My father died on the operating table on this very day, 1988, yet existed for another six weeks.
Sad story short, he had been in denial of Cancer’s warning signs and waited too long. His surgeon had no sooner begun his procedure when he realized his patient was beyond help. Dad had further complicated matters by intentionally leaving blank his pre-op, advanced directives form. So, that categorized him as Full Code. That meant each and every time a medical crisis arose, he expected his doctors and nurses to engage in hospital heroics… at all costs.
We, his family, had also felt duty bound to honor his (by default) directive. Factoring in our false hopes for a miracle and…
Dad was doomed to lead a worthless, ventilator dependent, pharmacological false life. The final chapter of his life could’ve been titled: My In-Limbo Full Code HELL. Even worse, the ventilator tube did not permit him to speak… not even whisper. Hell, he couldn’t have told us “Enough is Enough” even had he wanted to.
Albeit briefly, my father did muster a rally. The ventilator now removed, we had hoped to talk to him but… the interaction of the regimen of painkiller drugs and/or his cancer metastasizing to his brain had prevented him from forming any intelligible words. About the only sound that sounded even remotely human was his yawn.
The erudite, college educated educator, who could lecture on higher
Math and all of the Sciences had now been reduced to a mere yawn.
Our hoped and prayed for miracle never came. My father’s indecision, eventually, became my mother’s decision and, within mere hours of her freeing her husband from his Full Code Prison, he took his final breath.
Don’t ever let this happen to any of your loved ones. Don’t ever let this happen to you.