My cycling buddy that was hit by a car appears to have hit a plateau with his recovery. It's been over a year and his left leg is still not fully functioning and is just a miniature version of his right, healthy leg. He's only tried to ride once and unless he can get more production from his left leg he's probably just an observer for a while.
However his latest challenge is much more serious and desperate. His wife was hospitalized a couple weeks ago as the result of complications from COPD. After some initial treatments she was admitted to ICU and put on "ventilation". Unfortunately for medical reasons she could only stay on the ventilation for a defined period and then the tubes would have to be removed. Because she had a living will, she did not want to be put on artificial support for a sustained period.
While her lungs were not able to function on their own, everything else was working very well. She was mentally extremely alert when the medications were reduced. While she could not talk due to the tubes, she would write notes and communicate by jestering. She displayed her normal personality throughout. The rub is they were pushing my Buddy to remove the ventilation.
Needless to say it has been an extremely agonizing situation. The doctor's told him that without the ventilation she would not be able to sustain enough oxygen to survive very long. Thus by removing her ventilation he felt like he was becoming an exectioner of the person he cared most for. Words cannot describe the anguish he was feeling and displaying.
However he has gotten some peace as his wife was alert enough for a long discussion of the options in front of her. After hearing the scenarios, she still opted for not having something breathe for her. I just cannot imagine the courage needed to make that decision.
So, the tubes have been removed and she is barely managing to sustain breathing. However the end is close by and she is now under Hospice's care. She is very tough minded and I'm sure she will be with us longer than anyone might predict-it might just be minutes or could be days but she's just that tough. I also know through her scribbling notes to me that one of her greatest concerns was if my Cycling Buddy would be okay if she died. I suspect that as soon as she's convinced he'll be okay she'll move on to where her Mom and Dad now preside.
My Cycling Buddy and I have gone down many a road together when he was riding. However, neither one of us ever expected to have to have to go down a road like this. He really, really needs and could use our combined thoughts right now. He's had one hell of a year.