When we made these choices in our living wills, I think we both pictured ourselves lying in an acute care ward having reached the end of the line without the assistance of tubes and ventilators. It’s easy to say “unplug me” in such a scenario.
But the reality of Mom’s situation isn’t like that at all. She’s alert and positive. It cracks her up when I can’t understand her and she has to try to enunciate very clearly while I stare at her with an intense look on my face as I try to comprehend.
She eagerly participates in all her rehabilitation exercises, obediently lifting first one arm and then the other 10 times. While she’s sitting in her bed, she’s making a fist over and over to strengthen her hand.
She does this, she says, because she wants to come home and she knows doing her exercises is the best path to that goal.
Sometimes, situations seem as if they will be black and white until you actually face them and discover they aren’t that way at all.
Vicki Williams is a columnist for the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached through the newspaper at firstname.lastname@example.org.