It is almost one am and I need to get some sleep. But before I can I want to thank you for all of your support and your great friendship. I couldn’t possibly have done any of this without either one.
It has not been a good day. It seems so many changes happen and I just about can’t keep up with them they come so quickly.
Last night I recognized a certain breathing Al was doing. With prior experience taking care of patients nearing the end, the memories swiftly returned as I watched and listened to him. It didn’t stop there.
This morning when I woke him for his shower, he looked at me like he had no idea who I was or where he was. Two ladies appeared at the front door and between them and Al I sat here at my computer in awe as I was forced to hear the rude comments coming from Al’s mouth.
He was angry and mouthy. He was definitely not himself. After the shower was complete, both ladies look exhausted. I knew in that moment the showers were over. It was bed baths from now on. When they brought the topic up for the next shower day, I wasted no time in agreeing with them. I do not want these nice gals getting hurt over Al’s weakness.
Al went off to Day Program as planned but when he arrived home there was no looking up at me as he usually does. No wave from his hand. There was only nothing. The bus driver kept giving me the look as she lowered him to the snowy ground.
I could tell that she wanted to tell me something but could not because Al was right there. I wished her a good weekend and took Al inside to a nice warm living room. I quickly took his outer wear off and looked at his communication book and saw that there had been issues during the day.
The comments were Al was very weak. Two staff had tried to help him with the bathroom duty but Al’s legs didn’t move. The two could not hold up the dead weight and Al slid down to the floor, so they would not drop him.
With extra help they got him back in his chair. He has a blood mark where he was injured and a report was made on this.
I had surprised Al when I went out to get groceries and stopped at his favorite restaurant and picked up supper. I nuked the food and started to feed Al but he wanted nothing to do with it.
It seemed that he was slipping a way from me. No emotions, no movements. I called Hospice and told about the incident from Day Program. She came over and checked him out.
His blood pressure was high. His heart beat was too high. He was not well. She and I looked at each other and we both knew we could not lift him to put him in bed. She called the fire department and within minutes five fire fighters arrived.
I know this is hard to believe but with one of the guys in charge of removing the wheelchair away once they had Al up, it took all four of the others to put him in bed. When there is dead weight involved, what they weigh in reality seems doubled.
The nurse noticed some changes in his feet. Cold and a little dark. She was so nice. She helped me get Al’s clothing off and get him changed and positioned. Not many nurses do that and I was very appreciative.
When we left his room and we were in the living room she began conversations of what to look for with Al when he is passing. She gave instructions on what to do and who to call once that time was here.
I knew in my heart that Al didn’t have much longer. She told me with the visits Al has had from heaven that I needed to tell Al to take their hand and go.
She then grabbed her things and gave me the biggest hug. I felt like all of you were a part of that hug, it was so big.
After she left I went in and sat with Al. We talked about heaven and I told him the next time he saw mom or dad or grandma to grab their hand and go. I told him he has been a real fighter in this illness. I explained that if things didn’t improve by Monday he would probably not be able to go to Day Program any longer.
I explained that he did a good job all through this and how proud I was of him. I waited and watched him as he tried hard to settle down to sleep. Rhino came in and meowed and I heard Al say ever so softly, ” I will miss you Rhino.” With that Al went to sleep.
I am not scared, and I am not ready, but I know things are going to change again. I am so thankful that I have had the chance to be with Al and that I have Rhino.
Al, I don’t know when your time is going to be, but I love you brother. Take my love with you when you decide it is time to go.