Saturday, May 23, 2009


A few months back, my sister and I decided no more invasive procedures for my mother. No more lab tests, no more blood draws, no more.

The doctor requested labs last month, and we refused.

The doctor requested labs again this month, and we refused.

So, because one of Mom's medications requires a blood test to see if the levels in the body might poison an individual, the doctor discontinued the heart medicine.

My sister emailed me and said, "Are we okay with this?"

I don't know. After all, this is her heart medicine. However, she has no quality of life. She is on ten medications a day, give or take, has to have a heavy duty laxative to get her to evacuate her bowels, is incontinent, wakes up every morning and every afternoon from her nap having no idea where she is, not to mention who she is. She eats pureed food and has to be fed her meals, and all her liquids are the consistency of milkshakes.

So where is there a quality of life?

Plus, this is hard on the rest of us. I try to go every day, just to make sure that the little things are done, like she is NOT parked in front of the TV yet again despite my requests to put her by the window, like her books that the hospice volunteers read to her are still available, like her face is wiped off after her meals and her hair gets combed. My sister feels torn, having her own family issues to deal with. My kids, tired of waiting for the inevitable, ask, "When is Grandma finally going to die?"

So I most likely signed her death warrant. However, Alzheimer's did that first, a long three years ago.

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