Hi. I have cared for my husband for 12 years. He was initially diagnosed with Blephrospasum Dystonia and later developed Ataxia which made both of our lives a living hell. In January he lost his ability to swallow his medication and foods. He was in such pain we went for what would be our last of many trips to the ER. When the doctor arrived and asked what she could do for him he said “I just want to die!” Her response, “Ok, lets make that happen.” She left the room as my husband, my daughter and I sat in stunned silence. Thus began our journey into the realm of Medical Assistance In Dying. Larry was admitted, given Morphine and a Fentenal patch and we began a process I had never heard of. After he was admitted and settled my daughter and I went to our respective homes and contemplated this new turn. The next day I was at my husbands bedside when the nurse came in with papers requesting my signature giving them approval to end my husbands life. I sat still stunned and just looked at them my husband asking me to sign them. In a flash the nurse returned for the documents. Her comment, It is what he wants. I told her we needed to meet as a family to discuss this, and with pleading eyes look into my Larry’s eyes. He agreed. The next day my two daughters and my Larry and I discussed his wish to die. I did not sleep that night.
For 12 years we have given 150% to making the best of our lemons and now just like that we were going to quit? Our youngest daughter did not want this to happen. Larry decided to give her the time she needed. He and Michelle had many long talks. One morning the wakes me. Larry calling from his room “I know what to do. I thought about it all night. I will die on my birthday.” I dressed in two minutes and off I went to the hospital. He was sure this was the right thing. In the end we supported his decision. April 11, 2018 Larry was scheduled to die.
It was a long two months. Larry passed all the criteria paperwork was filled in and the wait began. I have to go back and see the video he sent to our foster daughter in Germany to remind myself why we thought this was the right thing to do. I play it every day. I printed pictures we took in the hospital so I have a constant reminder of why. I ask myself this question so often but when I view this video I am remembering why. He struggles to talk, he struggles to breathe. This is why. His body let him down. The vessel in which he lived had deteriorated to the point it could no longer house his spirit and we had to let him go.
He came home the day before and we spent his last full day together. The next day after school and work we had a birthday party for him. The grand kids knew nothing of what would happen after the party. The MAID team arrived at 8:00. The Winnipeg Jets were playing their first playoff game. It went into overtime. The team prepared him to receive the injection. Suddenly the Jets score in overtime winning their first playoff game. “Larry are you ready?” Oh we forgot Paull’s urn. He asks , “What if my hand opens when it’s over and Paul falls out?” “ Don’t worry Dad, I am holding your, hand he will be safe” Michelle answers. He turns to me and says, “You will remember to return the wheelchair .” I promise I will. The next thing I know I am being asked to move so they can check for a heartbeat . He is gone. My life is forever changed.