I had a great aunt who was in a very sever car wreck. It was during a blizzard and the paramedic were on the scene for two hours before they even realized she was in the backseat. The two people in the front seat died. But my aunt lived. She had extensive brain damage. Due to the fact that they lived in a small town in the middle of nowhere, she didn't really get the treatment she should have. She was placed in a nursing home in the nearest town (the town they lived in was too small to have a nursing home), and my uncle visited her everyday for 8 years, until she died of pneumonia. Some days she recognized people and had clear, coherent conversations with them, asking them questions and responding to theirs. Other days, she was in a vegetative state. (Leads all of us to believe if they'd moved her to a much larger area with better treatment she would have largely recovered: she was not hooked up to anything). The day my grandma and I visited, she was vegetative. When we left, my grandma asked me to promise her that if she ended up in a vegetative state I would take a baseball bat to her head and put her out of her misery.
I love my grandma more than my own life. I don't care that she's 76 years old (she's had several relatives live to be older than 100 and they were completely physically and mentally healthy), if I had to, I would give my life so that she could live. If I had to choose between my mom and my grandma, I don't even know if I could do that. But, what I'm trying to say, is that I could never hit my grandma in the head with a baseball bat. My grandma's mom died of Alzheimer's and she's said repeatedly that she wouldn't want to live like that. My grandma won't get Alzheimer's: for some reason in our family it skips every other generation: which means my mom might get it. But, if my grandma ever ended up vegetative, hooked up to stuff somewhere, would the rest of the family listen to me? Steve would have to know her opinion: he lives in the same town and sees them all the time. Janice visits a lot, so I'm sure she's heard it too. I told my mom what grandma said. But when it's your loved one. . . . I had a friend whose dad died of cancer. She said that the last couple of months, the family fought over treatment and what would happen. They decided to give him medication to make him live longer, even though he was in pain, largely unconscious, and going to die anyway. She said looking back on it, she wishes they had just let him go.
If I end up brain dead I don't want to be hooked up to some machine to keep me alive. Disclose to the doctors that I once had ITP and let them decide if I can still be an organ donor and then let me go. I'm a Christian and I believe I will end up in a better place, so why hold me here. No matter what, I've had a good life and in the grand scheme of things, these couple of years on earth don't mean much anyway. Pull the plug, and then read to me: read me Psalms 100, 150 and 24. Read me John 14 (the verses mom want me to read at her funeral). Read me Daniel 3. And sing Christmas carols. And tell stories. Tell the story about how I embarrassed you in AZ and called myself a bozo head. Tell the story of teaching me to ride bike, when I ran into you. Tell the story about when Craig was sleepwalking and screaming: Stacia, quit hitting me! Elise, remind me of all the museums we've been to. And laugh. Lot's of laughter. It's a celebration of what was once real and alive: not a mourning of what has occurred. And remember, you'll see me again. Wrap me in the quilt grandma made for my birth, put me in a simple pine box, and bury in Lake Benton, next to grandma and grandpa. And let me rest in peace.