When is When? - End of Life Decisions
My mind is racing with coulda, woulda, shoulda conversations. Why so many questions at 11:56 PM? That is an easy answer. I had to make an end life decision tonight for our precious pony, Edgar, earlier this evening. What led to the need for this decision? The cliff note version is our precious boy went into kidney failure.
I won't go into the long story that brought us here. Instead, my focus is the struggle with making that final call. You must understand, it didn't matter what values his blood work and urine sample came back with each day. This boy ignored the science that told us he should not be alive. Instead, he ate, drank and was perky with his dedicated care givers, both young and old. For over two weeks, we slept by him, fed him nutritious pastes, cold hosed feet, warm hosed cellulitis, provided and monitored every thing we could imagine. Our goal was palliative care. Even tonight with a ridiculously elevated temperature, pulse and respiration; as well as the ability to barely remain standing, most would say that he was still smiling to meet each one of us. He would still generously nibble that blade of grass we hand picked for him. Those gorgeous golden eyes simply would not lose hope for life.
With that will to live in mind, how could I make this call? Would there be a miracle? Should I let him suffer a little longer, since he still recognizes us all? I'm not looking for consolation. Instead, I am sharing this emotional wrestling match with those who have to ensure these circumstances. You aren't alone. It just seems lonely. Even when it's clear, it's rotten. It never feels heroic- no matter how right the decision is.
So thank you for reading my typed therapy session. Putting all these thoughts into this blog might just let my mind slow down and rest. I pray great peace to you if you must face these decisions, and don’t be afraid to reach out and express your fears and anxiety over such precious and weighty matters.