I was planning on going to meet the Hospice nurse today at Al‘s Day Program and then stop at the grocery store and get the list of things Al is running low on so I am not forced to take him out on the weekend. If we go out, I want it to be entirely for his enjoyment, and I don’t think a grocery store is something he would get excited about.
I met with the nurse and she took more time with him than usual. She checked his legs and feet, his toes, fingers and nails. She listened to his heart and his lungs. She listened to Al’s heart a few times and jotted down her familiar notes.
After telling Al goodbye and that I would see him in a few hours she and I talked out in our favorite hall. The first thing she asked me was, “have you read our book throughout yet?”
“Well bits and pieces.”
“You need to read all of it. It will explain a lot of what I am going to say to you.”
“Alright, when I get time.”
She then proceeded to tell me that Al’s toenails were dusking. I asked what that was and she said it was part of the process. What she really meant was that Al’s toenails are turning gray.
His fingernails were gray and half-way up his fingers, the skin was gray also. So now the toes and fingers are being affected. She said he had pitted Edema in his feet and a half-way up to the knee.
I sighed as I didn’t want to hear these terrible things. She stated that she could not hear his heart beat because it was so soft. She had to watch his breathing and get his pulse and respiration to get any details of his heart. She explained his heart is getting tired.
She then tried to encourage me by saying he could go on for quite a while like this. Once again I got the pat on the back as we both left through the front doors.
Al choked on his supper last night and had labored breathing this morning while I was washing him up. He looks a lot better on the outside then I guess his insides look.
I couldn’t deal with it. I so wanted someone to talk to, but there was no one. Even my son who I will speak to about it is off on a vacation from today until Sunday. So I did the next best thing. I went to Al and my favorite soda fountain and ordered a bowl of soup and added a fat piece of coconut cream pie. I drowned my tears in sugar. Now I regret it, as I will have to eat very light for my supper, but I guess it worked while I was eating because I didn’t cry again until I got in the car to go get groceries.