What he did by who he is
Wednesday June 06th 2007, 10:41 am
Filed under: Life

I wrote the following as a comment yesterday on the blog of a doctor who was talking about the headline of the day. I lived this, I wrote this, I own this, and I decided I wanted it here, too. This is not to downplay the importance of my family nor the nurses at Stanford four years ago, but this was a crucial moment that changed everything. Everything–writing this blog, my site, my book, my patterns, my other manuscripts, the things I’ve knitted, the things I’ve given, everything I’ve done of myself in the last four years, not to mention getting to watch my two youngest graduate from high school and go on–came from what happened that day.

Quality of life has zero to do with what you can physically accomplish. It has everything to do with how much you are able to give and receive love. The end of life is a time that can bring great healing and a lifetime of comfort between a patient and those around them--or not. When people get upset that their loved ones are suffering, what they don't realize is that what they're really upset about is that *they're* suffering, having to watch it happen. They're empathetic, and caring, and mean the best, but they don't have the blessing of having to directly and personally experience the failures of the body in the process, where there's this sense of great triumph simply in being alive the next day, still with your loved ones, no matter how crummy you feel.

I write this as someone who was once dying in a hospital bed--and my doctor walked in in the middle. I looked up at that kind, deeply compassionate man, and knew that he would blame himself for the rest of his life if I didn't make it. I couldn't do that to him. I had to pull through. Breathing through that night was the hardest thing I have ever done, but I did it. Because I was loved, not only by my family, but by someone whose needs transcended my own to me in those particular circumstances--because that good man loved a patient he didn't even know well.

And THAT is quality of life.

1 Comment so far
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All I have to say is: AMEN

Comment by Amanda 06.06.07 @ 11:53 am

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