Sunday, January 21, 2018

POLST and playing God

It was her wish.
DNR, Limited Medical Interventions, Do Not Intubate, Avoid Intensive Care...
At the doctor's office we discussed the POLST.
The fragile woman signed the paper of bright lime green, her doctor signed next.
She made it very clear ten days before, that if it was her time,
just let her go...

It was a gloomy day ten days later.
Gusty winds, pelting rain.
No one outside. Doors closed, windows shut tight.
She had collapsed near her mailbox, no one knew.

The fragile woman,
laying in the cold rain,
two angels appear,
attending to her,
comforting her...

A bustle of activity at the infirmary,
people trying to save a fragile woman's life.
I arrive, my mind in a daze.
While they prepare to perform emergency surgery,
the M.D. makes it clear, the fragile woman's chances are slim.
Then I remember her wish.

I remove my phone from my pocket.
My hands trembling, I show a photo I had taken.
The screen glowing, bright lime green.
The M.D. carefully studies the photo,
his tense face relaxes a bit,
reading the POLST she had signed
ten days before.

That night she decided, it was her time.
She waited until her loved ones were near.
She then decided to peacefully go,
her hand in mine.

A year has come and gone,
I replay the events in my mind,
over and over and over.
And though it was her wish,
noted on paper, bright lime green,
in my heart there is still guilt.

I acted on her behalf,
but I can't help but feel,
that for a brief moment,
one year ago,
I wielded the power
of a higher authority.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


"I dream of your mom,
Shortly I will be with her."
Aunt whispers to me...

Friday, February 17, 2017

Going Green

 For the past 30 plus years of my life, my vehicle of choice has always been a pick-up truck. No, not the brawny, macho kind like a Ram, Silverado, or an F-150, but the semi-wimpy Datsun/Nissan or Toyota. My first truck was a brown 1984 Datsun King Cab with a 5 speed manual transmission. Crude, tin canny but reliable and fun to drive, it came in handy hauling our particle board furniture to our new home back in 1985. Though I loved revving that truck through its 5 gears, several episodes of whiplash injury while trying to teach my wife the intricacies of throttle-clutch timing convinced me that a pick-up with an automatic transmission was a good compromise. I would have my truck and it would allay my recurring nightmares of she stalling the truck while making a left turn into three lanes of oncoming traffic on Kapiolani Boulevard...with me in the passenger seat.

That automatic pick-up came in the form of a 1993 Nissan Hardbody King Cab with a peppy 3.0 liter V6. I could not afford it new, so I purchased it second hand from a Mercedes dealership. Alas, my wife decided she didn't like driving the truck because it was "too big." So, here I was, with an auto-transmission pick-up with my right arm constantly searching for the stick shift, and a slowly atrophying left leg. Well, as time went on, not having to shift while creeping through the H-1 gridlock really spoiled me.

The King Cab could haul and carry the kids in a pinch with its rear jump seats. Thus when it came time to replace the Nissan, I turned to the 2005 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab (auto transmission, of course), with its spacious rear bench seat and four doors. Unlike the Datsun/Nissan, this truck was solid. It had been the most dependable vehicle I've ever owned, carried passengers quite comfortably, and served me well through my last days of my career.

Notice that the previous sentence uses past-tenses? *Sigh* Yup, I'm no longer a truck guy. That Tacoma lately sat in the garage, rarely used. The kids are out of the house, so not many passengers to carry. And in my older age (and retired) I am not hauling junk around like I used to. So today, with a tear in my eye, I kissed my beloved Tacoma goodbye and traded her in for a 2017 Toyota RAV-4 Hybrid. With its combined 34 MPG, it's certainly a greener alternative than all my trucks were. When need to, it can carry passengers as well as haul light cargo with the rear seats down. I know that I'll get sneers from brawny SUV and pick-up drivers, but hey, I'll go further on a gallon of gas. The new RAV-4 joins our current 2006 V-6 RAV-4 (both silver in color) in the garage.

And BTW, we'll become even greener when we get our 2017 Toyota Prius Prime next month. Out with the 20 MPG older RAV-4, and in with a Prius Prime with 133 MPGe.

As I've said before, green is my favorite color.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Beautiful Light

...she left us in her very dignified way...
still beautiful as ever.

Aloha Mom...