Hey Doc? What Would You Do?

My mother-in-law, Helen, just celebrated her 86th birthday!  She is the last of our parents, John’s and mine, and we feel lucky to have her around.  For her age she’s doing quite well.  She still lives independently and does pretty well with some help from us and even more from John’s sister who lives much closer.

As she ages, naturally she has more health issues.  But she is very independent and doesn’t want any of us along when she goes to the doctor.  It won’t be long before we start insisting though, because whenever she goes for a checkup or for a problem, we end up completely confused and can’t help because, well, she likes to keep things private.

In the last year, though, she’s had a few procedures that, while not too terribly invasive, still seemed over the top.  Unnecessary.   Expensive, but covered by Medicare and Medi-gap insurance.

Now remember, I am a bit of a cheerleader for doctors.  I have wonderful ones and they have improved my life immensely.  I work with doctors, I have friends who are doctors.  I am really familiar with the system and how things work.

So I have to say that I was taken aback when I read a recent article in the Wall Street Journal:

Why Doctors Die Differently

Huh?

The article was written by Ken Murray.  DoctorKen Murray.  Naturally as an all-too frequent patient/medical geek, I was intrigued.  The gist of the article is summed up by this quote:

What’s unusual about doctors is not how much treatment they get compared with most Americans, but how little.  They know exactly what is going to happen, they know the choices, and they generally have access to any sort of medical care that they could want. But they tend to go serenely and gently.

Oh.

No tubes.  No chemotherapy.  No machines.  Gently and serenely.  Well, whodda thunk it?

I know for a fact that doesn’t happen in the hospital.  They know for a fact that doesn’t happen in a hospital.  If it did, medical costs would not be so, well, costly.  You’ve read the stats, so I won’t go there.  You’re welcome.

My sister Beth, who was a nurse, had suffered a stroke that, among other things, led to acute kidney failure requiring years of dialysis.  Beth had been having problems for a couple of months when she suddenly took a severe turn for the worse, and she was in terrible pain.  Her sons were unable to help her and took her, against her will, to the hospital, where she lapsed into a coma.  But not before she was placed on all kinds of machines, respirators, monitors, dialysis machines, the works.  But she had really already gone.  None of that expensive equipment was really necessary.  None of it changed the outcome. Only the drugs made her more comfortable.

Selfishly, part of me is glad they put her on those machines, because it gave me enough time to get to her bedside and be there at the end.  She would have been glad to know I was there, but not glad of the expensive and hopeless treatment she received.  That is not at all what she would have wanted.  Would you?

So when I read this article I realized it was time to add an important question to the list I ask all doctors whenever I go, or whenever I go with someone I am trying to help:

“Hey, Doc?  What would you do if you were the patient?”

86 Comments

Filed under Family, Hey Doc?, Science, Stupidity, Technology

86 responses to “Hey Doc? What Would You Do?

  1. This site is admittedly fascinating i’m looking for is there any other examples? however anyway many thanks a great deal as a result of I found that i used to be looking for.

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  2. Thanks — it’s a difficult subject, and one I think we all would rather avoid thinking about!

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  3. Hey Elyse, this is a great post. Thanks for sharing this perspective. It’s great to get us thinking about something we may not have had your knowledge about.

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  4. Just wandering around today and found this post – obviously got lots of people thinking. I have in-laws that were doctors and a daughter that is a surgeon. It’s best to sit down and talk with your doc so they know how you feel about things (quality of life vs what ever necessary) – as well as having all the paper work done. But even that doesn’t always work. ALWAYS have an advocate in the room with anyone in the hospital. Tape DNR in prominent place. Even with that instinct kicked in the night my dad was in the hospital -the docs are trained to save lives… a young doc tearfully told me he forgot about the DNR and just jumped in. It is a rough process – and bones are usually broken. Forms in hand once again, the next day, I was able to follow my father’s wishes and he did pass peacefully without tubes, and all. Docs do the best they can. Families must bear the burden of watching over.
    Do remember docs may order tests to prevent from being sued – it runs up costs – tort reform would help here. Most docs do not want to say what their own choice would be – lawyers advise against it. Wise to develop relationship there.
    Good post – sorry this is so long

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    • Don’t be sorry at all — it was a great, insightful comment, and I really appreciate it. And you see both sides quite clearly.

      It’s a hard issue and relationship building is really important. Instructions, thought out ahead, are vital, and so is a bit of acceptance that shit happens.

