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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

End of a Long, Hard Journey

I got word today that my step-brother, Todd, is in all likelihood about to die, six and a half years after he lost his life in a car accident.

I say 'lost his life' because despite his mother's efforts, and they have been Olympic, he hasn't even threatened to do anything I could call living since the accident.

He was a mortician by trade, so he knew to wear a seat belt. He'd driven the meat wagon. But he was bipolar, and a first degree contrarian, too. So the fact he was ejected when the SUV rolled, it became kinda academic what he 'knew.' He got as close in that accident killing himself he could without falling in.

If there is a fate worse than death, Todd has lived it. He can't talk. He's totally paralyzed. His mother can tell he does certain things with his eyes for her he won't do for others, but even if Todd hurts, he can't say so.

Lately he's having a lot of seizures, and the levels of anti-seizure drugs it takes to keep the seizures manageable approaches overdose. He's lost tons of weight, maybe 50 lbs., and after this morning Hospice isn't planning to hook up his feeding tube again unless he makes startling progress.

And for the record, I'm not a big fan of euthanasia, but if I'm ever in a place like Todd is: uncommunicative, unlikely to recover, paralyzed, otherwise addled, finish me off. If I was where Todd is, years ago I'd wish some relative or friend would defy the law and walk right into my room and shoot me, suffocate me, something. Not if I had a life of the mind, but end me if I'm in a persistent, vegetative state.

That chick in Florida who was the subject of so many court cases? If Todd could do what she did in those videos, I wouldn't be ready to say goodbye. As it is, he's overdue for release.

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