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John Daly Belts Out ‘Knocking On Heaven’s Door’ In Fayetteville
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Bob Dylan with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. We've already begun to talk to our children. As I said at the beginning about "permission to stand down," I think the main value of the book is getting prepared. It's not enough to have the ordinary paperwork signed and the expressed wish against "extraordinary measures;" both her parents and mine had that. Beyond that, it's thinking that at some point one may decide not to have some device implanted or recommended surgery or investigative procedure that would imply treatment. It's being prepared to ask questions and, perhaps, decline.
I feel myself at an interim point now, not "that old. As part of the local newspaper's current series on the problem of rural hospitals shutting their doors, I read this morning of a year-old woman who said she wouldn't be alive today if the hospital hadn't been there for her two years ago when she had a heart attack. They didn't have to revive her but she did have a bypass, and now continues to run a bed-and-breakfast with a friend, according to the article, at least. We always used to hear how much better the American system of medicine is, how "socialized" medicine killed somebody's loved one, and how people from Canada and Europe came to the US for treatment they couldn't get at home.
And, of course, the political cry of "death panels! And here's the original article that became the basis of Knocking on Heaven's Door. View all 8 comments. Sep 07, Jackie rated it really liked it Shelves: books-i-think-i-should-read , nonfiction , work-review-related-reading , formative , pleasure-reading.
I wasn't sure I wanted to read this book--it was a difficult time that I'm generally happy to keep in the closet. However, I took the plunge into Katy Butler's book, and found out that what I felt and went through was not unique and it was wonderful to hear echoes of what I experienced in her story. She is very open with her feelings, and her frustrations, with her family, the tremendously mysterious and maddening medical army you must take on in the process of helping someone in decline and death though Butler finds ways around it as time goes by , and the modern version of dying that has taken all the sacred away and piled up too many procedures, patches, and invasive entrances to our bodies and our lives.
Butler, a Buddhist, believes that things can be different, and she shows us what is so wrong, and what can be righted, if we are willing to stand up for a better death. This is a book that most people need to read, for their family and for themselves. Sep 05, Monica Wesolowska rated it it was amazing. If you have parents, you need to read this book. Part memoir, part investigative journalism, Knocking On Heaven's Door by Katy Butler is a gorgeous and essential book. In brief, Butler writes about caring for our parents as they age. The truth is that, as modern medicine enables people to live longer and longer, often with poorer and poorer quality of life, the disproportionate burden of caretaking falls on daughters.
This is caretaking for those who have fallen through the cracks, neither so il If you have parents, you need to read this book. This is caretaking for those who have fallen through the cracks, neither so ill they receive treatment, but not quite ill enough to die, parents living in a limbo created by modern medicine, not family love.
In Butler's case, her father had a pacemaker installed just about the time that he probably would have gracefully begun to decline into senility and death. Instead, the pacemaker kept him alive, year after year, wearing his wife and daughter out despite their love for him. And here's what makes the books so great.
While Butler does an excellent job as a journalist detailing the rise of modern medicine along with nifty devices like pacemakers and the problems they bring, she also describes her personal journey of love for her parents. She's totally honest. While she loves and admires them, they were clearly not easy parents on their children. Butler's brothers barely come to visit. Butler herself often ends visits by catching an early flight. Butler does not sugarcoat anything. Most of us have complicated relationships with our parents. Butler reminds us that we will have to deal with this even as our parents die.
In many ways, Butler's book reminds me of my own. Both of us blend our personal experiences with letting someone die along with the state of modern medicine. Both of us obviously believe that what makes the difference is paying enough attention to this final act in life that we can go through it with grace. Even being similar, Butler's book gave me something new. Halfway through the book, she describes her father in his dementia as if he were Tintern Abbey, the ruin described so beautifully by Wordsworth.
She writes, "Never would I wish upon my father the misery of his final years. But he was sacred in his ruin, and I took from it the shards that will sustain me. To tend our parents as they once tended us, to tend others as we ourselves hope someday to be tended to, is indeed a sacred act. Oct 13, Julie rated it it was amazing. Here is what I think: you should go out right now and pick up a copy of this book.
