Since the accident, I’ve been working under the assumption that we have two options:
1.My father is stabilized, eventually gets out of the ICU and the hospital, and we do whatever we can to find him the resources he needs so that he can live a meaningful life.
2.My father decides he cannot live a meaningful life in this new reality and opts to refuse care and die.
I’ve been back in town for a couple of days now. In the last week, my father just has not been able to catch a break. He developed pneumonia. The halo they fitted him with failed to stabilize his neck, so now he will need a relatively risky surgery instead (which will in turn delay the tracheostomy, continuing his frustration at his inability to communicate). He had a raging fever, probably from the pneumonia, although we weren’t entirely sure at first, which meant the surgery had to be delayed indefinitely.
Watching him go through this, I belatedly realized that there was a third option:
3. My father wants to live, and we do everything we can to get him stabilized and recovered, but too many other factors intervene, and he dies anyway.
His fever, as of today, is in retreat, and I feel like he’s dodged another bullet. But I just don’t know how many more we’re facing.
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