The Gift of Modern Medicine

Life can teach use many lessons and if we are smart we may even learn something from them. One such lesson came from a much unexpected source and that was the death of our cat Teddy Bear.


Teddy Bear

To set this up I first have to tell you about the death of my Mom and how she choose to pass on. My Mom was diagnosed with stage-four non-small cell lung cancer. Since my Mom decided to fore go treatment and talked to her home-health care nurse about Hospice care. About three or so months before my Mom’s death she started Hospice care and for the last week and a half me and my brother administered the drug regimen Hospice set up for her. The drug regimen is comfort one into, but not cause, death and this held true in my Mom’s case as she did not outwardly suffer in those last days.


Mom and Pop’s in Alaska for their 50th Wedding Anniversary.

Now back to the story of death of our cat Teddy Bear. Teddy was a rescue who had overcome the odds that he would make it when he was s kitten. Sickly and underweight when we found him I was able to with the vets help nursing him back to a health. Those first months were tough but he became a part of our pride for about twelve years.

Cats are hardy and as it goes more times than not his health failed rather quickly. We could not stop the inevitable and he went into full respiratory failure several nights at 12:30AM. We immediately called the vet and took him in to have him humanly put to sleep less. I held him as he went but the image of him gasping for air hit me hard the next day as I realized something: That could have been the same death my Mom had if it wasn’t for Hospice care and the use of modern medicine. I knew how important that care was to my Mom but my buddies passing actually made me think about it and truly be thankful for what we more than not take for granted.

As I write this I know there are places on this big Blue Marble that do not have the readily accessible medicines we do. I know there are people even here in America that reject or through denial do not get the care they need. There are a couple things that I hope you get from this: Modern medicine is not perfect but we should be thankful for it and have honest conversation about its place as it pertains to end of life care. Secondly I am a big fan of Hospice care and I hope that more people research how it can help before it becomes necessary so when the time comes for the call you know if it right for you.


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