Last week, I read the book "Water for Elephants."
It is a great story and I highly recommend it.
Without giving too much away, it is about a old man who lives in a nursing home. When he was a young guy, he a circus veterinarian and has some interesting tales about circus life. Its a great novel.
As the old man, he describes nursing home living. He talks about how all the food is just mush without taste because of so many dietary restrictions. How he longs for an apple or corn on the cob. He also talks about how they treat you like you are crazy, stupid, senile, or all of the above. He may be old but he still has his wits. How they medicate you just to keep you quiet. How family and friends don't visit or if they do, they aren't truly talking to you as a person.
I know that not all nursing homes are like this but I have a feeling it is the majority of them.
It made me extremely sad.
It made me think about how Roger would have been in a nursing home.
And then, ironically, I found myself in a nursing home.
My friend's daughter was singing Christmas carols to the nursing home residents.
And I was with them.
I wanted to cry.
I fought back the tears but I know my eyes were very watery.
These people are just sitting in chairs.
There are some that couldn't feed themselves.
They couldn't do anything for themselves.
They just sit. They are stooped over in their chairs.
They just exist.
And then I know, once more, that I did make the right decision.
Roger wouldn't want to be here.
Roger wouldn't want to be a resident.
Even though, he would never be rolled into a nursing home dining room with his condition, I just know I don't want him there at all.
I don't even want myself there.
Just existing. With no quality of life. With nothing.
He would have just been alive, not even breathing on his own.
And for what?
For his family?
Just long enough for his body to waste away or catch some infection that run rampant in those places.