      It must be very difficult for doctors to stand back and NOT do something. Very difficult indeed. And sometimes folks forget that doctors are humans too.

      Thanks for a great comment, Phil.

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  5. It was pretty eye-opening to me, too.

    Good luck with your Dad.

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  6. I loved that article. I will keep it in mind as I help my Dad make decisions about his healthcare.

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  7. You touched a nerve here, Elyse! I agree completely. DNR in place. I’m hoping euthanasia is more widely accepted as a common practice (turn up the morphine, please) when my time comes.

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    • We are kinder to our pets. And more accepting. Not that I want to rush things, but we are all going to be there one day.

      Thanks for your comment, Lorna.

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  8. I’m sorry to here about your sister. If it’s me I would choose to be off machines if there’s no longer hope. I’m towards quality of life and not how long the machines can keep me physically alive but then the rest of me already ceased to function. Medicine can only do as much but it’s our time, we had to let go and let nature and fate do its course.

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  9. I’m going to have to come back when I have more time and read all the comments (all 70 of them), but for now, I wanted to say that I took care of my mother the last six years of her life, and even though she was clearly registered as a DNR, a decision she made years before she became completely disabled, when she had a stroke and was transported to the hospital, they had already intubated her and resuscitated her twice by the time I made it to the emergency room. I was livid, especially since she had just been in that exact same emergency room only a week before, and they clearly had marked her chart as a DNR, and had this information on file. I had previously provided them with copies of all the legal paperwork, and still they intubated her and resuscitated her anyway.

    After that ER visit, she spent the next four months completely bedridden, unable to communicate, and in a significant amount of pain (until I was able to finally get hospice on board). I had to fight the hospital to allow me to take her home those last four months, but at least I was able to allow her to die in my home, rather than hooked up to a lot of tubes and kept alive by life support.

    We did all the right things … got the right legal paperwork, she wore a medic alert bracelet indicating her DNR preference, and we had filed copies of the paperwork with the local hospitals, and still it didn’t keep them from ignoring her wishes. I’m grateful now that I was able to step in as her advocate; otherwise she would have still been hooked up to the machines, and would probably have lingered much longer than those four months.

    Sorry for rambling. I believe in choice. Obviously.

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    • It is scary, isn’t it. I don’t know how common that is, although they certainly didn’t listen to anyone when they put my sister on all those machines. She had, really gone, and they were doing dialysis when I arrived. When I asked why, I was told the doctor would be by soon. The doctor not only wouldn’t discontinue the dialysis, but told me they had to keep her on the respirator until they tested to see if the dialysis had been successful. “IS SHE GOING TO DANCE OUT OF HERE?” I asked, oh so politely. I argued. I yelled. I was not happy. The nurse took me aside and said “she’ll be off the floor in 5 minutes, and we will disconnect.” We did.

      Sorry to go off on my own tangent. I’m still angry.

      But I think that if you go to the hospital by ambulance, they resuscitate or they try. I’m guessing it is a legal requirement, but I don’t really know.

      Yours is a terribly sad story. Thanks for sharing it.

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  10. I must be a forward thinker…
    9 years ago when I was diagnosed with cancer I asked every doctor, specialist and surgeon what they would do in my situation. I listened to their answers carefully. I believe they gave sound advice.
    For now, by God’s Grace I am cancer free and as healthy as a 50 year old can be. 🙂
    But on the flip side, none of us gets out of here alive…and if there is pain involved at the end…..give me drugs, lots of drugs!

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    • Congratulations, Lori, on being a survivor. That is wonderful! And I’ve always known you were a forward thinker!

      I agree with your last statement. Drugs are good, especially if there is pain involved!

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  11. Sure thing Chris. I like to surprise folks from time to time!

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  12. Deeply insightful and very thought provoking writing here, Elyse. Thanks for sharing.

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  13. I hope so too. It is usually the hardest on the ones left behind. But not always. The will to live is pretty strong, too!

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  14. Our family was very lucky to have a compassionate doctor who guided us in the process of letting dad go last year without fuss, tubes or extreme measures. It was very difficult but the alternative would have been even more heart wrenching. I am hoping we can turn a corner as a nation and when our body is telling us it is time to go, the loved ones around us are strong enough to hold our hand and let us go.

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  15. GOF

    It’s a very complex and individual decision everyone needs to make for themselves. My doctor is aware that I will not be undergoing medical tests for any condition which has a less than 90% chance of being cured and I have the legal documents drawn up concerning ‘life support’ options in the future. I accept that everyone is entitled to manage their own health in their own way. Thanks for raising the issue.

