End of life

April 27, 2015

I was in pretty bad pain last night, and then I started having the chills. I started checking my temperature, and it rose by 1.5 degrees in half an hour. I quickly packed a bag to get ready to go to the hospital, but then things slowed down. I sat in a recliner for a while, ready to leave at any moment, but also trying to relax. After a long period of uncertainty, I decided to stay home and eventually fell asleep in my own bed. I perspired a lot during the night, but I made it.

The current treatment I’m on doesn’t seem to be working, so my guess is that I’ll have my sixth operation soon. It may be as early as later today, or it may be more well-planned, depending on how my body does and what the doctors say.

The thing I want to note here is that as I lay in bed last night, I thought about how I might live my life differently if I get through this. Should I move closer to my family? Should I move somewhere I like better? What about work; if I live through this, what sort of work should I do? What about a “Bucket List”?

Faced with a situation that feels like death, or more accurately, feels like a situation that my body can’t win without another surgery -- and if I don’t get to the hospital in time could result in death -- I was disappointed that I didn’t have any profound thoughts.

Would I like to live closer to some people that I care about? Yes, sure. But I don’t like the areas where they live, and I also don’t want to be a burden on them.

Would I like to live in a vacation resort area, like Alaska in the summer and/or Florida in the winter? Sure, but I don’t have enough money to do that. (And if I do die soon, one thought that gives me pleasure is being able to leave a little money for friends and family members.)

As for the Bucket List, I’m fortunate that I quit working full-time about eight years ago, and took the time to do the things I wanted to do. I always thought I would die young -- younger than this -- and that was a big factor in that decision, and at the moment I’m glad that I did what I did.

Hmm, well, not enough time to finish this today. I need to get ready to go to see an “Infectious Disease” doctor in two hours, at which time I assume that we’ll either decide to try to continue the same course of treatment, or setup the next operation.


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