Wednesday, February 21, 2007

when do life-saving measures become cruel?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007
just surfin' the web, coasting on the relief of having finally completed my first c-sharp project. **WHEW** ... lately i feel so news/current affairs starved. so i surfed over to just to see if the morons that run the world have done anything different since the last time i checked (around october's end).

well, of course i am not surprised to see nothing has changed except the date and the season!

oh well ... i do not want to write about that.

i want to just think out loud. about a sad little picture i saw.

we all have differing views on life. and very intense feelings regarding extraordinary measures that technology has availed to us, in order to preserve life. i am not going to preach. i am just going to say ... (and remember that, i have seen a side of life that many of you could not imagine ... have seen life forced into human shells that are, for all intents and purposes, dead) ... it makes me sad that we, as humanity, and we, as parents, cannot be strong and let go, when respect for life (and respect for death) seems to indicate its appropriateness.

i firmly DO NOT believe in life @ all cost as a manifestation of respect for life and soul. hanging on - trying so hard to infuse life into an entity that you kill it with suffering - does NOT equal loving. most of us express deep outrage @ the concept of euthanasia. g-d decides when a life should end ... and begin. not us. and ... so what of the reverse? what if g-d decides a life should end, and we do not hear his call for that soul? what then? this picture makes me think of lenny - the dim-witted fella in steinbeck's of mice and men.

don't know why. it just does.

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Mayden' s Voyage said...

Some technology has become a monster~ even as I write this- we have friends who have a baby who, by all natural means, should have died a few hours after birth.
6 months later- they are ragged with the drama, the ups, and the mostly downs of keeping this beloved child alive. She is now in need of a liver/pancreas (sp?) transplant...

My heart crumbles for all of them.
When the day comes- and the child passes, because we all know she will never live a long life...I'm not sure who will have suffered more-
But I do believe that God's grace has brought them this far- and that same grace will see them to the end. The babe lives for a reason...she thrives as best she can.
I'm not sure, if I had been her parent, how far I would have let this ordeal go-
but then none of us really know, do we, until we are faced with having to make that kind of decision?

It's hard...and I agree with you~ knowing some of the things you've seen (and my sister, who is a PICU nurse).
I'm thankful though, that I don't have to make those decisions...
makes me sad for those who do~ said...

so well said. and ... something that WCH (i think it was him) said a while back sort of ties in with what you said. a person's suffering exists/occurs (yes, by g-d's grace) for the purposes of others.

having nursed .. having been thru some pretty dramatic stuff with my own 'baby' (ie the younger of my two sons), who was born a preemy and had a lot of childhood ailments d/t his birth defect ... i believe this - know it - to be true.

my husband has wished out loud, on more than one occasion to me, that we had never had that second child: "roxanne, i would much rather have had 1 child, than 1.5 children."

hearing that, makes my heart ache a little. but, i understand where his heart is when he says that. still - i could not bring myself to commit such an act. but i understand ....

and yes, parker did suffer ... and his life and suffering (and mine, too) changed me. forever. i sometimes wish i had that 17-year old boy - 'normal' and doing all the things 17-year olds do. but then, i would not be the roxanne that i am.

aye ... there's the rub.

my heart crumbles for your friends. to lose a child (having a child like that - they sort of lose her every day) is the the worse thing imaginable.

and dear cora, sometimes death of a loved one is not neceesarily the worse thing. sometimes that they live is even more painful.

i would want to die if i ever had to endure that again. g-d, forgive me for uttering such blasphemy. but that's what my hidden heart says.

i am so thankful, too, that my remaining son is healthy ... a lovely strapping 21-year old. and that i don't have to make those decisions. i pray, tho, for those that do. for those that suffering thru that.

this picture just struck me - right there @ the 5th intercostal space, midclavicular line - and i had to put in here, in this blog.

i am sad for your friends. and i will say a little prayer for them - and that tiny life.

regards ... thank you for reading. and sharing.


Infinitesimal said...

what in THE fuck is that a photo of?

God is not a bad word honey....

I did not know his name was Parker.
I missed the story of what happened, and never asked.... maybe you will tell it here one day?

making a package up right now
will have to send miracle water in seperate package... but at least there's something a comin!

funk lifted for the moment... it warmed up, and I think it may be back but at this time, feeling OK.

PPPPPPPPPPP Package Time!!!!!! said...

heeyyyyyy ...

gurlie ...

(a) the pic is a picture of the feet of a little baby girl born @ 22 weeks' gestation. the feet are those little brown things jutting out from between the fingers in the photo.

(b) yeah - i know its not. its ... a sacred word. so i never spell it out. the jews write it out that way ... i sort of like that idea.

(c) yeah - parker. M. wanted names for the kids that could NOT be abbreviated. the older one is called logan.

(d) i have a link for you to check (... lace elephants and pink .... ). i will put it in a comment in your blog.

Infinitesimal said...

hey i just checked it out. (the template)

yeah, i knew WHAT that photo was, (on this blog) i just... well, it's awful, isn't it?

yuck, i don't know why, it's just yuck

but back to the template... I like it!
except for the cartoon...not my style, can i change that?

Infinitesimally yours

I just finished another thing just for you!! package is for sure on it's way tomorrow!! said...

check the template again. now there's an explanation there about the template. the cartoon's optional ... just a space filler ... its not part of the template's design. said...

yeay ... glad you like it ... i figured the cartoon wasn't your style ... just needed some purty filler to put there ...

i cannot believe i found a lace elephant! i really like him - he's loverly ... ain't he?

i ... am ... a .... slacker .... and .... i shall write you soon - promise.



Paul said...

"The morons that run the world..."

Yeah... I recently touched bases with an old high school teacher of mine who was recently elected mayor of my home town and begged him to run for the presidency...

