Not to be overly dramatic, but I almost died. I sent my daughter off to camp the other day and was sitting and eating a bagel with this salmon-dill-spread stuff on it. Something (fish bone? piece of plastic? hand of god?) stuck me in my throat, right at the gag reflex. I started retching, really hard, repeatedly and could not stop (spoiler alert: I lived). From my training as a paramedic, I knew the Heimlich maneuver would do nothing. I also knew if I passed out (which I was getting closer to by the retch), I would either relax and keep breathing, or die. As I felt myself getting foggy, I grabbed the phone and started to dial 911, thank god for E-911 . Just then, whatever it was got unstuck. I fell to the floor, exhausted, but breathing and conscious.
So, does one’s life pass in front of one’s eyes as s/he is dying? Well, if I qualify for the later, the answer is, um, no. Luckily, who wants to relive first grade? No, but there were thoughts among the panic. Mainly, as you can guess, my daughter.
No one knows her daily 24-hour care although several people could put it together. Who would care for her? Her mother can barely care for our son (if you call it care). Why on earth would anyone want to take it on?
Hey, her dad died, succumbed to a bagel, the poor schmuck, would you like his severely disabled daughter who needs 24 hour care and will consume your life?
A close friend of mine just "adopted" a "disabled" beagle (yes, the dog). Poor thing has no movement or control from the waist down (the dog, not my friend). You have to push on its butt-hole to get it to poop when you "walk" it, etc. So, I guess my point is that there are wackos out there willing to take this stuff on. But then, even that dog does not hold a candle to what my daughter needs.
I have given thought over the years to my mortality and what would happen. There are people who would care for her, but that would mean putting her in a residential home and overseeing it. There is money put aside for her, etc. But that is not the life she now leads.
At my own expense (not monetary), she lives with me. I make sure that her quality of life, from her point of view, is the best it can be. I make sure she is smiling, comfortable, happy. Who else would? And if I die? or should I say, when I die?
About once a year you hear about these murder – suicides of a parent and a disabled child. I so understand that.
I pray that we go together. It’s just that I don’t want to be the catalyst for it.
I look at the spot in the bathroom where I collapsed the other day, holding on to life. It scares me. More for her than for me.
A new meaning to "I don’t want to die alone."
Some (wacky) people think that when the giant science experiment in Europe, CERN’s Large Hadron Collider is started up again, it will create a black hole that will cause life as we know it to cease to exist. Cool! And you know what, it’s scheduled to be tested next on my daughter’s birthday!
I don’t want to die alone.