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TOPIC TITLE: Personal Directives
Created On 1/24/06 1:10 AM
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BubbeSarai
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Posts: 7
Joined: Jan 2006

1/24/06 1:10 AM
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I am in the process of tidying up the loose ends of my life. I have a rare, untreatable, degenerative and always fatal medical disorder. My health situation is also quite volatile. Each "event" could be fatal... or could leave me further disabled (which has been the case). I absolutely do NOT want to be kept alive in a vegetative state. My family do not support my choice for a personal directive. However, I know that my husband and sons are having difficulty coping NOW as my physical health continues to decline. I do not want to die but I certainly do not want to decline much further either. I have a happy, adjusted but full life. I take 30 mg. Celexa daily for what has been diagnosed as "reactive depression". I am not suicidal and have no intention of ending my life. My husband disagrees and considers my disinterest in pursuit of further medical intervention to be a form of passive suicidality. So... in all this mental meandering.. just what is my question? I am not really quite sure myself. I have a signed and notarized Personal Directive but don't know if this is what I want. One of my doctors suggested it might be a good idea to help give them some guidance during critical events. It all just seems so harsh and cold. Friends keep telling me how very strong I am and how they all just admire me so much. Really doesn't help you know. I just want to sit down and sulk in a great big puddle of tears and feel sorry for myself for a bit. I am quite tired of being all brave and strong and making all the right decisions for everybody else and helping everybody else feel better. I am even tired of telling medical staff that it is "okay" when they hurt me. So... you are the expert here... Dig through all this drivel, figure out what I am asking... then give me the answer. And don't tell me to see a psychiatrist.. I see one... very nice fellow, but I have somehow gotten sucked into wanting to make HIM feel better by convincing him that I am coping so much better since I started seeing him.... And I can't even tell him since I don't want him to feel bad. ARRRRRRGH! I really am nuts aren't I.


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Moulded from dust... Be ever mindful of the insignificance of where you came from.
 
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Dr. Price MD
Psychiatrist

Posts: 1946
Joined: Jan 2006

1/26/06 11:36 PM
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It's hard for me to even know when to begin without knowing you as a person, psychologically and spiritually.
I can tell you about another true situation. I was asked to visit the home of an extremely chronically medically ill person whom had virtually no hope of recovery. The family thought this person was depressed and maybe if I could help alleviate the depression the person would recover. We ended up meeting at the home every Tuesday night (Tuesdays with....) and our talks were more about life, children, G-d, afterlife, writing memoirs, poems, songs, and art etc. culimating in a peaceful feeling that we could someone make sense of our brief time in this world. At first, I resented being cast by the family into the role of fixer or miracle worker. In the end, these were some of the most meaningful discussions I think the two of us ever had in our lives. If you are interested, I would recommend engaging in such an open, honest relationship and letting at least one person know how you truly feel.

Rabbi Price, M.D.
 
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BubbeSarai
Junior Supporter

Posts: 7
Joined: Jan 2006

1/27/06 1:01 AM
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Ah, but you see there is the problem. You are quite right in that it would be good for me to have a close confidante to speak openly with... but I have never learned how. I have spent my life as a listener (my imma, of blessed memory, told me you learn more that way). As for my faith, I listen.... you learn more that way. I do quietly shake my fist and let g-d know every once in awhile that I am not so sure things in the world are being done the way they ought to be.

The difficulty is that I no longer have the physical or emotional energy to be the one people come to and the one everybody counts on. How can I grieve the loss of my own life if they are so unwilling to accept that I am dying?

Regards, Sarai


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Moulded from dust... Be ever mindful of the insignificance of where you came from.
 
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Dr. Price MD
Psychiatrist

Posts: 1946
Joined: Jan 2006

1/27/06 1:24 PM
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I forgot to mention. The other function I had in that person's situation was as a liaison to the family helping them better understand the individual and cope with their own fear and anger. After a lifetime of giving and listening, it may be time for you to receive back.

Good Shabbos,

Rabbi Price, M.D.
 
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