Saturday, September 24, 2011

Valuable information

This past week I attended my annual conference for work.  One of the topics was end of life care decisions.  Now this is a topic that comes up quite frequently in my work.  We are dealing with aging people and so you need to make that decision.  Often I try to be proactive and start the process before there is a crisis because then everyone already is aware of what the plan is.  I've learned more and more about what happens at the end of a persons life and how death occurs.  Some interesting stats for you to take in is that on average 90% of people wish to die at home; of this stat only 42% actually do.  Most people spend 80% of their life health dollars in the last 2 weeks of their life.  SO if in your life the health care you used was $100,000.  In the last 2 weeks you would have used up $80,000.  So why does this happen.  Well people don't want to die so they try to remain alive as long as possible even when the only sure result is death.  The doctor that was presenting putting it very well.  "we can't make you undead if you are going to die eventually".  It's a fact of life that everyone is going to die.  He acknowledged that the medical field does a very poor job of explaining what happens at the end of life so this has created a fallacy that you can be "healed" from death.  We all know that's not true though.  SO what has caused the biggest fallacy???  You probably are going to think I'm cracked when you read it but it is CPR!!  CPR was discovered in the 60's and it's intention was to be used when a healthy person went into cardiac or respiratory failure for unknown causes; ie, they had no other health issues at the time.  So what are the stats of CPR; oh and these are stats from Edmonton done in 97-2007.  If a healthy person with no other presenting health related issues has CPR performed the likelihood that they will resume normal life afterwards is 19%.  19%!!!!!  That's not how it is in the movies and on tv??????  That's right.  So what about the other people; well 12% will end up with some resulting health issues from the CPR being performed, this could be a trachea, brain damage, punctured lungs and fractured ribs are inevitable, and possibly other internal organ failures and damage.  Then of course there is the other group that ends up with so many resulting health issues that they end up living in a long term care facility.  And of course the last category, you end up dead.  So what if you are sick or terminal and you want CPR performed to save your life.  0% that you will return to your previous life.  Some may be resuscitated and live a few more hours but like said before if you are death's door there isn't any way of making you undead.  I wonder if people really realize this.  When discussing end of life with some people they want "everything" done.  However everything being done isn't going to cure you if you have a terminal illness or if you are just plain old and it is your time!  You won't go into cardiac arrest, die, have CPR done and revived and come back 63 when you are really 84!  So why would I post something as uncomfortable as this.  Because I think people should have the information.  This way they can discuss it with their loved ones and when the time comes everyone can feel comfortable that they are doing what you would want.  For me that is NO CPR!  I'm comfortable with dying; I know where I'm going to go and my affairs are all in order.  Now there is a difference though, do I want to die.  Nope, but I do know that one day the time will come and that day will be okay.  This is what the dr said most people struggle with.  They don't want to die and aren't ready and so therefore want the dr's to do "everything" to save them.  However the dr's aren't going to be able to make you ready to die and more comfortable with dying that is something each person has to do on there own.  So think about what I've written, talk to your doctor and your loved ones. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Time Stop: no wait go faster; no stop.......

Jacob starts pre-school on Monday!  I thought I was ready for it until now all of a sudden I realize how fast he is growing and how quickly time is going by.  Life is funny because on one aspect I so want life to slow right down and savor each moment.  I love being around Jacob; don't get me wrong there are times when I like to be alone.  However whenever I'm off work early or can spend time with him I choose to rather than being alone.  I was alone for a long time and I've had enough of it.  I want to be with my son.  I enjoy being with him and spending any and all free time with him.  Yet still I wish I had more time.  Do other parents feel like this?  Over September long weekend I was away from him for 2 nights; this is the first time I can remember being away from him just because, not because I had something else to do.  So for one whole day I sat at home by myself.  I can't say that I really enjoyed it that much and maybe that's why when I can be with him I want him around me.  I have no problems just he and doing something together and not having another adults company; he's great company.
So pre-school.  Jacob is going to school 4 afternoons a week and taking the bus one way.  He seems so little but so big all at the same time.  He's starting to be quite the little independent man; wanting to do more and more for himself, by himself.  The latest thing is he will ask me what something is and then tell me I'm wrong and what it actually is.  Example; he's watching Land Before Time right now and they showed the sun up close so it's a ball of fire.  He asks what that is and I explain it's the sun and the sun is a ball of fire; his response, "no, that's just fire, not the sun."  I've started to just ask him back what things are instead and see what he figures out.  And tease....  he loves teasing and will say to me, "I'm just teasing you" with a big grin on his face.  STOP!  I want all of this time to just stand still and savor it.  So I'm trying to be more and more thankful for the right now and not try to rush tomorrow.  In other parts of my life I'm totally trying to speed things up.  Work has changed and I'm not sure that I'm supposed to be there anymore so I've started exploring a bit but once you get accustomed to a certain pay grid and position it is a bit difficult to go down.  I feel a wee bit trapped in this little town because I don't know what I could do or where I could go.  I want time to speed up simply because my plan is to finish my degree, get my master's and open up my own counselling practise.  Specializing in working with folks with cognitive difficulties.  I really enjoy people with limited cognitive functioning and finding a counsellor for them is really difficult, so really it's an untapped market.  So hurry time.  Then of course there's the never ending saga of my love life.  I wish sometimes I could wake up 8 years down the road to children bouncing on my bed and my husband groggily asking if I'm going to make coffee.  Then of course reality sinks in and I think, "what if in 8 years I'm still not any closer to being Mrs....."  So this one I'm at a toss up, hurry up or enjoy right now.  I think I want time to hurry up in that department because I want to be at a different place in life but then I wonder if life will be that much different.  Maybe I won't be my own boss as a counsellor, maybe there won't be a bunch of kids and only a 12 year old, and how do I feel about all that.  I should be very happy and feel blessed I know but I wonder if I feel that way.  I've always had the "dream" of what life would be like "when".  Then I've started realizing life is right now.  This is it.  DO I wish it were going faster or do I slow down and enjoy it right now and what I have right now.  I am a dreamer, have always been that way but sometimes I do wish I could turn the dreams off and appreciate the moment more right now.