Sometimes life's a bitch

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    Dec 29, 2009 7:25 PM GMT
    For me Christmas was always a time to connect with friends and family and of course to celebrate the birth of Jesus. This year things weren’t normal. My mother passed away 1.5 years ago on Mother’s day but her ashes were not interred since the church’s columbarium was not finished. My father got it in his head that it had to be done this Christmas. While her funeral was painful the interment had a positive note in that I got a second chance to say goodbye. It was a cold and rainy day with everyone holding umbrellas without free hands to carry her ashes. I volunteered and found that carrying them was actually beneficial as it removed the distance between me and my mother for that brief moment.

    After a quick Christmas dinner with the family I came home to find my dog had regurgitated her breakfast. She’s been doing this occasionally for the past 2 months so I just cleaned it up and fed her some dinner. It went down but came up after a few minutes. Water didn’t stay down either as she brought that up twice. So started her rapid decline. Blood work done yesterday confirms kidney failure along with other problems related to her diabetes. Watching her slowly slip away for the past four days has been so frustrating since there’s just nothing I can do. Moreover it’s a brutal reminder of watching my mother’s three month struggle in the Neuro-Intensive Care Unit.

    After mom’s passing I asked my older sister if she would be willing to terminate or withhold life support for me so that my life wouldn’t be prolonged. She agreed and we signed a health care directive.

    In an hour I have to take my dog to the vet to have her euthanized. As much as it’s obviously the right thing to do it still breaks my heart. Yes she’s only a dog but damn it hurts. How can I ask my sister to do the same thing for me? It’s still what I want but I wish I didn’t have to put that burden on her.

    So that’s it. I’m comforted by connecting with mom, sad she’s gone, frustrated that I can’t help Godzilla dog, torn up that I have to take her to euthanized, and questioning my right to ask my sister for her help if I ever need it. If it wasn’t so cold I’d go for a long run. Perhaps meditation will help.

    Thanks for letting me vent.
  • AlexGuess

    Posts: 364

    Dec 29, 2009 7:46 PM GMT
    *hugs*
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    Dec 29, 2009 7:55 PM GMT
    Daytona, vent any time ... these sound like vent-worthy events. Sorry you're dealing with them all... I'm blogging some good thoughts your way. This, too, shall pass.
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    Dec 29, 2009 7:58 PM GMT
    Big bear hugs to you
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    Dec 29, 2009 7:59 PM GMT
    Daytona saidHow can I ask my sister to do the same thing for me? It’s still what I want but I wish I didn’t have to put that burden on her.

    The day came when my late partner was failing, going into a coma. There was a chance he might yet recover, so I authorized oxygen and a feeding tube. But he had specified no "heroic" measures be taken with him.

    A day later his vital signs began to fail, and I asked his doctors if there was any chance he could pull out of it. No, I was told. His instructions were clear, and I was the one entrusted with carrying them out. I directed his feeding tube and all life support be removed. He died 12 hours later, literally in my arms.

    You do what you have to do. And someone has to do it, whether your sister or a stranger. I presume you've discussed this responsibility with her, and she's accepted it? Then trouble yourself no more, but be glad you have each other, willing to do this. Nobody ever said life, or death, was easy.
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    Dec 29, 2009 9:51 PM GMT
    Find a man. Fall in love and give him the authority to pull the plug on you.
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    Dec 29, 2009 10:10 PM GMT
    Hey Daytona:

    First, there's no such thing as "just a dog." She's as precious to you as any living thing would be, so don't be ashamed that you have an emotional connection to her. I, for one, think it's fantastic. When I had to put down my dog Archimedes, I had my arms around him looking in his eyes while he went, so that he wasn't afraid, then sobbed in that same position for a good 15 minutes before I could gather the emotional composure to leave. And I very nearly never cry. I took comfort in the fact that he was no longer in pain (he had cancer), no longer suffering.

    And you do have a right to ask your sister for help if you ever find yourself in a position where you cannot make decisions for yourself, and none but family can make those decisions on your behalf. I have a similar arrangement with my brother, with the added burden of him executing my funeral arrangements, which are somewhat unusual but designed to force my loved ones to celebrate a life well lived. If you can't trust family, who can you trust?

    Take heart. Vent as much as you need to, and you are not alone.

    *hug*
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    Dec 30, 2009 1:44 AM GMT
    Thanks for all the kind words and wishes. Having just gone through this with a brown lab 2 years ago I was fully prepared and the vet was very supportive. As hard as it was at least it was quick and painless (less than a min). Quite unlike my mom case where they just kept upping morphine until she finally passed 30 hours later.

    Blondizgd saidFind a man. Fall in love and give him the authority to pull the plug on you.


    More work needed on that front.