Tag Archives: DNR

Wanting to Grow Old with Children Accompanying

The trials someone faces toward the end of a loved one’s life, translated…

“We’d all wanted to hold our children’s hands, to watch them get older, but unfortunately, fate had other plans………” as Shu-Mei talked, she’d started, sobbing. She’d shared with the patients and the families, her own experiences, “Do we, or don’t we resuscitate?”, that is the final questions, that a lot of the terminally ill patients will face, it’s also, a heart wrenching memory for Shu-Mei, her husband had been gone sixteen years now, and yet, that intense heartache had, stayed.

Her husband was diagnosed with a rare condition when he was forty-six, he’d become bedridden for over a decade, and, couldn’t control anything, he’d already, become so discouraged, to the end, when he was on the respirators, he’d still had difficulties breathing, the doctor said, that only a tracheotomy can save his life, and, her husband wanted to die, and they’d, turned down the doctor’s offers, but, as their daughter came to see him with her five-month-old son, it’d, sparked his will to live again.

The doctor saw how he was hesitant, gave them three weeks to think about it, during which time, Shu-Mei lost a lot of weight, the whole family was living under this, dark cloud. If they’d decided to put him on a respirator, the patient will be living, off of the respirators; if they don’t, then, very shortly thereafter, he would die, he will, NEVER see her husband again. Shu-Mei was confused on what she should do, her husband asked her, “Do you want me to die?” She’d naturally not be willing to let him go, started crying, and became, silent, and respected whatever he’d, decided. It’s just, that during these years counting down toward death, he’d always worn his frowns, and, gotten stuck between life and death, don’t’ know if he’d, regretted it?

圖/豆寶illustration from the papers…

“Back then, the medication had yet to pass the coverage of the health insurance plans, it was very expensive, there were the expandable items of phlegm tubes, the diapers, the feeding tubes, the caretaker’s fees………”, Shu-Mei told me, even as her whole family started saving up, it wouldn’t be possible for them, to pay for his care, she’d needed to work days and nights, and his daughter part-time through school, and they’d needed monetary assistance from their families, friends, relatives every now and then too. For the years, the medical bills, she’d, stuffed them all inside a drawer, and after her husband passed, she’d started, sorting through them, and, the amount exceeded five million dollars, she could bought a house with the money saved up. “Although taking him off life support only took a total of fifteen minutes, but there’s, such a high price for it, and, as life continued, and the patient had, suffered, it’d also, put the loved ones under great duress.” Shu-Mei told me, the pain, got in too deep, into her heart, that it’d, slowly, suffocated her.

A woman in the support group, whose husband was ill, started, sobbing after she’d heard, she said that they’re currently, facing this difficult choice, especially that they didn’t have enough money saved up, and she worried that she’s not as strong as Shu-Mei had been. Another woman looked worried, that her husband just had an intubation, at the age of thirty-something, he’d, fallen very ill, her mother-in-law loved this youngest son the most, and couldn’t stand seeing him die, and even if her son can no longer call her mom, even if he’s kept alive by those machines, she was willing, to keep him alive. It’s just, that the wife found, that her husband, when his own mother wasn’t looking, he’d tried, to disconnect himself from life support, seeing how twisted and in pain her husband’s face became, she said, that there isn’t a day she hadn’t cried.

Shu-Mei patted her gently on the shoulders, and cried with her, “We all want to grow old with our children, having each other with, but, fate wouldn’t allow it”. If it’s already set, then, just live with it, everything shall pass eventually. Shu-Mei consoled with the woman in her support group.

This, is a hard issue to deal, to let go, or to keep hanging on, but, when the patient is suffering so much, it’s only the right thing to do, to unplug her/him off life support, but, a part of you just, wasn’t willing, to let someone you love die, and so, you have to, struggle hard over the matter, and, eventually, you will, realize, that letting the person you loved dearly die is the best choice, because, keeping the person alive, means prolonging their sufferings, and, nobody wants to see their loved ones suffer toward the end.

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Filed under Choices, Do-Not-Resuscitate, Life, Properties of Life, Right to Die, the Finality of Life

A Ninety-Two Year Old Man Loved to Sing, Exercises by Lifting His Legs, with the Help of His Cane

At the age of NINETY-TWO, the man still remains active, can you believe it???  A TRUE story, from the papers here, translated…

The ninety-two year-old elderly man, Lin loved singing, he’d made recordings of anti-war music, and had specifically chosen the songs with the extremely high note.

Lin has a strong voice, and it’d made people forget, that he needed a wheelchair, to get around.  Three years ago, his spinal column in the lumbar region was stressed, and after the surgery, it did improve, but he didn’t heal completely, and needed a cane to move around, which wasn’t difficult for him, who’d gone through the wars at his teenage years.  He would take his cane, and strut onto his lanai, and the way he’d walked it was like he was marching on the battlefields, getting some sun, reading the papers, he’d set aside half an hour in the early mornings outside, to get his vitamin D for the day, and to catch up on his reading too.

Written His Will, and Signed His DNR a Long Time Ago

Lin had also drafted his own last will testament, the very first line stated, if I fell too ill or became paralyzed, do NOT resuscitate me, do NOT use any intrusive methods of treatments, I’d prefer to be “euthanized”, I want to leave this world in peace in serenity, in a “natural way”.  He’d also signed his own DNR a long time ago too, from before when the former director of the sanitary department, Yang started advocating this, he’d already gone to the National Health Insurance Agency to register.

In his will, he’d stated that he will NOT have a any religious rituals, NO monks, NO séances, no recitation of Buddhist verses, NO band, “just play me singing, and put on a picture show of my life, and use my own voice as the background music.”

Most people when they passed, they’d wear a specialty clothing, Lin told his children, that he would want to be in his old suit.  He’d told them, “Don’t waste the money, everything should be simple.”  And his final rites of passage, would be as simple as possible too, but he’d made it especially clear to his children, “After my body is cremated, DO bury me in my wife’s graves.”  Lin wife passed early, he’d raised his children up, and, after he’s done with his final passage, he want to be with his wife forever.

However Long He Had, He’d Felt Blessed, Treated His Own Death Like a Celebration

As he was younger, Lin’s friend once read his features, and told him, that because his face wasn’t in a straight line, that he may not live past forty.  Back then, he’d gone to war, and had had close calls with death before.  In 1943, a bomb landed right in front of him, and, the head of his army class next to him was seriously injured, but he was okay, and they were just a step or two from one another; in a war in 1944, he and the leader of his army platoon went to check out the land, and, the guns went off, and, the man next to him fell to the ground, but thankfully, the Japanese soldiers didn’t pursue them, otherwise, he too, would’ve died.

“And now, I’d lived until this age, I’d earned it!”  Lin told, if his end had really come, he’d written in his last will testament to his kids, told them to not cry, and, based off of tradition, elderly who’d died after age eighty, the color red should be used, that there should be red candles lit by the shrine, that his kids should treat his funeral as a celebration.

Because this man had been through it all, he’d lived a full life, and, he did right by signing his own DNR, after all, he should get the right to decide how he should die, and this man had had a fulfilled life, and without the regrets.

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Filed under Aging Gracefully, Attitude, Awareness, Coping Mechanisms, Cost of Living, Expectations, Letting Go, Life, Nowhere Is Safe, Old Age, On Death & Dying, Properties of Life, Right to Die, Trends, Values