Living Past the Expiry Date

Posted by Moaning Mary on October 18, 2013 in Health Care |
She would have been ninety seven today

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The more I watch Mom, the more I wonder about all the advances that Medical Science has made, the prolong a person’s life. And I wonder, if it is all worth it, because the dying process is a natural one. Yet we are altering it with all of our new drugs, new treatments, but are they worth it?

Sure, it would be nice if Mom would live forever, but she won’t. And as age ravishes her body, her mind, I wonder how is she feeling about this bout with longevity? I mean she is now 96 years and 6 months old, and her body is no longer working right. She can’t stand on her own, can’t walk, and even standing is now a chore.  Then there is the pain, that simply tasks like grasping a spoon or fork, cause her, and I wonder, is it worth it?

I am selfish, I really don’t want her to leave, but it is heart breaking to watch her struggle each minute, to just focus on what is happening. Her eyes are weaker now, she hasn’t been outside, breathing fresh air for ages now, so does that even register with her? Is she missing the feel of the sun on her face? The wind blowing through her hair?

How is this living?

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Mom was never the type who just sat at home. She cooked, helped out with various charities, and once I was older, went back to working with Dad, side by side. She enjoyed going out for just a drive.  In my youth, she would come with Dad and me, to the dawn to dusk Drive In movies, but now she sits, staring out the window.

Is she remembering those times, feeling lost because she can’t do them anymore?

What is going through her mind, as David and I help her to the commode, so she can have a Bowel Movement, get cleaned up and washed? Is she feeling embarassed by having her son having to wipe her Tushie, because she can’t reach around and do it herself? What about all the strangers who come into the home, to help her do those things, like dress her, wash her face, arms, and legs? Does it even register, or does it just make her sad?

Medical science is wonderful, with all the ways it can prolong a person’s life, but does it improve their quality of life? We know so little of the mind, despite having reached the Moon. We have found new ways to kill people, to increase profits, but have we come close to figuring out what goes on in the mind who is reaching their final days?

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