Both my grandmothers are still alive. I am in my late 40’s and they are 95 and 99. How is it possible? Genetics? Modern Medicine? Both being non-believers, prayer has not kept them alive well beyond their natural life spans. The eldest of the two is a body in a wheelchair. She seems o.k. on the outside. No tears, no complaints, that’s because she can’t speak, she feels nothing, remembers no one. The other grandma who has been pulled from her death bed several times, today plays pinochle with her family and puts puzzles together. Undeniably an accomplishment. But at a high cost.
Both live in the same nursing home. By the way, it is the same nursing home my father’s grandmother was kept till she died. My 99 year old grandma has been unable to care for herself for over 15 years. My fathers’ mother who is a young 95 has been there at least 5. I visit them both with dread, I can only see my possible future there. Is this where I am going to end up? What are we going to do with my Mom when the time comes? It seems strange the men in our family have managed to avoid a stay St. Johns.
You and I can only hope to die fairly quickly and at home. But, in reality that is rare. My mom, and maybe I will both end up in the same nursing home eventually thanks to modern medicine. Should we be thankful? Sometimes I don’t think so.
My mother in law is very ill and today is in the hospital for the third time in as many years. A grandmother of 6. She is now recovering from surgery again to remove “cancer” even though I have yet to hear the word spoken out loud. She, like both my grandmothers do not have health insurance. Who is paying for their health care? My in-laws are conservative, religious fundamentalists and anti-government so therefore were convinced they could pay for their own health care. Damn it. But, now while they are still paying cash for the first course of treatment and thought their prayers were answered the first time. It was not over. Did they really think it was over, and did not plan for more trips to the hospital? They will never be able to pay for all of the medical bills in their life time and grandma may still die sooner than later anyway. I saw it coming. Not one of my grandmothers held a decent paying job their whole lives, so their social security payment is not enough to pay for rent and utilities. That is why my in-laws “chose” to live in an old camper trailer next to the ruined brown Blue River in Nebraska. God have mercy.
My own mother, a grandma of 7 has type 2 diabetes. Who will take care of her. Me? You? She and Dad can’t afford it much longer even though they both worked hard their whole lives.
Both my Grandmothers have been widows for decades, both are and were always dirt poor. I am not saying pull the plug on grandmas, I ask for universal health care for all, for the young and old. If not, then what about the four Grandmas’ living children, what about them, should they be responsible for their care? Not one of them are paying a dime towards their mothers care. You and I are already, so why not try and reign in the cost. Otherwise, the baby boomers will break the bank.
This situation is we have those who say every life at every moment of existence should be kept alive no matter what but at what cost? Then they do not want to have to pay taxes in order to accomplish that. Who is supposed to take care of these priceless souls?
Doctors are asked to play God when they extend our lives beyond our natural life span, but it is not ok to shorten a life for one who is suffering a painful inevitable death. We spend a million dollars on a preemie born three months early and will spend a million to extend a life 3 years. I am not saying each life is not worth 2 million, but where is that 2 million coming from. If I could pay 2 million for a longer life that would be great. That is impossible, unless we share the cost of care and bring down the inflated price for life.