I had a bad dream last night. Matthew was in the hospital struggling to breathe, and the doctor had told me his prognosis wasn't good. I didn't want to go back to sleep after that, and stayed awake to say a prayer of thanksgiving-- so very thankful that it was just a bad dream.
In the last 2+ years, I have thought about life and death decisions more than I ever have before, and not in just my dreams. I have sat next to too many hospital beds praying to God to let Matthew live. I have watched Matthew's pulse oxygen rates plummet and heart rates skyrocket. I have seen a machine breathing for Matthew. I have heard heart rate alarms going off because Matthew's heart rate was too low. I have been in a small consultation room, praying the doctor would not come in to tell me the worst news in the world. I've been in the ER, holding my baby tight, praying that my sweet baby Matthew would be alright. Matthew has cheated death time and time again. And though no one wants to think about it, during these scary times, I've thought about the different scenarios, what they might mean and what I might do.
Several months ago, I read an article posted on a friend's facebook wall-- How Doctors Die. I can't shake this article out of my mind. It was extremely illuminating for me to read about how doctors would respond if they were making life and death decisions for themselves. I always thought I would say "do everything possible" but now I know the words I would really want to say are "do everything, within reason".
I am thankful that thus far I haven't had to make these decisions. And I continually pray that I never need to utter those words.