Once in my life I gave my consent for someone to die. I look back now at how much support, understanding, time, and love we were surrounded in and I am grateful. I hope to never need to give my consent again.
I look at some of my favorite people and I know that they are not being clear about their end of life wishes, that they assume those who love them will rally to the moment and not ask for more time. They hope that it will be obvious and clear that the time has come and that shock, fear, sorrow, and regret will not cloud anyone’s thinking.
Not many of them know about the chaplain who saw me look up to the acoustic tiles when I said, “I’m ready to wake up now”. Nobody was in the room with me the first time when the chaplain (mercy, poor man) said that they expected my husband to die.
I wonder if it is the same for everyone, but for me hearing that from the chaplain (12 years and 1 day ago) made clear to me that we all get to die. We all get to have that experience on some random day that we cannot predict. For as little control as I will have – I have this — I will die without regret.
“They told me she died peacefully,” she said.
Stunned, I remembered the Code Blue I’d witnessed, and couldn’t find the words to answer.
KevinMD.com is an interesting group of articles – emotional, clinical, business related, and amazing. It isn’t always great – but it is never a waste of time. Check them out!.
I have been giving this site the side-eye for a little while now. It is time to start.
My professional life in healthcare is nearly 15 years long. It has occasionally intersected with my personal healthcare hobbies, but often they (gratefully) are separate from each other. After a lot of introspection I’ve decided that going after my bliss and making my living are best kept close but not enmeshed with each other.
So this space is for my healthcare hobbies and occasionally my professional opinion. Mainly my hobbies, which are, as follows:
1. The first six weeks after a critical illness diagnosis.
2. Death, the grieving process, and the knowledge that death is often not the worst thing that could happen.
3. Medical training, communication training, and patient engagement.
4. Anatomy and physiology.
5. Understanding the illnesses of those around me until I am comfortable announcing that I have earned my “Jr [specialty] badge”
I am a member of the Society of Participatory Medicine and the Berryl Institute. I volunteer my time with local health related organizations. I think about this stuff a lot.
So … why today? Why do I finally start typing today?
Because Caitlin at The Order of The Good Death posted a great thing today – something she’d seen by Jen (who I am just now discovering) and I want to know where this is forever. So now I know, it is in my first post.