Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Being human

Lately the media has been surround by a certain specfic topic. What is it you ask? Death. But Aly, death is all around us it happens day to day. Indeed it doe,s but because of some taboo/bizarre cases it's making waves.
From ebola, ISIS, and more, it's hard not to hear something about it.

Recently things has slowly hit home for me. I live in Texas and we've been somewhat a hub for ebola crossing. The first nurse who contracted ebola in fact, went to a church camp I went to before me. Then I saw a heart breaking video about a couple who gave birth to their son who didn't survive a month because of multiple health problems. These parents on multiple occasions saw their son die and brought back to life. Each time it was harder to watch and it looked like it was harder on them as well. It reminded me of my parents but this case was far greater. It stung a little more because I have a great friend lost her baby and she was in a similar situation.

And then we have Brittany.
For those of you who may not know (or suffering from brain fog) Brittany was a California woman who was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor. Every avenue showed her life was going to end despite what they did. So Brittany and her family moved to a state that has a "Death with Diginity" law. Brittany could take a pill that would end her suffering and life. 
This has been a very conversational topic.

For the record yes, I know the church's stand on life and death. 
I know each life is sacred. 
Yes, Christ suffered agony in a horrible way and died.
 Some religious people would find it honorable to go through something similar. 
But the truth is, not everyone is religious.
And everyone receives God/life/the universe's answer, path, what have you differently.

I'm told me out of all people I should understand the most  when expressing my point of view.
 But that's the exact point.
I am a human being, who deals with chronic pain, meds, doctor's appointments, hospital visits, surgery, treatment etc.
I am a human being who's battle mainly rest on my health.
I, as a human being go through the darkest thoughts because of this (sometimes)
Now, hold on yall don't call 911 on me, I'm perfectly safe and not suicidal. 

 The thing is people have different definition of dignity. 
For the church it's until natural death. 
For others is fighting until their last breath. 
For others it's being sedated to die in peace. 
And for others it's being able to die without pain. 
All these options, I understand.

It angers me honestly when people try to make their case. I wholeheartedly feel that no one can honestly express what they would do in that situation. Yes, this can go against people's morals but when you're in certain situations, big or small, we do things we wouldn't do. 

I keep saying how in bedded in my head seeing people I'm closest to seeing me in agony. I've seen my parents cry because they can't do anything.  I've also seen my parents in pain and it hurts just as much. It's a haunting memory thinking about my sleep deprived parents being up with me when I'm screaming in pain, or waking me up after passing out, the glazed over look of feeling so many emotions and trying to find a way to help.
And what makes that all worse is there isn't. They can pray, maybe rub my back or play with my hair, but most the time, the only true thing they can do is make me take my meds and be with me.
I understand Brittany and her desires. She was told "you're going to die this year and it's not going to be fun" and Brittany did what she felt was what she needed to do. She took life by the horns and fulfilled her bucket list. But that's the thing, this was HER decision. Her family and husband and understood that and their outpour of support for their daughter is admirable and something all loved ones, especially parents, need to take note. But that topic is for another post... 
No, this is not the answer for every terminally sick person. But any and all health decision is the patient's with consultant of their doctor. Brittany and her family sounded like wise people especially since they moved states in order to fulfill her desire. So I think it's safe to say they did their research and weighed out every option including chemotherapy. This also kinda rubs on a topic for later (all medical treatment should be between doctor and patient, changing laws and stuff all because some junkies or prescription happy doctors abuse some meds doesn't help those who truly need it and in fact, makes doctor's hesitant to prescribe these meds) Yes, this isn't a decision that can be made in a single doctor's visit. The only people who are allowed to take the med are those with terminal illnesses, so you won't see someone like me, who's in chronic pain with no risk to my life being prescribed the med.

So I now ask you, with an open mind, how would you feel if your loved ones saw you day to day getting weaker and weaker? Your body is shutting down, you feel immense pain, things happen that you don't remember and all the people who love you can do is be there. They're stuck watching until you breathe your last breath. They're there watching every breath you take and don't. Being so weak you can barely keep your eyes open. They see you crying and screaming in pain. They're there seeing all of this and more.
Having been in that situation minus the terminal side it eats me up. I know they won't abandoned me but I don't want those who love me see me like that. But then again I wouldn't want to be alone. A couple months ago I passed out so bad that I was put in in the trauma area of the ER from passing out luckily I didn't do major damage. I don't remember most of that night. I remember waking up confused and my parents in distress.  They explained what happened and what I did and I denied it because I had no memory of it.

Couple months later I was told there's something wrong with my heart. I've never been so scared in my life. (despite being told it's something minor) Through my 8 years I did wonder if I was fighting for my life but from what I saw and told I was fine so I never gave it much thought until my little heart condition was addressed. Up until my cardio visit I kept thinking "what if" to help me if I was given bad news. Luckily, I was told what I have isn't fatal.
But I'm tired of this "you should know" stuff when implying against this law. 
As a human being who faces chronic pain, yes, I DO KNOW better than most. Which makes me able to think about how people's condition can become worse. I understand not wanting my death to be traumatic to my loved ones.Who wants their loved ones last memory be were nurses and doctors surrounding you trying to bring you back to life or seizing like crazy. Me? Absolutley not. If I was giving the choice to changed that situation would I? I'm not sure. 
Being on bed rest isn't fun and I can't imagine how difficult it would be knowing that I was confined to that bed until I died. I would have wished I done more things on my bucket list. And for people in Brittany situation, being healthy but then falling sick and told you have a terminal illness, it probably would have been a regret of taking those little moments for granted. But she died the way she wanted, she left this world with her diginity. It may be morbid to some people but she died advocating something she was passionate about and felt that people in her situation as human beings and an American, should be able to decide on their own through their doctor and not through politics.  

I completely understand the religion and moral side to this. But I also understand being human in never ending pain. None of us can truly understand being personally diagnosed (not someone you know) with a terminal illness which makes us unable to understand.

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