So is an angiogram advisable for a woman with advanced lung disease? If they find a blockage and put in a stent, will it make a difference? Is it time to talk about comfort, dignity and unfortunately - reality?
Today someone said "end of life issues" and "end stage COPD". I don't think they meant Mom isn't going to graduate from this hospital stay, but were suggesting a different view, a different approach to her illness and acute episodes. It can't be fixed. COPD is incurable, the lungs just don't work after a while. And as much as I miss smoking, watching my mother basically suffocating to death is a real good reason to never start again.
I wish I knew what to expect. Will her heart give out during an acute breathing episode? Will a breathing episode become so acute she passes out and then needs to be kept sedated? What happens when someone dies from COPD, emphysema type? Does it have to be violent?
Morbid, yes. Not something pretty or blog fodder for that matter. But I have to think about it. I have to know what I am preparing myself for. If any family will be there with her when it happens it will be me, and probably my daughter. Is there a peaceful way for her to go? Is there a way for her to pass gently without gasping for breath and straining for air? Because I would want to choose that for her.
She doesn't want to die. But if she must, I want to choose the easiest route for her. Do I get to pick?