Wednesday, March 25, 2009

DNR

I hold in my hand, an official DNR form. Signed and sealed, with directives to paramedics and the fire marshal of this great province.
I've wanted this form for so long, long before I started counting my days.
Now, I'm not so sure anymore.
It seems ironic, the closer that one is to death, the more they bargain, beg, plead, to stay alive just one more day.
I'm not so sure I don't want medics to do everything they can to resuscitate me. Yes I realise I'm holding an already completely-entered-at-the-ministry-form, but after combing through the small print, I want some of those measures listed. In fact, I've had some of the measures. I've been intubated and woken up (woken up because vomit in the tube was chocking me). The sky hasn't fallen and I didn't feel any less human with some of those measures in place. I'm barely human on my bad days. Hell, some of those directives were in my chart when I was at the Heart Institute in January.
What I don't want and I've known this for some time now, is to be hooked up to machines that pump for my heart or breath for my lungs. I don't want to "live" in a comatose state for months on end - sucking up bed-space and health-care money for someone who can actually live (sans machines).
The further along this dieing path I travel the more I realize that living does not prepare you for the decision-making that's required in order to die a proper death.
Perhaps that's why it's easier (for the dieing one) to leave this planet in an instant. Hit by a car, lightening bolt, etc. Gone. No decisions, no worrying. Sure it's left up to the living loved ones but heh, less work for me!

That is not fair, and I do have the right to have a say in how I'm going to die. I've always been the type of person to use her rights.

I'm also realizing that the laws are very black and white. You either receive all life-saving initiatives or not. You can't pick and choose. I understand why it's like that - imagine the mess and time spent in figuring out what can be done on whom. Woah. However, for those who are very specific about their health and body, for those who've had an involved relationship with their primary care physicians, cardiologists etc. it doesn't seem fair that I have to accept all measures if there's one procedure I do not want done - or that I have to decline all measures if there are a few procedures that I don't considered resuscitation. Seriously, I won't get nitro-spray?
Oh the decisions.

As for the laws, I am not au-courant. I don't know if the law allows for someone to pull the plug if you're attached to a machine. I don't know if that's considered assisted suicide and if so, from what I recall, we're not as liberated as Sweden. My worst fear is to be hooked up to a machine, not being able to move, perhaps not even being conscious - only my spirit tied to a decrepit old body for others' to stare at. I don't want to make others feel better by "breathing" (not even on my own) just to appease them. For anyone that's known me in living life, my spirit is hard to pin down. Just try it and I'm off on a tangent or another creative spark. Could you imagine my body being tied down to a machine, my spirit still locked in the container because I'm technically "still alive". I could not, nor would I wish to imagine it.

If I'm within minutes of death, them let my spirit soar. Do not trap. That's it. I should sign some DNT forms: Do Not Trap. Do what you can to help me live, CPR, nitro, etc. but if I'm all but gone, don't hook me up to a machine that will pump my heart for me. Do Not.