Archive for May 21, 2009

Signs the End Is Near

Heavy sweating, low fever, confusion, restlessness are some signs that the end is near per the Hospice Handbook.  This morning, Dan’s head and neck were wet with sweat before he awoke.  Later in the day, his hair stayed wet with sweat.  Today he asked me, “Do we have a place to stay in Paris?” Not being sure what he said, I asked, “What?”  He asked me again, “Do we have a place to stay in Paris?”  Seeing the look of confusion on my face, he smiled as he said, “No, we aren’t going anywhere.”

Even though I had read the Handbook, I still wasn’t prepared for a statement like that.  The more helpful response would have been,  “We’re ready to go.”  But what if he had said, “Good.  Where are we staying in Paris?”   That’s a definite “oops.”  Instead, I sidestepped the issue.  “Natasha and Amber are coming here today.”  That satisfied him, and then we went on talking in “real time.”  

This afternoon, he began running a low-grade fever, 100.1 F.  Later it was 100.9, but is now 100.2.   Restless all day. Dan would sleep a few minutes in bed, then get up and, taking tiny steps, walk to his recliner in the living room with the aid of a walker.  Before long, he was moving back to the bed.

For many years, Dan put our daily pills in little bottles.  He can’t manage that now.  Nurse Amber made a list of  pills Dan takes and at what time of day so that I’d have an accurate check list.  Dan helped.  A few times he got confused and told her, for example, that he takes only one pill of a Rx when actually it is 3 a day.  Then, Dan requested that Amber make the same kind of list for me…to help me when he is gone.

I cry easily because I don’t want to lose my beloved Dan.  But I am so calm that I have been doing a “self-check” to see if I am in denial that he may go any minute.  This scripture explains why we are so calm.

Psalm 63:1-8  “O God, You are my God, Earnestly I seek you: My soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is not water.  I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.  Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.  I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands….With singing lips my mouth will praise you.

On my bed I remember you:  I think of you through the watches of the night.  Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.  My soul clings to you. Your right hand upholds me.”              — Anne and Dan

May 21, 2009 at 8:09 am 3 comments