I live in a senior citizen townhome with Bob, my husband and 3 ragdoll cats. I am writing this article because I know four people in the hospital, one in a nursing home and two others have gone into assisted living homes. This is so difficult to watch but it is to be expected as part of life .... babies are born and old people die. It is the "cycle of life." I am writing about this because I am fascinated with the different ways people deal with illness and death.
I remember when I took anatomy in OT school, and we had to dissect a frog before we could work on a cadaver. Our first assignment was writing an essay on what it meant to me to kill the frog so we could dissect the poor creature. This was the hardest thing I can remember doing in OT school. The title of my essay was "The Cycle Of Life." The essence of my paper was: the frog is sacrificing his life so that I can learn and help other people through the frogs little body - give and take - life and death. Of course he/she frog really didn't have a choice in the matter, but I have always been very thankful to that little frog. It still brings tears to my eyes. I have kept my OTR license and insurance so that I can give back to people what I learned in OT school........for free. That little frog had a big influence on my life.
As I mentioned above, I can't help but marvel at the different ways people handle death and the affect it has on the patient or loved one. I have one friend in the hospital that is very close to dying and has been telling his family, "I just want to die, please, just let me die in PEACE." He is refusing to go to the hospital in Denver where his original doctor is, and refuses all medicine. He has a multitidue of organs failing which is compromising breathing, urinating out fluids, and circulation. Our bodies organs work in 'concert' and there can be a domino effect when one fails, the others will not be able to operate correctly, and it becomes quite uncomfortable to live. He finally agreed to taking morphine through an IV. In order to live and recover, a heart transplant would be needed, but that is impossibile with all of these complications.
His wife is accepting his wishes and knows he wants to die. But his two adult children are hanging on .... "Please don't die, you can't die - we love you.".......and on and on. In a way I feel it is being sort of selfish. I believe people that are so ill and want to "Go" sometimes need PERMISSION. I remember when my mom was dying and I gave her permission to die and she LET GO.
I have another dear friend with a husband that has been sick for years. He has been in the hospital for the last two weeks. The Dr. told her that there is nothing more he can do for her husband and he wants to go home. We are encourging her to have hospice come into their home and help with his care. She has made his funeral arrangement and written his obituary, now she just needs help with his care until it is his time to go. She told me that she was ready for him to die and she has truly LET GO of her husband.
Life is not the way "it is suppose to be" according to our minds sometimes. It is the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.
Go with the flow !
"Let Go, Let God."
:) Petie....The OTR
Those who read Petie's pieces at Lumigrate.com (found regularly in the forum related to therapies/functional and occupational -- link: http://www.lumigrate.com/forums/integrative-medicine-parts-m...) learn she grew up in California with "Bobby" Redford and has had an interesting life from beginning to today. She graduated from USC in technical illustrating and drafting and was the first female draftsman for The Wall Street Journal in South Brunswick, New Jersey. She returned to USC to become an occupational therapist and enjoyed the 'heyday' of therapy in prestigious programs in California, and was an entrepreneur for many years. She had a daughter then adopted a son, Thomas, who she writes about regularly; they have been each others' greatest teachers, as it turns out he had developmental disabilities. Remarrying in middle age, she and her husband Bob moved to Colorado and now enjoy 'active retirement'. Petie appreciates the opportunities to continue teaching through sharing at Lumigrate and hopes those who read find as much enjoyment in reading as she does in writing.