Saturday, September 27, 2008
Even if his body survives this ordeal, will his mind?
It seems to me that we are kinder to our pets than we are to our fellow man. If a pet is in agony at the end of life, it is considered acceptable, even commendable, to help them die with speed and dignity.
When a pet is dearly loved, it is not an easy decision. I have had to make it twice.
Five years ago Handsome the cat became desperately ill with an infection in his chest. The vet said that he might be able to save him with extreme measures, keeping him on IV antibiotics and nourishment for probably a week or more. Though Handsome was only ten years old, in the prime of life, I knew the LittleDude wouldn't want that. He trusted me to take care of him, so I said goodbye. I miss him still.
My beloved cat, Esmerelda, was eighteen years old and in chronic kidney failure. I decided, after having tormented her by administering subcutaneous fluids for several months, that I would keep her as comfortable as I could without invasive treatment and when she "stopped smiling", I would let her go.
Two years after my decision, she stopped eating and purring, wanting only to rest curled in my arms. I called the vet. He came to my house after hours and gave her a shot. I held her close with my forehead pressed to hers as her frail body relaxed.
I loved Esmerelda with all my heart,we were "SimoneezerTwins" for twenty years. She wasn't a pet, she was my best friend. Her absence has left a hole in my heart and life that will never be filled. Even after seven and a half years, I still weep for her.
I'm crying now for my brother-in-law and Esmerelda and Handsome. I am crying for my Grandmother who lived through three years of unceasing pain because my Grandfather begged her to stay with him every time she was fading. And for my Grandfather who lived for seven years after her passing but was never the same. And my sister-in-law and her daughter sitting for hours beside a hospital bed, waiting.
I know I did the right thing with Esmerelda and Handsome. How could I ask someone I love to cling, suffering, to life so that I wouldn't miss her?
Why are we less kind to the humans we love than we are to the animals? Why do we artificially and torturously prolong their lives when there is little or no hope that they will live a quality life or even the life of a vegetable? How can that be a kind thing to do? Where can one draw the line between mercy and morality?
And then the little voice in the back of my mind whispers, "But what if he can recover?"
I am overwhelmingly relieved that it is not my decision to make.
For myself, however, DNR - Do Not Resuscitate. I have told my husband and my parents. When it is time, let me slip away gracefully.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
I will come home late Friday, just as the Twin flies in to Michigan. The Engineer isn't going until the following weekend. Both the Engineer and the Twin are (surprise) engineers, so they've decided this provides maximum coverage and the least amount of stress for Brother-the-Wiser's family.
This means that I have been cooking in mass quantities the last couple of days so that the Engineer won't starve while I'm gone. He can't cook his own food from scratch, but he's supremely proud of his nuking abilities. Yesterday I cooked a 4+ pound pork shoulder, a tub of potato salad and a bucket of coleslaw. Today I scrambled up three and a half pounds of ground beef, pork and turkey and made a giant lasagne. I've told him it's his job to figure out how to fit it into the fridge. I don't think he'll suffer any pangs of hunger.
There's just one more thing I have to say:
KC - Thanks for the birthday apron. Did you know that it matches the color of lasagne perfectly? (Good thing with the mess I make when I cook.)
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
He also got me a grocery store card.
On the inside it says: "I always feel a flush of excitement whenever we're together."
The man really knows how to woo a woman.
And I do my part, moaning and groaning and pretending he's really twisted my tail. It's a strange relationship, but it works for us.
P.S. He's also hidden a present someplace and is sending me scavenger hunt clues via e-mail. I guess with the choice being love him or hit him with a baseball bat, I'll choose loving him.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
And wrinkles. I don't have wrinkles, I have crevasses deeper than the Grand Canyon. Worse, I have Old Lady Lip Wrinkles. (In case you can't tell, the sound effects here are piteous whimpering and moaning.)
Then there are clothing imperfections. The shirt that looked fine when you put it on in the morning suddenly develops a big spot right in the middle of the chest when you're about to meet someone you want to impress. (Aw geeze, they'll think I'm a total slob!)
I'm not even going to mention blubber-butt and thunder-thighs.
Sometimes it seems the only possible solution is to go out covered in a full-body burlap sack.
Now wouldn't that be subtle?
Chances are nobody ever notices such glaring imperfections. You went through all that grief and self denigration for nothing. Even if someone notices the zit on your nose that looks, to you, like the taillight on a '59 Cadillac, they probably don't give a rip.
Someday, you know what, I'm going to have enough self confidence that I won't give a rip either...