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Well, once again I haven't been updating my journal, and once again I feel compelled to sit here and let people know what's been going on.

I had lunch in Oakland today. I took the bus there, and I walked home. As I walked home, I thought about all of the other times I made that walk, most of which were when Bob was in Presbyterian Hospital having open heart surgery back in the fall of 2000 (for some reason I didn't have a car then - I don't remember why or what happened to it).

Sharing these little glimpses of Bob is not about exorcizing demons ... it's more like setting small birds or insects free.

At any rate, I just got home from the hospital. My Grandmother has been there for a little over a week now, and she's been on a ventilator for a little more than a day. Knowing about it was one thing; seeing it was another. That she has all of these tubes and gizmos, and that she can't speak... Feeding tube down her nose, IVs running everywhere ... just awful. She's tiny - under 5 feet and under 100 lbs on a good day - but she just looks so unbelievably small with all that stuff coming out of her. It was like The Count of Monte Christo, and the old man who could only communicate with his eyes (I haven't read it since 7th grade or so, so forgive me if I get it wrong). She kept furrowing her brow and I could tell she was upset about something, only it was like trying to read a language that I never learned. It was so frustrating and awful that I barely stayed 20 minutes, and I felt like a heel for it.

Last night my Mother and I had a fairly long discussion on a single morbid topic: Is it worse for it to be sudden and unexpected and horrible, or to be long and drawn-out and horrible?

What does everyone else think?

Bonus topic:

I was having a conversation with someone today about which one of us would outlive the other one, and, by extension, about how the first one to go would die (this was sparked by my assertion that I always knew I would outlive Bob by a lot, although I always expected he would die by overdose, or, barring that, that something would go wrong with his mechanical heart valve. Shows how much I know). Anybody out there have any sense of when I'm going to die? When you're going to die? My friend Courtney is sure she's going to drown (because she dreams about drowning a lot, apparently). I always wanted to go by overdose, but I'm not sure that's how it will happen.

Ah, opiates ...

Comments

( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
ratphooey
Feb. 10th, 2004 05:18 pm (UTC)
Having experienced both in my family, I believe that long and drawn-out is much worse that sudden and unexpected.
hopita
Feb. 10th, 2004 05:21 pm (UTC)
Re:
I tend to agree.

The only good thing about long and drawn out is that you get ample chance to say goodbye.
ratphooey
Feb. 10th, 2004 05:24 pm (UTC)
How much of a chance do you need?

After Lorne's death, I've tried to make sure that the people I love know it. When I feel I need to apologize for something, I do it.

If you don't leave things unsaid, you're in good shape should the worst happen.

Long and drawn-out is exhausting, mentally, and often physically. It's not worth the trade off, IMHO.

BTW, I love ya! Just don't take that as permission to get hit by a bus or anything.
rawdolphin
Feb. 10th, 2004 05:30 pm (UTC)
Re:
> I love ya! Just don't take that as permission to get hit by a bus or anything.

heh. that's sweet.
Re: - hopita - Feb. 10th, 2004 05:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: - hopita - Feb. 10th, 2004 05:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ratphooey - Feb. 10th, 2004 06:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: - rawdolphin - Feb. 10th, 2004 06:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Anonymous)
Feb. 11th, 2004 08:18 am (UTC)
Re:
I'll disagree. I've also experienced both, and while it's painful watching someone you love wither and fade away, death comes as a relief, an end to their sufferring - and yours. Sudden passings are more painful. There's no closure and a lot regret. So, so much that you wished you could say to someone gets left unsaid.

As to Hope's 'second part'. I have no clue how I'm going to die. My plans to quit smoking *should* reduce my chances of getting cancer. Back when I saw you last, Hope in '96, and I was working the Giant Eagle-BP two job thing, most of my family and extendedfamily feared that I was going to go out in a bicycle accident cause by some intoxicated South Side driver. I'm figuring though, with my bad luck, I'm going to live forever.
(Anonymous)
Feb. 11th, 2004 08:19 am (UTC)
Oops again, that was by Me
Forgot to sign (...again),

--Alan
ratphooey
Feb. 11th, 2004 08:33 am (UTC)
It's precisely all that suffering that's so hard.

