Monday, February 15, 2016

Sunset comes to us all...

A Good Death

    The Murphinator had a mild heart attack on Groundhog Day. Once the EMT's were called, all sorts of emergency protocols were activated. He was admitted to the hospital in Bend and was scheduled for an angioplasty. He ended up getting the old stent that had been in his artery replaced by a new one and then another one was added. Then, they said there was something worrisome in his lungs, so he got another CAT scan. More tests were scheduled. Each time the results came in their assessment of his heart and lungs got worse. “Seems there is more damage to the heart than we thought,” the cardiologist said. “Might have a tumor in his lungs.”

They did not find a tumor, despite 50+ years of heavy smoking. I think they were disappointed. By the time he was in there for 3 days, they were telling him that they wanted him to be fitted for a defibrillator vest that would zap him automatically to re-start his heart In case it suddenly stopped. They told him that if he went home without it, he could just drop dead anytime. He went home anyway.

Now a nurse is supposed to be coming to our house tomorrow to make some sort of assessment. I think she is wondering what the heck is wrong with us. We just don't seem to be going along with the program.

I hate to be one of these old guys who talk about their health all the time. But, I think it is an issue that we are all going to face at one time or another, and it bears some scrutiny.

Let's face it, we are all going to die. Unless you are one of those who intend to have their head frozen and eventually transplanted onto a different body someday, death will come to us all. We are encouraged to plan for a good life. But, doesn't that include a good death?

There is a lot of hysteria about “death panels.” Sarah Palin and cohorts are always screaming about “death panels” and how horrific they are. I ask, “horrible for whom?” One of my worst memories is a time when I went to a convalescent hospital and was begged by several poor souls tied to their wheelchairs to help them escape. I failed them. They were doomed to languish in a nursing home that would extend their suffering until their last dime was collected. After that, it seems, death is allowed. If a death panel (end of life planning) can help me avoid this fate that I consider worse than death, I am all for it.

How about planning for a good death? Personally, I don't think going out whilst being zapped repeatedly by a defibrillating vest is an ideal way to go. Either is going out while in the hospital hooked up to a bunch of medical equipment and surrounded by hospital staff is very good either. Hospice seems like it would be a lot better. They only work with terminally ill people, so I don't think being a candidate for a future heart attack qualifies. One really good thing about hospice in Oregon, though, is that it is free.

Money is something rarely talked about in a hospital. Nobody has any idea how much these things cost, even though they work with them all the time. How much is the vest? Uh, no idea. It's been three days, and nobody can tell us yet. How much does it cost per day for the bed in the hospital. Uh, no idea.

I picked up the prescriptions that the cardiologist ordered. Over three hundred dollars for the drugs and a THOUSAND dollars for the inhalers. WHAT?? I didn't get the inhalers.

The Murphman doesn't have medicare drug coverage because he had not been taking any drugs other than vitamins and baby aspirin. Guess we are going to have to work on that. But, how much of your savings and estate is one supposed to devote to the medical establishment and pharmaceutical companies? Is it the same for a young man with maybe young children to raise and a seventy-five year old man who has already accomplished most of what he has wanted to do? Personally, I think life should be a lifetime, not a life sentence.

So here we are. Preppers who are now at a different stage of life. Our culture is not a lot of help. We have lived and prepared for many forms of doom. Earthquakes, financial collapse, WWIII, political upheaval – you name it. But, we have not gotten our heads around not being able to physically keep it up around here anymore.

This winter is killing us. We have lost four buildings due to snow load, including the tipi. Half the poles have broken In half. We've had to hire a guy to feed the animals, shovel snow off the roofs, and transport heavy bags of feed. We just can't do it by ourselves anymore.

So, what do we do? I'd like to sell the place as a doomstead to someone who is into gardening and raising animals. Then, I'd like to move to Bend, where it is a lower elevation, warmer, and close to my son. There are also a lot more things to do there, like go to movies and plays and concerts and such. If we weren't pretty sure that financial collapse is immanent, I'd want to purchase a duplex with Micah (my son). But, if his job disappears, and credit is frozen, we could lose everything. Maybe we should purchase a mobile home in a park and let them do the groundskeeping. Once we do eventually kick the bucket, Micah would inherit the place, and do what he wants. It could be income property, or he could sell it and leave the country. Whatever. That is my goal – leave him something so he can get a leg up in this deteriorating economy.

The Millennials and GenXers are facing disaster. Their parents will be suffering from Alzheimers and other debilitating illnesses, and a great number of their children will be autistic. And, along the way, they all will be poisoned with lead, mercury, GMO food, toxic pesticides, and gender-bending chemical additives and vaccines. And, we can't forget the radiation that is giving us cancer as well. They are going to need all the help they can get. I can't see diverting our resources to the shameful medical cartel in this country.

I have read that a lot of people are choosing to end their lives on cruise ships. Go for a cruise and then jump off the ship when it nears reaching home. Interesting. I'm also wondering if it will become a movement to commit suicide in some politically dramatic way once we have nothing left to loose.

I'm taking suggestions around what we should do in this next stage of life. Any ideas?