I’m in a unique situation where I have family, but they are all cousins in the majority. I have only one brother left of four. My parents and all my aunts and uncles are gone. Being almost 72 years old puts me out there in the old age category.
My mom was only 16 when she had me. My dad was 20, yet both have been gone for over 20 years. I still have friends my age that have their mom still around. It amazes me the longevity of some people.
I have only one nephew and one neice. My nephew is married and he and his wife recently added a son to their family. But the neice is another story.
She has been sickly most of her life and is only 42 years old. Her condition led her to dialysis. She can not have a kidney transplant due to other health issues. As of last November she decided to discontinue her dialysis because of a severe allergic reaction to the procedure. She had to go have this done three times a week and it left her in agony with itching. They tried other approaches to the procedure, but nothing changed.
Upon deciding to discontinue the treatment she was told she would have about six weeks to live. Some of her friends said she was committing suicide. She called me. As a Chaplain I have to look at the situation from the prospective of perhaps someone that discontinues treatment for something other than this, like cancer. The effects of treatment can be very disconcerting. In the medical field discontinuing treatment is considered an “informed decision”. They know the end result will still be to die. In most cases treatment only prolongs, but does not cure.
In her case dialysis is not a favorable way to live with the side effects she was having knowing the only possible way of correcting her issue was via a transplant, which was not viable. After talking with her I am convinced that she has made her decision as wisely as she feels possible. I cannot fix it or advise her otherwise except to be assured she is right with God. That she feels is okay.
We all face death. Her position is that she is to be there soon. She has made peace with it. Have you even though you have no issues? Or maybe you do.