Friday, January 20, 2012

Nitty Gritty...

Wow.. we are getting down to the nitty gritty here. I hope I have the fortitude to see this through. I think I can safely say, this is the hardest thing I have ever done.

Three years ago, I watched my Momma pass away in the hospital. That was heartbreaking to say the least. But, she was in the hospital. She was being cared for by professionals. All I had to do was be there for her.

The hospice experience is totally different than the hospital experience. His care is up to me. I am not a professional. I am a child, watching their parent suffer and wither away before my eyes, while I try to take care of him at the same time. Do not mistake that statement. Hospice has been a life saver, and a huge help. All I am saying, is the experience is completely different.

Some of the things I may describe next, may not be for the faint of heart, or weak of the stomach. But, this is my blog, and I do this to get out my feelings and to make myself feel better. Leave now, if you would prefer to not read what I have to say about what is going on.

The last 48 hours have been a whirlwind of emotions. Tears one minute, and anger the next. Helplessness and impotency mixed with fear, and now the wish that this just be over as fast as possible.

He has been able to get to the bedside potty twice (which is another story for another day), with a huge amount of effort and help from me.  He recognizes he needs to go, and that is good in a way. We can't decide if it is awareness of his body, or just a "reflex". He has had no food, and only a few sips of Ginger Ale for 2 days. Now, he can't seem to swallow without choking, so we are trying little tiny sips, and the little swabs that you wet, and moisten his mouth with. His body is withering, literally, in front of my eyes. There is no recognition in his eyes except for a few seconds when he wakes up. The blank stare is almost impossible to watch. His eyes are not right. I can't decide if they are even looking in the same direction really. They just aren't right. His skin is not the right color. I can't describe it exactly... possibly a gray tint, or something along those lines. The moaning and twitching are maybe a little better. It is hard to tell if it is pain, or if it is just something that happens at the end of life. His body is fighting tooth and nail to just breath, so some of that may just be him trying to get air. He is doing weird things with his hands, I tease him and ask if he is knitting. I have no clue what he is really doing. His feet are turning a purple color, which is the mottling of the skin, they said is normal.

The nurse yesterday, said his BP and Pulse were good. His breathing is very erratic, however. He does stop breathing for around 15 - 20 seconds at a time. We are no longer taking daily meds. He can't swallow the pills, and honestly who gives a flip if his prostate is big or little.. it no longer matters. The only medicine we are giving is the Morphine liquid. I administer that, with a syringe into this mouth, and it is absorbed through the mucous membranes there, and works pretty quickly. It helps ease his respiration's as well as pain. We have upped his dose, and that seemed to help. I did have to call again, and ask if we could up the dosage again. He was coming out of the bed hollering. We have now upped the dose to every hour, with a crushed up Xanax in there as well.

Death is not imminent, however it is close. I think a couple of days at the most. These will be the longest days of my life so far, and I have had a very interesting life.

My wonderful husband took last night off, to help me (or yesterday since it is the am). Thank God for that man. We are taking watches, since I administer the morphine every hour. Well, we are supposed to be taking shifts. We have both been up all night. But, we are here for each other, and that is worth more than sleep any day! He will probably take tonight off as well. I would never ask him, but to have him here with me so I am not alone, is priceless.

Again, I would like to thank everybody for the support. It means the world to me to know I have people supporting me through this.

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