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    • “Cured” is a very subjective word, I think, because eventually something gets us all, and so much of life and medicine is guess work. But making a plan is really important. And asking the right questions.

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  16. Great post, great question(s). We took care of my mother-in-law for five years with all kinds of cancer. It’s rough. My wife is Mother Theresa, otherwise she wouldn’t have lived a year. I don’t actually know if the last year was even worth it. We have our own end-of-life pacts. We don’t want to have our kids have to deal with all of that.

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    • Thanks, Les. Good for you and your wife. It is rough, and I think we all want to spare our kids that type of anguish.

      I would have thought though, that your wife was Mother Theresa for simply having lived with you :).

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  17. I know I am fortunate to have a doctor who genuinely cares for me and my health. He has been a constant through my health problems and a wonderful support. So many people do not get the care they need. Thank-you for bringing up good discussion on medical care with your post here.

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    • I think that most doctors do care about their patients, and I’m glad you’re happy with yours. That’s the way it should be. It is harder with our mobile society, though!

      Thanks for your comment.

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  18. I read a great article in the New Yorker about hospice and how much better it is to die at home than in a hospital—–save the tubes for the astronauts I say.

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  19. It’s extremely hard to think logically when it comes to life and death. People become so hell-bent on saving their loved ones they don’t ever think of what the cost will be.

    My mom had a triple bypass a year and a half ago. She’s still kickin’ strong and appears she’ll still be around for quite a while which makes me happy as she has two young grandchildren who don’t really know who she is yet and two more on the way.

    The part that sucks as that she’ll probably be paying for the surgery until she does pass away.

    As always, Elyse, a great post and I definitely wouldn’t mind if you deviated from the humor more often (not that I don’t enjoy it or anything).

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    • Thanks Twindaddy. I think you pointed out the dilemma — sometimes the surgeries and the machines and everything else has an important and GOOD quality of life side. Is it worth the pain and expense to live relatively healthily and, in your mom’s case, know the grandchildren. To me, yes, that’s the absolute right decision. It’s harder when the outcome is a foregone conclusion where the patient won’t have any quality. Glad she’ll see the new baby! But you said two (twins again????).

      You may live to regret having suggested more serious pieces. Just you wait until I start really going into politics!

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      • Ha ha, no more twins. I think. I’m done having children, but both of my brothers are expecting babies this year.

        I love reading your humorous articles but I just feel you have more to offer than a good laugh, as evidenced by the back and forth we have.

        I doubt I’ll regret the suggestion.

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  20. I read that article you mentioned and found it so true. We are going through this issue now with a relative with late-stage lung cancer and another in late stages of congestive heart failure. My father, a doctor, lived to 92; he rarely went to doctors himself and was only in the hospital three times his entire life, the last time to die. Thanks for the post.

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    • Sure thing, CL. It has certainly been a lively discussion (yes, pun intended). Good luck with your two relatives. It’s not an easy time.

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  21. Great question for the doctor … then again, in today’s legal-crazed world, I wonder how many would answer it? Meanwhile, we have our living wills. Good post Elsye!

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  22. I think more people are signing ‘Do Not Resusitate’ orders to avoid unnecessary delays of the inevitable. Whatever decision we have to make, I just hope we can find peace with it. This is a very thought provoking and sobering post Elyse. Well done.

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    • Thanks, Renee. A bit odd in a “humor” blog, but it was really bugging me.

      But the scary thing is that folks (family and healthcare professionals) don’t always follow to the DNRs.

      It’s a tough subject.

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  23. Unnecessary medical treatments are the main reason why healthcare costs are out of control. This drives me insane! It’s a nice insight, however, that by asking the doctore what they would do, maybe we can cut to the chase. Doctors are often dodging a tough conversation when they order unnecessary tests or drugs…

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    • Mostly, I really think that they are trying to fix things. I’d hate to have those conversations, too.

      But you’re right about the tests driving up healthcare costs. I think the stats I read yesterday said that 50% of Medicare is spent on patients in the last year of their lives.

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  24. Thank you for posting this! This is, to say the least, very profound advice. I live with two lovely women whose health are slowly declining. They have multiple doctors that they see and one in particular seems to be one of those who will give them massive, expensive tests, such as MRIs and CAT scans over and over again. I think on their next visit, I will go with them and start asking some serious questions, starting with…“Hey, Doc? What would you do if you were the patient?” Wish us all luck!

