Pain and Death

In the last entry, I mentioned that my uncle has cancer and is in a lot of pain, to the point where he wants to die. I drove him to dialysis today and apparently it was one of the worst days he’s ever had. I watched him squirm and moan in pain for a long time. The doctor today estimates that my uncle probably only has 2 weeks left, 3 weeks if he continues dialysis. With the constant intense pain, my uncle just wanted to end it. He wanted to stop the dialysis to end it quicker. But that doesn’t help with his current pains.

It took them a while to increase his pain medication doses. It seems stupid to me that they took so long. Why isn’t the pain addressed right away? Even in all his pain, my uncle didn’t urge for more pain medicine. My aunt only increased the dosage by 1 unit. From 150 to 175 of whatever it is. He was still in a lot of pain. Sure, the medicine didn’t kick in yet, but it was almost certain that it wasn’t going to be enough. I told her to increase it by another unit, to 200, and she did it after resisting the idea for a bit. Throughout the night, my uncle still seemed to experience quite a bit of pain but at least it became a lot more bearable.

Earlier today, my aunt had told me how hard it is for my uncle to die. She says that there a lot of suffering that goes on before finally reaching death. Well fuck, take more painkillers then. I told her that she should ask the doctor tomorrow for way more painkillers. Take as much as he’ll prescribe and increase the dosage every time the pain gets worse. Why the fuck not? When I first suggested it, she said she didn’t want to give him too much because too much isn’t good. I didn’t argue with her but I argued the fuck out of it in my head. Wtf. He’s already dying either way, why not go with less pain? What’s the worst that can happen? He overdoses and dies? Isn’t that the end goal at this point?

I’m sparing you a lot of boring details and simplified the situation a little. My point is, I can hardly fathom why people don’t see such simple solutions to their silly problems. Now I’m not an expert in medicine so maybe mild overdose of painkillers would backfire and cause extreme pain. I don’t know, but I doubt that’s true. The other thing to consider is the cost of medicine but I’m pretty sure money is not the problem here. If my aunt is just overwhelmed by information and all the things she needs to keep track of and forgets about simple things like the simple solution to pain, that’s understandable. But even when I bring it up, she fights it, so it’s not a matter of neglect.

The other thing I noticed tonight was my reaction to other people’s pain. It was definitely uncomfortable to watch, but I’m pretty sure I can watch it for a long time (practically forever) if I had to. I wonder if that’s a sign of my mental strength or a sign of me being a sociopathic cold fucker. I definitely felt uncomfortable so I don’t think it’s a sociopath thing. I wonder how much harder it would be to watch someone I deeply loved and cared for to suffer like that. I wonder if I’ll ever find anyone to love and care for deeply. I also wondered if I would make a good torture supervisor and whether I would be able to hold my breath until I die so don’t take my wonders too seriously.