Catholic caregiving blog — President’s day

We discussed sorting through the piles of paperwork in the apartment today, and touched on the Advance Directive, which Ruth has not filled out.  She said Alex and Max were her proxies, and I asked did they know what she wants? She started to answer and then broke down…I said sorry, that was insensitive, I am usually so cold-blooded about this. Then when she composed herself, she talked about not wanting to be kept alive on machines if there was no hope of recovery, for instance if she had surgery and it went wrong, or if the course of the disease made any quality of life unlikely. But if there was hope of recovery and quality of life, then yes, she would want to be resuscitated. We will revisit and fill out the forms before I leave. Clearly she has been thinking about her death, though, and is disturbed by it. I cannot imagine confronting death, as she is doing, without a coherent spiritual or religious framework.

Praying the joyful mysteries today I stopped trying to make something happen and had the humility to just pray before the mystery of of the miracles of the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Nativity, the Presentation, and the Finding of Jesus in the Temple.  Such extraordinary events, and we make them so routine and ordinary and forget the miracles.  Without prayer, my life would be a mire of misery, so I am extraordinarily grateful.  After spending the day inside, Ruth and I went for a cruise outside around the dogpark. The weather was mild and pleasant, the squirrels bustling around, birds declaiming whatever birds declaim. We checked out the daffodils just emerging from the still chilly soil, and were grateful for the companionship and fresh air.

Today I actually managed to do quite a bit of work — edit the letter from Willem, Lukas, Liliana and myself, have a long talk to Sophia at ADF about the Dignity Campaign, finish the blog on palliative care, and do all the necessary emails.  I also talked to Willie and Victoria about the caregiving/visiting arrangements when I return to Europe at the beginning of March.

 

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kpettus

I am a political theorist, oblate in the Order of St.Benedict, and advocate for universal rational access to essential controlled medicines for pain and palliative care in the lower and middle income countries. I work a lot in Vienna at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, and in Geneva at the World Health Organisation, and the Human Rights Council representing the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care. Right now I am full time caregiver to my sister Ruth, who has brain cancer and lives in Baltimore. I am also writing a Catholic Caregiver's blog to document the experience.

2 thoughts on “Catholic caregiving blog — President’s day”

  1. I’m sure you know about The Conversation Project, and about Five Wishes. These can be helpful in walking through the decision process ❤️

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