Living Will – acceptable quality of life – feed back please

July 29, 2015

Again, I thank all that posted their thoughts on quality of life. I have read all and will be replying to each individually.
Have started my own post. My gauge for assessing quality of life has changed over the years. I am now looking at things like breathing issues, mobility, fatigue…… How these things impact on me daily affecting the quality of my day. I have said it so very many times, life is to be lived and not endured. The question is at what point does our situation change that we go from living to enduring.
This past couple of years I have been battling an entirely new and different heart condition. This combined with the heart failure and all increases risk of heart attack and stroke. I have come to realize I fear the stroke much more than the heart attack. Yes, I fully realize that next heart attack will put me down and out. I have had years to come to acceptance of that. I don’t like it, I dread it but I no longer fear it.
What I realize I do fear is the stroke, a major stroke. I am talking the stroke that leave a fully functioning mind trapped in a paralyzed useless body. Being unable to even communicate. Just stuck for who knows how long, your mind trapped. That is my greatest fear, something I can’t live with.
I realize strokes can affect you in countless different ways and to different degrees. I know people that have made virtually a complete recovery. So yes, I am looking at the worst case scenario but that is my greatest fear. I can help alleviate that fear/worry with a Living Will. It is designed to make my wishes clearly know should I go through such an event that I am left unable to communicate.
This gives me peace of mind both for myself and I am sure will ease the burden for my family. They will not be left forced to make agonizing decisions based on what they think I would want done.
It is so easy when we are healthy to have an almost cavalier attitude and think and say things like: “If I ever get like that just pull the plug”. We have to think of the onus, the burden that places on our family. Someone has to step up and make the decision as to exactly under what circumstances do yo “pull the plug” and how long do you wait to do that. Then consider how much difficulty may they have going forward living with the fact they made the decision as to where and when your life was ended.a huge burden to place on anyone, especially when it can be avoided.
My instructions I believe are pretty clear.
If such an event should happen and I am able to communicate. Respect my wishes, not open to debate. Should I be declared brain dead in a still living body, pull the plug immediately. Should I be showing brain activity in an otherwise dead body and unable to communicate. Wait for a period of 30 days to see if I “wake up” then pull the plug.
For me there should be no actual plug based on my DNR. For me it would be stop all medications. Currently I take 37 pills a day to keep this body going, many being heart related. Stop all those and I am in God’s hands.
More and more I have come to realize quality of life has nothing to do with the outer world. It is determined within our own heads.
I am looking for more feed back please. Do you have a living will? Do you think it is good and considerate idea to have one? Should an accident or some tragedy occur what would be the minimum quality of life you would find acceptable?

Thank you for the input – night in hospital

July 18, 2015

I thank all that have answered my request for comments on quality of life. I have read and appreciate each one. I welcome any additional thoughts from all.
I had planned a post with my thoughts for today but got side tracked.

Ended up in the hospital last night. Spent the night and a good part of the day today. I am home and fine just very tired. Didn’t get much sleep last night at all.

Wicked chest pain prompted the trip to the hospital. Chest pain the nitro spray couldn’t deal with. Morphine did the trick.

Soon after I got to the hospital and while still in the pain a doctor asked how far I wanted treatment to go. Meaning, if necessary the inserted airway, shocks to the heart etc.. I simply told him no heroic efforts, none of all that sort of thing. It was only later when things were under control (the pain) that I thought of that conversation.

Will try to post something tomorrow

Quality vs Quantity of life – YOUR opinions please

July 16, 2015

Quality of life is a something I have been thinking of more and more of late.

I pose a question to any and all that may read this and I do hope all will respond. What is the criteria that you use in determining the quality of your life?

I look back and realize for most of my life material possessions and money would have played a huge part in how I assessed the quality of my life. I also now realize If I had been asked to assess the quality of my life in years gone by, My answer would likely have been focused more on what was lacking. The quality of my life would be so much better if only. I always had an almost endless “if only” list. Life would be better: if only had a bigger/better car, if only had a second car, if only had more money…… Or there was always the second if only list involving others. If only: she/he had or hadn’t done this or that……

I am asking for feed back please. I am facing some pretty big decisions and would appreciate your opinions.