Go on, I'll wait. The library, the bookstore, download it from Barnes and Noble or Amazon. I am totally serious. Next time you are out and about. Honestly, I found this book to be well-written, well and quite thoroughly researched and footnoted , and unvarnished. Unflinchingly, Butler discusses her parents' declining health and ultimate demise, and dares to search out answers for questions both duri Here is what I think: you should go out right now and pick up a copy of this book. Unflinchingly, Butler discusses her parents' declining health and ultimate demise, and dares to search out answers for questions both during their struggle and after.
The ultimate question of the book: how can we help our loved ones die with dignity, as easily and painlessly as possible, without pushing them too early into the abyss? Butler changed my view on several events in my own life, and how my older relatives have lived and are living their final years.
This would be a great book club book, but its only drawback is that you should probably not give it as a holiday present. View all 6 comments. May 30, Patricia Ziegler rated it it was amazing. Though this book deals with tough issues it is an absolute pleasure to read. Her journalistic skills coupled with her talent as a writer combine to open our eyes and minds to choices we may not know we have until it is Though this book deals with tough issues it is an absolute pleasure to read.
Her journalistic skills coupled with her talent as a writer combine to open our eyes and minds to choices we may not know we have until it is too late. Yes, this is a book about a search for a better way of death, but it is so much more. It is a book about real life, true love and discovering the liberty to choose, told in an intimate family drama.
It is deeply moving, radically informative, uplifting and unforgettable. Everyone should read this book. Dec 22, Evan rated it it was ok. Having worked in emergency medicine I was interested in learning more about a layman's view of end of life medical care. Family members can have a difficult time letting go. I have been called to homes where the patient was on hospice care and yet a family member panicked and called anyway. EMS has no choice but to respond. I think that the most important point that the author makes is that the family needs to educate itself in order to make the most informed decisions in the best interest o Having worked in emergency medicine I was interested in learning more about a layman's view of end of life medical care.
I think that the most important point that the author makes is that the family needs to educate itself in order to make the most informed decisions in the best interest of their loved one and that end of life wishes need to be discussed while the loved one is still competent. I tired of the author's vacillating between loving and hating her parents and I certainly could have done without her search for meaning.
She came across as a bit whiny to me. I do agree with her though that there may come a time when the best thing to do is to just make your loved one comfortable and gather around to say good-bye in the comfort of your home. It is not fair to become angry with the medical staff. Sep 25, Angel Suhrstedt rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Anyone taking care of a loved one. Almost six months ago today I said goodbye to my year-old grandfather after what had been a few years of amazingly painful decline in his quality of life.
Making decisions about end-of-li Almost six months ago today I said goodbye to my year-old grandfather after what had been a few years of amazingly painful decline in his quality of life. Making decisions about end-of-life care are hard on everyone involved in the process, and while "Knocking on Heaven's Door" was tough to read in many parts, I could really feel Butler's pain and suffering as she and her family went through this ordeal. It's almost impossible to feel like you are ever doing the "right thing. Don't try to argue with what has already happened.
Accept the pain and don't regret what has already happened. This is the one thing I think I'll really take away from this book. Remember to avoid the second arrow. The pain of the process is enough. May 03, John Doyle rated it it was amazing Shelves: dying. This "investigative memoir" delves into the experiences of a middle-aged daughter navigating our Kafkaesque healthcare system and her own despair, anger, and ambivalence during her father's six-year decline following a devastating stroke.
The central message of the book is that too many of us default ourselves and our loved ones into a medicalized labyrinth of tests, procedures, and futile measures that drain them and us of funds and dignity as we die. Most tragically, we routinely miss the oppo This "investigative memoir" delves into the experiences of a middle-aged daughter navigating our Kafkaesque healthcare system and her own despair, anger, and ambivalence during her father's six-year decline following a devastating stroke.
Most tragically, we routinely miss the opportunity to engage meaningfully with family and friends at the end of our lives.
