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Author Topic: A Graceful Death  (Read 12966 times)

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Offline Grinch

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  • Posts: 325
Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #50 on: March 05, 2007, 11:54:48 AM »
This is a subject I spent nearly a year thinking about. In one doctors visit I went from bullet proof to AIDS Cancer and HepB and C.

    My likely hood of surviving chemo was slim. IF I survived that I had the prospect of a life with AIDS and Hep.
Each time I went to the hospital for a week of inpatient chemo I knew the odds of me returning home diminished. I went from a 200lb reasonably fit, happy man to a 145lb hairless, ...even my eyelashes were gone... wreck of a human being.
Each day I asked for one thing.  A dignified death. I understood I would most likely die.  I did not want to die alone, covered in my own waste, unable to do anything.  To that end I took a syringe and ten ambien from my supply and a bottle of potassium chloride. I made up my mind that I would inject a cocktail of the 2 into my IV if push came to shove.
  With that backup plan I fought with all I had. I survived.
I believe every patient faced with very poor odds should be allowed a back up plan.
I don't believe the doctors should make that choice for you.  I don't feel we should ask a doctor to perform this service for you.

  We should never ever allow the government to decide who lives and who dies.

Offline BB

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  • Posts: 168
Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #51 on: March 06, 2007, 08:15:23 AM »
I was lucky enough to watch my dad die which removed many fears especially the one about struggling for that last breath. He had lung cancer, cancer in his heart and a brain tumor. As the lung cancer advanced his ability to exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen failed. I watch as his breathing became more shallow, gradually slowing and finally stopping.

The problem was the last 6 days of his life which were spent on morphine and antibiotics. He struggled in pain and with fever as the morphine and other meds would wear off. So he lived the last 6 days of his life in a drug induced state, unable to do anything but lie there and die slowly. I often wonder if this was a merciful death or a long devastating torture. I'm sure many of us know how slow time advances when we are in extreme pain or are experiencing an especially nasty illness. I also know as he became aware of his pain and discomfort he was able to sometimes understand my words as I spoke to him. He could only answer with a quick shake of his head, indicating yes or no. And so I'm left to wonder what he was thinking the last 6 days of his heavily medicated life. Were his thoughts peaceful, or a miserable torture, or was he able to think at all.

My quandary is not with death, but how I should die. Do I let my children watch my death in a hospital setting and learn from it or should I take another faster way out. I also wonder if I'll know when my life is over and avoidance of the inevitable end is impossible. I guess everything depends upon my choices and state of mind at that time.

Damn the Torpedoes! Full speed ahead! Adm. D. Farragut.

Started Atripla 8/18/06 and if I eat the right food when I take my meds, I get to go on a-trip-la.


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