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.

Friday, March 20, 2009

diversions

I've been incredibly busy of late. Busy-ness allows one to keep in denial. It's a double edge-sword. I get to walk this world but with only one foot planted in it. I can carry on as if there are no worries or constraints.
Then the illness creeps up and reminds me at the most inopportune times that I have to slow down, breath, and keep things in perspective.

Walking with one foot firmly planted on the ground and another out there, running from the other world, foot planted nowhere.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

this is why I haven't written


Self-portait.
Oil on canvas (16x20).
2009
Keep in mind that I am a trained abstract artist (a l'ecole "refus global" ie Concordia University).
I personally don't like it but I keep it because it's a rarity (so not my style).
I rarely paint anything from life and when I do it's usually expressive. With few exceptions, I never paint people (because I can't).
Also, I'm not good with cameras and light settings - the original painting is not so dark.
come to think of it, I have to fix things... the art teacher in me hates it.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

an ode to anger

I want to sit in a dark room
with the stereo turned up, way up.
I want the blaring speakers to snuff out my anger
drown out my wails until there are no more.

I want that time alone.

I want this all to go away.

I want those around me to cope
to take their anger and deal with it
not dump it on me
and run

away.

I want to live in denial



but I've been in a recovery process
doing healing work for far too long
to know
that denial will only rob me
of some of the things that I know
needs to get done.
I spent the weekend in Montreal. I used to live there and as a result still ahve some very good friends from my old life. Living only 2 hours away I've managed to keep up my friendships by visiting monthly or every second month for up till the past year. In 2008 I made it to Montreal only 2 times, 3 at the most.

This is not acceptable.

Visiting this weekend brought about much saddness. There are those going through many painful life events. My heart has ached for them.


I know I wrote about how the passing of time can be defined in a variety of ways. Whether by hours, days, months, moons or seasons, time passes and it's passing is counted, marked. My visiting to Montreal mark more time passing. This fall will mark my official leave from the city of love, bagels, fashion, beautiful people and beautiful buildings. Ten years. Ten years is a long time. Things change, people move on. Life goes on. Friends go through life events: births, deaths, divorces, losses upon losses and change. Some change positive, some not so much. All that time is really about living and life. It's about being there when you can and forgiving when you can't. But in all this time there's that sense that although further away we're still there for each other.

And we are.

But driving home, into the setting sun, I know that these visits are very precious. Even if I'm able to increase my visits to once a month again, like the moon count, there too won't be many left.


I'm not trying to be morbid on purpose. I sat up with a friend, a buddhist-meditator friend, who decided to tell me to practice non-attachment. I get that I'm attached right now. I get that I'm very much attached to my emotions, my anger, my disappointment, my friendships. My life. Yes, I'm attached to my life. I'm not nearly as unattached as my friend it. I'm very happy she's fursther along in her practice but you know I'm just not there (yet). And no, I'm not justifying my attachement by suggesting that I'm alowed to be because I'm concluding my life. I know that many people go through lots of terrible trauma's and losses. I get htat. I get that she's going through a very very difficult life changing time right now. I get that she could also make all sort of excuses for not practicing non-attachment. I get that practicing impermanance is something I *should* be doing. I'm not a Buddisht though. I know too that you don't ave to be - that you it's just a concept, not about a religion that I'm not. I know that everything in impermanent and that many people, friend shave had near-death experiences. I just spoke with another person this weekend who survived a very near death experience. Before that moment on that stretch of highway he had his whole life ahead of him. He is now more aware of how one moment you can be here, and the next gone.

I get impermanance. And that's why I'm angry. I don't want to end my friendships - I want them to go on. I don't want to end this all. I am having fun again. I have found joy again. I haven't been this happy since Montreal.


Not that my past 9 years here in Ottawa have been ick, but well, it took the first few years of isolation to accept just how depressing and lifeless Ottawa can be. In Montreal, joie-de-vivre was part of everyday life. When you did something, you did it with intention.


Eating, getting together, enjoying people's company and food were part fo the life blood of my life there. I've decided to combine those two aspects of my life again and started having more people over to share food since I can't afford to eat out (nor is it good for my health). I am allowing myself to experience more joy again, to be IN the moment. I have to work hard at it because I keep recycling the past and worrying about the future - and not even my future but that of those left behind. I know I am not responsible for anything after I leave, but I feel I am able to control ???? everything up until that point. I feel responsbile to take care and clean-up so that ...