Saturday, November 24, 2007

157 dying, part 4

My mom and I went up to see my dad. His favorite aide was there in his room, working with the other resident. She came over to talk to us and said she can't stand to see my dad like this. He hasn't eaten since Tuesday night. He's not feverish, but he was in his "staring blankly" mode and he wouldn't change his gaze even when he waved our hands before his face. We talked to him for a while but he was completely unresponsive. We left the room to go talk to the nurses' station, wondering why no one had called and told us that he stopped eating again. While we were there talking about his care, a woman in a turban came over and said he was glad she found us, she was just about to call. We went into her office and talked about hospice care. Not the actual Hospice with a capital H, but the kind they administer there. We said no IV this time, and they're going to give him a mixture of 3 drugs--Morphine, Adavan (sp?) and something else with an L I never heard of. She was going to put a nursing order that he get those once a shift (8 hours), and if he seemed to be uncomfortable she'd raise it to every 4 hours and eventually every 2, and always before he had to be moved as he always seems uncomfortable when that happens. She said his skin is just breaking down--it's beyond bedsores. He is skin and bones and he lies in whatever position he's left in, even if it's uncomfortable. His urine output, even when he was eating and drinking, is down to almost nothing.
This nurse said the longest she'd ever seen anyone last like that was 21 days. She said he most likely would NOT die this weekend, but next week.
I've seen this before, though--this is time number 4. I'm sad, but I guess a part of me just doesn't believe it. I think I won't believe it now until he actually dies.

1 comment:

Mona Johnson said...

Bert,

I don't have much to say - just wanted you to know I checked in and am thinking about you.

Mona