Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘vibes’

Deciding On Death

Posted by terrepruitt on March 27, 2014

So, I am experiencing one of the oddest situations we have created for ourselves in the world of modern medicine and technology.  I am sitting with my mother waiting for her scheduled time to die.  I am starting this story for you a little bit backwards, because Tuesday I didn’t have a chance to post.  My mother has been sick for a bit and I have been wanting to write about it.  I wanted to share plus I am surprised to find it is a bit therapeutic.  But I always thought I should ask her before I posted something, but now I feel it is past that point.  I came up to be with her on Monday for the day for what we thought would be a procedure that would get her back out in the world and home.  But it turned out that the doctors decided that the procedure would be too risky AND it wouldn’t really give us much more time.  So they advised us to decide when they should remove the breathing tube that is keeping her breathing.

My mother is fully conscious.  She has cancer that has affected her throat so she has not been able to eat for probably about a year and a half.  She has not been able to swallow well for about eleven months.  She’s been spitting into a cup and used a feeding tube.  As I said I am telling this story a bit backwards, I will do another post regarding how this all started.  I thought I would have time on Tuesday after my Nia class and Yoga Class to type up the beginning of the story so you could get a glimpse of how much she has been through and to end up here is just — I have no words.  I started to type it but I didn’t finish and ended up not posting on Tuesday.

MachinesThe cancer has spread to a point that is has basically mangled her trachea.  She was in Reno on Friday and in the hospital with a tube in her throat Sunday morning.  The tube is a small one they use on pediatric patients.  That is the only size they could get down there and it was a struggle at that.  One is not meant to live like that.  The body will keep fighting it and trying to reject it.  And with her body it is really going to try to fight it because her body has already had a severely compromised immune system.  So a breathing tube — especially one meant for children — is not a long term solution.

When the tube was placed in her throat the idea was that it was going to be temporary — she was in the emergency room on Saturday and the tube was placed in during the wee hours of Sunday morning.  The hope was they could put in a stent on Monday.  Then, the thought was things could proceed a bit more.  There was talk of additional chemotherapy and maybe even more radiation.  But the team of doctors met and they were not optimistic.  The doctor that would be performing the surgery was very frank and honest in talking to us about the procedure and the miracle that he would have to perform.  He said he would do it if my mom said yes.  But with the facts in front of her she decided not to have it done.

So then her next decision was when to have the doctors remove the breathing tube, the one that is keeping her alive.  What kind of decision is that to have to make?  I am still just having the most difficult time with someone having to be faced with that decision.  Living with a breathing tube that is so small you can hardly get any air and that has to be cleaned out all the time is not for the weak.  She can’t talk, she can’t laugh, she can’t cough, and she can’t cry.  That is probably the worst part.  She can’t cry.  The pain is too horrible.  She has much to grieve for and she can’t cry.

This is just crazy.  I am at a loss.  I am putting it down because I have to get it out.  I am not ready to cry yet because I am pretty sure I won’t stop or maybe I am still just in shock.  I had an entirely different picture of what was going on.

We are visiting as much as we can.  Friends and family are visiting.  She is communicating by writing.  Sometimes she uses a little white board and sometimes she uses paper.  We are not so great at guessing what she is trying to say, so she patiently writes it down for us.  She also still has her sense of humor.  She is funny.

I have found that the outpouring of love from people is really up lifting and very helpful.  I have vaguely mentioned on Facebook that my mom was ill and many people have responded with positive thoughts and mentions of prayers.  It really is  helpful — all of it.  To know that people are out there doing what they do when they want to support someone in need is amazing.  So I am posting this to help shed some light on my vagueness and to give some of the people who are supporting me (and my family) some idea of what is going on.

Now the big thing.  The big bad.  The ugly.  The most important thing . . . . the hardest thing . . . the thing I am typing blindly (I can’t see through tears). . . . can you take a moment out of your day (I know I am asking a lot) on Monday, March 31, 2014 at 1:00 pm to help her on her way?  She is a strong, strong woman.  A woman who has a lot to live for so letting go might be really difficult for her to do.  If there were thoughts and prayers and vibes and ju-ju and love and songs and dances and lights and sparkly stuff to help her let go . . . to help her on the path to the next journey–that would be awesome.  The angels will be there too, but I am sure she would love the additional stuff — she always loves a party.  Would you do that?

Thanks.

 

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