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The author offers a prescriptive approach to avoiding this fate but for me the whole issue boils down to the challenge to a patient or loved one of saying "no" to the next test, drug, or procedure. In the moment, the incremental cost of such measures seems trivial in comparison to the hope they provide. That is what it takes to give yourself or someone you love a chance at the kind of death our ancestors held in high esteem.
Sep 21, Saleh MoonWalker rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction , autobiography , science. Dec 26, Ghost of the Library rated it really liked it Shelves: nonfiction , life-and-death , memoirs , medical , autobiography. I am sure some of you will think or say - what a weird reading choice for christmas!? When is it time to say goodbye to a loved one who is dying in front of your eyes? When the pain becomes too much, when there is nothing to be done, when they say its ok for you to let them go? No matter how much you plan it, no matter the preparations you may or may no I am sure some of you will think or say - what a weird reading choice for christmas!?
No matter how much you plan it, no matter the preparations you may or may not do towards old age, disease and death, its only when you are actually hit by one such situation that you can truly know how you will respond. Katy Butler, drawing from a deeply personal and painful experience - the decline and death of her father - does an outstanding job of showing us how ill prepared we humans are to deal with dying.
Mankind has reached such a stage of medical development that anything goes these days to keep us breathing till the very end, and beyond whatever life expectancy was once deemed "normal". I went through a similar situation with my own grandfather, once an agile and mentally healthy 85 year old that, having one day literally stumbled on his own feet and fallen, ended up in a nursing home and dead after 18 months - of a steady and very painful to watch decline in his ability to walk, talk and take care of himself.
This wont be an easy read, but its one i most certainly reccomend, because not only does it explore the last human taboo well maybe the second last.. I call it industry because after having lived for several years in a country with public and effective health care for all, the current american reality is to me no more than an assembly line of sorts where the patient goes in and only lord knows how, or if, he comes out! Anyone going through a moment of assessing options for themselves or their loved ones - this is a must; anyone wanting literally to plan ahead for old age - by all means read it!
Aug 14, Paul Pessolano rated it liked it. Katy explores not only the dying part but what comes before it.
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The implanting of the pacemaker becomes a vital part of their lives as Jeff falls further and further into disability. This becomes especially hard when he is unable to do even the simplest everyday tasks. It becomes such a burden that she falls into despair and actually wishes for his death. When the family attempts to shut off the pacemaker they find that they can find no one willing to do it due to ethics and liability, thus prolonging a life that may well have ended long ago if the pacemaker had not been implanted.
Knockin On Heaven's Door
She is diagnosed with a fatal disease but insists that no measures be taken to prolong her life. A very good expose of out medical system that touches on what measures should be taken to keep a person alive when the only thing keeping them alive is modern technology. One also must ask the question as to who makes the decision to stop treatment, and at what point is the quality of life a factor in the decision making. The book has many high points and makes it well worth reading, however there are parts that bog down and take away from the true purpose of the book.
Jan 02, Nancy rated it it was ok. I feel this book's reputation is misleading.
It isn't, in the main, how to help someone you love have a good death. It is mostly a memoir of the author's difficult years with her dying parents. The part that is common sense helpful doesn't come until the very end. I'd like to see that section offered as a separate guide. I wearied of the author's angst and conflicts, mostly with her mother. The parts about the costs of the current medical system aren't exactly new, at least not anymore. Somewhat I feel this book's reputation is misleading. Somewhat interesting. But what I wanted, and what I was told this book was, was a guide to negotiating the health care system when a parent no longer desires active medical intervention.
Very disappointed for the most part. Also, way too much glamorization and nostalgia for death in bygone eras, like the middle ages. Apr 21, Ginger rated it it was amazing. Happened to see this on the shelf at the library after reading Being Mortal. This book is along the same lines, but deals with one woman's personal story of her father's stroke, and the subsequent installation of a pacemaker. His body slowly fell apart, but his heart kept going because pacemaker batteries last a very long time.
Definitely a good book to read along with Being Mortal. We need you! Help build the largest human-edited lyrics collection on the web! Add Lyrics. The Fallen Crow. Howell, Kyle Hippy. Heavens to Betsy.
Knocking On Heaven's Door
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