September 19, 2009

A New Perspective on Tired

I went to bed last night not wanting to get up this morning to train.

I woke up this morning at 4:45, slogging through the bedroom to the bathroom, eyes half closed as I put on my running clothes. The entire time I brushed my hair I thought, "This is the longest season ever. It needs to be over."

Over and over in my head, on the drive down, I thought, "Five more weeks. Five more weeks and I don't have to do this anymore."

My race may be over, but my team has another 4 weeks before the other half does the Nike Women's in San Fran. So I show up every Saturday morning and train with them.

I canceled doing the Jacksonville Marine Corps half because I'm just too damn tired. I'm exhausted.

My days start at 6AM and end at 6PM on some nights, 9:30PM on others and 7PM on yet others... ending meaning I'm home for the night, but not finished with helping kids with homework, projects, or preparation for the next day. I fall into bed emotionally, mentally and physically exhausted from working the hours I'm working (this week was nearly 40 hours), hauling kids around, playing cheerleader, helping with homework, and cooking.

My husband has been able to cook the meals on two of the nights and he has officially taken over for me with the child who is struggling the most in school, Bones. I hit my threshold last week. I can't do it with him anymore. So my husband has stepped up, had meetings with the teachers, and is keeping track of his schedules, homework and tests.

Having a totally pegged ADHD child without meds is draining beyond belief. We may have to look back into meds to get him through school. Failing 5th grade is not an option.

And so it was with my life being what it is, that I drove half asleep to training, thinking, "I know others are doing chemo, but this has got to end. It's too much for me. I'm f***ing tired."

I got to training this morning and saw our Honored Hero's Mom. I love her to pieces, she is funny and engaging. She is blunt about what is going on around her... honest.

She is honest.

He has been in the hospital since 6 September when he started to seize from a medication that someone should not have prescribed for him. I kept track of his progress through his Mother at training and through his Caring Bridge website.

This morning I found out he got home Thursday and I was so happy. And as his mother and I talked, and talked... she told me... he is done. He wants to die now.

He is 21.

I'm probably going to lose some readers here and my stance on this is not up for debate. This is one of the many places I deviate from the Conservative Party line, which is why I'm an Independent.

I'm OK with physician assisted suicide if the patient is terminally ill and doesn't want to live anymore. Nobody should make that decision for the patient, but if the patient doesn't want to live... then they should be allowed to end it pain free.

And that's where he is. He wants to die. His mother told him we're in a 'no die state' and it is what it is. It's a very personal decision, what they are going through, something so awful.

Yet they don't have the choice here.

His choice is to have no more treatment, call in Hospice and wallow in a long deterioration until he finally succumbs to the disease or to continue to fight it, armed with his pain killers, until the disease takes him when his body and science can fight no more.

Neither are options he likes. He is tired. He is done. He hates this. He is ready, even though in reality, his body probably is not.

And I'm sad for them.

I'm sad for what never was, what could never be, what will never be. I'm sad for seven years of hell.

He is tired. The family is tired.

And suddenly... I realize... I'm not.

Posted by Boudicca at September 19, 2009 02:46 PM

oh. crap.

for the record: i'm also in favor of physician assisted suicide.

Posted by: wRitErsbLock at September 19, 2009 03:24 PM

yes...deciding to die is a personal choice. I know that don't want to be hooked up to damn tubes with someone having take care of my every need. Hell, I want to go out with my boots on...preferably getting shot by a jealous husband just shy of my 100th birthday

Posted by: GUYK at September 19, 2009 04:27 PM

((Big Hugs)) I'll be sending thoughts and prayers for him and his family, and for you.

Posted by: DogsDontPurr at September 19, 2009 04:30 PM

I totally understand where you're coming from in regards to being tired. As a single mom that raised three boys, worked full time and didn't do near the things you do, I was exhausted. I couldn't even imagine through marathons and half-marathons into all that chaos.

You can cheer me on in the Marine Corps Half-marathon from home while spending quality time with your children.

As to the issue of physician assisted suicide, I agree with you. I have never understood why we treat our animals more humanly than humans. When a pet is suffering and dying, we take it to the Vet and he ends it's suffering. Yet, we make humans suffer. I don't get it.

I hope the young man's suffering ends soon for his sake.

Posted by: sticks at September 19, 2009 08:05 PM

I do dog rescue. We are kinder to our animals than our people. You can tell from looking into thier eyes - when they are ready - they look at you and you know. I hold them close, tell them it is okay and let them go. We could be that kind to someone we love. It should be a person's choice.

Posted by: Donna at September 20, 2009 10:03 AM

Every human on earth should have the right to pass in peace when it is their time, with those around them remembering them fondly.

With Bones - Just believe its worth it. He needs to learn to deal with the world off of the medicine, but 5th grade might not be the right time. Just be supportive and strong. Most of what he will say and do will not make sense (yet) to an analytic mind, he has to make sense out of the world himself, one idiosyncracy at a time. Even if you are not the primary in dealing with the day to day be there with support. Looking back, I have sainted my mother for constantly being there with support, but not letting me make excuses. That, by the way, was not always the prevailing thought at time (when I was 12 +/-). The disability is NOT and excuse, but a challenge that CAN be overcome, and part of your genius.

Posted by: Web at September 21, 2009 07:24 AM

I agree with the others, when it's your time you should be able to die with dignity.

And while the state may not assit him with it, it is still possible. Right at a pharmacy there are enough things that he can take that would allow him to go with dignity and not much pain.

When I know my time is coming and the medical field will not help I will take matters into my own hands, at that time I will have enough prescription meds avilable to do the job.

A family friends mother had lung cancer, was on her death bed in a hospice and hospice helped her silently when the doctors and state wouldn't allow it, just a little to much morphine and she was gone peacefully. Illegal yes, but a compassionate risk the facility takes.

Posted by: Quality Weenie at September 21, 2009 08:56 AM

Bou: I am trying to figure out where I stand on this. In the past I would have said, I am not in favor of physician-assisted suicide. However, I'm more coming to the conclusion that it is federally (and even state)-sanctioned assisted suicide that I am not in favor of. It would open the door to an abuse of power I don't care to contemplate.

Opting for intentional death is obviously a very personal decision. But even in states that are not "right-to-die", as Quality Weenie pointed out, physicians will sometimes tell terminal patients how to use their prescribed medications to achieve their goal. This strikes me as the best possible approach, since the person is given the tools but must act deliberately and autonomously to use them. There will be cases where a person may not be able to do this, but I think it is better to err on the side of accidentally living longer (even with the misery) than to open the door to a Netherlands-type system which applies suicide assistance in a broader manner.

There, for example, physicians can determine whether an infant born with disabilities will be able to lead a "quality" life. Without parental consent they can euthanize neonates deemed unviable. I find it horrifying, but maybe I'm just a wuss.

Posted by: PeggyU at September 21, 2009 11:42 AM

Physician assisted suicide... That's a tough one. When the government gets involved, like they are in Oregon, then it becomes such an annoyance- and often it seems like the govt. makes the decision. I'm torn.

My neighbor's wife died a week ago. 6 weeks ago she was diagnosed with lung cancer. It spread to her brain. She did chemo and radiation but it was just too much. 6 weeks- diagnosis to death. Is it better for it to be quick? I don't know...

Posted by: Jody at September 21, 2009 06:23 PM