Help | Has Independence Vanished in the Haze?

There is an exercise that we use to help people understand recovery. I can’t give you the details. If I told you, I’d have to kill you!

Help by the Beatles

Help! I think I need somebody.

What I can tell you is that we play the Beatles song “Help” during the exercise. The lyrics of the song make it clear that sometimes we just need somebody to help us do what we cannot do for ourselves…even if that means our independence vanishes in the haze!

We have needed more than a little help lately in our “neck of the woods.” Fortunately, we’re not afraid to ask for it.

I Need Help with the Renovations

We have been renovating our kitchen. Carpentry, painting, plumbing, electrical…you name it. It’s way “over my head.” I appreciate that there are people that have plenty of experience that offer their services.

I Need Help with the Laundry

Occasionally, I see an image of women in a third world country washing their clothing the “old fashioned way.” Wow! That’s all it takes to remind me of all the modern conveniences we enjoy.

This morning I put our king sized linens in the washing machine. In less than an hour, they were ready to be moved to the dryer. It would have been a colossal job without the help of the appropriate equipment. I appreciate Mr. Maytag who began manufacturing the electric washing machine in the early 1900s.

I Need Help Understanding Life Support

This one is a work in progress. We are still waiting and watching as my father in law continues to rest unconscious in the ICU.

Many of us have a living will. We think it will provide answers for our family if they are presented with an unexpected medical emergency. I have learned that there is very little that is clear cut when you’re dealing with a situation like this.

I’ll provide a bit of history. My mother passed away a couple of years ago. She had cancer and her doctors had differing opinions about her ongoing care when the chemotherapy didn’t work.

The doctor that told us what we wanted to hear suggested that we continue blood transfusions until that was no longer working. As a result, my mom died a long slow painful death.

The doctor that suggested we discontinue the blood transfusions and let nature take its course was actually giving us sound counsel. We weren’t ready to hear it.

Mom was still very much in charge of her own care at that point so my sister and I weren’t responsible for making the decisions. She was looking to us to help her sort it out though.

It’s very different with my father in law. He has not regained consciousness since his accident a week ago. His kidneys are failing and today he is being put on dialysis. The doctor in charge of his kidneys says that he won’t let the kidneys be the reason he doesn’t make it.

Yesterday, after more tests, the neurologist asked if there was a living will. And, if there is a living will, why the family was moving forward with dialysis. In his opinion, if his condition hasn’t improved (and has actually deteriorated) in the last week it is highly likely that even if he does regain consciousness he will not be returning to a life he would want to live.

That’s why my father in law (or any of us for that matter) execute a living will. No heroics. Just let me go.

It’s just not that simple. And, we need help sorting it out! What is really clear to me is that life support happens in limitless ways. For my mom, it was blood transfusions. In this case, it’s dialysis.

We think we just need to authorize someone to “pull the plug.” If you’re still breathing on your own, there’s no plug to pull!

I appreciate the help and guidance we are receiving…even though it’s a bit hazy.

What could you use a little help with? Have you asked for it?

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