Quality of Life...

By GabbyPA Latest Reply 2013-11-17 19:27:17 -0600
Started 2013-11-11 14:22:09 -0600

…What does that mean to you?

Chatting with another member today we were discussing what our own view of "quality of life" is. I had not really thought about it in terms of how I want to be before. It was a very interesting exercise in reflection on what exactly that means to me. It's different to everyone.

He put it this way, and I found it to be very profound: " No brownie or plate of pasta can replace that satisfaction. That’s just my “quality of life”." His satisfaction was to serve others in little everyday ways. But what stuck me is what he said cannot replace that satisfaction…those forbidden foods. They are not worth it to him. That made me think. (and put a sign on my fridge that says "Is your quality of life going to benefit from what you take out of the fridge right now?")

Here is what my "quality of life" is to me:
For me, quality of life means that I am able to do for me and for others. That I will be able to work in my garden and share my bounty. That travel will once again be on my docket as it was in my youth, though maybe a little more tame. Quality of life for me would mean living unleashed to meds so I don't have to worry about what will happen if I don't have them. My ultimate quality of life would be to die at home, with loved ones around me, knowing that I made a difference in each of their lives some how.

So what does that mean to you? What is your "quality of life" worth to you? Are you willing to do things now to try to assure your quality down the road? Is your quality of life a physical thing, spiritual thing, or charitable thing or all of these?

3 replies

jaydoubleyou23 2013-11-11 22:43:29 -0600 Report

After getting diagnosed with type one, I'm just thankful to still be alive and getting a chance to make my life into what I've always wanted it to be.
When I was in the hospital, the night I got diagnosed my blood sugar was in the 1500's. I knew I had diabetes for the longest time, but I didn't know how bad it could destroy me if I left it. I was just so scared of needles, and getting my blood drawn, and IVs, and everything that I didn't see it worth it to go to the hospital. But unknowingly I slipped into DKA and I swear I shouldn't have been able to live through the experience.At the time, I was only 68 pounds, and I couldn't see because I had the most severe double vision.
Now, I'm grateful for everything I have. I have an amazing bunch of friends that stick by my side through anything and the most perfect fiance I could ever ask for. And soon, I get to attend a college that's going to set me up with the career that I've been dreaming of since forever. I'm just so excited to see what life has in store for me, it's been such a bump road, but it's worth the journey.
So, I guess the quality of life, is just pure happiness. If you surround yourself with people who push you towards your dreams and help you every inch of the way, the pain and the mistakes of the past are nothing.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2013-11-11 19:10:15 -0600 Report

Quality of life is a very difficult discussion.
I have talked with residents, resident's family and friends, my family, fellow staff, and medical professionals who were my caregivers.
What is considered an important quality issue today can change in a heart beat.
My garden was my healing place for many years. Working hardpan prairie that took a pick axe to break up into rich wonderful soil that would let me pull a weed out with barely a tug. A place I recovered in from not even being able to pull a thread thin weed seedling out of, both hands and arms in agony from ulnar tendonitis.
The pain of losing it is still with me.
But I still have my Hubby and myself. I can enjoy other peoples gardens
The loss has helped me share better with my residents as they move into Assisted Living. I understand the losses they feel as deeply. I understand the awful adjustment of having your life uprooted. Sometimes their journey has been slow and gradual to a place that is one stop closer to the end of life. Sometimes it has been as sudden as my near end of life on earth.
One dear resident chose to fight with all her strength to live with end stage renal failure. Her quality of life was one more minute with her children and grandchildren. The thought of not seeing her grandson grow up was worse than any physical pain.
Another resident with the same diagnosis could no longer face the pain. She chose to go home. To stop dialysis.
When I was told my leg vein pumps were not working, all I could see was my Dad. His constant ulcers,chronic infections, black swollen legs. His not being able to leave the room and his recliner for longer than a few hours every so often to spend time at a family event. His telling Mom "We have to leave, I can't stand the pain."
Would this be my future? My quality of life?
Thankfully my PCP found a Vascular Surgeon who could do a procedure to help. The older surgery, that would have been the possible option for my Dad, I may not have chosen. The risks out weighing the possible benefit. The newer surgery much more promising. As promised, at almost 3 years out no ulcers. Without the surgery the chance of new ulcers was almost a certainty.
I spend way more time with my legs propped up and resting. Never up and about for longer than 20 minutes without my compression stockings. I found a job that most shifts seems to have a nice balance of walking and sitting.
Maybe I could find a better paying, less emotionally draining job.
But even after watching a wonderful lady loss her fight yesterday, I know I am where I should be.
I already miss her wonderful smile that lit up my day. Her pain could not dim her glow. She held firm until the end "I am here because God wants me here", she told me on her first night back from Rehab. She shared how close to death she had been. And how she knew He wanted her still here to do whatever He had planned for her. Her words matched what I had often said to my Hubby from my hospital bed during my struggle.
Last night I told her daughter and son what she had told me..