Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday Salon ~ it's about time

Before I forget it, all you folks in the United States were supposed to turn back your clocks this morning.  Did you do it?  If not, you have an additional hour to get wherever you were planning to go.


Knocking on Heaven's Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death ~ by Katy Butler, 2013, memoir
Katy Butler's parents wanted “Good Deaths,” but forces within medicine stood in the way.  Butler was living thousands of miles from her vigorous and self-reliant parents when the call came:  a crippling stroke had left her proud seventy-nine-year-old father unable to fasten a belt or complete a sentence.  Tragedy at first drew the family closer:  her mother devoted herself to caregiving, and Butler joined the twenty-four million Americans helping shepherd parents through their final declines.  Then doctors outfitted her father with a pacemaker, keeping his heart going but doing nothing to prevent his six-year slide into dementia, near-blindness, and misery.  When he told his exhausted wife, “I’m living too long,” mother and daughter were forced to confront a series of wrenching moral questions.
  • When does death stop being a curse and become a blessing?
  • Where is the line between saving a life and prolonging a dying?
  • When do you say to a doctor, “Let my loved one go?”
When doctors refused to disable the pacemaker, condemning her father to a prolonged and agonizing death, Butler set out to understand why.  Her quest had barely begun when her mother took another path.  Faced with her own grave illness, she rebelled against her doctors, refused open-heart surgery, and met death head-on.  With a reporter’s skill and a daughter’s love, Butler explores what happens when our terror of death collides with the technological imperatives of medicine.  Her provocative thesis is that modern medicine, in its pursuit of maximum longevity, often creates more suffering than it prevents.   This revolutionary blend of memoir and investigative reporting lays bare the tangled web of technology, medicine, and commerce that dying has become.  And it chronicles the rise of Slow Medicine, a new movement trying to reclaim the “Good Deaths” our ancestors prized.  This book is a map through the labyrinth of a broken medical system.  It will inspire the difficult conversations we need to have with loved ones as it illuminates the path to a better way of death.


Princess Raegan at the ice show is quite a change of character from last week's funny face with Cheetos.  She's four and a half.

I like the roses decorating her sleeves.  She attended Disney on Ice: Princesses and Heroes last Sunday, October 27th, with her parents and both sets of grandparents.

Meanwhile, Jaxon went to the beach last month with his parents.  He'll turn three in December.

And here's Jaxon as Mr. Peanut for Halloween.  Raegan and Jaxon are my two great-grandchildren, and Jaxon will soon have a baby sister.

The Sunday Salon's Facebook page links to other blogs.

1 comment:

Helen's Book Blog said...

Great grandkids, it's pretty amazing, isn't it?! It looks like they both enjoy dressing up and had fun. I love the beach photo!

Have a great week!