What Would You Do?

@dorannmwin (36698)
United States
December 30, 2009 4:49pm CST
One of my very best friends has been my friend for the past ten years. Well, she has always called me for the holidays. She would call for every single holiday. Well, she didn't call for Christmas and I figured she was probably busy with her family and such. Well, today I got a call from her husband. He called and told me that Reesee had suffered a massive heart attack on the 23rd of this month. Since that heart attack she has been through two strokes. He called basically to get my opinion on weather or not they should pull the plug on life support. I love her to death and I hate to see her suffer. I don't think that going through the rest of her life blind and basically in a vegetative state would make her happy, but it was just so hard to say anything to her husband. Has anyone else ever been in this kind of situation? What would you say to the spouse of your friend? What is the best way to remember a friend who has faced death at a much too early age?
6 people like this
19 responses
@cynthiann (18619)
• Jamaica
31 Dec 09
Her husband is the only one to make that decision. you can only support him when he does make the decision. My children already know that I am not to be kept on any life support thingies. I do not want it. You will find that the cliche time is a healer is true. In time you will remember the nice things she did or said, then you will laugh at the funny things she said or did or something that you enjoyed together. My sincere condolences to you and your family.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
31 Dec 09
You decision and mine are quite the same. I don't ever want to have to be kept alive through life support systems unless they can establish that there is hope that I will have a meaningful quality of life afterwards.
@rainie30 (147)
• United States
31 Dec 09
I've never been in this situation, but my husband and I have talked in length after the Terri Schiavo case made national headlines. Neither of us would have the plug pulled, for us or anyone else, if it were up to us. God has given us such a gift, in this life of ours, and it isn't up to us when we end our time here. I know we are probably in the minority, and I am not saying we are right. It is just what we feel comfortable with. I feel bad for anyone in this situation, I can't even begin to imagine the pain. :(
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
31 Dec 09
I haven't taken the time up until this point to have a living will drawn up, but hearing of my own friend's suffering, I think that it is time that I do. For me, the decision is to not live in a vegetative state because my father was in that state for over three weeks and it was a time of tremendous suffering for us and I've thought that I don't ever want to have my family go through that.
@Spirit69 (11)
• United States
31 Dec 09
My deepest condolences your situation is not an easy one with a right or wrong answer. I'm guessing that her husband called you hoping you knew her opinion on being kept alive, he is facing a decision no one should have to face and would like reassurance that he is making the right one. Unfortunately none of us know the future so it is impossible to be sure when making a decision like this one. If he is not talking to a counsler, pastor or other professional you could suggest to him he talk to someone to help him sort his feelngs. Assure him that whatever decision he makes you will support his decision because your friend choose him as her husband and trusted his judgement. As to your question on the best way to remember a friend listen to your heart you already know.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
31 Dec 09
I did assure him that whatever decision that he ends up making is the right decision because that is the only place that I felt I could really stand in the situation. I somewhat know her feelings on this kind of situation but I also don't really think that it is right for me to tell him what to do.
@cher913 (25890)
• Canada
31 Dec 09
what can you do? it is hard to see a loved one suffer. my dad passed away this past february and he was only 73 (much too young!) my hubbys aunt has got lou gerhigs disease which is really a difficult diseasse and theyare only giving her three more months to live. maybe you could make a scrapbook of the fune times you had together.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
31 Dec 09
I really do love scrapbooking so I am definitely going to make a scrapbook of the times that the two of us shared together. We've been friends for such a long time and the things that we shared together were very important to me. She is one of my daughter's two god-mothers. She was the Cross bearer in my wedding, I photographed her wedding and she was the only person that wasn't in my family that came to visit me at the hospital after my son was born.
@koalatbs (2230)
• United States
31 Dec 09
I am so sorry dorannmwin. That is awful. How old is she? I have never been in that kind of situation and hope I never have to deal with anything like that. I feel so bad for her husband and her family. Please let us know what happens. Take care.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
31 Dec 09
She is actually 45 years old, she is several years older than me, but if you were to ever meet her you would think that she is much younger than her years show. She was the rock in my life during a time when I was going through so much that I thought I would not be able to go on. I will make sure to keep everyone updated on what happens.
• United States
31 Dec 09
I read this and shed tears for your friend. SHe is in a tight spot than only God can do something. Basically I would not lose hope upto the last minute. I would believe that she will survive and live again. The life support machine should stay on until such a time that this lady's life goes off completely. Just let her hold on to her life, coz you never know what miracles can do. Just believe that the best can happen and be hopeful, pray to the most high being for help and all will surely be well even if it means that your friend goes to rest at last... Take heart and just b strong as you comfort and advise your friend's husband
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
31 Dec 09
Thank you so much for this. You've brought me to tears again for the I don't know how many times I've cried since I learned this yesterday, but until the time comes where there can no longer be any ray of hope I am going to continue to pray for a miracle.
