I’m a LPN. Nothing more, nothing less.
Today was one of those days at work that made me shake my head and say, “WTF.”
Last time I checked, I didn’t go to medical school. Where does it say in the LPN (or even RN) bylaws that I’m even certified to make BIG decisions about someone’s status or if they should or should not be transferred to another floor…sigh.
This is going to sort of sound like a PSA for Living Wills, but please, bear with me.
If I get hit by a car tomorrow and am rendered a vegetable, I will kill anyone who tries to keep me alive “because my heart is still beating.” Bite me. Rather, pull the plug. I refuse to be laying in a bed, trapped in my own body, because someone can’t stand to see the physical Cassie go away. Selfish.
If I end up being eighty years old, yet spend my days staring at a wall and pooping myself, and end up having some life threatening things happen to me, you best believe I will lay in bed and take it. Again, I will kill anyone who will try to keep me alive.
My husband and I have a verbal understanding between each other as to what each of our wishes are. In case that wasn’t clear enough, now I have y’all as my witnesses. Plus, I have something called a Living Will filled out, verified, witnessed and signed by myself and husband at the doctor’s office.
As Mr. T would say, “I pitty the fool who doesn’t have a Living Will.” Well, he says that to some extent. Let’s get real here. For those of you who don’t have kids, who will be responsible for making that decision should you be rendered useless? What if your spouse is gone? What if you never got married? Nieces? Nephews? Neighbors? Could you imagine? Could you even fathom it? Someone else making decisions about your life. Your LIFE!
Now, don’t get me wrong. If you want the doctors and such to do everything humanly possible to keep you alive, then I say good for you. But get it in writing. Make it legally binding. Make sure that everyone short of your neighbor knows what you want.
Heaven help me if I become eighty something years old, laying in my nursing home bed, staring at the wall, happy as a clam with my DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order, only to be transferred to a hospital, changed away from my DNR status to do a little bit more and all this done so because my doctor was on vacation. Better yet, heaven help that doctor covering for my doctor. I will come back, should they ever let me die, and haunt them for all eternity. Smite you for listening to my emotionally driven, not fully educated on the subject, crazy husband! My body. MY BODY!
I remember when I was a kid, my friend’s cat went away one day. I was so upset, so confused as to why it happened, but my friend’s dad said, “He was old. It’s what cats do. They go away and die. Just they way it should be.”
I don’t want to turn this into a political or moral debate, but fact over opinion, we keep people alive far longer than some bodies were meant to do. Far longer. Part can be blamed on physicians not informing patients and families enough about the true nature of their illness and quality of life. Some can be blamed on families just “wanting to hold on.” Others can be blamed on sheer ignorance. At times, it can be blamed on “new advances” that keep on popping up. Either way it’s frustrating.
I have a Living Will. My husband does, too. When my kids are old enough to understand, they will know what we want. I refuse, absolutely refuse, to be an invalid.
My favorite nurse practitioner said to me today, “The only reason I’ll EVER want a feeding tube is for the Merlot.”
Amen, sister. Amen.