Implanted heart monitor

July 11, 2015

Thursday was a different day. Spent it at the hospital having a surgical procedure done. a “loop” was surgically implanted in my chest over my heart. It looks much like a flash drive for the computer.
It is a heart monitor that is recording ever beat of my heart. I have the episodes in which my heart “goes crazy” definitely beating its own rhythm. Generally the episodes only last 20-30 minutes. By the time I can get to the hospital, they can get a heart monitor on me, well it is all over.
They can tell the issues all relate to the electrical system which is causing the top heart malfunction, causing my current symptoms even right up to the falling/fainting spells.
Now with this permanent recorder in place they will be able to see exactly what it is doing.
From the patients side, this procedure is very easy to tolerate almost a nothing deal. This is as I understand it. A lot of local freezing eliminates any real pain. A small incision is made just through the layers of skin. The surgeon then inserted her figures in between the skin and underlying tissue to create a pocket. The device is then inserted into that pocket, the cut is sewed closed and it is done.

Acceptance – key to a peaceful life

July 7, 2015

It has been a while since I last posted. A lot has happened, a lot remains unchanged.
On Thursday, I go to have a heart monitor surgically implanted. They are still trying to figure out why my heart tends to act out at times causing the episodes I have written about.
My fainting, falling issues really had my shorts in a wad. But it is getting easier and I haven’t had a full fall in a while. I realize again adapting or becoming accepting of what is my reality at least for now, while the docs try to figure out the cause. Now I realize anything they may come up with is to improve quality of life and won’t really impact quantity.
I know quality of life can be largely up to me. These are issues I can’t change, it is truly beyond my control. My heart has a mind of it’s own and seems to act out when it wants to. I can’t change that. It has taken me a bit to just accept that these episodes are going to come.
Now, I have been dealing with heart issues for years. I had gradually become accepting of how my existing condition affected my body. My symptoms of late stem from an entirely different heart issue. Being a different condition the way it affects me, the symptoms are different than I have been used to experiencing. Plus existing conditions breathing and fatigue have been ramped up.
I have total faith and trust in my doctors. I do realize there are limits to what even they can do and it could take time. I have really come to realize how precious is my time as I just don’t know how much I have left. What to do?
The Serenity Prayer came to mind;
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change.
The courage to change the things I can.
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Now the occurrence of these episodes is something I can not change. The only other option left is to come to some acceptance. How to do that?
In my typical episode my heart rate increases, the beat becomes very irregular, blood pressure drops, light headed and dizzy with increased chest pain. Not fun
At all. I did some deep thinking and realized dealing with with all of this in likely the worst possible way. I was allowing myself to wallow and just endure the episodes. Then living almost in fear or dread of when the next one may hit. I was to a degree stressed and all tensed up. The waiting knowing it is coming but not knowing when. That is no way to spend my precious time.
I had a real talk to myself about these episodes. They are no fun, but are they really that bad or is it something new that I need to accept and adapt to. I thought of each individual symptom trying to put it in prospective. I looked at each individual symptom and realized I have dealt with a lot worse than that, so what is the big deal. Certainly nothing to stress over.i expanded that thinking to the combination of symptoms during the episode. I was then able to see that, I can deal with these things, not that big a deal, I have been through a lot worse. It’s not all that bad, just different, something new to adjust to.
Now, instead of tensing up, enduring the episodes, I try to just relax. Let it pass. It is only going to last 20-30 minutes.
By relaxing the intensity has actually lessened. I have let go of the “dread” of the next one coming. I have no idea when it will hit and it is not that bad anyway.
Wow, made up for my absence with a real ramble today.

Prayers Please

July 1, 2015

This is a comment left yesterday by our dear blogging friend Lydia. Lydia, is one of the very few friends from here on the blog that I have had the pleasure of meeting in person.
Lydia is struggling and asking for our prayers..
I ask please for prayers please. Prayers asking for relief from the physical pain and for help for her to regain her internal peace and calm

Yes, I think I’m due for a smooth section coming up soon too lol. I guess we all feel that way with our “lots in life”. Mine doesn’t seem bad compared to what others have to deal with, but I still feel kind of gutted out by this persistent problem. I don’t feel like I exercise much faith to tell the truth, but it is still my hope. I believe that God takes these crooked and bumpy roads and fashions them into something beautiful for a greater purpose, but today I just feel like I don’t know how to cope with the bumps. And yet, it doesn’t escape my notice how God sends mercies along our path, like compassion from others, or a good word, or remembering all the provisions in place to give us meaning amid the struggle, or even just the simple things like physical provisions. I’m grateful for the compassion on this blog. I ask for your prayers today Bill.