Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Steady State Vegetative

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less,...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee. - John Donne (1839) 

Hearing of someone succumbing to coma made me realize that Miranda's days are numbered.  Longevity does depend on our conscious brain pushing the entire body along in health. But what is the point of those vegetative years? That's a hard question. The easy answer is that long illness, at any age, is not uncommon and arduous experiences may be long-term good. But that is not an answer if, all of a sudden, it happens to you. On hindsight some may prefer abrupt termination, such as in an aircraft crash. We do not live life based on hindsight. We cannot. But it is vexatious to us who left the door ajar in the faith that God may do a miracle. We cannot turn the clock back on a bad outcome. I can't escape the occasional guilt that I perpetrated her current zombie condition. Damned if I didn't proceed with her life-saving operation and damned if I did. But the former would have haunted me the rest of my life wondering  "what if?" No choice - just keep faith. Then as our lives get drawn down with time, keeping faith is getting harder.

Saturday Jan 31 9 pm: Today is just like any other but it would be 34 years we have been together. Getting more sunshine, and vitamin C for her skin blisters...

Friday Feb 14 3 pm: Blisters all over - is it Bullus Pemphigoit? The open sores should avoid visitors. Quite rare, attacking sick elderly.

Wednesday,  Lunar Year eve: So Miranda was warded yesterday at Skin hospital with bleeding welts over a third of her body. Awaiting results of blood test and skin biopsy. Cradle bed care for possibly a week.
Monday Feb 23 3 pm: Her numerous scars were starting to heal and allowed to return home from cradle bed care. But one week of lying in bed means she would have to restart softening her rigid limbs again by physio. Lost 4 kg of fluid.

Friday Mar 6 1 pm: So tests confirm Bullus Pemphigoit,  but 1 week of hospitalization had weakened her considerably. Back to the hard work of strengthening her posture and breathing. The review today shows she has to fight the autoimmune disease for another month.

Saturday Mar 14 1 pm: Her skin condition prompted a daily dose of sunshine daily, when for the past years she had been convalescing in the air-con shade. Tried to excite her for all the warm felicitation of her 25 years work at BTI, but I doubt she even recognize herself in the photograph. Maybe next time.

Saturday Mar 21 7 pm: I think she's happy to be surrounded by people although I cannot verify. Her inability to speak greatest source of sadness.

Friday Mar 27 11 am: We buried Skipper today. With Pi he had been Miranda's constant companion at night and had been confused since her stroke. Both had bled from the stomach - Pi had amoeba infected dishwater and Skipper a ruptured tumor. I brought him to say goodbye but she was fast asleep.

<End of post> Next:  Tough Love

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