A family’s choice

Today was a fruitless 10 hour hospital vigil waiting for the doctor to discharge Mom back to the nursing home. The doctor finally showed up at 5 p.m., spent about 3 minutes with Mom and gave the green light for discharge. Of course, by then it was too late in the day, so Mom is stuck in the hospital another night.

The woman sharing Mom’s room is very ill. She’s in renal failure and is refusing more treatment, which included dialysis and amputations of her hand and foot. Her family gathered today for the big decision.

There was tension, tears and bubbly giggles from the woman’s many grandkids. The doctor stressed to the family how the woman was capable of making this decision and how it should be honored.

While earlier it seemed things might get ugly, in the end, the family did the right thing. The woman will start home hospice tomorrow.

The family’s painful day made Mom and I think about Dad and the decisions made for his care.

One has to balance love with mercy in these situations. Often, people confuse the two but today, mercy won.

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