Saturday, October 25, 2008

confused day

Yesterday John was having a bad day. He was still asleep when I left early for work, so all I know is that he missed an 11 am appointment. His 96 year old aunt already had a document giving him power of attorney in both legal and medical matters but I wanted that modified to list me as a successor if he can't do it. They had an appointment with the lawyer to sign the new document.

I got home at 2:30 to go up to our son's school for a 4:30 appointment. John wasn't quite ready but the main reason we were late was unexpected traffic, due to accidents in the heavy rain. Driving up John asked confused questions about several topics. Finally I asked him if he knew of a reason why he was having a bad day. He said he didn't know the reason but he certainly was. We did enjoy the play our son was in: "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged."

While we were driving, John and I did have a conversation about death, which feels valuable to me as a way of being on this journey together. I had sent him a link about Voluntary Stopping of Eating and Drinking but he hadn't read it. I am interested in the philosophical question--if one believes in leaving death in God's hands then what interventions can one refuse? A feeding tube? Antibiotics? IV fluids? Food and fluids? It seems to me very hard to draw a line. John commented in several cases that he thought that would be a painful way to die. I said research suggests it is not painful for the frail elderly, but I don't think he was convinced. I have the text of a couple of articles on that--email me (pam55sc at gmail) if you want them.

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