Do you have a living trust made out? Is it filed in a safe place? Do you want to be able to make the final decisions on your own life? Have you informed your family about this?
The questions above are the most important questions you will ever have to answer. When an emergency happens to a loved one sometimes immediate decisions have to be made.
My mother had been taken by my uncle to the emergency room in excruciating pain. She was kept there for over eight hours while tests had been run on her. The doctors found nothing wrong with her at this time and released her. Two hours later, once again the pains started and she was rushed by ambulance back to the hospital.
At this time, my mother underwent surgery for a bleeding ulcer. Two days later the bleeding resumed and another surgery was performed. I was aware of the surgeries and had spoken to my mother on the phone. She was weak but seemed okay.
When I received a call from my sister that our mother was not improving, I dropped everything and jumped on the first plane I could catch for the East coast.
When I first walked into my mother's hospital room, I could not believe the woman that now laid on the bed. She had just been to visit me four months earlier. She had been in good health at that time and only complained of slight indigestion. Now the shock of her lying on the bed barely able to lift her head was tremendous. She was to weak to write and could not talk because of the respirator down her throat.
The doctors and nurses at first felt that she was a strong woman and would beat the respirator. She underwent one more surgery at this time removing the respirator in her mouth and attaching it in her throat.
Now six weeks had passed and it seemed less likely she would ever beat the respirator and breathe on her own.
Even though my mother had quit smoking about fifteen years ago, she had been a heavy smoker for years. At that time, she smoked unfiltered cigarettes and her lungs had become obstructed.
The nurse asked us the most dreaded question you could ever get asked in your life. “Do you want the respirator turned off?”
My sister and I looked at each other and reluctantly said, “Yes. " We both felt like our world had just crashed. We knew our vibrant mother, so full of life would not want to live on a respirator for the rest of her life.
Then the doctor asked my mother that dreaded question. My mother’s mind was still intact, she immediately mouthed the words, “yes, disconnect the respirator. ”
The nurse asked us if our mother had left a living trust. We said we did not know but we would look for it.
We asked our mother what her last wish was. All she wanted to do was go outside one more time. With a respiratory therapist and the entire family following along behind, she was wheeled out into the bright sunshine and was happy to be outside her favorite place one last time.
My sister and I went home and started to search thorough my mother's papers. We wanted to find a living trust which stated her final wishes. We found the paper and gave it to the nurse in the morning. That evening the respirator was turned off.
The family was gathered around her bed with family members from five states present. My mother was a well loved woman. She did not die that evening but managed to live one more week when she died peacefully in her sleep.
No child should have to make the decision of turning off a respirator for their parent. It is our responsibility as an adult to make out our living trust. This way it takes the decision making out of our hands and puts the decision into our parent’s hands.
My mother was able to convey her wishes to the doctor about turning off her respirator. But what if she would not have been able to do this? My sister and I, knowing we had made the correct decision, would have felt guilt for the rest of our lives.
I know my mother is happy in heaven and watches down on her beloved family. It gives me the courage to face each new day.
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Copyright 2006 Linda Meckler
Linda has memories of the tragic time when her mother was hospitalized with a respirator. She wants all of us to have a Living Trust signed and filed away.
Currently she is the author of “Ghost Kids Trilogy, " three books in one book. CHRISTY 12, AND HER BROTHER BRAD, 16 MOVE INTO AN OLD HOUSE ON TOP OF A MOUNTAIN AND MEET TWO GHOST KIDS. Meet a Magical Blue Vase. Join Christy and Brad on a Pirates’ Treasure Hunt. ADVENTURE/MYSTERY Love, Family Values and Charity burst off the pages.
Visit my website at http://www.lmeckler.com my email email@example.com . Order my book at http://www.amazon.com or http://www.buybooksontheweb.com With an order of 5 books = 40% discount. An order of 20 books free shipping and handling. ISBN 0-7414-2273-5.