18 October, 2017

Life Can be Confusing. So Can Death.

So apparently my dad is of the impression that he was told by his urologist to "get his affairs in order" by November. 

I heard that from my sister, who quickly followed it with, "but then Mom said, 'no - he said we need to do any traveling before November'." When Dad was hospitalized for a prostate issue a year or so ago, they found out that his kidneys were a bigger problem.

My dad is of the mind that medication and extreme treatment are not the way he wants to live his life. After having a stroke in 2012 - which led to my move back to the Midwest to be nearby - the only medication he condescended to accept was a daily aspirin regimen. He has already stated that he doesn't want dialysis. No wait, according to Mom, he said he "won't do" dialysis. 

I'm guessing that the "travel before November" guideline was the doctor's way of telling my parents that Dad should expect to require dialysis at that point. Which means Mom has that long to try to convince him that it isn't "a waste of time".

My sister believes he should start dialysis, because it affects more people than just him. True. Dad's life and death does affect more people than just his-own-self. But if that's not the kind of life he wants, shouldn't we honor that? To take a half a day, 3 times a week (or so) to go sit in some medical facility hooked up to a machine is a "waste of time" for him.

My first thought is that, typically he spends at least half his day sitting/sleeping in his recliner, or writing and playing on his computer, so what's the difference? I bet he could  take his computer with him. But then, it won't be as comfy as doing those things at home. So...

I bet he is - secretly or with Mom's knowledge - getting his affairs in order. Which means I am doing some mental preparations. He will be 78 in December. If you need dialysis and don't get it, how long does it take until your kidneys kill you? We just spent a pile on a trip to the US. I don't know how soon I can afford to go back.

8 comments:

  1. I'm with your dad on this. It's his body and his life. Of course it affects others but it is still happening to him. I wouldn't do dialysis either. We did have a friend who did dialysis at home! He might check into that! I hope the decision he makes will be good for all of you. 78 years is a good, long life! I'll be thinking of you!!

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    1. Thanks. I'm not really worried. Either way, his life is the Lord's, and we've watched his physical and mental health decline in the last few years. It is his choice.

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  2. Your dad is a tough man. I'm hoping he considers dialysis. I've known people who decided they had enough dialysis. But they were much older. I wish the best for you and your family in this situation.

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    1. A friend from college recently had to start dialysis. Of course, she's just in her 40s. She has a long way to go!

      Since my mom didn't bring it up to me, I'm guessing she's not too concerned.

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  3. I think I will side with your father also. He's close to 80 and is making a decision for his own life. My dad stated years ago that he never wants his life to be prolonged if it requires being tethered to a machine to make it happen.

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    1. I have watched his mind and health gradually decline. It's just human habit, I think, to try to keep people with us. I hope my family who are closer geographically let him decide.

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  4. Oh no.... I"m so sorry. I mean, I know we all go through this at some point but it's always a bit of a shock to the system when you realize a loved one may start deteriorating soon. I don't know what I'd do if I was in his situation, though... it's hard to say, because I can see why he wouldn't want to put himself through dialysis. You really do have to consider what kind of quality of life you might have... but I'd also want to fight... I'm sorry you're having to deal with this from so far away :(

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    1. Actually I think we were all a bit eased into it, because he started having "mini-strokes" in 2012. He had 3 or 4 over the next few years, and we've all noticed that his short term memory is really impaired. he moves more slowly, and his temper is shorter. So we've been watching his health deteriorate for about 5 years. I'm surprised how easy it is to think about.

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I enjoy a good debate. Feel free to shake things up. Tell me I'm wrong. Ask me why I have such a weird opinion. ...or, just laugh and tell how this relates to you and your life.