Tales of my imminent demise

Posted by jdiakiw @jdiakiw, Dec 17, 2021

In January 2021, after an extensive battery of cardiac tests, I met with the TAVI cardiac team. at my Hospital. I was told that I need open heart surgery. But with all my other co-morbidities it was unlikely I would survive the operation. They regretted that there were no other viable options at this time. The valve replacement that I required was not yet possible via a TAVI intervention (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation.)

I was told, statistically it was unlikely I would last the year.
"A year, 12 months from now? " I asked,
"Yes, a year, I’m sorry "

I was given specific instructions such as "avoid all stairs, do not lift anything more than 10 lbs., amble, do not walk briskly, avoid slopes. Do not exert yourself" .
The thing is I believed them. I believe in science. They said they plugged in all my numbers and it spat out 1 year – 99% rate of demise!

One year max eh? Let me tell you that changes your behaviour. I left before I thought of other questions I should have asked. Does that mean no sky-diving or scuba diving? What about mountain climbing? Is ski-jumping ok if I don’t ski? Can I continue my equestrian qualifications? Can I still tapdance?

The nurse handed me two sugar cubes and advised me to not drive my car home until my blood sugar levels were back to normal.

As I left, I was handed a take home sheet

Tips for an Imminent Demise

Sell your snow tires you won’t need them anymore.
Say goodbye to Ann every time you nap. You won’t wake up from one of them.
Return all library books immediately
Your health card expires in December don’t bother renewing it;
Nor opt for the 2 year drivers licence.
If you plan to travel this year. Be sure to select the body bag return airfare insurance option .
If offered anaesthetic for any medical intervention . DO NOT ACCEPT IT!
Do try and visit with your children immediately. They should know you are on a short wick.
Don’t buy a 2 year planning calendar.
Purchase a life insurance policy if the payout is more than one year of payments.
Adding to your wardrobe is probably a waste of money. Besides there is little that can be done to improve your overall appearance. Your heart is bleeding everywhere!
I brought my recent issue of Fine Dining I picked up from my post box on my way to the meeting. They added, by hand "PS. Don’t renew your Fine Dining magazine you won’t be doing any cooking. In fact don’t renew any subscriptions

( Note: The above ‘tips’ are my poetic hyperbole. The instructions above the tips are verbatim. )

When you are told definitively, you are on a one year time clock, your behaviour changes. Tic tic tic! For one, every morning when I wake up , after confirming I am really still alive, I jump around, doing a little jig, shouting "holy shit I’m still alive".

I listen to my body very very carefully.
I look at the skin on my arms, rush down to the doc, (there is always one on call here). and I ask, "is this Epidermolysis bullosa (EB)? A terminal skin disease. He examines closely and says, that’s called ‘crepey skin’ due to aging. Hmmm. When I fart now I call 911 before I am even finished. I think my guts are falling out. Heartburn is the worst. I’m sure every time I have it, it is my final breath. "Annie! Call 911", I shout out at some point every day. Last night I had a funny little lightening bolt of pain in my head and sat bolt upright. That’s a stroke I thought. I waited with the medical alarm in my hand ready to press it if it returned. It didn’t. Sometimes someone will say after I complain,"you should go to the hospital and check that out"
"Are you kidding" I say. "People my age and condition don’t come ‘out of hospital"
How often have you heard, "Bill Webber went in for minor surgery and died of complications in the recovery room. I’m going in through emergency or not at all. "
I tell you, living out your last year is a pain in the ass! Wait. "Call 911" !

Stop talking about your death I’m told. "I’ve only got 11 days left. What else am I gonna talk about!"

I can hardly wait till Dec 31, ( if I make it) Boy am I gonna celebrate. Maybe I’ll hold a fake demise wake. January 1, -it’s the new me. . . Reborn! The energizer bunny. I’ll go down to some haberdasher and outfit myself with a new wardrobe. A wardrobe fit for having survived father death. Annus Horibilis! Gonna get out on Yonge Street and do some serious struttin’.
"Listen up everybody". I’ll shout, "I have something to say" . I’ll be tap dancing my way all the way to the ferry docks.

Then I’ll be booking my flight to Hong Kong, a train to Lhasa Tibet, then travelling overland with locals from Lhasa to Katmandu Nepal.
" Ouch, wait. What was that? Annie. Call 911". R

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Aging Well group.

