This is the story of Pam and John; she in her early 50’s and John is 62. Pam is a college professor. John taught at a local community college until diagnosed with Parkinson’s in March 2008, then Lewy Body Dementia in April.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

difficult conversations

I'm going to repeat what I posted to the Lewy Body caring spouses group because I don't feel very safe writing about this and I got a supportive response there.

At a session we both had with the therapist today, John said that he doesn't want to end up bedridden or not recognizing anyone, he wants to end his life when he is reaching the point of no longer being competent (which we both expect is a number of years away). My own beliefs lead me to discourage that but in the end to respect his decision if that continues to be what he wants; I realize that other people have other beliefs. He doesn't expect me to assist him and I don't think I would be willing to go there. My question for this group is whether people commonly carry that intention out, or whether it is much more common to have that intention and not actually carry it out. I'm guessing that I can't plan on it actually being what happens.

Confused feelings have been churning in my mind, and I was brave and asked for help, called a friend/pastor and arranged to meet her at a coffee shop this evening to talk. She actually turned out not to be the best person to talk to because she knows too much and so I felt pushed. She ran a suicide hotline for three years and has experience of several other sorts. She believes that we can talk about it as a family and come to a decision that we all can accept. But right now where I am at is that my emotional reactions and my intellectual beliefs are so contradictory.

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