When It's Over
“ When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.”
– Mary Oliver (1935 – 2019)
I spent the last month performing the duties of a medical health care agent for my dear friend Celeste.
She was hospitalized for two months while doctors tried to stabilize her congestive heart failure. She had vying teams of cardiologists and nephrologists attempting to rid her of water weight without overloading her kidneys. By mid-January, her condition deteriorated further as her organs struggled to respond to medical treatment.
Celeste was exhausted, anxious and confused by the conflicting messages she received from numerous hospitalist and specialists.
Celeste’s primary care physician and I agreed that if this continued she would end up dying in the ICU. We also knew from her Advance Directives that this was not what she wanted. She wished to die at home surrounded by family and friends.
I called for a consult with a hospice doctor and confronted Celeste’s young cardiologist as he made his morning rounds. I frankly told him that Celeste wanted to go home to die. He protested and explained that he wanted to perform another catheterization to measure the pressure inside her heart.
We dueled for supremacy for a few minutes and much to my surprise he pivoted and squatted in front of Celeste. He asked her about her wishes.
She told him she wanted to go home.
It is imperative to appoint your Medical Health Care Proxy to help you navigate the gauntlet of rotating hospitalists and specialists that provide care in our hospitals. I explore that and more in the Conscious Transitions – Winter 2019 Workbook (Part II).
Let's get started together.
Kitty Edwards, Executive Director
I've created Part II of the Conscious Transitions Workbook – Winter 2019 as a guide to helping you get started. It includes worksheets, thought-provoking questions, ceremony, resources and more. Take the next step.