Posts Tagged With: euthanasia

Day 2796: Right and wrong

Members of my family are debating what’s right and wrong regarding our cat Oscar’s end-of-life experience.  Twice I have scheduled home euthanasia for Oscar on a Monday and twice I have cancelled that appointment to allow Oscar to move further along to a natural death.  It’s difficult to tell what’s right and what’s wrong with Oscar, because he

  •  continues to engage with us,
  • eats a little every once in a while,
  • rarely shows obvious signs of pain,
  • is very unsteady,
  • is so good-natured he rarely complains, and
  •  is so wonderful that we want as much time with him as we can get.

It might be right and wrong that I scheduled a phone consultation about Oscar’s quality of life tonight and another home euthanasia visit tomorrow (which I might cancel again).

Michael, Aaron, and I have spent many hours discussing what’s right and wrong with Oscar. We wonder if we are being selfish if we keep him alive and we wonder if we are being selfish if we euthanize him. Right and wrong can be subjective, especially in a situation like this one.

I’ve asked Oscar what’s right and wrong for him, but he hasn’t told me.

Do you see right and wrong in my photos from yesterday?

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That last image might show right and wrong ways to respond to a difficult person. With all that’s wrong in the world, it’s right to speak up and effectively act for change.

I sometimes worry that I’m doing wrong even when I’m doing right, so it was nice to get this feedback for my annual review from a doctor I work with:

Ann is the most amazing social worker in Boston. My patients often tell me “Ann is life changing.” She has an ability to connect and help any patient I send her way no matter their story or background. She has had a tremendous impact on even my most challenging complex patients. I would send my own family members to her in a heartbeat. She amazes me more and more each year. I feel so lucky to have her on my team. I have seen her in action a few times (providing therapy to my patients in front of me) and she is clearly a master of masters.
One patient told me “if the world had more Ann Koplow’s it would be a better place. My solution to violence and racism and suffering is to provide each Family an Ann.”

It may not be right for that doctor to claim I’m the most amazing social worker in Boston if she hasn’t met all of them (which she hasn’t), but I defend her right to say it.   I don’t know what’s right or wrong to say about that patient’s proposed solution to violence and racism and suffering.

Here‘s a song that starts with the lyrics “do me wrong, do me right”:

I’ll be lonelier when Oscar leaves us, no matter when or how.  (That last sentence is an “I” statement, a right way to own one’s feelings and minimize defensive reactions.)

There’s nothing wrong about expressing thoughts and feelings, so please express yours in a comment right below this post.

Gratitude always seems right, so thanks to all who help me blog each and every right and wrong day, including YOU.

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

Day 2781: Turning around

In my mind, I’ve been turning around the pros and cons of euthanasia for our ailing and beloved cat, Oscar.  Yesterday morning, Oscar seemed so sick that I scheduled a home euthanasia visit for this afternoon. This morning, I am turning around to cancel that visit, because Oscar took a turn for the better yesterday afternoon.

I notice Oscar has trouble turning around without staggering in the morning. In the afternoons, he is turning around before he settles in my lap. And no matter what he is doing, he is still turning around to eat some delicious chicken whenever we offer it to him.

My son is not turning around in his belief that we should not euthanize Oscar. My husband Michael is turning around what he believes is right, depending on Oscar’s behavior.

I’m used to turning around many perspectives in my mind while making decisions, especially difficult ones like this one. With so much turning around, everybody seems a little dizzy, including Oscar.

Turning around to today’s photos, here’s the inspiration for today’s title:

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When I saw that sign yesterday, I thought there was probably no turning around from today being Oscar’s last day on earth.  However, in my life, I’ve experienced and witnessed so much turning around that nothing seems written in stone.

Last week, I witnessed people in my Coping and Healing groups turning around low self esteem by discussing positive attributes.  If anyone had trouble naming what they liked about themselves, the other group members had no trouble turning around to share what they appreciated about that person.

Every time I try to write my last letter from the President for the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy, I keep turning around to other activities, like watching musicals on TV (including The Music Man, Bye Bye Birdie, and On The Town).

Here’s a thought that’s turning around in my mind: It’s difficult to say goodbye.

No matter where I am, I’m often turning around to take photos like these:

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In On the TownGene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, and Jules Munshin are playing sailors showing up and turning around in New York, New York:

There’s a lot of turning around in “You’re Awful” from On the Town, including Frank Sinatra and Betty Garrett  turning around the meanings of words:

What thoughts and feelings are turning around for you, here and now?  Consider turning around and leaving a comment, below.

At the end of each post, I’m turning around to gratitude, so thanks to all who help me turn out this blog every day, including YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 2779: Staggering

Our 18-year-old cat, Oscar, who has cancer, has been staggering, sometimes, when he walks. Otherwise, his appetite is good and he does not seem to be in pain. He continues to be a staggeringly sweet kitty who wants to be close to his family.

It is staggering to me ….

  • What world leaders will do to hold onto power,
  • The increase of coronavirus cases in the United States,
  • That the U.S. President discourages testing and social distancing despite the recommendations of his own staff,
  • How people can ignore facts and science because of fear, anger, and denial,
  • How pernicious white male rage can be,
  • How some people are valued over others,
  • How kind, perceptive, and thoughtful my 22-year old son is,
  • That my son Aaron thinks that people should have the option of euthanasia and animals should be allowed to die naturally,
  • How long the line and wait was yesterday for Aaron to be tested for COVID-19,
  • How quickly we got the good test results,
  • How beautiful the South Shore of Boston is,
  • How everything my husband Michael cooks is so delicious, and
  • How great it is when the whole family is in the house.

Do you see anything staggering in my photos from yesterday ?

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It is staggering to me that somebody posted a negative comment at the end of this article in the Deseret News starring yours truly.

https://www.deseret.com/platform/amp/indepth/2020/5/31/21264377/coronavirus-anthony-fauci-socks-quarantine-pandemic-covid-19-tees-tshirts-masks-etsy

It is staggering to me that

  • Jennifer Graham, the awesome writer of that article, found me through this blog and
  • the article links to this performance of my original song “Left the House Before I Felt Ready”!

My viewer numbers on YouTube are still less than staggering even after the publication of that story. However, I will keep staggering along in my pursuit of fame and fortune.

In the meantime, I am staggeringly grateful to all who follow me here, including YOU!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

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