Wednesday, April 06, 2011

DNR :( :( :(

Amid all the posts about the mess at my synagogue, Pesach (Passover) prep, and some consideration of the necessity of improving my cooking skills, etc., comes a dead-serious moment: My brother wrote to let us siblings know that our father no longer enjoys much of anything. He barely responds when spoken to, barely moves, and takes so little pleasure in eating that he's being hand-fed baby food. And he suffered during his last major illness.

[ ¶ ]

My siblings and I all agree--if our father no longer enjoys life, we see no point in making him suffer to prolong it. At this point, it's just a waiting game. :( :( :(


Blogger BrooklynWolf said...

I'm terribly sorry to hear this. I hope everything works out well for you and your family.

The Wolf

Wed Apr 06, 07:04:00 PM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Thanks, BrooklynWolf. My father's been on my mi-sheh-berach/r'faeinu (roughly, prayers for the sick) list for years, and went straight downhill after my mother died. We were hoping that, at least, he'd enjoy whatever of his life is left, but that now appears to be highly unlikely. We can only hope that the end comes without pain.

Wed Apr 06, 07:13:00 PM 2011  
Blogger Larry Lennhoff said...

This is a terrible situation to be in. I hope that whatever happens is for the best, and can be seen to be such.

Wed Apr 06, 07:45:00 PM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

In recent years, my senile-dementia-plagued father was known for being physically healthier than my mother, whose mental faculties lasted 'til the bitter end. So he may yet give the Mal'ach HaMavet (Angel of Death) a run for his money. I'm not sure that that's a good thing, I'm sorry to say. Thanks for your good wishes, Larry.

Wed Apr 06, 07:57:00 PM 2011  
Anonymous jdub said...

ditto to what Larry said.

Thu Apr 07, 08:30:00 AM 2011  
Blogger Miami Al said...

Nothing to add other than this is a terribly situation to be in, you are in my thoughts.

Thu Apr 07, 09:41:00 AM 2011  
Anonymous shoshana (bershad) said...

Shira, I don't remember whether I've ever commented on your blog before, but I've been reading it for a long time. I can relate to this post, because we've just been through the same thing in the past couple months. My mother-in-law passed away last week at almost 99 years of age. Her mental faculties were still good, but during the preceding 6 weeks, after a bout of bronchitis, she declined to the state your father is in, and we knew that there was no realistic hope of a return to her former condition. We authorized comfort care (equivalent to hospice) at her residence, and the nurses and aides made sure that she was kept pain-free and as comfortable as possible. After they gave her an IV for rehydration, she accepted a few bites of soft foods and a few sips of water, but that did not improve her situation. It helped us to know that, many years ago, she had made out a Living Will, in which she clearly stated that she did not want extraordinary measures, specifically including a feeding tube, to keep her alive if there was no hope of a return to a normal life. My guess is that, even if your father does not have a Living Will, you may know that his wishes would be similar. Lying in bed, barely conscious, unable to eat or drink or talk--that's not living! It is likely that there is really no decision for you and your brother to make; you can only prepare yourselves and accept that the process has begun.

My sympathies to you, as I know you are already grieving for the father you once knew.

Thu Apr 07, 09:49:00 AM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

JDub and Miami Al, thanks for your kind thoughts.

Shoshana Bershad, my father's been suffering from declining mental faculties for so many years that I've been grieving for the father I once knew for, well, at, the very least, since the last time we spoke by phone, right before he was moved to a health facility for his own safety. At first, we tried to arrange phone calls via our Israeli brother's cell phone, but our father hasn't been cognizant enough to be called since the move. It's sad, to have a father whom I can neither visit nor speak to, and who doesn't even remember that he has children. He thinks that that English-speaking guy who visits him every week is just a member of the staff, not his son. :(

Thu Apr 07, 11:30:00 AM 2011  

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