I created this sign and hung it over the head of my bed:
Relieving the Decision
This COVID-19 Pandemic is crushing our country… really, crushing the world. As more and more folks get sick and some of those sick die, I’ve made some decisions I never thought I would have to make in my life. While I have felt closer to death than not the last few years, now it is looming, shadowing almost every thought I have.
Since the beginning of the Coronavirus Pandemic, I’ve been hearing that doctors might eventually have to make the excruciating decision about who gets a ventilator, a machine that breathes for the patient, and who does not get one. The number of vents around the world and here in the US, are far below the number of patients that need them. As each day passes, they are in shorter supply and we are not even at the apex of the epidemic yet.
The time is for decision-making has arrived.
Doctor’s & DNR
Doctors have begun initiating their own DNR’s… Do Not Resuscitate orders… because it’s clear that certain COVID-19 patients are going to die no matter what a medical team can offer. Therefore, if a patient “Codes” (goes into cardiac or respiratory arrest), the doctors are being permitted to:
“‘think more critically’ about which patients should receive one of their limited number of ventilators, and that the institution would support doctors who ‘withhold futile intubations.'”
“Futile” being the operative word.
“Aerosols” During Resuscitation
When resuscitation occurs, that is one of the most dangerous times to be around a COVID-19 patient. During the life-saving procedures:
“…airborne transmission may be possible in specific circumstances and settings in which procedures or support treatments that generate aerosols are performed; i.e., endotracheal intubation, bronchoscopy, open suctioning, administration of nebulized treatment, manual ventilation before intubation, turning the patient to the prone position, disconnecting the patient from the ventilator, non-invasive positive-pressure ventilation, tracheostomy, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.”
So what do I do if I do not want to infect the healthcare workers around me?
I die at home.
I have been trying to see if there is Hospice Care for those dying of COVID-19, but have not found anything but warnings to those that go into the homes of COVID-19… until today.
“Former NFL kicker Tom Dempsey is in hospice care after being diagnosed with coronavirus, relatives said.
“Dempsey, who once held the NFL record for booting a field goal 63 yards when he played with the Saints, began receiving hospice care Wednesday after contracting the virus last month during an outbreak at a senior living center….”
But the likelihood of finding someone to help me at home would be slim, so I am thinking of other options.
Dying at Home
There are other people here at the house and the prospect of their finding me dead isn’t appealing, but I am kind of lost about what to do about the situation. I listened today as they said ambulances are waiting in line for 5 hours at the ER door to bring someone in and then the person is sent to the waiting room for another 10-12 hours, then there are 100 beds in the ER crammed everywhere and people die waiting.
I do not want to die among strangers. I would rather die in my bed.
I want to die in my bed.
Setting Up the Scenario
I will not go into details at the moment, but I have set it up that I will have someone with me as I die… on the phone… and I will not die alone. This person will set everything in motion to get my body removed in a timely matter, call the kids and my mom and alert my work. The girls will get into my Facebook, come in here and say I am gone, etc. etc. etc.
I have been told I am being morbid, but I find more peace discussing these things, getting all in line.
I do not want ANYONE to feel bad about my dying, from EMS to doctors to nurses to the kids, etc.
I want to die in peace, being a caregiver, even in death.