Easy as A, B, C . . .
My story is coming along very well with the help of my critique family. Here’s a sampling of a chapter in which I think you may get a feel for one small trial we found ourselves in: Tell me, please, if this should make it into the book about our adopted and medically challenged son…
“Well, I would like you guys to sign a D.N.R. We need it in his file. It’s a do-not-resuscitate order. It’s to inform the medical professionals how to conduct your wishes. If you have one signed, you are not held legally responsible. If Ezra stops breathing, you can sit on your hands and not call an ambulance. If you have seen a doctor within thirty days, you can make a humane decision to release him from his state of suffering. He need not suffer here in a vegetative state in the name of love.”
He was very stern in his statements. It didn’t feel like he was trying to force us to do something we were not ready to do, but to inform us of all our legal rights and choices.
I did feel he was making a judgment about our decisions to use extra measures to sustain our little boy’s life for our selfish reasons. I felt the hair on the back of my neck rise along with the quickening of my heart. My face became warm and so did my breath. I was sure the doctor could see the steam coming out of my ears. Anger welled up in me quickly and it took all of my energy to keep my resolve. I was at first silent, but did not remain that way for long. I didn’t yell, which was my instinct. I just stated in an even tone:
“I did not choose the use of modern technology to keep him alive after birth,” I said, then continued with hardly a pause enough to breathe. “The decisions that were made were made by the hospital and the birthmother back in New Jersey.
“I did however choose to love a baby who is medically fragile and who I knew would be technologically dependent. I have chosen to give him food and comfort which I see as my duty as his mother. I don’t know that I can just sit on my hands if he were to stop breathing and watch him die before my eyes.” I continued with what I felt was a confession: “I can agree with you here and now and even sign papers while things are all calm. But I know myself well enough to know that when a crisis comes up and my son stops breathing, I will want everything to be done. In a crisis, it won’t matter what I’ve signed. I will tell them to do everything.”
The doctor continued further into my rights and the legality of things. The more I heard about my legal rights the less I wanted to have a piece of paper dictating any urgent situation.
“If a D.N.R. is signed, the doctors and nurses will hold to it if you are not present.” he said.
Thank you for reading my Wednesday W.I.P. see you in a few weeks CariKay…