Being a caregiver oftentimes you must make decisions. Whether you like it or not, most of those decisions are made right on the spot with no time to consider all the ramifications. There are a few that come to my mind, like a video, that I can see so clearly.
One of the important decisions that had to be made was when Connie had her first mastectomy. You can read about it in Chapter 8, “Alone”. I was stunned when the doctor came out with the x-ray in hand and said we need to put in a chest tube. I was not expecting that at all; it was like someone punched me in the gut. That spontaneous decision was made not knowing what the outcome would be. Right then and there I was told it was a life or death situation that I had to make. Connie’s life was in my hands.
Another life-changing decision that was made was when Connie was in intensive care for a few days. You can read about it in Chapter 27, “Time in the Hospital”. I arrived at the hospital after work. Connie said we needed to talk to the doctor about a DNR order. DNR stands for Do- Not- Resuscitate. That is a legal order written in a hospital or with a doctor that states you do not want cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), or intubation if your heart or breathing should stop. I was blindsided once more. I asked why we had to decide that and she explained if they performed CPR on her after all the radiation and chemo she had, it probably would break her ribs. She further explained that she could not recover from that. At first, I did not know how to respond. Connie said the doctor would be in shortly to talk about it so that decision could be made. At least this time I had a little bit of time to process it quickly.
When the doctor arrived, she basically conveyed the same thing. This would be our choice, but the doctor recommended we sign the papers so if anything would go wrong it would be in the chart. We agreed to what the doctor suggested, and this was Connie’s wishes as well. I had a lot to process after this.
Therefore, the first decision I had to make was to save her life and the second one was not to revive her, which potentially could lead to the very possibility of losing her. Here were two opposite ends of the spectrum in decisions that were made which I never connected until now. I will say that writing this blog has enlightened me on many things.
I learned that life is way too short; it goes by so quickly. You need to stop and smell the roses. Make the time to enjoy your family, and never stop telling them that you love them.
You never know when you have to make decisions.