Wednesday, September 14, 2011

It's just about over

When I went up to see him this morning I knew the news was not going to be good, but it was worse than I expected. His body has gone into catastrophic failure - the liver has basically stopped working, kidneys are failing, gall bladder is infected and inflamed which has caused his entire digestive system to shut down. His limbs are so swollen as to barely be recognizable.  He was barely lucid enough to recognize me when I arrived, but that was partly because they had just given him Oxycodone for the pain in his belly.
The doctors were very kind, but very clear - there is nothing further they can do but keep him pain free.  They offered to feed him intravenously, but there is no point, as it won't make him feel any better and will not extend the time he has left, which is measured in days. Besides, we had long ago discussed the options and he wants no feeding tubes, no breathing tubes, and now that it is so clear he is dying the DNR is in effect.
I will be going back up tomorrow to spend as much time as I can with him, and every day we have left, so I will probably not be in touch except sporadically, as they may well give me either a cot in the room or a room in the hotel next door so I can stay near him.  It's all I can do now - just hold his hand, rub his poor sore feet and keep telling him I love him. I may even go back up tonight - I haven't decided yet, because I am so shaken by the suddenness. I don't want to risk the trip if I can't be sure of driving safely. I forgot to eat today, so I suppose I should do that before trying to drive two hours again.
According to his wishes there will be no funeral - his remains will be cremated, with parts distributed in several places, including the family plot. Later there will be a memorial, but probably a small one as he really had almost no friends left except me - most of the guests will be there for me. I wouldn't even bother, but it seems like the right thing to do - I'm still too lost to be rational about that at the moment.
I seem to cope very well one moment, then fall apart the next, only to gather up the pieces and move on the next. I suppose that is normal? Anyway, that is where things are for now, and the next few days will be rough. I knew they would be when the time came, I just wasn't expecting them so soon.

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