I have had a lot of surgeries. Six to be exact. Three laperoscopys for endometriosis, one gallbladder removal, and two C-sections. I’ve pretty much breezed through all of them. When it came time to have my C-section with Codi I got a little nervous. I had a kid now. Brandon could lose his mom and even if I died I would still be losing my son. I had a little relief knowing I wasn’t going under but still, there is that one blog, where is wife died only hours after having a C-section so obviously I was afraid.
So now that I am having a major surgery (hysterectomy) in 5 days I’m a little terrified. Now I have two kids. Suddenly it’s hitting me so hard. If something happened to me I’m leaving my boys behind. They have four people in their lives. Mom, dad and my parents. I’d be taking a quarter of their lives away. I would be leaving my husband to pack every lunch, handle every bath, every middle of the night wake up call. I’d be leaving him to deal with ever horrible cry of Codi’s when I’m not there to put him to bed. He would have no one to load the dishwasher wrong, or leave trash in his car or clothes on the couch. I know he would miss all of those things.
My mom would lose her only child. She would have no one to mess up purchases at work anymore and I know that would make her sad. But mostly I know the look that never left my grandmas eyes after my birth father died would be stuck in my moms for ever. My kids would see it, it would effect them. And not to be conceited but it would really effect the lives around me harshly if something happened to me.
After the shit with my grandpa and his wife (not my grandma) handling his advanced directive I decided I needed to pull the one I got from Rob’s surgery eight months ago out and fill it out. In it there is a little spot that talks about your wishes.
There are lots of options i chose two.
1. If I have an incurable or terminal condition or illness and no reasonable hope of long-term recovery or survival, i desire that life-sustaining or prolonged treatments not be used.
2. I do not desire treatment to be provided and/or continued if the burdens of the treatment outweigh expected benefits. My attorney-in-fact is to consider the relief of the suffering, the preservation or restoration of functioning, and the quality as well as the extent of the possible extension of my life.
What it comes down to is, I don’t want to be a vegetable and I don’t want to be on a ventilator forever.
Below that is a space for additional wishes. I remember from Rob filling his out that they told him he could add more if he needed and write, "see attached." DUH of course I would need a see attached. I had to again address the things that happened with my grandpa. So I grabbed a notebook and started writing.
A few inclusions:
If there is a chance I could wake up and live a normal life give me three weeks to do so. If it is determined I will not regain consciousness and if I did I would no longer lead a desirable life I want my family to wait FIVE full days from the doctors advice to make the decision with my life.
During either of the above times I want baths and I want my teeth brushed.
If the decision to terminate my life is made I want my whole family given notice. I want a full twenty four hours to pass so that any and all family can make it to say good bye. If someone important (IE Ginger is stuck in Hawthorne) can’t make it in that time and they want my family to wait THEN WAIT. Everyone deserves a goodbye.
As much as it would bug some of my family I would want someone to talk to my boys about God, heaven and angels. No matter what my belief on God has been I’ve always believed in angels and I’ve always believed my grandma was one. Brandon knows about God, he knows about heaven and if it would make it a little easier for Brandon to cope then I would hope someone (Lisa & Katie) to remind him of where I am.
I want every decision discussed as a family. Ultimately Rob has the final say but he would never make it a power trip like my grandma did, I know he would listen to everyone. My family and friends all know me and I know each of them would know what I would truly want. Ginger and I have discussed this a lot so if she tells you that I said something (like my uncle heard my grandpa say he wanted to live) believe her.
I want to be buried. Do not cremate me. I’m sorry but saying your final I love you by burning me to death is not my ideal way of going. I want an outside funeral. If you have my funeral in that fucking place my grandma and birth fathers was you can expect the haunting of your life.
Things to consider about reviving me or not:
I like to talk. A LOT. If I won’t recover enough to spend two hours bullshitting on the phone with my friends let me go.
If I don’t recover well enough to watch and understand episodes of Top Chef or anything Twilight related that would mean my brain isn’t functioning well, let me go.
Donate my organs to science, doctors would have a field day with my brain.
If I am still medicated when I went into a coma please keep me medicated. I think it would help my brain out a little if it didn’t start going bonkers while I was fighting a coma. I wouldn’t even mind a valium here or there because if my brain is functioning I would need that to help keep me from going crazy listening to all my family go on and on and on while in my room.
Play me music. Lots of music. Eminem, Neil Diamond, Miley, Lynryd Skynyrd, etc. Basically anything on my iPod besides Avril Lavigne because I’m still mad at her for being a cheating little slut. Play me movies. The last song, Eclipse, Pretty Woman. If I can still hear I want to be entertained.
Don’t give in easily. Try anything to wake me up. Put some amaretto in my mouth (I swear grandpa responded to the whiskey, keep Salt City grapefruit vanilla candles burning (also those new ones in my kitchen drawer they are delish), keep me covered in Country Apple lotion, and maybe rub some chocolate on my lips. I have a feeling there are a few things Rob would know to try too…hint:neck.
I want everyone to get along. I would like it if no one had to be escorted off the property and I want everyone or at least as many people possible to be present when they read the 10 pages of handwritten things I had to say.
