Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Modern Medicine

This morning, when I come in to the bedroom to change Bea, she tells me her knee hurts. She is in such excruciating pain that moving the leg is agony.

As I remove the comforter and cover her upper body with the lovely shawl my sister-in-law knit for her, the overwhelming odor of a bowel movement slips out from under the sheets and quickly engulfs the room.

“I wish I were dead!” Bea exclaims in a very unhappy voice.

“There, there. No, you don’t,” I could have said but don’t. All I utter are a few words of comfort.

If Mother is still alive at 96 ½, her meds are responsible, along with a successful angioplasty in 1995.

I do not think people should have to continue living if they do not want to, once their quality of life has deteriorated so completely, impacting the lives of caretakers.

Before breakfast, I give Bea a painkiller.

Modern medicine prolongs life. Luckily, it also relieves pain.

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