@hopeful33250

@artist01

Moving from one place to another is always difficult, but your gracious attitude will help you greatly. Just reading your post has helped me!!

The outdoor environment sounds lovely and I'm sure you will find the gardens and the Waterway to be relaxing and peaceful. Perhaps you could ask them to change the name to Sunshine Lodge? I'm sure your sunny disposition will encourage them.

It's so nice to hear that you will keep in touch with your Connect friends. I'm glad to hear that Connect has been a lifeline for you as it has been for so many others.

I look forward to hearing from you again and seeing the view outside of your window. Be assured of the care and concern we all have for you.

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@hopeful33250 Thankyoe for your great message, Teresa!
Love the name change -Sunshine Lodge!

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@artist01

@loribmt and all. I just got word this week, after a four month wait, that there's finally a bed for me at a Long Term Care facility in beautiful Victoria, BC. Gulp. Even the name of the place, Sunset Lodge, conjures up ideas of termination! I leave next Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021.
My sons planned to drive here from the Okanagan area to help with the move and offer moral support, but the highways and byways are all washed out from the floods, mudslides, landslides, sink holes, and many bridges washed away lately. BC has been declared a State of Emergency for some time.
So, I'll go it alone, on my virtual white charger, and bravely face this new adventure! You guys know me well enough to know that all will be well and I'll be just fine. The Sunset Lodge Social Worker, Dietician and Medication staff have phoned me numerous times, are sounding very nice, friendly, intelligent and welcoming, and say they're excited to have me join them. The building has the Gorge Waterway running along right in front of the building, beautiful gardens, looks and sounds like a great place. I'm excited, scared, nervous …
… I'll miss all my friends at Assisted Living but know I'll meet new friends there.
I'll still keep in regular contact with all my wonderful Connect friends, for SURE! My lifeline!! 😊
Merry Christmas, everyone! Laurie ❤

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God Bless from New Jersey

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@hopeful33250

Hello @jdiakiw

I read your post above, finding it hard to believe that doctors would really give you a time limit on your life. Well, here you are, almost at the end of the time limit and you are extremely articulate and able to find humor in the situation. That is so good as well as encouraging.

I hope you have the energy to keep enjoying your family and the life you have. As we think of entering 2022, I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts. I'm rooting for you and hope that you continue to prove the doctors wrong, wrong, wrong!!

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When I told other doctors of mine, I must have 6 specialist treating me. They have all scoffed at the arrogance and stupidity of being told I have one year . While their view was mor dominant the one that sticks in your mind is this terminal one. There is an extensive literature : those with a left ventricular ejection fraction below 25% have 2-3 years life expectancy.

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@jdiakiw

When I told other doctors of mine, I must have 6 specialist treating me. They have all scoffed at the arrogance and stupidity of being told I have one year . While their view was mor dominant the one that sticks in your mind is this terminal one. There is an extensive literature : those with a left ventricular ejection fraction below 25% have 2-3 years life expectancy.

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@jdiakiw

Arrogance is a good description of the doctors who chose this arbitrary life limit. It certainly is understandable that this would be the discussion that is foremost in your memory. How long have had this low of an EF?

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@artist01

@loribmt and all. I just got word this week, after a four month wait, that there's finally a bed for me at a Long Term Care facility in beautiful Victoria, BC. Gulp. Even the name of the place, Sunset Lodge, conjures up ideas of termination! I leave next Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021.
My sons planned to drive here from the Okanagan area to help with the move and offer moral support, but the highways and byways are all washed out from the floods, mudslides, landslides, sink holes, and many bridges washed away lately. BC has been declared a State of Emergency for some time.
So, I'll go it alone, on my virtual white charger, and bravely face this new adventure! You guys know me well enough to know that all will be well and I'll be just fine. The Sunset Lodge Social Worker, Dietician and Medication staff have phoned me numerous times, are sounding very nice, friendly, intelligent and welcoming, and say they're excited to have me join them. The building has the Gorge Waterway running along right in front of the building, beautiful gardens, looks and sounds like a great place. I'm excited, scared, nervous …
… I'll miss all my friends at Assisted Living but know I'll meet new friends there.
I'll still keep in regular contact with all my wonderful Connect friends, for SURE! My lifeline!! 😊
Merry Christmas, everyone! Laurie ❤

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I am so sorry to know weather and road conditions do not allow your family to be with you. Thank you for sharing with us and know we care and keep you in our prayers.

