Thursday, December 27, 2007

Dying wish

"What ever they do, please do not allow them to cut my leg"

That is a dying man's wish. He has been suffering for the past 3 weeks that started with a wound over his heel. Initially he brushed it off, " will heal by itself" but then gradually it got worse,; painful, foul smelling and discharging pus. He was too scared to go to the hospital, he has heard so much about the doctors there; the fearsome ones, the ones so happy to chop off people's legs.

For the past 5 years he had suffered from diabetes, he has not been taking his medications regularly. He figured, he should not be dependent on drugs; so if he felt weak he'll take a tablet or two but usually he felt fine. "Ah, the doctor must be mistaken, I am not like any other patients, I am not sick,"; that was what he had told himself over the years. And not only that, when it comes to eating he ate like there was no tomorrow.

As the years gone by his health slowly turned bad. His sight was not as good as before, the ophthalmologist told him that he had retinopathy, complications of the long standing chemical abuse of his body. The sugars have caused all this. And about 6 months ago his physician warned him, without proper diet and medications his kidneys may soon shutdown and he would require regular dialysis.

With all this warning signs he still continued as he wishes. His wife and children tried to help him adhere to the no sugar diet but then he gets absolutely pissed off and angry with them. To him, they are becoming an agent of the doctors to stop him from enjoying what is good in life.

Back the present day, his leg do not seemed so good. It has become more smelly and he can see the patchy bluish discoloration of the skin. And, the pain is unbearable. He has not been able to sleep the past three nights.

His wife is so worried. He is not well, very not well. She sees the change in him. He is so weak and at times, she felt he is not coherent. His fever has been persistent this past two days and his appetite is poor. She tried coaxing him to go to the hospital but he has been adamant. But today, finally, he agreed. She guessed that the pain is now so unbearable.

She took him to the ER. The medical assistant took his pressure and temperature. Immediately he was whisked into the Red Zone, the critical zone. Then what she saw was a flurry of movements. He was rested on the trolley, a doctor came and aked a brief summary of events, his medical illness....ah she can't remember. Blood was taken from his left arm and then after a few minutes lines were dangling from his arms.

Another doctor came, he looked more senior and respectful; he had this worried look on his face. The doctor summoned the wife and explained to her and the patient that he has gas gangrene of the leg. He explained that the infection is very severe and that it is causing 'blood poisoning' or sepsis. Without prompt and proper care he may die. The doctors will do the best for him but they need to sort out and eradicate the source of infection.

He heard the dreaded words coming out of the doctor's mouth, "sir, we have to amputate your leg to save your life". He felt his world spinning, he should not have come. Bravely he said no. Not in a million years, and not if his life depended on it.

She was standing by his side when the frenzy of movements around them started. The nurses and doctors asked her to step aside. More fluids and drugs are being pumped into him. He looked more dazed. Someone came by and told her that his pressure is very weak, it is due to the overwheming sepsis. The doctors need to support his body, they need to put him on a ventilator while the infection is being sorted out. He was then wheeled to the ICU.

She had to wait outside, it was a long wait. She prayed and prayed. Hopefully he will be all right. After half an hour an aide called her to inside the ICU. She was escorted to his bedside. There he laid, a tube sticking out his mouth connected to a machine. He was asleep.

The doctors came and talked to her. Explained that his life is in a precarious position. He may die. They are going to do their best to support his bodily functions, to stabilise him. However, once he is stable they need to remove the source of the infection; without surgery, without amputation, they fear that they can't do anything much to save his life.

Now since he can't make the decision and consent to the surgery she has to. She has to make the decision. But then, how much she loves him, how much she fears losing him she still remembers what he said. His wish. His wish to be whole, and life and in death. Painfully she decides, no!

As his wife, she is the guardian of his wish of his will. And painfully she watches him slip away.


Amin said...

This is not the first time that I heard this kind of 'story'.. some people are rather choose dying than live and have so many pantangs.. I think it is their call on how they wanted to end their lives..

john f seademon said...

Brave guy...foolish, but brave.

But foolish.

But brave.

It's so difficult being indecisive. But it's better than being not sure about things.

Anonymous said...

He was selfish. He wanted to enjoy his life the way he wanted and left his family the burden. Don't see any bravery in that. He was a coward. Pity the wife.

john f seademon said...

There's nothing braver than wanting to die.

Imagine the million questions you're answerable to.

He was stupid, but brave...

Bakawali said...

I think it is not a matter of being brave to die. It's being afraid to live, to change, to adapt.

Coz being brave to die is like committing suicide.

But as bystanders we all just have to watch as it is never our right to decide anything.