Mr. Ku, a Single Veteran

In: Social Issues

Submitted By nacrine
Words 774
Pages 4
Mr. Ku is an 81-year-old veteran who lives alone. Like many of his fellows, he was single for many years until he got a wife from Mainland China 10 years ago, but she flew back there three years ago and didn’t come back since then. His income majorly depends on government monthly stipend but that’s not enough so he also makes some money by doing some recycling business. However this winter was particularly harsh for him because he had an intractable cough. Sometimes the night cough even caused him to cough out blood. Initially he thought it was just like his chronic cough because he had been smoking for many years, so he just drank cough syrup and some herbal medicine given by old friends. But he started to become febrile for two days, and dyspnea developed the following night that made he collapse out side of his apartment. His neighbors found that and called 911 for an ambulance.
He was sent to an ER where they found he with severe lobar pneumonia, and the condition worsened very fast with CO2 retention that the doctors considered intubating him. Even though already semi-comatose, Mr. Ku resisted for a while cause he didn’t want to breathe or rely on a machine. The medical staff couldn’t find any next-of-kin to sign DNAR, and the patient himself couldn’t sign either cause he didn’t know how to write his name. Eventually they decided to use a non-invasive positive pressure mask first and admitted him in an ICU. Luckily after five days of treatment with that mask and broad-spectrum antibiotics, his condition was stabilized. But they found his chest X-ray didn’t come clear as fast as it should be, so they ordered a chest CT scan, which disclosed a tumor mass and favored advanced stage lung cancer.
Because the lung cancer seemed already inoperable, the medical team discussed about the possible chemotherapy treatment with Mr. Ku, but he didn’t want that and just…...

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