Thursday 26th July 1990   Home visit 13.00

“How are you feeling today, Mrs Austin?” Mrs Austin was breathing quite quickly after walking back into her front room. She looked pale.
“I’m not bad, doctor. My legs aren’t as swollen and I’m not waking up at night.”
“Are you still taking the three water tablets?”
“Yes, I am. It’s a bit of a struggle to get to the toilet quickly enough but I’m managing. I’ve had one accident.” She laughed and glanced at me.
Dr Lewis smiled. “I know it’s a nuisance but I’m worried that if we cut them back down, you would start getting more breathless.”
“That’s fine. I am still very weak. I can’t do much. I did a bit of ironing yesterday. I’ll tidy my bedroom later. I try to do one job a day.”
“It is important to keep as active as you can.”

“I have been thinking about what you said, doctor. I would prefer not to be resuscitated. There wouldn’t be any point, now that I am as ill as this. You are already doing everything you can.”
“I think that that’s the right decision, Mrs Austin.”
“Do I need to sign any papers?”
“No, of course not. I will make a note of it in your records and I will let Dr Desmond know.”
“Yes, you’d better. He would be extremely annoyed if he had to come rushing out to resuscitate me in the middle of his lunch.” Mrs Austin glanced at me again.

Are you still taking three water tablets?
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