I don’t eat fish or meat. Do not suggest to the doctors that maybe putting fish or chicken in my liquid diet would help. It won’t it will piss me off.
My letter goes on to discuss what happens if I don’t make it. My kids STAY in Reno. If they move the whole family moves. Moving them from may parents, and losing me would take 3/4 of their life away and that would be stupid. Play my just in case song at my funeral, plus a few more. Don’t yell at my kids. I went through a lot with all of my medications to stop yelling at them, thing of my face every time anyone would want to yell at them. Teach my boys to open doors for girls. Introduce them to all foods. Take girls on dates to movies. McDonalds is not a date place. When they are old enough if they want a tattoo they can have one. I was fifteen when I had my first one, who am I to tell them they can’t have one. THEY CANNOT pierce their ears, it’s dorky and I’m sorry Rob but it ain’t happening. No stupid straight leg emo pants either.
This is the point the letter changes. I discuss everything. I talk about my head, my crazy, my heart all of it. Like I said I want everyone to read this. Make copies, read it allowed, the whole world can read it, it can be retyped here, I want everyone to know what it was like to be me.
I never imagined a little "see attached" blank space could invoke such emotion but it did. It’s terrified me. It’s made me hug my boys more, let Brandon listen to Free Falling every single time he is in my car even if it means turning off a Miley song, kiss my husband a little longer and tell Codi how much I love him.
I have gone back and forth with what I should do with my letter. Where do I put it so I know it is read? Where do I put it so people know it was written by me, and where do I put it so it never gets "lost" or misplaced? Then I realized I have a pretty open forum here. I’m the only one with the password, so clearly anything written here was written by me. Clearly there is a ton more in the letter but I think I covered the specifics in this post.
I have to ask, am I the only one this detailed or do any of you have special requests for your life?
PS, should anything happen to me, please bury me with my iPhone.
11 thoughts on “My first time to be afraid..and a final wish”
Best of luck with your surgery! I know everything will go fine. I love how you write and I must say after your surgery,while you’re on the mend, you must write a book. Your diction Is phenomenal and it would be a great to read more of it. Or maybe you could add more to your busy life by looking into getting your own weekly column in the newspaper?
In any case, best of luck. I’ll keep you and your family in my prayers.
Oh wow, I hope everything goes smoothly Shannon.
I finally have time to comment now. I can totally understand that you are afraid. I was totally freaked out before my second c-section too, I cried on the way to the hospital because I was so scared that I might never see Jayla again if something went wrong.
I am sure everything will be okay though. Good luck!!!
I wish you all the best on your surgery and I know all will go well. I will be thinking & praying for you all day. Please tell your mom to text me to let me know whats going on.
I love you!
Well…you got me beat on the surgery experience chica. And that blog you linked to re: c-section and death? Totally my worst nightmare…I may never recover….
But I understand your thought process as I pretty much lived it for the 2 weeks I was in the hospital after my littlest was born. At times I really did think I was dying and was scared to death knowing I didn’t have a manual printed up!
ITA on the emo pants and earrings btw.
Hope all goes well.
Damn girl. I may leave a detailed note now but I have had 2 c sections and gallbladder removed so I can understand your fear. Hugs!
Would you haunt me forever if I switched out your shiny new iPhone 4 for my beat up iPhone 3 at the last minute and buried you with that one? It’s in a pretty pink and black case! LOL ok that was probably totally inappropriate but I had to… Tell Rob he has to email me when you get out of surgery because I’ll be at work and won’t get text messages…and tell me when I can come visit!
These are tough things to think about, but it’s good that you have it all worked out. Good luck with your surgery, I hope it goes smoothly!
Hi Shannon, I don’t usually comment (although I always read), but I have a little bit to say this time.
First, there is a great website for women undergoing hysterectomies with all sorts of details, products, stories, support in almost every category you can imagine (especially us “younger” women getting hysterectomies before even hitting 40)… it’s hystersisters.com and I highly recommend it
Second, I’ve had almost exactly the same surgeries you’ve had! And I will tell you the single-most important thing I had done after my hysterectomy. I begged, pleaded, and screamed for a morphine pump. Believe me, the pain is unbelievable that first day. You will love the morphine pump. It will make everything BEARABLE.
And I guess, third, is GOOD LUCK. I have three boys, and I get the whole mortality thing. I did my advanced directive too. I worried about my kids and my husband. I feel like I could have been reading my own thoughts and wishes in your post.
I have many more thoughts (and tips) for the surgery and post-surgery, but I don’t want to hog your space. Please feel free to email me if you want to exchange more info. Or I can just tell you about my experience and let you gleam whatever info you need from that. I know that everyone’s situation is different.
Again, good luck & God bless you and yours during this trying time.
You have also had your tonsils out and you had to have tubes put in your ears when you was little. Can we be done now its so hard on me every time you go under. Today was really hard and I was by my self waiting for you.
Wow that is one large questions and it seems like you answered it incredibly well. Me? I have gone no farther than, I would like an outdoor funeral, donate all usable organs to transplant (no science experiments, yet anyway), cremate me (ew being eaten by bugs) and then go plant a tree in my honor. I haven’t give it much more thought than that other than my parent’s get my wonderful, perfectly behaved kitties.