This shook me to my core

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    Last post ago over 4 years by timwilcob
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        I was chatting with a male friend today and I asked him how his sister was. 

        I had met her once before and she has something like Parkinsons disease but it's not actually that.  She cannot control her muscles properly and she is in some pain.

        He told me that she is filling in forms to end her suffering through one of the euthanasia companies in Switzerland.  He told me that it costs £30k and that she has split up and shared all her worldly goods and cash with her children.  I felt this horrible stone cold feeling in the pit of my stomach and it made me feel so sad and shocked and miserable....I can't really describe it.  It was horrible.

        I asked him if he has tried to persuade her not to do it and he said he had.  He just had this look of "what can I do" on his face and he seemed so resigned to it and of course, so very sad.  How can he possibly deal with this terrible news, it is his sister after all.

        I must admit, It has made me feel sad and tearful and I can't get it out of my head. 

        I don't know how I would cope if someone in my family told me something as shocking as this.

        Have you ever heard of anyone planning to go to one of these places.  What are your thoughts on this very delicate subject.

        blue
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        Very sad. As long as she has her full mind left, I believe she knows in her heart how much more pain and suffering she and her family can bare. My heart goes out to her and family, which must be the hardest decision to make.  Very unselfish. I admire her.  The problem is...how someone, whether Dr. or just a idiot, just looks for a way to make Big money at a person in need to be in peace. I hope she finds her peace at last.  God Bless her and her family.
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        Painful subject?  Yes.  Necessary discussion?  For me personally, Yes.

        Please bear in mind that I'm telling you the following things so maybe you can feel what it's like to be in her shoes.

        I'm 55 & terminally ill with end-stage COPD.  2 yrs ago a doctor gave me a year to live, but for several reasons, I'm doing better now & have been since Jan; so much better that my pulmonologist told me my prognosis has changed quite a bit - barring get sick with a lung infection of any type.  Now, even tho I'm feeling better & am able to move around more, my lungs are still only functioning at 28% (as of Jan), and will only get worse.  There is NO improvement in lung function possible.  I'm on oxygen 24/7 - permanently attached to what I lovingly call my "umbilical cord".  :D

        I'm so glad to have this temporary reprieve from the worst symptoms, but I know what it's like to not be able to walk 10 ft to the bathroom without being totally out of breath; to not be able to even blow my nose 'cus I don't have enough air in my lungs to do it;  to not be able to wash my hair without taking 3 mins to catch my breath, to wash my body without taking 5-7 mins to catch my breath after each section; to not be able to pick up my precious Lhasa Apso princess (17 lbs) anymore 'cus I don't have the breath to do it; to pass out without warning.  Forget about going anywhere by myself anymore (and I've always been fiercely independent), traveling or going out to dinner at a moment's notice, or even shopping if they don't have electric carts.  I'm pretty much housebound, and under the care of a Hospice program who sends out a nurse to see me once a week, and aides to change my bed & help me with whatever else I need.  I have to hire people to do my yardwork, my housework, and sometimes my shopping for me.

        I'm not telling you all this to make you feel sorry for me - please DON'T!!  I'm telling you so maybe you can imagine what it's like to not have any hope whatsoever of getting back to your healthy & capable self.  That is the hardest thing to accept and one I still have to remind myself of constantly.  I still want to do so many things that I simply can't do anymore, and sometime's I feel like I'm just sitting around waiting to die.  Add to that the guilt of being a burden to your loved ones, and the hopelessness of continually taking medications just to painfully prolong the inevitable, and suicide starts looking like an acceptable option - especially a painless suicide.

        I'm nowhere near the point that I would consider it, but I've told my BFF that if I get severely debilitated, it will be an option for me.  I keep hoping my heart will kick out before then (not uncommon for COPD people), but I have a pretty healthy heart.  I don't know how my disease is going to play out, but if I get really, really bad to where every breath is a horrendous struggle and I'm unable to do anything for myself anymore, I will be thinking about suicide.

        Oh, and for you smokers - I didn't quit until 2 years ago.  I was a heavy smoker for 35 yrs.  If I had quit in the early stages of this, I would have been doing much better.  Not preaching at you, tho, 'cus I loved my smoking & still walk thru clouds of smoke when possible, sniffing deeply!  LOL

        PS - My Mom lives with me and is very healthy, although very slow, so she's the cook & the company.
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        Oh blue... that is a very saddening thought, expecially for her brother. I did not know any such thing existed anywhere. That it is Switzerland does not surprise me though... They always do march to the beat of a different drummer it seems... always taking their own course. And that is not a bad thing, but this is a tough subject to consider. That doing this would cost 30,000 pounds is a shock...

        That someone would need/want this kind of relief from a life of pain and misery is not a new idea and I can comprehend it. But then I was raised with the idea of euthanasia in such a situation from a very young age. My father espoused it back in the 1950's.

        True, when it came to his end he did not ask for it, but we did have to take him off life-support and let him go in peace. As we also had to do with my mother. But, that was when there was nothing left to do for them medically. Not when there was life still to be lived and hope to be found somewhere. Both of them went in the same hospital, in the same ICU, and in the same bed, but 10 years apart.

        It was a horribly hard thing to do, but we had the solace of knowing that that is what they believed in and their passings were peaceful and I hope for her brother's and family's sake they can find this kind of solace also. Knowing it ended her suffering and is what she believed in.

        katt
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        Lovely replies momzie and LhasaLover.  I do appreciate both of them.

        Lhasalover - I really can understand where you are coming from and what you are saying. 

        I think you are a very brave woman to face what you face every day and even braver to tell us about it. I 'm grateful for your reply because you have indeed made me see the other side to this thing.