Infinitesimal said...

when i click on your link on my comment section it gives this window but no address bar, so i cannot link you, or go back once i comment here.

and PS


I cannot bear to look at thumbelina's feet any more!!

i am doing homework

slapped a zillion stamps on your package

you better like it


the last package i sent never made it

the post office likes my packages
just opens them right up it seems

Oh, it's package time from Infini....gather 'round y'all!!!

good luck to ye I say!

tell me if you get it
key word being IF. said...

paul ... visited your blog. you've given us alot to ponder. thanx for your visit. indeed, i had some wonderful high school teachers that would make great mayors and, yeah, great presidents.

enjoy your weekend!


annie said...

I have been on both sides of that question...when do life-saving measures become cruel. I'm a RN working in surgery in a children's hospital. And I see the children that come in over and over again because of a family's push for anything and everything to make them better. I know in my heart there is no 'better' for some children. And I wonder if the parents in their most private thoughts don't know that also. But, some deep strong emotions take over that they simply cannot stop.

I lost my son not long ago. And I denied the reality of his condition for a long, long time. Even being a nurse and knowing what I do, I was still in denial. Eventually, with the help of my husband, I finally knew what had to be done. It was the most difficult decision of my life, and to this day it haunts me. When I explained to the doctor that my son was to be a 'no code', the doctor actually had tears rolling down his cheeks.

The decision I had to make? I told them no chemo therapy...he was failing so fast and they couldn't start the chemo for a month. I knew that in a month, if he made it to that point, he would be bedridden and in severe pain...nothing but a shell, with more and more surgeries to only prolong his 'life'.

What did I do? I brought him home, to his family where he was loved and enjoyed his last days. I made him his favorite foods, and we laughed and hugged and kissed. He had lucid moments, and moments that I don't know where he was. But, I do know that he was happy, and out of pain. And loved.

As it turns out, he passed before the chemo could of even been given. And all my agonizing over that decision was for nothing. It was completely out of my hands.

It hurts, and I know it always will hurt. said...

dear annie;

i saw the dedication to your son in your buttermilk clouds blog. and my heart ached for you.

i will not go into details ... but, i, too lost a son. my youngest. and, indeed, it gets so easy as a parent (despite the professional knowledge we carry as nurses) to kid oneself ... to deny the reality of things. the circumstances of my son's situation and suffering was different than yours ... but that is just semantics.

i, too am a nurse. actually, a former RN. and i worked with children and saw what you describe. and i worked with adults and saw some more of the same.

we humans will literally beat a dead horse, if we think we can squeeze one more second of life from it. during my 7 year nursing career i worked mostly in oncology and also as a chemo nurse. i know of what you speak, annie.

the way humanity seems unable to graciously let go to life makes me incredibly sad. and .. yes, annie a raging sadness lives there - in that empty spot. thank you for sharing your story with me. we have much in common, friend.

i no longer nurse. i could not suffer my own deep loss of my son and nurse those suffering their own deep losses.

but ... mostly, i no longer felt like i was alleviating suffering. but ... just adding to it. kudos and my greatest admiration to you - who sticks it out in one of the most difficult professions there is.

annie said...

Well, here I sit with tears in my eyes. I am so sorry for your loss and you, like me, know that words simply do not make it better. Sometimes just acknowledging someone's loss brings comfort. But, I'm talking in circles.

We carry on. We do what we can. And we forever carry the pain in our hearts. I was silly enough at one time to think I would 'get over it'. I have since come to the realization that you don't get over simply learn to live with it.

People always tell are so strong. And I remember when they told Jeremy the same thing. He would shake his head and sort of smile and say "I'm not really that brave. I just don't have any other choice." I have repeated those words over and over again.

If you are like me, you hold your grief in a special place. It is not something that you can let go of, even if you wanted to. But, on the other hand, it is not a place I visit often because if I do, the pain is as intense as the day it happened. I really am not that strong. It is just there, and I know it will always be.

So, yes. We have way more in common than I ever imagined. An immeasurable loss, disenchanted with the our medical system...nursing...humanity?? Maybe a bit of all three. A love of blogging and all that goes with it...our geeky side! Not to mention a deep love and appreciation of our families.

I'm really glad that we met. said...

dear annie - friend ... thank you ... yes, indeed - acknowledgement brings a measure of comfort. and - though these words may ring hollow and i am sure you have heard them so many times before - dear annie, my heart aches for you ... for your aching heart.

indeed, you are right in saying the pain never goes away. one does not ever get over ... losing a child. the ache is eternal. i find myself looking back and remembering how my boy made me laugh ... and love. special children teach us so much. i treasure all of it - and yes, the pain has its own gated tower in my heart and soul.

for a few years i wore the pain and aching loss like a heavy blanket. now ... its there. and the ache sort of reminds me that parker existed. and - in a strange way, its sort of a comfort. a remnant.

writing has helped me immensely. blogging has been my outlet. and i have met some wonderful friends this way. how uncanny, annie, that we are so alike. nursing, a deep personal loss, and blogging/geeky! haha.

i am so glad i stumbled onto your blog. peace, to you, my friend, and to your heart.

Lady Prism said...

i alreeady told me' family..if anything ctastrphic happens to me..oh' pleeease.....just stop the drama and let me go with grace and dignity and theeeen..put up a really gorgeous sexy picture ov' me during the get together thingey where everyone talks about the um' departed me... and to play my favorite jazz tunes and to serve red wine ( the best and not the cheap ones pleeease..) and to display my "art" adventures no matter how weird they think it is...aiind ..they can donate my lovely eyes too!

I want to be remembered as the funky lady who flew! hee! hee! said...

well said, luxie!