Thursday, January 6, 2011

Beginning the Art of Dying

What a whirlwind week. Bed in and bed out. Old feeding pump leaving and a new one arriving. Nurse visit, social worker visit, Pastor and another nurse visit. A few new medications, including a patch to dry up the mouth, a dressing called a skeleton band aid for the bedsores and morphine, something Dennis has always dreamed of trying. Two new PCAs interviewing and filling out applications. Calls and emails to inform family and friends of a change in Dennis' care.

Yes, it's been busy, but everyday that something new happens, it's been good. Every person that has come into the condo has been friendly and caring. Each visit has assured us that we have made the right decision to begin hospice care for Dennis.

For the first time in a very long time, I don't feel over-whelmed. For the first time in a long time, Dennis feels free of pain. For the first time in a long, long time, we both have slept through the night.

This may not be a time for great joy, but it is a time for gratitude.

As Dennis said today, we made the right decision once again.

Ann and Dennis

16 comments:

Keri Teigen said...

After working in hospice care myself, I can tell you that death can be very beautiful and peaceful. It is all in how you choose to navigate the process. I am thankful that you and Dennis are getting some rest and relief, and I pray that your time together isn't too short. That said, when you love someone, there never is enough time. You are always in my thoughts and prayers--and I am now following you as kerit71 on blogspot as I have been inspired by you to write again. Blessings!

Ruth said...

I think hospice is wonderful and should enable the two of you to have more time to just be together rather than hassling over medical care!

Ann and Dennis said...

Keri, I believe you are right - we all must die, so why should it not be peaceful. Write away!! Let me know what you are writing - keep in touch.

Ruth, I hope we will have more time to be a "couple" again, not a care-giver and a disabled man. I know this was the right choice for us at this time.

CarlyIM said...

I love you Ann! Keep strong; your journey and blog are paving the path for others who need your words.

I'm lifting my cup of tea to you and Dennis, that you might finally get the rest you both need.

Ann and Dennis said...

Carly, I read your bio and you are NOT an average school librarian. You are exceptional and do not forget that. Other than that, I tip my can of beer to your tea!

Marsha said...

Ann, hundreds of miles away I feel your relief. I'm so glad you found the right option. You continue to inspire me.

whippetgirl said...

Oh, Ann, you are an inspiration to me. You are such a strong and compassionate woman. I am glad you and Dennis will be able to find the sweetness of your relationship with the added support of hospice. Hugs to you!

Christine

Sammie Sue Schwartz said...

You are a very, very strong woman, Annie. I'm glad that both of you are finally getting sleep. You are both in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Well, it´s like this..Eunice wrote & asked me to read your blog and take a whiskey. She being the older, wiser woman and a Scot to boot..I did what she said. To the letter.Add a few cigs to the picture. So I had trouble writing the word of verification..due to the whiskey :) Ann, as you wrote a good while back..
Hospice is not the end. and it could give you and Dennis a better quality of life..this you wrote back then. And that´s exactly what seems to be happening. I am so grateful for this. Ann, when you look back on this time..it will be a time of the deepest joy. I don´t want to presume I know how you think..so my guess is that this will be a truly joyous time..of the deepest kind..the very deepest joy. Pain will be part of it..but that is what makes it is wondrous..when you look back. If you should need me there at your side..I will come. I will make the trip. Just let me know. Now I hope that the computer will take this lengthy comment. Sometimes they only allow a certain nr of letters/signs. BORING! Your/iva from Sweden.

Anonymous said...

Con´t..

The Art of Dying, you wrote, dear Annie. BULLSHIT! There is no art to dying..You as spectator follow the flow of things..as you must. This is LIFE doing it´s thing..and we others just follow along as best we can..often, 5 steps behind the main actor..Dennis. But that´s ok. That´s the way it is. It is the same at birth..our own and our children´s. I have been browsing in Poppies Facebook lately..and I follow in her footsteps..as she laid them out. LISTEN to Dennis and all the caretakers.They will know the signs. They will help you both along the way..altho I dare to say, Dennis will lead your way..all along. You are in life, and it will pull you towards it..and Dennis will begin his journey when he is ready, to cross the river. He will give you signs..but you may not see..and that´s ok. You will see finally. I am here if you need me and can be there, IF you need me. I feel as tho you could..but I am not sure.

iva

Anonymous said...

I find it funny that Dennis is curious about his morphine..the more, the merrier.He should share it with you :) It will soften the sharp edges..whatever any fucking doctor will say. It´s a one time thing you are going thru..and you won´t get addicted. Many smoke pot at this kind of time..and that´s ok. It´s there isn´t it? Do what you feel ok with..nothing more and nothing else. But the "ART" of Dying..that stinks of falsehood. I am sorry, but it does. Now you see, I am fairly sloshed by now :) I blame it on our dear dear Scottish friend, Eunice :) :) Altho she is a crone, so I think that she knows what she is doing.. And she is MountainAsh..a tower of strength and stability in this crazy world.

How about some whiskey in Dennis tubes? Mixed with morphine..just what is needed in certain moments..believe me.

I love you both so much..and I know that your light will not go out..ever. So I will always find you, if you want. GPS or not.

So much love and hugs to you both..but it ain´t the fucking end, yet, Annie. Not quite yet. I am talking about living 1hr/time..and I have done that way back when..and it´s heaven one way or another. Heaven is not alot of angels floating around..it´s the secret of takng 1 moment at a time..One minute at a time..when Dennis begins his journey that he will want to have you along for..only you can´t cross the river with him.That´s the way of it, my dear Annie. That is his moment in time..no one else´s.We don´t own those we love..EVER!

I am grateful for the spelling program on my computer or you would have had to decipher all of this (thanks to the whiskey..Canadian whiskey, I am sorry to say.but it works for me)

Over and out from Sweden..where we are enjoying a thaw in the weather :)

LOVE and HUGS/Iva

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