After a terrible night last night and little sleep the illness didn’t give in and has had its way with Al all day today and up until now. His tremors got so bad that I had no choice but to call Hospice. They sent a nurse to see Al.
Al was so anxious to see her. He kept repeating over and over to me, ” I’m not going to make it until she gets here. Is she here yet?”
” No bud, not yet.”
When she did arrive she spent some quality time with Al, but so did someone else. Rhino, our fatty cat kept hanging around. He would jump up on Al and lick his nose, then he was doing his thing to Al’s belly. You know, it looked like he was kneading bread dough. I don’t mean that in any bad way, but Rhino kept digging his clawless paws in Al’s stomach, then he would reach up and kiss Al’s nose.
When I shooed him down, he sat right at the side of the recliner and mewed. I tried to get him to leave the room but he hid under Al’s leg lift of his recliner. The nurse examined Al and then suggested that tomorrow they take him to Hospice house for five days.
Being able to observe Al’s extreme sweating and tremors, hopefully getting an idea of how to change medications in some way or form. Al was for it but he kept insisting he wasn’t going to be here next week. He kept going on and on telling the nurse he was dying.
The more he talked the more the nurse listened. The room became quiet except for Rhino. Rhino kept getting louder. He would jump up on Al’s bed and then back to Al’s lap. I guess if the regular Hospice nurse and Hospice doctor agree he will be leaving tomorrow.
Five days are so long to me. Who can care for Al better than me? Who can hold his hand and wipe his tears better than me? Then I stopped and thought, but what if they can adjust his medications so he can rest better?
This is when I decided to let him go if everyone involved feels it is the best for him. What is five days really compared to the pain he endures by the seconds. Before she left she gave him a very strong dose of pain medication and gave follow-up orders for me for the rest of the night.
After she left I sat with him for a while. He is barely a wake so I decided to bring my broken heart to you. It helps, yes it does. It makes me feel like I am actually talking to someone who cares. I need you, my friends, much more than you need me.
I look around the room and I see no one here. I don’t hear the phone ring. No one is asking me how Al and I are. What I do hear is the cat meowing in Al’s room and a little rattle from Al’s bed rails.
I hope that he and I get some sleep tonight. He has slept about fifteen minutes today and of course I had that hour and a half early this morning. I am tired too as Al is emotionally and physically drained.
As I walked the Hospice nurse to her car I heard those old familiar words again. This is the third time I have heard them and I can’t say that I like it. ” Al isn’t going to die tonight, but he doesn’t have months left either.”
I hear those stabbing words even as she is gone. Part of me is thanking God for taking Al out of his misery. The other part of me is silently weeping as I will lose the last of my family.
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