Most Decidedly Here

ramblings

11:28

I hate, when someone is terminal, that doctors will tell them how much longer they have to live. It is as if they are assigning the person an expiration date. My father-in-law, who is in his 80s, has dementia and was recently assigned a Hospice nurse.  The doctors have not given him an expiration date, if you will, but everyone at his memory care facility, and my husband and I, have seen a decline in recent months.  There is a chance, should he start gaining weight, that they will take him off of Hospice.

The nurse doesn’t see this happening.

My mother-in-law was assigned a Hospice nurse in December of 2008.  We were told she had at least 5 months to live unless she went on dialysis. The nurse informed her that if she went on dialysis, they would take her off of Hospice (should everything go well).  She chose not to take treatment and passed away in January 2009.

While we were on vacation.

On a ship in the Caribbean.  We were in Guatemala, to be exact, but didn’t find out until the next day after we returned from visiting Belize.

I’m still very bitter about that. Not that she died while we were on vacation but that we didn’t have more time. It’s not her fault. It was just so sudden. She didn’t even seem sick. Her body failed her and failed quickly. That pisses me off too. I hadn’t finished recording family stories from her. I had barely begun to get the family history. She still had stories to tell.

Grief never leaves you.

We had considered canceling our trip but the nurse insisted we keep our plans. She would be fine, the nurse insisted.

The nurse was wrong.

My father-in-law recently had pneumonia. He’s still fighting it. When I went to the hospital to pick him up, he looked dead. So gaunt. So weak. So not him. He didn’t seem to recognize me. I chalked it up to him being sick but on our last visit with him this past weekend, he still didn’t seem to recognize me. That pisses me off too. It was always a point of pride for me that he recognized me. That I arrived early enough in the family (11 years ago) that my face was embedded in the non-diseased part of his memory. Luckily he still recognizes my husband. His face lights up when he sees him. That’s a positive.

I can’t imagine my brain abandoning me. I know he used to grow frustrated with his memory faults. He would tell me that he was losing his mind. I would tell him that it was okay. We could help him remember. He used to ask to go to his wife’s grave and put flowers down for her. He would ask to go to our house to visit our dogs.

Now he doesn’t.

It fucking sucks.

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Written by mellydea

April 5, 2011 at 11:56 am

Posted in ramblings