Day 6. Something you hope you never have to do.
This one is fixed in my brain. I hope I never have to pull the plug on someone.
I have had to make tough decisions like this, before, with my mom. I didn’t have to pull the plug. I had to pull the feeding tube. But first I had to make the decision to PUT the feeding tube in, when she just a few days away from death. I knew she wouldn’t want me too, but we didn’t want her to suffer, despite assurances from medical staff that she wasn’t feeling any hunger or thirst. But, I couldn’t take the chance, and so a last minute feeding tube was inserted. After about 6 months, the doctors and hospice staff stated she had “failure to thrive” and we were needlessly prolonging her life. So I made the call to pull the tube. I was so upset that day that I actually passed out at work. But, the woman who hadn’t eaten on her own in 6 months was suddenly eating like a champ! She didn’t last much longer, but at least I didn’t have to make any more tough decisions.
People need to think very carefully as to who they want to be their medical power of attorney. This POA needs to be sure to follow the patient’s wishes, all the while making the best medical decisions. It’s a fine line. It is something I hope I never have to do. Again.
Luckily, the rest of my family has their own family to make these decisions for them, so I don’t think I will be called upon once more. As for myself, I have filled out the necessary paperwork spelling out all my medical, death and funeral wishes, and my will. Everyone needs to take the time to do this, to save their family unnecessary anguish in having to figure it out themselves. It is not expensive or that time consuming, you can find programs on the internet to do this for you, even for free. Most people don’t want to bother with this, or even think about it, because they think it is morbid. It is not. It is a necessary fact of life. And death.
Don’t make someone put this on their “Something I hope I never have to do” list.