Thursday, November 29, 2007

Big Decisions

The good news: my uncle is not confused at all today. I haven’t seen him this lucid in months!

The bad news: he has fluid around his heart that is pressing on his heart. Without surgery to remove it he is likely to die from heart failure. The surgery, however, is very high risk and doing surgery negates his Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) wishes. There is a chance he will die during surgery, end up on life support, or in a vegetative state. He understands all that and says he has changed his mind about the DNR: he wants to risk surgery because there is a chance it will improve his quality of life and by having the surgery he is putting everything in God’s hands.

His friend Phil and I have medical power of attorney and agree that he is clear and lucid enough today to make his own decisions and we will abide by his decision to have surgery. I’m scared to death of what might happen but so relieved that I didn’t have to make that decision for him.

The docs left my uncle and I alone to talk and cry together and I’m sure he is lucid. They’ve moved him to Cardiac ICU; now we’re just waiting to see when the surgery will be.

I’ll post another update when we know more or when something happens. Thank you to everyone who has sent e-mail, good wishes, and moral support.

UPDATE We just talked to the surgeon; the surgery will be sometime tomorrow afternoon.

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