Observations on quality time with my 84 year old father, day – 8
*He never understood the DNR.
The Palliative Care doc said we should decide on a DNR. My father said “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.” The doc said, “We’ve come to it.” After discussing the pros and cons, he asked me to make the decision. Was it that he didn’t trust his own cognitive skills or did he want someone else to be guilty of pulling the plug. I said, “We should do it” in a barely audible voice. A few days later he rescinded it. My sister got him to put it back. Later on when the dialysis doc recommended stopping dialysis, he agreed without hesitation. I said to my sister, “He doesn’t understand what he just did.” A day later he started asking questions. “Won’t it kill her?” “Dad, it’s not helping her anymore.” “But won’t she die sooner?”
This is key for me. When your life is as miserable as hers was those last few weeks, death WAS the better alternative. Maybe some moral code is telling you that no one should make that choice. I’m telling you, be prepared to make that choice.
“Dad, if I’m ever in the same condition as her, drive me off of a cliff.”
When she finally passed, my father asked, “Why didn’t they try to revive her?”
He never understood the DNR.
*I tried to explain to my dad who Leee Childers was. “He was that friend of mine who had the photo exhibit and then got sick. The fellow I tried to visit in the hospital.” When I explained who he was, he said “He must have been a very wealthy man.” “No dad, he wasn’t. But he was so generous and loved that he seemed to always have people willing to step up and help him.” Food for thought perhaps? When Mott the Hoople were on American TV in late ’73/early ’74, I remember watching it and my dad just stared from the distance. They played this song. On the album, it’s dedicated to Leee.
© Curt Weiss 2014