I'm not convinced that Lucky will make it through this year.

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For any of you who don't give a shit or who haven't followed the Lucky saga, BUZZ OFF.

I'm still recovering from having Lucky over here for four days. My impetus in bringing her here was when I called her place and learned that she "didn't want to be bothered at all. She's eating meals and staying in bed."

She's NOT in a nursing home, so she shouldn't be staying in bed. I wanted to see for myself what was up, so made arrangements for her to stay here for four days.

She's tired. She's now incontinent and the poor thing goes to the toilet and nothing comes out until she falls asleep. She can't see fer shit, and her legs don't always want to work. The main theme of her conversations revolve around "I don't know WHY I've lived this long. NO ONE in my family has lived this long."

I'm gonna still support her and encourage her to live, but I suspect that my efforts are in vain. I dunno why. She just seems so TIRED to me that I think that if she WANTS to go, I should let her go.

I put something like 80 diapers for grown-ups in her bureau when I returned her, 4 half-gallons of milk, two boxes of the oatmeal she likes, face soap, and other supplies. The first night she slept here she didn't wet the surrounding surfaces. [I wish I had a bed for her, but all I can offer is the couch, since all our beds are full of water.] I put a thick comforter under her and over her. The couch is leatherette, so peeing on it doesn't affect it, but the second night the diapers weren't thick enough and she wet the comforters. She didn't want that, and the third night she got up every two hours to sit on the toilet [regardless of outcome]. So Sad, IMO.

The last night was okay. She stayed one day longer than originally planned, but was so gracious a guest that I can't find any fault. I just know that I'm not going to have her much longer, and it probably took a few days for her to get beyond the standard things that she repeats constantly and start spilling the beans on the family, etc.

I dunno. I'm a LITTLE depressed at the thought of losing her, but yet again, I don't want her to feel compelled to live a life with no pride at all. [Insert Norwegian thick-headed comments here. She sure has a thick head, as do I.]

I'm gonna have her over again for a few days [as long as SO is still on an out-of-town contract.] Heh. I don't think he could tolerate her lack of modesty at this point.

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), March 26, 2002

Answers

Gosh, Anita, I'm sorry. Do you suppose her doctor might be able to give her something that would let her bladder relax even while she's awake? She might have to wear a diaper during her waking hours, but she could rest better.

For the other question...we let them do what they want, making sure they are as comfortable as possible. It isn't easy even when letting them go seems kinder.

-- helen (no@right.to.speak.on.this.but..), March 26, 2002.


As I watched my father in law fade from life I found myself thinking at times that surely he wasn't long for this world. That phase lasted about five years. I keep thinking the same of my father, but he keeps surprising me by living longer. It sounds to me like Lucky might not be quite so far along as you fear. My own experience backs up the idea that she could easily have three or more years in her, yet.

-- Little Nipper (canis@minor.net), March 26, 2002.

I've got to ask this, LN: Was there QUALITY in the lives?

I'm sure that Lucky could hang on for another FIVE years if she wanted to lay around and be a vegetable. I just don't see her wanting that, and *I* don't want that FOR HER. She's more active now than most her age, although not as active as some her age. I talked to someone at the gas-station today who has an 87 year old mom who still works full-time. Lucky isn't THAT.

We'll see what happens. In the meantime, I'm not holding out hope that she has enough "will" to hang on. I have no problem, however, with being pleasantly surprised.

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), March 26, 2002.


If I were in her place I'd go to Oregon and get the assisted suicide. Better hurry though, it's just another one of our rights that Asscroft is trying to take away.

-- (time@to.go), March 26, 2002.

I'm not so sure it's as simple to die as losing the will to live. My father's quality of life is fairly low. His legs hurt constantly. He can only see to read with a huge magnifying glass. He can't walk more than a few dozen paces. He is losing his mental acuity. Sometimes he loses feeling in his arms. He is pretty frustrated about his growing physical and mental limitations. If he could secretly arrange his own death with the least fuss, I think he probably would do it. But he lives on.

My father in law became so feeble he could scarcely sign his own name in less than three minutes. He trembled so much he could barely hit his mouth with a spoon. Even speaking he slowed to a snail's pace. He began blacking out for short periods. But he lived far longer in that condition - alone! - than I could ever have imagined. In some ways he began to court death in the last six months of his life, by adamantly refusing the level of help that would have been needed to keep him minimally safe at home. But even though he often spoke of his willingness to commit suicide, he never followed through.

Lucky strikes me as a tough old bird. It will take more than you think to part her from her life. Probably more than she thinks, too.

-- Little Nipper (canis@minor.net), March 26, 2002.



Time to go--

Unless a person cannot lift a gun, there is no need to go to Oregon and pay someone to kill you.

Anita--

Sorry to hear of your/Lucky's predicament.

-- (lars@indy.net), March 26, 2002.


Nita:

I doubt if anyone knows including them. I moved away from home 38 years ago this Sep. My parents were in the east and my wifes parents were in the west. A thousand miles or more each way. We made a point of seeing them once or twice a year. My father and mother just died; no long illness and activity to the end. We weren't there. We were visiting my father-in-law. We spent a few days doing things together. We got a call in the morning that he was in the hospital. We went there and were there when he died. No warning. They didn't know; their doctors didn't know; and we sure didn't know. In some cases, you just don't know. Death, as life, is just a crap shoot sometimes. Enjoy it while you have it.