    -Cindy

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  25. Michelle Gillies

    This post struck more than one cord with me.
    1st when I was a cancer patient I told my Oncologist that I did not want to do chemo. He told me that was my choice but that he would prefer I not waste his time as he would like to treat patients that wanted to live. I did the chemo.
    2nd my Uncle who had been a cancer patient for years (full colostamy), had two multi bi-pass surgeries and was on dialysis was in a car accident. The only survivor of three occupants, his injuries were severe. He went into heart failure the following day and was revived and put on life support even though he had a DNR. Now faced with the decision of “unplugging him”, I asked the Doctor what she would do. She said that there was so much damage from them reviving him that he would not survive. I made the difficult decision of taking off support. The funeral home later told me that they were shocked he had survived as his injuries were much more severe than the ones who had been killed. I explained to them that his injuries were from being resuscitated.
    In the first instance I have say the Doctor most likely saved my life with his harsh words. In the second instance I have to wonder what were they thinking?

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    • Wow. Those were harsh words, alright. But if there is a chance or a good likelihood that the person will live, and live a real life, then go for it. I’m glad you did, even though we don’t know each other.

      But it is so crazy that some folks are resuscitated when clearly they would be better off had they not. And then you had to make that horrible, horrible decision. My heart goes out to you.

      It’s complicated. Thanks for your insightful comment.

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  26. Fantastic post, and the comments are just as interesting.
    My girl and I have talked about our wishes several times to make sure that when the time comes, we can each slip away the way we want.

    but after reading some of the comments, I’ll make sure we get living wills.

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  27. That sounds like a great answer, when that’s possible. It’s so complicated, and there are so many unknown.

    You have however taught me that maybe I don’t want an iPad quite so much.

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  28. Okay, I dumped the ipad and am using a different tablet that formats yor entire post on one screen. I’m glad I did because this was a very thought provoking post. The one thing I learned going through hospice with several family members is that, they choose their own time and hospice midwifes them through the process. Loving them and allowing that dignity is a great gift. Thanks for talking about it.

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  29. Hi Susan,
    You’re right. It’s smart. But we all avoid it!

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  30. Thanks for the eye-opener. I don’t think it’s the least bit morbid to plan.

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  31. Elyse– what an important discussion you’ve started with your post. I have occasionally asked that question of doctors, “What would you do?” and have always been lucky enough to receive a sincere, detailed response. I’ve even asked, what would you do if it was your mom, etc., with the same kind of thoughtful response.
    My dad passed in November 2011, in the hospital ICU, and a caring young nurse was with him when he died. We were on the way to the hospital (it was 3:00 am & they’d called us that he had taken a turn for the worse). I wish that we could have been there with him, and his death has made me take a look at what I would want. I don’t feel that it’s morbid to plan.
    Thanks for your post.

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    • So sorry to hear about your Dad, Melanie. It is always hard to lose someone who is so important to you. So loved. I’m sorry that it was so close, but the nurse who stayed with my sister and I was so wonderful, so caring, that I am sure the nurse with your Dad helped him.

      It’s wise to plan, not at all morbid.

      Thanks for your comment, and again, my sympathies on your very fresh loss.

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  32. Love this! I always err of the side of caution before turning up at the doctors, more of a “wait and see” and try some good old fashioned remedies first, but this is more fascinating because it you are talking about serious illnesses. I will definitely be asking different questions now, thanks for posting!

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    • Karen, I’ve missed you. I hope you’ve been well.

      Thanks for visiting and for commenting. It’s a touchy subject, but it’s been on my mind ever since reading this article.

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  33. Very thought-provoking article and post, Elyse. I think it boils down to our society and our constant fear and denial of death. It’s normally such a taboo subject. We either refuse to accept it, or just don’t talk about it. We are so afraid of it, we’ll do anything to prolong someone’s life.

    For some other cultures, death is viewed more as a natural part of life we obviously all have to go through (ain’t no one getting outta here alive!) So why not make those last moments we are here peaceful and special, spent with the people we love? I certainly don’t want my last days spent with tubes and machines or in extreme pain in some strange hospital. I believe in the afterlife, so I believe it’s important to have a ‘good’ death in preparation for that big transition.