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@markdeegan

God Bless from New Jersey

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@markdeegan. Thankyou very much, Mark. ❤ Laurie

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@ejrquast

I am so sorry to know weather and road conditions do not allow your family to be with you. Thank you for sharing with us and know we care and keep you in our prayers.

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@ejrquast quast. Thank for your kind message.
It means so much to me.

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@artist01

@loribmt and all. I just got word this week, after a four month wait, that there's finally a bed for me at a Long Term Care facility in beautiful Victoria, BC. Gulp. Even the name of the place, Sunset Lodge, conjures up ideas of termination! I leave next Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021.
My sons planned to drive here from the Okanagan area to help with the move and offer moral support, but the highways and byways are all washed out from the floods, mudslides, landslides, sink holes, and many bridges washed away lately. BC has been declared a State of Emergency for some time.
So, I'll go it alone, on my virtual white charger, and bravely face this new adventure! You guys know me well enough to know that all will be well and I'll be just fine. The Sunset Lodge Social Worker, Dietician and Medication staff have phoned me numerous times, are sounding very nice, friendly, intelligent and welcoming, and say they're excited to have me join them. The building has the Gorge Waterway running along right in front of the building, beautiful gardens, looks and sounds like a great place. I'm excited, scared, nervous …
… I'll miss all my friends at Assisted Living but know I'll meet new friends there.
I'll still keep in regular contact with all my wonderful Connect friends, for SURE! My lifeline!! 😊
Merry Christmas, everyone! Laurie ❤

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Hey Laurie, I’m very happy you get to explore having a new home. It sounds beautiful! Hopefully the food will be good too. I know you’ll find positivity…just think of horses and all the valuable compost they make! 🐎

BC has been through so much this year with the weather. I hope you get to see your family soon.

Be sure to post a window view photo and let us know how it goes. Enjoy the holidays in your new abode!

Athena

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@athenalee

Hey Laurie, I’m very happy you get to explore having a new home. It sounds beautiful! Hopefully the food will be good too. I know you’ll find positivity…just think of horses and all the valuable compost they make! 🐎

BC has been through so much this year with the weather. I hope you get to see your family soon.

Be sure to post a window view photo and let us know how it goes. Enjoy the holidays in your new abode!

Athena

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@athenalee. Thanks for that nice message, Athena. I'll be sure to keep in touch with the great Connect group. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! ❤

REPLY
@artist01

@loribmt and all. I just got word this week, after a four month wait, that there's finally a bed for me at a Long Term Care facility in beautiful Victoria, BC. Gulp. Even the name of the place, Sunset Lodge, conjures up ideas of termination! I leave next Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021.
My sons planned to drive here from the Okanagan area to help with the move and offer moral support, but the highways and byways are all washed out from the floods, mudslides, landslides, sink holes, and many bridges washed away lately. BC has been declared a State of Emergency for some time.
So, I'll go it alone, on my virtual white charger, and bravely face this new adventure! You guys know me well enough to know that all will be well and I'll be just fine. The Sunset Lodge Social Worker, Dietician and Medication staff have phoned me numerous times, are sounding very nice, friendly, intelligent and welcoming, and say they're excited to have me join them. The building has the Gorge Waterway running along right in front of the building, beautiful gardens, looks and sounds like a great place. I'm excited, scared, nervous …
… I'll miss all my friends at Assisted Living but know I'll meet new friends there.
I'll still keep in regular contact with all my wonderful Connect friends, for SURE! My lifeline!! 😊
Merry Christmas, everyone! Laurie ❤

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Reading this today, December 23. Hope your travels went well yesterday and you are settling in for the experience of many sunrises at Sunset Lodge.

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@bmblsad

Reading this today, December 23. Hope your travels went well yesterday and you are settling in for the experience of many sunrises at Sunset Lodge.

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@bmblsad . Thankyou VERY much for your nice message! ❤ Laurie

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I don't know you dear friend, but with everything the others have said, I'm with you all the way. I only hope and pray I can be that positive and energetic and clear-headed when I'm walking down that road. None of us ever knows when, so who knows? Maybe the doctors have missed it? And, I always think of, "He knows our days, they are numbered." So, there you have it. The docs. aren't God, good as they may be, but your life isn't in their hands, it's in bigger and greater hands than theirs.
Blessings and Prayers, Barb

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