Ch. 124 Time is Running Out
This morning Pat was pretty much nonresponsive even though she hadn’t had any morphine for several hours. Pat also showed no interest in eating or drinking. I was concerned but unprepared for what our hospice nurse Chris told me: “I suggest we stop all Pat’s medications except for pain control.” Chris said that Pat’s body is shutting down and she is getting ready to die. It was time to simplify, time just to be with Pat as she drifted away.
I stayed with Pat most of the day, during which she occasionally opened her eyes and twice told me she loved me. The next day was the same.
This morning I heard myself screaming in the shower. An odd sound, not so much a scream as a cross between that and a groan. I’m sure I have never sounded like that before. 56 ½ years of marriage. 58 years of love. NO! DO NOT LEAVE ME. But she will. I can’t stop her. Pat can’t stop. We have maybe a week left, maybe a month, perhaps more. I don’t understand.
But later this morning brought relief. Pat was back part-way, more alert, able to converse a little, sharing feelings, even drinking a root beer float. By evening, though, Pat was exhausted and hurting, ready for morphine and sleep.
Apparently, Pat has recovered enough to keep her on her medicines, but with more of an emphasis on Pat having the option to take or refuse. I believe what she chooses will tell us how much she still wants to live.
I have no idea what tomorrow will bring. Maybe screams in the shower. Maybe a living partner rather than a dying one.
Pat’s comments on Time Is Running Out:
Caregiver to Pat: “Here is your pudding” [her crushed medications in chocolate pudding.]
Pat: No response.
Caregiver: “Pat, please take them. They’ll help you feel better.”