This morning Al woke up in an odd mood. He had refused last night’s supper and the night before supper too. This morning he struggled to eat breakfast. He really didn’t want to go to day program. He told me a couple of things. He said he didn’t have his chest pain but he felt odd all over. He also said that he felt like he was fading, that he was dying real soon.
Now you have to know that this bothers me so much when I hear him speak like this. I laughed and said, “You are not dying, you have a long time to go.”
I talked him into going to the day program as I felt it would be best for him. I also called the company and talked to them again about getting Al out of that wheelchair. They leave him sit in that hard old thing all day long. They finally listened and found a nice rocker for him.
The nurse called me about half an hour before Al got home. She said they were going to get him a new chair. I think I know what they are like. It is like a wheelchair but there is a padded chair inside that tilts back almost allowing him to lay down. Hospice said that they hope he will have it by Thursday.
Have you ever been in a position where you knew the news but it isn’t sinking in your brain? Or maybe worse, you are refusing to believe? As the nurse and I chatted I told her about the constant chest pains, the lack of suppers and him not really wanting to go to Day Program. I told her about Al’s remark about him thinking he was in the process of dying today.
She came back with words I didn’t want to hear. She said, “Terry, you and I know that Al is dying. Two doctors have documented it and obviously this is why he is on Hospice. It is very common to lose the appetite at this point and to also want sweets other than healthy foods. The next time he speaks of dying tell him it is alright to go. Tell him that if he wants to see Mom that it is alright; that you will follow along in your own time.”
I choked, I didn’t cry, but I choked. These are words I can not accept, at least not yet, maybe not until it is too late. Do I want to really tell him that it is alright for him to go? To not be afraid of dying? To go see Mom? How can I do this when I love him and want him here with me?
When he came home he was real chatty. This was nice. He had met a staff that put model cars together. From what he said they hit it off right a way and the staff promised to bring in one of the finished models the next time he worked. This made a complete difference in Al’s attitude. I am so thankful I urged him to go.
Al wants to go half-days. He says he just gets too tired. This may happen but not yet. We want to try the new chair first. We decided to have a pizza party, so I popped one in the oven since he felt better and we had pizza and pop for supper. He ate real well. I was watching him as he ate to make sure he didn’t choke and I suddenly noticed every fingernail was a medium gray.
The color never faded during supper. I have seen his nails go to dark gray and then leave before but never stand strong and stay and although he was eating well I was reminded that he is very sick and thought back to the conversation with the Hospice nurse. What if he mentions he wants to go see Mom? I guess I will swallow my pain and tell him it is alright to go.
It wasn’t a cheery day and I needed a good laugh to break the silence in my heart. I went through some magazines until I found a photo and I immediately started cracking up. I was laughing. Laughing over the picture and crying from the knowledge Al is so sick.
I thought to myself, am I going to be a swinging granny in my eighties dressed like this? Lordy, I hope not. I know men go through the change, will I also???? Oh my gosh what is the next chapter of my life going to be like? Here is the pic I cracked up at.