    I feel pretty strongly about this as I am currently becoming a volunteer at a cancer center near here. I will be helping those who have cancer, their families but eventually, I want to help in a hospice setting. To help make that transition to death more dignified and peaceful for everyone, the family and especially the one dying. Amazing how the person dying usually gets the least amount of consideration or attention! They need someone by their side, it’s a pretty big deal to die, but no, we all worry about the ones left behind more and it is selfish. I think this is because of my dad’s death and how I wasn’t there for him when he died. He died completely alone in a hospital with tubes everywhere. Ideally, it would be incredible if we could all face death with grace and dignity and not be afraid.

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    • Wow, Darla.
      The husband of a close friend of mine is just about to go into hospice (another reason this issue is on my mind). I am sure that your joy and humor will comfort and ease many fears. Good for you for doing that.

      On your other points, it is odd that our culture just pretends death doesn’t happen. I developed a deep affection for the Harry Potter books because in them, not only does Harry get to see his folks from time to time, but because it is not odd for him (or other characters) to mention them. Not so in real life, and you have to mention it when a piece of you dies. How can you not?

      I don’t know if this will help, but when my sister was in the hospital, there was a nurse who stayed with me and Beth. Some people can stay, others can’t and I don’t judge either way. Beth’s sons couldn’t. But the nurse stayed with me and she told me that in none of the hospitals she knew of did they let folks die alone. Someone one is there, holding their hand.

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      • Thank you for letting me know that, Elyse. It does help–a lot. I’d like to think there was a nurse there with him when he passed. To be honest, no one knows. He had a massive heart attack when he was 53, told my mom and my brother to go home to get a few hours sleep,then the doc called her a couple hours later to tell her he was dead) He didn’t suffer for long like some with cancer and he didn’t have to face months in a hospital like some people, so for that I am truly grateful. Sorry to go off track from the article and post! I get pretty emotional when it comes to death and dying as I’m sure you can relate. My biggest point is: we need to talk more about it and be advocates for the dying and let them have more power in how they die.

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      • oh, and I feel the need to explain– I was 3,000 miles away at college when he died as I did desperately want to be there with him, I just didn’t get a chance to fly home quick enough.

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        • I understand completely. I was about that same distance away from my Dad and my other sister Judy (whose death was completely sudden and unexpected).

          I do know loads of doctors and nurses and I think that they are a caring bunch. That’s something we can all take comfort in, I really believe. (There are occasionally exceptions, but so what. Really, so what.) They do their best to save lives; I think that that is a really good thing. It’s just a question of when they want to win so badly that they go beyond what is necessary. I don’t think it is anything more than their wanting to save their patients. That’s their goal, their training, their motivation.

          But, as far as your dad is concerned (and mine, too, really), you loved him. And isn’t that what we all really want from our kids? Their best? Just by not being with him, doesn’t mean you failed him.

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      • You’re absolutely right. Doctors are trained to save lives, it’s ingrained in their brains. I certainly have respect for that…I’m thinking more along the lines of other family members and how they can want to prolong someone’s life mainly because they just can’t let them go. I saw this happen with my own grandmother.

        And I know in my heart I didn’t fail him. I just wish I had more closure , I guess. Just wanted to talk to him one last time. But I know they’ll be time for that later after I pass on. OK, before I start yapping about the afterlife, I’ll stop now. Thanks for letting me chat about this and I appreciate your take on things.

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  34. Elyse, I’ve read all of your posts and I know how powerful, witty and intelligent your writing can be. So I say this from my heart. Today you just may have written the most important piece so far. Whether we fear “death” or not, most of us do worry a bit about “dying.” Such a different thing, isn’t it? It’s not what comes after, which most of us hope is either nothing or something beautiful and peaceful. A reunion with loved ones who have gone on before us would be nice. But “dying” is a different matter altogether. We don’t know how or when it will come, and it’s the “how” I worry about. Yet even though I will soon celebrate my 59th birthday, I still haven’t made a living will. The article and your post have made me realize that I must take control NOW, while I still can. And I, too, will add your question to the list I’ve already asked my doctor. Doctors so often see death as the enemy and any amount of “cruel to be kind” treatments are seen as perfectly moral and appropriate. But prolonging the suffering of any creature, be it human, cat, dog or ferret, is not a moral choice, and it is not a choice that should be left to your doctor. I, too, want to go softly into that good night. And one day soon I will sit down with my doctor, living will in hand, and go over it with him so he understands the facts of my life — that death doesn’t scare me, but dying does. No heroic messures, please. A gentle and peaceful transition for me, thanks.

    Much love and graditude to you, Elyse, for writing this. It reminds me once again just how important it is that you keep on blogging!