        It does make me sad to see your words "I will be thinking about suicide."

        I'm so glad you have your Mum there to help you.

        blue



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        Blue,I'm so sorry to hear your news and I can understand how you feel.

         
        I can understand her decision and I wish her and her family the best.

        You and a few others know about my son and what we deal with and how hard it is to watch someone you love suffer.

        It is never an easy decision to make but being in terrible pain and knowing you will only get worse maybe it is a blessing.

        To LhasaLover,you sound like a remarkable woman and my thoughts and prayers are with you!
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        Thank you Katt - sorry for not responding in my prev. message but everything just kept freezing up and by the time I managed to post it, your reply was there.

        This must have been a very difficult time for you and probably one that seems as clear to you now as if it had happened yesterday.

        Life is so tough sometimes and some have it tougher than others and those people that have it tougher than others, always manage to smile if not in person, through their words.

        Rosebud.  Thank you for your kind words.

        blue




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        always ya have to consider the suffering and torment an ailing one feels day to day hour by hour.. meds are way to costly to be content with to be sure .. not only physical or mental suffering but inability to do things much people do so easily in life.. it really isn't such a bad thing these assisted suicides i presonally and tormented day to day , in so many ways from my illness .. not to mention screwed over in such a virulent and agressive society all my lifetime.. and basically paying out my butt with my pennies of my no doubt millions .. on more useless " broken toys" and high and irrationally priced meds. So i can completely understand this person's case for what she wishes .
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        I think it needs to be an option, openly discussed with your trusted Doctor.  (I am not trying to preach or start an arguement or anything with my next statement) If a woman can choose to terminate a pregnancy with the argument that it is her body, an able-minded adult who has been counsiled in the end process should be able to say when they want to leave their broken body.  Suicide being against the law is stupid.   But having said that, I would have a hard time hearing that from friends or family, but at the same time, if they were suffering it would be the most humane thing.  We do as much for the pets we love.
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        Thank you Tim and wmmeden for your insightful comments.

        Tim - I had no idea you were suffering as you are.  This topic really has opened peoples hearts in so many different ways.

        wmmeden - Thank you for your thought provoking post.  

        Thank you everyone for all your comments.  I can sort of see the "benefits" (wrong word but I can't think of a fitting one) of it and the reasoning behind it.  Nobody wants to see or hear of another person suffering and sadly, this thread has brought a lot of suffering from members to the foreground.  I know that none of you have mentioned your suffering for sympathy or pity but just a way to get across the other side of this and I thank you all for that.

        blue
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        I totally agree with your post, wmmeden!  I have never understood the logic behind making suicide illegal.  That's one of the most personal choices a person can make.

        Thank you, Blue & Rosebud, for your kind comments.  I don't consider myself either remarkable or brave (altho it was a little tough to write out that stuff for you guys).   It is what it is, and no wishing on my part will change it, so I will make the best of it - I've been like that my whole life.

        My new hobby that doesn't require any physical activity is couponing, and I'm LOVING it!  It's almost as fun as hitting a royal flush!  lolol  Especially when I can get great stuff for free.  I'm also about ready to try sewing again - I sewed most of my life as a hobby, but was too sick the last couple of years to even do that. 
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        I don't know anyone who went to such a place but honestly I don't know anyone with that much money. Euthanasia has to be a legal option for anyone who needs it. I don't mean to compare... but I remember the pain when I injured my knee - was terrible, I can't imagine the pain caused by some illnesses which are far more serious. I think that a person who make such a decision is very brave and the burden for everyone involved is enormous.  

        Thank you for sharing your life stories.
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        another thing i would like to point out .. is our mourning and the dreadful view we have to our passings.. think about it it is a natural path of one's life.. the inevitable outcome to our mortal coils. to die.. birth life and death is all our very own to have .. it is not necessarily a BAD thing to die on your own , or to die naturally. it part of the cycle for sure.. in some ways i try to say death isn't always a terrible thing to be mourned on .. i not know why we don't celebrate one's passing as if it were there greatest triumph roll out the kegs and party to one's passing but i seem to believe it happens to be a rather cristianized and vain philosophy to think of one's passing a terrible thing to face.
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        LhasaLover, timwilcob, rosebud, all of you that have shared your pain are very strong and wonderful people. It has given me the ability to say this now... I too suffer daily pain and illness and have done now for the last 3 years.

        I don't share it and try to keep the sunny side of me showing and up. But the truth of my days is the loss of the ability to do the things I once could do without thought, being mostly homebound as Lhasa is, only seeing the world now through the screen of this computer. And as the others, I do not say this for pity or to pull your heartstrings, but to share the following  truth.

        I know that I could not ever commit suicide on my own, but I do ask God every day to let my work here be done and to take my burdens and let me come home. So, the idea of euthanasia, going to sleep to never wake again in this world is an attractive alternative. To be able to die as a choice and not suffer anymore, to say my goodbye's and to go with some dignity seems a blessing.

        katt
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        Wow, Katt, I'm so sorry to hear that.  If you don't mind saying so, what illness has struck you?  3 years of pain is a lot to deal with, both physically & mentally.  It wears you down.  Fortunately, I don't have much of what I call pain with my COPD.  There are days I feel like I'm at the bottom of the pool with my lungs aching for air, but I don't call that pain.

        And Tim, do you mind telling us?  If either one of you is uncomfortable with telling us, I (and I think all of us) would certainly understand.

        I understand being so tired of being sick that death is not scary anymore.  I don't think anyone that hasn't been there can understand that, though; at least I didn't until I was there the 1st time.

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