@allknowing (68605)
• India
31 Dec 09
My advice would be that her husband should cling on to that ray of hope that she might recover which happens sometimes. The guilt he will have if he pulls out the life support will be worse than having to see his wife in that vegetative state. This is my opinion dora...
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
31 Dec 09
Thank you so very much for sharing your opinion. I know that at least for the next couple of days he is going to cling to that ray of hope and between he and myself we have started a massive prayer chain for her. This hurts so bad. It doesn't ever seem fair to me that the people that are the best people seem to always be taken from the life that they love at such a young age.
• United States
31 Dec 09
Well I was faced with such a decision in September when my mom got really sick. She was on a vent and they were not able to remove the vent/live support w/o her struggling to breath & she had to be sedated to be on a vent. So hard to hear the Dr say "if she makes it off the vent, it could be a matter of days - at max a year for her to live"..... that was one of the hardest things I'd ever heard nor to decide on. As they could do surgery and put a vent thru her throat but she'd sill probably have to be sedated to a degree & would have to be put in a specialized nursing home ontop of it wich would be alteast 90 min away. She was not happy in the nursing home, never happy much in her life at all. I think of this decision everyday as I'm only 33 and know of no one else who's had to make this decision. So it's still really fresh in my head yet and I think of that day often. I dunno that this is something you have a say in her Husband has this obligation to make the decision. I would get all the facts as to her prospects of living any kind of normal life. Would intense physical therapy do the job or is there just too much damage from the strokes? I don't think being on life support in a vegitative state is anything anyone would want. The expense would be huge & the quality of life would not be there either. If you don't say anything, just let him know you will support whatever his decision may be. And if it is to let her go please make sure you can visit her so that you may make peace in your heart with his decision.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
31 Dec 09
I honestly believe that the reason that Bobby called me is because both Reesee and he have heard me talk about the fact that we had to face this very same decision with my father. That was 15 years ago when he suffered a massive heart attack and they brought him back with the paddles, but he never woke up after it. They kept him in the hospital for over three weeks before God took him home.
• China
31 Dec 09
It a hard time for your friend,and the decision is hard to make too,if i have the same sitiuation,i would rather to pull the plug by my relation,even they will feeled so sadness for a short time.but it can reduce the pain for all of us in longer time ,just in my opine.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
31 Dec 09
I've been through something very similar to this in the past and it is a very hard decision to make. Ultimately it comes down to whether you are prepared for all of the suffering and grief to happen at once or if you would rather prolong the suffering that those that survive the loved one will go through only to know that there will be grief at the end of the process.
@myramae19 (667)
• Philippines
31 Dec 09
hi dorannmwin I know exactly how does it feel,I've been with this situation before, My mom suffered from a intestine cancer, Its hard for us watching her with so much pain,its tortured us as well, we almost give up and my mom says she won't take the treatment, but my dad says we will do everything we can, so she went through a series of chemotherapy and operations, we spent a lot of money and its worth it, because she had survived,and now she's very healthy. about your friend situation, if the family can afford for a treatment, her life might extend. Goodluck.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
31 Dec 09
It is wonderful to hear that your mother had such a great outcome. I guess she is living proof of the fact that miracles do happen.
@sid556 (31005)
• United States
31 Dec 09
Hi dorannmwin, Oh I would not want to be one to even help with that decision and certainly not on the phone. I think if I were you I would say that I needed to see her and talk to her doctor before I could possibly answer. I would want to know if there was even a slight chance of her doing a turn around and living a life of quality. I would just need more information and time to think before giving him any kind of answer. Pulling the plug is permanent and a very very tough decision. Take your time and ask a lot of questions so that you all feel confident that you are making the right decision regardless of which way you go with it. I'm sorry that you are put in such a painful spot during the holidays.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
31 Dec 09
I've been praying about this since yesterday when Bobby called and told me about the situation. Unfortunately distance makes it impossible for me to be able and go to see her and to talk to her doctor. I will have to decide if it is more important for me to go down there now or if it is more important for me to go later. We don't have a lot of money so we can't just travel down there willy-nilly so I've also been praying about when I should go because I did tell her husband to let me know when he needed me and that I would be there.
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
31 Dec 09
oh my god dorannmwin been there a nd done that and it is not easy nobody can tell you you have to be there, to take away a life, thats murder, i know I know, she is in bad shape. I was there and my hands sweated and i shook all over. Mrs. hatley how long do you want us to use heroic measures? We should just pull the plug now. but you have to give permissions. I asked my son, and he told the doctor we would phone my husbands sister and ask what she thought we should do. she said tell them to wait til tomorrow.so we told them, two hours later God took him home, that is the best way, otherwise we are going to feel always that we killed someone.Tell the spouse to wait, God know the best time to take her,and he will take her.remember your friend as she was whenyou and her were very close, its best that way. I am sorry for you and your friend and her husband. good luck God bless.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
31 Dec 09
The doctor told Bobby that he would give her two more days to see what happened. I pray that God will make the decision for him in those two days because I know what an ultimately painful decision it is to have to make that kind of a decision.
