Wednesday, May 13, 2015

About Second Guessing

Dear John,
 
Jethro has started lying behind my grandmother's chair in the bedroom. Strange. I have no idea why he suddenly likes it back there.
 
Today was another marker - three years and one month since your death. I wonder if a 13th will ever pass without me noticing. Probably not.
 
I still have times that I second-guess everything that was done for you and wonder if the outcome could have been different, especially if I had insisted that you stay in Indy or not go to the rehab place. But I couldn't have changed those things because they were decisions made by Anthem. I spent part of this afternoon asking myself if I missed anything or made any mistakes in your care.
 
I do that when I look at things too closely and miss the big picture. The fact is that the heart and lung damage was too great for you to survive any longer. The sepsis and pneumonia were the means of death, not the cause. The cause was the radiation you'd received when you were 19. That is obvious when I step back and get a better look. It is amazing that you lived as long as you did with the damage you had.
 
So I realize that, while I am tempted to see your death as my failure, I should feel the accomplishment of having you live as long and as well as you did. You and I negotiated many crises over the years. Between the two of us, we managed Stage IV heart failure at home with you working. And I advocated for you well enough to make even Dean McKenna proud.
 
No, there are no regrets, no mistakes, no failures here. Exactly how long it will take me to remember that, I have no idea. I continue to work this out over and over again. As we've said, if Pavlov had worked with me instead of dogs, we would never have learned about operant conditioning.
 
Tonight I mourn your passing. And I honor the effort, persistence, and determination you put into surviving, and the grace and patience with which you dealt with everything that happened to you. The people that took care of you came to love you. I love you, adore you, and worship the ground you walk on.
 
Missing you,
Joan.

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