The overnight Marie Curie nurse came for the first time last night. She spent a long time going through Mum’s paperwork, asking me about what had happened over the past week.
>Did your sisters resuscitate your mum 3 times last week?
>Yes. She was managing her own meds at that point, and took a double dose by accident. She kept on nodding off and stopping breathing so my sisters had to wake her up.
Then she asked me about the blank “Do Not Resuscitate” form. “The district nurse must fill this in”, she said. I wholeheartedly agreed; Mum is in a lot of pain, and prolonging her suffering doesn’t seem right.
Euthanasia is something I am generally for. Allowing people to die with dignity (if that is what they have chosen) seems like the kindest thing, and I like to think that if I had a terminal illness, I would be brave enough to take that as an option. But then, maybe if I was in that situation, I would just want one more week, then one more hour, then one more minute. It must be incredibly hard for people to decide the “when”; I have no idea how people choose when to go.
I asked my sister in the morning about the DNR form. She said that Mum had been asked about it, and said that she “didn’t want to make that decision”.
All through this process, Mum’s denial of the situation has been iron strong. For the past few months, she has swung from saying things like “You see this bowl? I want the neighbour to have this bowl”, to being afraid of running out of money within two years and planning on moving house to free up some cash, all within the same breath. She even renewed her yearly phone contract a few months ago. Maybe that was her way of keeping herself going.
I can’t bear the thought of Mum stopping breathing and then some paramedic jumping up and down on her chest just because of a stupid piece of paper. She’s so, so unwell. I don’t want her life to end, but watching her confused and in pain is pushing me to my limit. I’m lucky my sisters are here, as they are both doctors; they know all the terminology, they can speak this medical language. I feel like I’ve been run over by a steam roller.