@PeacefulWmn9 (10424)
• United States
31 Dec 09
How sad, Dorann. My goodness, I would not want to advise anyone on this either way. I would tell him, hard as it is, that you think the decision is his. The best way to remember a truly good friend is just that...remember them, grieve, but remember each and every good thing about them, or write a little tribute about them or a letter to them and tuck it away. My prayers go out to all who love this lady. karen
@Thoroughrob (11750)
• United States
30 Dec 09
I am sorry you are in the situation. I would be hones with her husband, but also very sympathetic. He knows she would not want to live like that also. We went through something similar with my grandma. Hers kept happening over months, and she kept getting worse, and we had to make a decision of when enough was enough. It is rough, but you have to think of what is best for them.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
31 Dec 09
You are exactly right on this one I believe. You don't want to make the decision to keep them here if you know that the person is suffering because that is a selfish decision. You have to think about the person themself and think about how happy they would be.
• United States
30 Dec 09
First of all I would like to say how sorry i am for your friend and her family. I have never been in that sort of situation but I just recently had a friend that passed away from being sick and he was also too young. My husband and I used to get together at least twice a month for cards and would go camping a ton in the summer and the sickness that he had came on and took him down quick. He was in the hospital off and on for around 5 months and while he was not on life support the sickness we know caused him pain although he tried not to show it. It is hard in situations like this because there is always that what if and the unknown there. On one hand you don't want to see her suffer and be in pain but on the other if you do pull the plug what if she could of came out of it and been alright maybe not even fully the same but even if just half of herself. My husband and I have talked about this a few times and I have told him that I myself would want him to keep me on life support or let me live in a vegetative state just because even while I may not be able to respond I am still alive and I would want to stay that way so I can enjoy and see my family. They say that even though one can not talk while in that state they can still hear you and I would want someone to fight for me and I would hope that I too wold fight for myself. There are many factors that I would look at like how much care is it going to take and will it help her? Is there any chance at all even the very slightest that she may pull out of this and be alright even just like I said half of herself? Are there kids involved? The best way to remember her is when she was at her best happy, loving and carefree... I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers and please keep us upodated.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
31 Dec 09
From what I can gather, the doctor seems to think that if there is any chance at all it is going to happen in the next 48 (24 now) hours. On the one hand, the good thing to think about is that she has never had children of her own, though she went through many miscarriages. I honestly think that the reason that Bobby called me is because they probably shared between themselves and Reesee knew that when I was a teenager my father was also in coma following a massive heart attack and remained that way for over three weeks. He wasn't on life support, but the only thing that was really keeping him going was a feeding tube.
• United States
30 Dec 09
Awww, I'm so very sorry about your good friend. That's so sad. That's pretty hard to answer and I could see how you wouldn't even know what to say to him. It's going to have to be his decision. I understand quite clearly how you probably feel she wouldn't want to live like this, I wouldn't either, and my kids know that. But I couldn't help make the decision for someone else. Remember your friend the way she was, and all the fun you had together. I'm sure that is one thing she would want you to do. You can always put together a small special album of youself and her if you have enough pictures. Again, I'm sorry to hear about this.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
31 Dec 09
I would love to be able to put together an album of some of the times that we have shared over the years. I know that I've got pictures from a few visits here as well as from my wedding, she was the bearer of the Cross and from her wedding, I actually have an entire album from that alone because she asked me to photograph it. I gave them a disk of them but I kept a copy for myself as well. And I know that she has pictures of other events as well.
@natnickeep (2340)
• United States
30 Dec 09
First of all I am very sorry for you and for her and her family. Never being in this situation it really is hard to judge. I always tell myself if they are just gonna suffer than I would let them go. But really if it was my husband or someone really close it would be so hard to do this. I think this is something you will have to think about. I think he wants to let her go and was basically asking for your okay. He needs to feel like it is not wrong. I think you should tell him it would be okay to let her go but that it really is his decision.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
31 Dec 09
What I told him initially was that whatever decision that he wanted to make was the right decision. I don't want him to ever think that I was the reason that it happened. I realize that they've only been married for just over five years and I've known Reesee a lot longer than he has, but I still don't feel that it is my place to really have any say in the situation.
@Bethany1202 (3432)
• United States
30 Dec 09
Oh my goodness, I am so sorry to hear that! I don't know what I would have said to the husband, either. That's so sad. Luckily I have never been in such a situation. I think I would be honest to the husband and tell him exactly what you wrote here. I don't think I'd want to remain living in a vegetative state, either after something like that!
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
31 Dec 09
I know that I would not want to go on living in a vegatitive state. I want my quality of life to always be a good one and I hope that when my time does come that it is something quick so that no one will have to make these kind of painful decisions for me.
@nitu1952 (286)
• India
31 Dec 09
actually what the happens is the curiousity to enjoy the every moment of holidays with full zeal and zest. as holidays bring in our lives relaxation from the pressure of work and it releives student from their their studies in a very vbetter way. i would like to go to shimla on 3ist december.