put ourselves out for and what we won't?  Is it how we were taught, what we liked and disliked and how we remember what it felt like...sometimes that is what I think. 

I made the decision to get my health in order.  I do understand that this is drastic but some of us need a kick in the a** to get going.  I am learning that is me. 

After I left the gym, there was a phone call from a patient's daughter about her mother.  Her mother is a great lady, old and failing.  She does not want to fail and she damn sure doesn't want to die.  Sometimes that's enough and sometimes that's not.  In the case of this lady, she is failing and there isn't much more to do. 

She has to make a decision...to keep trying treatment that will probably make her sicker and spend time away from her family in the hospital, possibly on a breathing machine...or at home, with her family, doing her thing and treating the symptoms with comfort care instead of agressive cure (which there is none)?  While her family knows what decision they would like her to make, it doesn't matter because, in the end, the decision is hers.

I have to say this this is a very hard decision although the end result is the same.  Typically, when a person is like this, there is no magic...just one more treatment or different drug that will make them breathe better or take the cancer away.  That's not to say that we can't hope and that we won't try new things if they come available...but usually they have fought so hard that the end comes whether they want it or not.

Tomorrow, I will do the same thing I did today.  I will get up at 4:30 and take my place on the hot floor for the 6:00 class.  When I am done, I will go over and see my lady and we'll talk about decisions. 

End of life care is starting to be a decision that is talked about alot.  When we bring the word "Hospice" into the discussion, people become afraid and stop thinking about the decisions to be made.  The sad thing about this is...this lady is not going to make it out of here alive...no one does.  She has the choice to be at home with her family, spending her last months loving her older kids and grandkids or she can go to the hospital for another treatment every time she has a new symptom, spending days with medical personnel and strangers helping her.  I guess you know what I wish she would want to do...huh?  But, it's not my decision and I will do my best to let her know it is all hers and we will honor whatever she decides.

Decisions are tough and sometimes it's easier to just decide not to decide...and that's okay too.

We'll tawk tommorrow,
I love you all,
Terry

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