Not the ‘plug’ so to speak. Life support is one thing…this is another I guess.
Backstory: My SO and I visited his mum for her 95th birthday in a nursing home over the weekend. Bit of a pointless excercise really, because mum is so far gone in her twilight state that any consciousness of what is going on around her is virtually absent. She doesn’t have any immediate physical health issues except skeletal pain from arthritis (which has progressively immobilised her over the years) and of course some degree of senile dementia which is very hard to determine because of the amount of narcotic medicaments she is on for pain relief.
It was a very sad and sorry sight. My SO only visits her irregularly because the nursing home is many hundreds of kilometres from where we live, and initially he didn’t even recognise her (another relative does visit daily). She lay curled into a sling-bed fast asleep, much like an infant. The arrival of all the family to wish her a happy birthday barely roused her, and of course there was all but no recognition on her part of who these people were. She did eventually wake and enjoyed a few mouthfuls of sponge-cake before closing her eyes and drifting back into sleep. Oh, and she’s been like this for the last five years btw.
This COULD turn into a rant, but I’d rather seek opinions about what others’ feel their “use-by” time should be. In my case, there is no freakin’ way I want to end up in a nursing home, no matter how well run and kindly the establishment might be. The minute I don’t recognise my kids, or when I spend more time asleep than conscious and aware of what is going on in the world, I’m outta here.
I regularly give instructions to my kids (somewhat tongue-in-cheek at the moment) about administering a lethal mix of some nice happy-place drug into my arm when I become a cranky old crone, but I’ve been making it more serious in more recent times. I don’t want them feeding me or changing my nappy. I don’t want them to watch my sad decline into full blown dementia or having to shake and prod me to wake when they visit. When my memory or my alertness goes, so go I…THAT is the end of my life IMHO, not when I stop breathing my emphysemic gasps or my heart goes pfhhht.
So, no plug as such, but when do you want the curtains drawn, the final encore called, the fat lady to sing in your life?