Do you peel band-aids away bit by bit, too?
Re: differing opinions - hopita - Feb. 11th, 2004 09:00 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: differing opinions - (Anonymous) - Feb. 11th, 2004 09:07 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: - (Anonymous) - Feb. 11th, 2004 09:03 am (UTC) - Expand
rawdolphin
Feb. 10th, 2004 05:34 pm (UTC)
I've always been "certain" that I will die a violent, gory death at the hands of some strange stranger. This is silly but it was confirmed in a quiz & that my body would never be found. Annoying. <:
hopita
Feb. 10th, 2004 05:49 pm (UTC)
Re:
Like Sid & Nancy: "a blaze of glory ..."

Back in high school (and on into college), my friend Brian and I were both sure we were going to die like that - a hail of gunfire, a vicious fight - but I don't really feel that way anymore. I did get one part right, though, and that's that I'll fight like Hell if it's too soon.

See, except for an overdose. The times that I've OD'd ... well, OK, on cocaine I was Freaking Out (with a capital FREAKING OUT), but when I OD'd on heroin I just fell asleep, and when I OD'd on K I felt strangely at peace with being dead.

Man, this is not good.
rawdolphin
Feb. 10th, 2004 06:03 pm (UTC)
Re:
On co-op in L.A. I had just stepped into the shower when everything started rumbling. I was born in L.A. but panicked anyway, not knowing why lol I ran little tiny circles in the bathroom, terrified I'd be found dead with my nekkid butt sticking up over the toliet.

(sorry, "hospital humour")
hopita
Feb. 10th, 2004 06:09 pm (UTC)
Re:
And speaking of hospital humor ...

I was reminded of an old friend, Bill Shannon* (aka "Crutchmaster") the other day. I Googled him, and found many, many links.

I wish I'd written down which one, but one of them was this nice, long article that had one section which was subtitled "A Very Special [Something-or-Other; I forget what]." I bust out howling. Ever since you clued me in to the use of the phrase, every time I see it, it cracks me up.

I'll see if I can find that article again.



* ratphooey: He went to Falk with us (along with his brother, Ben?), but only for a minute. That said, I believe he was in our homeroom.
Re: - hopita - Feb. 10th, 2004 06:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: - rawdolphin - Feb. 10th, 2004 06:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: - hopita - Feb. 10th, 2004 06:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: - rawdolphin - Feb. 10th, 2004 06:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: - hopita - Feb. 10th, 2004 06:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ratphooey - Feb. 11th, 2004 09:34 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Bill Shannon - hopita - Feb. 11th, 2004 09:47 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Bill Shannon - hopita - Feb. 11th, 2004 09:55 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ratphooey - Feb. 11th, 2004 10:29 am (UTC) - Expand
morrigan716
Feb. 10th, 2004 07:07 pm (UTC)
I'm hoping to either die in my sleep or simply drop dead. Of course the odds are slim of either.
hopita
Feb. 10th, 2004 07:37 pm (UTC)
Re:
I'd be hip to dying in my sleep. That is the appeal of overdose, after all (well, that, and the whole drugasm thing ...)
(Anonymous)
Feb. 10th, 2004 08:43 pm (UTC)
Re:
yeah, I hope I die in my sleep...going out doing something really great sounds the next best-- the feeling it will be gory isn't fun, I'd prefer to pass on that one...

dolphin (too lazy to sign in)
ericaceous
Feb. 11th, 2004 06:09 am (UTC)
Drawn out gets my vote for more horrible. I'm so sorry you are dealing with your grandmother's illness so soon after your loss.
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )

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