Allyson Altit

The Sol Project and The Will To Live Cont’d…


I left you in the blog just prior to this one telling you that Sol would breathe BUT before Sol was relocated I must tell of the meeting that took place with the “ethics committee.”

It took place on a Friday when Anat, and Sol’s sister were notified about this meeting and they asked us and another person to sit in on it with them. No one really knew what to expect. The doctors and the representative from the ethics committee of the hospital attended. Basically the point of the conversation, as Sol would approach end of month 3 of his hospital stay, was that these people who were taking care of Sol advised that they did not see a “LIGHT” at the end of the tunnel. The conversation was nothing short of appalling as it was sickening to us all! It was another time in the Sol project that we will never forget, although we had all wished that the conversation never happened.

How dare anyone take hope or deny any will to live. I have become aware over time that there are SOME people in the medical industry, who may be necessary for medical care, but simultaneously those people can and do, too often, completely fail to uplift, give hope or encourage those in need.

When the meeting ended we all looked at one another and collectively decided to ignore the words we had heard. Instead we continued on, not only with positive thinking, but with the fact that if Sol could see the LIGHT indubitably so do we!

The issue: Sol needed to be weaned from vent, to cpap, to breathing on his own-day and night. In Sol’s deteriorating condition this goal is enormous. However, even with his nourishment leaving him thin and weak, and of course the multiple health issues working against him he would focus on breathing.

Time was running as we all know it does. Sol was fighting every minute of every 24 hour day. It was remarkable how Sol was on the ball, even when we think he isn’t fully alert all of a sudden he will chime into the conversation, with lip reading, and tell us who came to visit, as well as how we could make him more comfortable. He worked around the clock to strengthen his lungs and breathe on his own. Finally he went all day and night without any ventilator assistance. It is impossible to convey to you the strength this required BUT Sol succeeded. The excitement from this report that I had received from Anat was pure happiness accompanied by lots of laughter as he surprised all of us.

Everyone just focused on the “light” at the end of the tunnel and talked and dreamed of him being permitted to eat as the next step. That would require a “swallow test.” The doctors made it clear that they would not be rushing into that, but we indulged in the hope and conversed with Sol about what else-BUT nothing other than his favorite desire of sipping a smoothie. If you think about it, Sol wasn’t asking for much, he just wanted to get a taste in his mouth and after too many months of NOTHING passing from his mouth to his stomach he obviously deserved and needed some relief that way! Once again how much can one man take……

We hoped to move him out of the hospital and get Sol into some sort of rehab. that would eventually lead him HOME, where Sol speaks of returning to ALL THE TIME.

Apparently the breathing was too difficult for Sol’s body and he went into cardiac arrest #7.

Do I have to tell you how everyone felt, or can I really convey to you if I do how that time was? Moving Sol into ICU was beyond disappointing as it was sadder than sad could possibly be. When we went to visit Sol in ICU I recall the most natural reaction were tears. Tears as during the first time, but this time when we never thought we could have more fear I suspect we all did. Obviously there were NO WORDS to say BUT the most natural behavior from everyone involved was not to dare and focus on the negative. Everyone took their place and resumed fighting for Sol. Each time it would bring more of a challenge to this project. This time we realized that Sol was quite sad and felt defeated and of course frightened and that just fueled us with what we believe is always his wish-that being his WILL TO LIVE. Those 3 words always rise to the occasion and remain steadfast and strong. Months ago everyone assured Sol that we will go through this time with him and back then he asked that no one abandon him, obviously and whole heartedly everyone gave him their word-no one would ever want to abandon Sol!

We were told by the doctors that Sol was back to square one. We had to accept that and once again made it clear that no one was giving up, so we shall begin again. Sol once again left the doctors baffled and was sent back to the 5th floor-this time to a new room down the hallway.

The challenge was back on. Sol’s spirit was up and down. He had good hours and not so good hours. This was the deal and he and everyone was familiar with the territory. New Year 2015 rang in. January was here and the coldest winter in decades were upon us. We could tell Sol about the bitter cold but how dare we complain. This is when daily life events need to be put into perspective. As we all detest the bone chilling temperatures and the frigid day after day forecast we are lucky people; because we are the people that have the capability to get up and out of bed, take a hot shower, bundle up and go outdoors if we choose. Sol has no choice, he is still a prisoner in his bed who is not capable of doing the above mentioned and much more. So we just fill him in on the fact that he isn’t missing much except for record breaking cold outside. But in retrospect I suspect Sol wished that would be his biggest problem.

Before we go into the month of March Sol would have cardiac arrest 8 and 9. Once again these unfortunate setbacks are so serious and difficult to convey how remarkable it is that this keeps on occurring. When cardiac arrest #9 occurred just a couple of weeks ago he was moved back to ICU. The doctors decided he needed to be observed and in ICU it would be best, so they said.

We also knew that the doctors were in a sense giving up as they made it clear that there was not much that they could do. How outrageous and appalling a notion that doctors can reach a point where they basically throw their hands up in the air and in my opinion “give up?” It was also obvious that no doctor really wanted to take responsibility for Sol’s situation. What they did want and until this day, do want is for Sol to be released; therefore that would relieve them of their services. I find it difficult to comprehend and even more difficult to accept all of this.

I have been saying for years that when people are in medical school preparing to become DOCTORS there should be a required course called “Bed Side Manner.” The key to pass the course should include lessons in COMPASSION AND KINDNESS. I would be unfair if I did not state that there are definitely doctors out there that have incorporated that as part of their style. Dr. Sol is one of them.

Since when does being a doctor come along with the RIGHT to decide how long anyone should fight for a life and furthermore take away a person’s WILL TO LIVE?

Today begins the month of March and month 7………

About the Author
Allyson Altit is from New York. She has worked in the travel industry for over 30 years as a leisure specialist. Her area of expertise is in European destinations and Israel. She has been involved with charity work for the Hadassah organization as well. In 2009 she graduated from Queens College majoring in Jewish studies. She has just completed writing her first novel...
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