Monday, April 6, 2009

Update on Alice

To those of you who read my post from last week, thank you ever so much for your kind and thoughtful comments. They mean a lot to me. Even though losing close ones to death is part of life and none of us are sparred, it feels good to get some good words and the wishes they represent.

This process is grueling, especially for Alice but also for the entire family. WP's sister has been taking on the majority of Alice's care but we had to force her to go home and rest because she is falling apart. Emotionally, she is extremely fragile as it is and prone to drama, so it's been difficult trying to convince her that she doesn't need to martyr herself and allow the rest of us to help out. This is no easy task.

Alice is haning in there. She's refusing morphine because she feels too doped up. This doesn't surprise me because she has always been a person who has to stay in control of herself. For this I don't blame her and yet her agitation is so severe at times that the hospice nurse strongly suggested that we had to find a way to make her take it. That was early this morning and though I checked from work, I dont' yet have a full report.

All I can say is that from my point of view there are both pros and cons to dying at home. What Alice has longed spoken of to me over the five years I've known her (a period in which she mostly enjoyed good health and a very active lifestyle) is that she believed in euthanasea for the terminally ill. I agree with her and it would be my own first choice if I could access it. Without that option, I think that it would be a very hard decision for me to make. The care of a dying person takes more than one person and it's round-the-clock. It's also very worrysome. But for Alice there has never been any doubt that this is how she wants to go. The family is respecting that but it's time to get in more help and make some changes so that she's not so aggitated and awake and aware every couple of hours. It's agonizing to watch. But all of us are being very strong. WP's wonderful daughters have been a tremendous help and a comfort to their grandmother. I'm proud of my family.

I have to run. Thank you all for reading.

16 comments:

  1. hugs to you sweetie- it must be very hard. we can't speak for the dying- but i agree that i would certainly choose euthanasia and whatever was going to make it easier for my family. i cannot imagine how strong all of you are having to be- keep leaning on each other and know that we are out here to support you however we can. positive, strong energy headed your way. namaste.

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  2. It's such a hard choice. I would want to die at home too. On the other hand,it would be hard to ask this of my family. Hang in there. It's so wonderful that you each have the support of so many others.

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  3. Oh it is so hard to watch.... my heart goes out to all of you ... I am hoping she has a living will to make things easier.

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  4. my grandfather died at home. we took turns caring for him and the doc came every other day. he lived for a few months and it was so hard but i was grateful in a way that we got to be able to talk without all the hospital intrusion.
    he too, as i do believed in euthinasia. when he was ill. there was no such thing as a living will and he knew that if he were hospitalized that they would hook him up to ventalators and such. he was afraid of that.
    my dad passed 2 years ago and he was in pallitive care at the v.a.

    we could never have cared for him at home in those last few weeks.

    i've found it best to look for the pros for the situation you find yourself in.

    try to get her to take some pain meds tho. my heart aches at the tought of anyone trying to go that way, toughing it out like that.

    peace

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  5. It is always hard and I think that considering how you die is important to do long before it may happen. It seems like Alice was clear with her choices and that is important.

    Given the choice I would like to go quietly in my sleep. Barring that - I have given that plenty of thought and instructions to my husband and our lawyer.

    I was with my mother when she died - it was in a hospital however, and it was truly a gifted moment in my life. Many might find that odd, but it was a peaceful passing and I was grateful to be with her.

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  6. Wishing you and your family extra strength, endurance and patience to go along with the loving care you are taking care of Alice.

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  7. Prayers and good wishes for Alice and those who love her and care for her.

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  8. I'm thinking of you all, it is comforting and inspiring to read of how you all support each other - and in turn Alice

    love ya lady

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  9. Thank you all so much. Alice is now much more comfortable. We got in a hospital bed and a morphine injection, plus extra morphine on the hour and she's been awake some but a lot less agitated.

    We're on our way over there for our shift this evening.

    Love you all and much, much gratitude for your kindness,
    Gina

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  10. it is you gina that i have given the award to...i am sure i posted it on your pagan eye blog....and now i am here i feel so much for all of you going through this. i went through this 28 years ago with my own mother and then the next year with my father...my prayer for you all is that she goes quickly and peacefully now.

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  11. Prayers for Alice and all of you who love her.

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  12. It is such a hard thing to watch. My heart goes out to you and all the family.
    I was with my mother three years ago when she died and visited with my sister-in-law last fall as she was entering the "actively dying" phase. If only there was some way to spare our loved ones the pain of watching us die.

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  13. This brings back memories of my Dad's last weeks - trying to be sure, and followed by no small amount of guilt at feeling that way after he passed.

    Hang in there, Gina, and give W lots of hugs. He probably needs them much more than he's inclined to show.

    And remember, it's a part of life which is right and good. We just hope it's as brief as possible, and that the palliative care is adequate.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I invite you to listen to my music:

    http://www.renzosinisi.blogspot.com

    Greetings!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Buddhist saints could be said to spend their lives in practice for the event of total transformation but most of us live in fear and denial that such a thing could ever happen to us personally. To witness the lingering death of someone we love is to experience life at greatest intensity. In full understanding I'm not very brave I send you and your family my heartfelt prayers for Alice.

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  16. Pagan,

    This, and the following post, show how hard your last few weeks have been. I'm with Susan - death tends to bring very sharp focus to life. That doesn't make it easier or less exhausting, but it does show some of the tremendous value of every part of life and death, and every action in life and in dying. Choices mean a lot. An artwork is a condensed series of choices on display. So is a life. Alice sounds like a significant part of who WP and the girls are... the running thread of family traits. I can see why you are so proud of your family - all parts of it.

    ReplyDelete

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