Thursday, May 01, 2008

ACP - Advanced Care Planning

I can understand why families have a hard time making end of life decisions. If they decide that DNR is best and comfort care is provided, the family can feel as if they are "giving up" on their loved one. If they want to prolong life at all costs, they may feel guilty that they are making them live in pain. What if a person with a DNR just needs a little help now and still has a couple years left? What if you're making the person live a life that you think is best when all they really want is a good ol' juicy cheeseburger? What if you give him that cheeseburger and it essentially kills him? What if you had just stuck to the healthy way and he would still be there five years down the road but those years would be painful?

While I do not have a person family member experiencing this now - she is better than any person, she is my dog. Come July 18, she will turn 13. My mom called me yesterday and said that she thought she had died the other day because she wouldn't get up and wasn't even moving very much to breathe. Kashmira has been with me more than half of my life. I haven't really talked with my mom about this, but I'm pretty sure she thinks that we should put her down soon. But, what if...? My mind is racing, and the tears are flowing.

I feel guilty that I haven't been with her very much the past several years I've been in school. I try to remind myself of all of the things that we did get to do together. When we were both much younger, she pulled me in a sled every where. It was the highlight of my day to come home from school and go race around on the trails by my house with her. She even had a real dog sled harness! Then she had puppies and they were oh so cute. Then we would go walking all around the woods all of the time. She loved to go to the park on Main St. and chase the squirrels. She would get very antsy whenever I would take her for a walk because she seemed to like it so much. Then, she was my only companion for a while, and we did everything together- including going to school! Then she traveled with me. We stayed next to a gopher town in N.D. and she had a blast there trying to hunt them down. (Of course it didn't work). We went to MT, UT, and NV. She stayed there for a while, then came back to MN with my mom and sister. I took her back out to MT to live for a while. It was funny watching her pounce through the deep snow. She got sprayed by a skunk one night after she had been to the groomer (or else she found a dead skunk and rolled in it). Classic. She tried to chase the deer once out there ( I know it is uncouth, but I couldn't stop her). Then she came back to MN and has lived with my mom until now.

I don't know what to do.

Disclaimer, she is 80% fur. When ever she gets wet you can see her body and she is not as big as she looks with her puffy fur.

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