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    • I have tapped into a hornet’s nest with this piece, but I’m actually glad. Everybody’s comments have been so interesting.

      And, of course, yours is no exception. This bit is particularly ON TARGET: “Whether we fear “death” or not, most of us do worry a bit about “dying.” Such a different thing, isn’t it?” Because you’re right. Dying is a whole different issue, and one we all think of as taboo. We are kinder to our pets than we are to our parents. (Not that I am advocating euthanasia, mind you). But so many times people hold on to the ones they care about for themselves, rather than letting go. It’s important to let go.

      And it is important to make your wishes known. I actually have a laminated card in my wallet (from LegalZoom.com, no less). Because you just never know.

      Thanks for such a thoughtful comment, Delajus.

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  35. Up till I had my last two children, I had a DNR. I insisted on it when I was 25 and I discovered I had heart issues. It wasn’t till I was in the ER this past January that it dawned on me that
    1: if I was ablle to be resitated and live, my kids could (possibly) have a mom a little longer
    2: my family could say goodbye and have closure.
    My only stipulation is that the machines were to be removed as soon as everyone said goodbye. No drawn out heroic measures. I’ve seen the devistation that “little bit of hope” does when it’s only keeping a dead body “alive” If theres no brainwaves, I’m not home. Let the shell go, I ain’t coming back!

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    • It’s really such a difficult issue, because there aren’t any right answers. Or, no GOOD answers, anyway. But I think it depends on the situation, the alternatives, the likelihood that a patient will survive. There are treatments that can prolong life for a month. Is that right for every patient? Is it wrong for every patient? The answer to both questions is NO.

      I did manage to have closure with my sister, and I will be eternally grateful for that.

      For what it’s worth, I think your provisions sound very smart.

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  36. bigsheepcommunications

    Very insightful.

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  37. Hi,
    A very interesting post.
    I agree a very good question to ask the doctor. Personally I would not want all the machines in a situation like that, just the pain killers to help ease the pain until the inevitable.

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    • Thanks, Mags.

      I agree. Just the drugs. I have a living will that says just that. Oh, and it says to take any usable parts, too. If I can help someone else, that’s wonderful.

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  38. Wise question to ask, Elyse.

    I watched my mom not too long ago die with grace and power. Rather than go through a big fight with chemo, etc, she refused treatment. In short order she went into hospice. She was doing really quite well and all staff felt she would be hanging on for months to come. But one morning, a Friday, she decided that it was time to go and by Tuesday she was gone. It was as empowering as it was an enormous lesson for me as I watched this woman die with all the dignity and grace in which she lived.

    Now I know what question I’d ask if faced with such a decision. Thanks for articulating it so perfectly for me.

    Hugs,
    Lisa

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  39. A lot of it, I’m sure is CYA. A lot of it is automatic, too. They are detectives, trying to solve bodily mysteries. I imagine it is hard to stop, to give up.
    It’s a good question to ask, for all of us.
    Thanks for your comment.

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    • I think you hit the nail on the head with both reasons: CYA and an innate drive to solve the puzzle and cure people.

      I’m so sorry about your sister. I lost a brother to cancer 15 years ago. They take a part of our childhoods with them, don’t they?

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      • This is not something I want to share with you (or anyone) Peg. So sorry about your brother. Yes, they take a lot with them — your childhood and pieces of your heart.

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  40. Interesting and thought provoking post, Elyse. I read the same article, and had some of the same questions. I wonder how much of what doctors recommend is part of the “C.Y.A” mindset, where they are so worried about being sued?
    I am adding your question to my future doctor visits, too, and those of my aging Mom.

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  41. I agree. There is an important statistic we like to forget: Studies have shown that 100% of people die. I’d rather do it comfortably with drugs.

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  42. Interesting post, Elyse. I have long suspected that we go overboard with too much care when the outcome is bleak. There is something to be said for death with dignity and just making people comfortable and allowing them to die.

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  43. I am so sorry you lost your sisters. Thank you for sharing such a candid post about what you have learned and know now. Hugs, friend.
    Intriguing article, intriguing information. Again you pose another very sensible question and a good corollary to your previous post.

    Like

    • Thanks, I’m sorry I lost my sisters, too. Every day.

      But I remember thinking how odd it was that Beth didn’t want to go to the hospital. I mean, she was a NURSE! Now it makes sense.

      Like

  44. A simply great question!
    MJ

    Like

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