Death/End of Life, Health Care, Shared Link

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

https://www.lung.ca/lung-health/lung-disease/idiopathic-pulmonary-fibrosis

https://cpff.ca/understanding-pf/

Due to the very recent passing of a family member that suffered from this illness, I thought it was worth sharing this information. Right now there is still much that doctors and researchers don’t know about Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. No known cause, no known cure. The fact that the symptoms mimic other pulmonary issues means it takes longer to diagnose while the trial/error process has to take place to eliminate what it’s not.

Meanwhile, the person suffering is slowly losing the ability to breathe on their own. What starts off as losing their breath while walking and doing normal activities that are not strenuous. Needing to take frequent breaks to sit and catch their breath, their breathing becomes more labored because their lungs are slowly losing their capacity (loss of volume over time). Walking from one room to the next becomes a chore. The use of carrying around an oxygen tank becomes the new normal and make sure you carry extra tanks when you are driving around. Portable tanks of oxygen evolve to large home units with 100 feet of hose to ensure that you can walk about your home.

You end up on 13 pills a day to help you, to counteract the side effects from other pills you have to take, to prevent you from getting diabetes, to thin your blood/skin, to ease the discomfort. To control the coughing that comes along with this illness taken along with a codeine/morphine cough syrup. You gain a ton of weight in the first 6 months, due to the pills, then you lose a ton of weight during the last 6 months, due to lack of appetite and probably the pills. You may be eligible to undergo routine infusions. Once the weight falls off, the muscles atrophy, you are too weak to walk around, standing causes you to feel faint, and you are barely mobile on your own. Hospice care is the best option at this point unless you have family or a personal support worker that can assist in your daily needs.

To anyone reading this that has a family member going through this or is currently suffering from Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, I am truly sorry. I know that it is not easy to witness a loved one slowly getting worse as their need for oxygen increases. Hopefully, there will be some new developments in the future.

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Death/End of Life, Need to prepare, Support Group, What to consider

Planning for the end of Life

Time passing concept

Welcome back blog readers,

I realize that I have not been as active writing or spending as much time on social media this last week. That’s mainly due to feeling under the weather and also trying to make an effort of not getting sucked into all of the negative drama that is posted on social media.

While I’m still not feeling 100%, I am inspired to write about a topic that is affecting my family, some members more so than others due to the varying stages of grief that are associated with death.

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

These stages are all part of the grieving process for both the person that has received the news about their health and for the surviving family members. A person may go through these stages in a different order, they may also revisit a stage. There isn’t a timeframe as each person will grieve differently and in their own time, to which is perfectly normal.

To better explain these stages.

https://grief.com/the-five-stages-of-grief/

While we all start our life in the same way, one egg one sperm, our end of life varies. For the most part, we either have a bit of a warning that our loved one has limited time left or things happen so quickly that there isn’t time to prepare, just immediate shock, and devastation.

The topic of Death still seems to be taboo, and many people still find it very uncomfortable to talk about. Death is a natural part of Life, and at some point, we all will mourn the loss of a loved one, just as our loved ones will mourn over the loss of us. Not talking about death won’t make it go away or make your grieving phase any easier. Knowing what to expect can make the process easier to go through because there is nothing to fear.

We tend to seek out information and books about what to expect when we are creating life, but we don’t put that same effort in when it comes time to dealing with the end of life. Medically, there are many resources that share information to help us make sense of the process from a scientific point of view. I suspect that religion and our beliefs in spirituality are what make the end of life process difficult to come to terms with. Nobody really knows. It’s mostly speculation and theories when talking about our soul/energy and what becomes of that after it leaves our body.

Medically/Scientifically, here is what happens to the human body:

Read about it here- https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-happens-to-my-body-right-after-i-die-1132498

Watch a short informative video here- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUsdWOCPIQQ&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR3FGEmuAAXmZhEphv62AgXfLjyw2RWTnQX2aisWarmgpHtIt1Vx3JS3gNM

With spirituality and religion aside, it is important to talk with our loved ones about what kind of arrangements they want done after their death. Just as you should be voicing your concerns about you want done with your body. Often times the most difficult decision a family makes is coming to a decision about funeral arrangements, cremation, donating to science, or eco-friendly biodegradable options and where the money is to pay for these last expenses.

Having a Living Will or a Living Trust in place before your death will ease the burden on your family. Click here to learn more- https://www.thebalance.com/living-will-vs-living-trust-3505198

Most people have no idea about the costs associated with death are. In many cases, the costs are left up to the family to sort out at the last minute, and it puts a strain on their personal finances. The average funeral costs $7,200. That includes a viewing and burial, embalming, hearse, transfer of remains, service fee and more. It doesn’t, however, include the cost of, say, a catered luncheon with drinks after the memorial service or the copy of the death certificate.

If you are inclined to shop around, you might find this link helpful. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0301-funeral-costs-and-pricing-checklist

Interested in the cost of Cremation? Check out your options here- https://www.neptunesociety.com/resources/what-does-cremation-cost

Once you’ve decided on what you want to be done, you may want to consider either setting the money aside for those expenses or making sure that you have a life insurance policy that will cover the cost plus a little extra to account for inflation. Many life insurance policies don’t cover a quarter of the funeral/burial expenses, something many families are left scrambling to make up with the difference.

My point is this, While many of us prepare for the new life that we are expecting (baby showers), we should also take the time to plan for our end of life. What your surviving family members want is closure after we’re gone, not a burden of debt due to a lack of planning. With life there is death, while it’s not fun to talk about, we should take time to consider what our final wishes are and who we entrust to make that happen on our behalf.