She started having problems breathing two nights ago -- breathing very fast and shallow breaths. She was also listless, not eating, and not going to the bathroom. I took her to the doctor this morning, and the doctor said she could drain the fluid from around her lungs, and we could try Lasix to keep the fluid from coming back, but her kidneys also appeared to be small. The doctor said the stress could cause her to have a heart attack at any time.
My mother has had all these symptoms, and we drained her lungs, put her on Lasix, BP and heart meds, have monitored her kidney function, and she continues to hang on seven years after the first symptom. Of course, she has dementia now as a result, is wheelchair-bound, incontinent, and on hospice in her memory care facility.
The patient I'm referred to at the top of this post was my 16-year-old kitty, and after conferring with the vet, we decided to let her go peacefully this afternoon. She didn't suffer, wasn't in pain, and never lost her dignity.
Something sure is messed up in our world...
Sure, that's easy for me to say since I'm not particularly old and am in fine health, but watching all the treatments we've done through all these years with my mom that were declined in 15 minutes for a cat just boggles my mind. The cat had a quality of life until the day she died. Mom hasn't had quality of life since 2014, and yet the doctors just kept sending her to specialists and prescribing more medications. With the dementia she isn't able to say what she wants, and honestly, she still doesn't know she's old so maybe she doesn't mind this sad existence as much as I do.
I think the most important thing we can do is to educate ourselves as much as possible as to the ramifications of illnesses we may come down with and decide what we really want in terms of quality of life. No one wants to die, but at some point you should have a clear idea of what you will tolerate and make sure your loved ones know. It takes a strong person to make those decisions, and we're stronger when we're younger. We need to make those choices sooner than later.
Sorry to ramble, but the cat got the better end than my mother has had.
I saw an intersting doco on the +80 age group being admitted into ICU in Sydney yrs back. Somehow the status of medicos went from snake oil peddlers & weird witch doctors in ancient times to such lofty heights in modern times that regular folk seem to believe doctors, surgeons & specialists can heal anything & should just keep trying. Sad but very interesting.
One elderly gent was just in such shock that nothing could be done for his dear elderly wife (end stage heart disease I think). He said he just never thought they would get old 😞.