Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fast is Better Than Slow

Patrick is lingering.  Even though I knew that it would take a long time for him to die when I met him, it's taking longer than I thought it would anyway.

I guess the truth of it is that every day he's been in that bed has been a painful one to witness, let alone live through, so he's caught in that awful eddy of time, with nothing to do, nowhere to go.  You know the time is limited, but what do you wish for?  A speedy end?  Another day?  I'd certainly choose the former, but it's obviously not up to me.  readers of this journal know that I've seen fast and I've seen slow, and fast is definitely better than slow when it comes to death.

All that philosophy aside, there is the matter of Patrick lingering.  I cannot do anything but watch and wait at this point, having tried everything I know of to comfort him.  Food, of course, comes to my mind easily.  It seemed to me that the food they are giving him is awful.  One day he sent me to the store for some lemon juice--no easy task considering the nearest store is miles away--which he routinely puts all over his food and in his Diet Coke.  He keeps cans of soda in a little red fridge next to his bed, along with some chocolate-flavored nutritional drinks.

I have brought him some special food a couple of times.  I thought perhaps a taste of food from the outside world might help, so on successive weeks, I brought him a bbq chopped beef sandwich from Iron Works, then a spicy beef taco from Torchy's.  He ate a bit of both with some gusto, but in recent weeks, he's had no appetite.

Sadly, it's not even up to Patrick anymore.  That's just the fact here: he is no longer able to control any part of his life, including his bowels, but he is required to remain alive.  In a merciful society, there would be a way for Patrick to choose to leave, quietly, softly and painlessly.  It's not that our society is without mercy, but it seems our principles are misplaced in a society where we can treat our beloved pets with mercy but a not human being.  I understand that there is a difference between a dog and Patrick, but fundamentally the quality of mercy is--ought to be--not dependent on the species.  Might we not be more merciful to microbes if we could?

Honestly, I hope he'll find his way home soon.

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