Best Wishes,,,,,

Z

-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), March 26, 2002.


"Unless a person cannot lift a gun, there is no need to go to Oregon and pay someone to kill you."

Oh. Well I assumed we were talking about someone who is still sane and wants to be at peace when they move into the next world.

-- (different strokes @ different. folks), March 26, 2002.


{{{{{Anita}}}}}

-- Pammy (pamela_sue57@hotmail.com), March 26, 2002.

Lucky? Isnít that the snakeís name?

Who can keep up?

-- Send (mo@money.please), March 26, 2002.



Anita,

Seeing as how my father was just diagnosed with cancer, I've started thinking about life without him around, too.

I'll be praying for you. I hate to hear that Lucky's losing the will to live, because there's really not much anyone can do in that case. It's up to her.

-- Stephen (smpoole7@bellsouth.net), March 26, 2002.


Indeed, Stephen. It's Lucky's show as it will be all of ours in time. Hope I have someone as caring as Anita around.

-- Carlos (riffraff@cybertime.net), March 26, 2002.

She might have to wear a diaper during her waking hours, but she could rest better.

She DOES wear a diaper during her waking hours, Helen. It's not as though she ONLY pees when she falls asleep. It's a situation where she's lost the signal. I guess that's what incontinence is all about...losing the signal.

The other thing that bothers me is that she doesn't seem to have bowel movements any more. She didn't while she was here for four days and when I asked, she couldn't remember the last time she went. She doesn't exhibit any of the classic symptoms of constipation, and this woman gets REALLY EVIL when she's constipated, so something else is up there. It could, I suppose, be colon cancer. I seem to remember my dad not "going" for a long time before he died. He lost weight, as has she, even though her appetite seems healthy enough.

Ekans is the snake, send. He's another problem. He crawled into one of SO's speakers a few months back, crawled out of the bathroom woodwork a few weeks later looking all healthy and robust. I don't want to even think about what might be living in the walls that made him so healthy. He refuses to eat now. He sleeps with a rat.

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), March 27, 2002.


Anita, a dear friend of mine had bowel cancer, and I believe she had the same symptoms first.

Stephen, I'm sorry to hear about your dad. I don't know if we're just not dying younger of quicker illnesses or what, but it seems there are an awful lot of new cancer patients every year. One of our good friends has just gotten word this week that cancer is in three places, unreachable for sure in one place. He's going to see if it's in a fourth location today. He said my function will be to make him laugh. He enjoys hearing about the mule, thank God.

-- helen (walking@out.on.the.ice.when.I.go), March 27, 2002.


Anita, no one can guess how long a person will live. I'm so sorry for your situation, I know, I've been there and done that. Your story is bringing back all those memories. This makes me a believer in Kevorkian philosophy. It's just too sad to watch a loved one die a long slow death. I know in my situation I would have dialed Kevorkian's number at least six months sooner. It would have been more humane than letting her die. The same is true for my father; he was in lots of pain and suffering. No amount of medication could take away the his torture.

Make the best of it. Care for her as best you can. Depend on your friends and family for the emotional support you will need. I wish you well.

-- Maria (anon@ymous.com), March 27, 2002.



Well, there I was [up all night thinking about it all], finally getting to sleep about 5am when at 8:45am my phone rang. I couldn't get there fast enough, so I called mom to see if she had called. She was BACK in bed, after having made and eaten TWO bowls of oatmeal. Heh. When she was here, she slept until almost noon. I said, "So how are those diapers working out?" She said, "Fine, but I don't wet them. I go to the toilet." Then she said, "I had a good meal yesterday." I said, "You went down to eat?" She said, "Yes." She couldn't remember what the good meal was, but a good meal ANYWHERE for her has to be a first.

So now *I*'m the one dragging my sorry butt around today while SHE seems to be doing okay.

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), March 27, 2002.


Anita,

From my experiences she will go through a series of ups and downs, one day fine the next not so fine. When the "I give up's" are heard on a consistent basis over a course of time you will get the message.

Mr Brown, an older man in his later 70's who became my friend was a vital fellow, he liked to come to the bar I ran and talk to his buddies, drink a beer or two and tell his stories. After a couple of accidents the state took his driving priveledges away, (the car was totaled), that really messed with his mind but when he got used to me picking him up and taking him to the bar he was fine. It wasn't long after that we could all see that something wasn't right with Mr Brown and then he started talking, much more so than usual, about his time being almost done, he talked about it so much his people put him in a home, a week later he died.

I still miss Mr Brown.

Fortunately though he didn't suffer a long illness but he knew, as have the others I have had relationships with that their time is short.

It's not a bad thing knowing your time is short or even that the end is in sight, it's a natural thing that is embraced at some point rather that feared. I'm glad in a way Iv'e had these relationships because I have had to think and rethink my own mortality. I have had the experience of being with people who had months to prepare and I have been with people who had minutes to prepare and it's the 'knowing' that is the important and good thing.

-- capnfun (capnfun1@excite.com), March 27, 2002.


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