Friday, February 04, 2011

The Week in Review . . .

Marty and her boys came Monday afternoon--just ahead of the rain, the dropping temperatures and the winter storm advisory. All three survived the long trip better than I thought they might. I have been so glad to have her with me and to have some activity in the house. Christopher and Colin have loved playing with cousins and it's been fun to watch them together. Tom knew Marty when she went to see him Tuesday and said her name. Since then there has been a steady decline in his condition.

Tom has not eaten since late Tuesday, nor has he had noticeable hydration since Wednesday. He only has had moisture from the swabs they use to clean his mouth and tongue. Swallowing has become a major problem. Until today he would try to say something in response to questions asked him, but now he has quit trying to even form words with his lips. He needs pain medication to be comfortable and that sedates him. The journey for him is difficult. Still, we
watch and wait, assuring him of our love, talking about special memories.

Yesterday the social worker on our hospice team came by the room. I had not met her previously. Frankly, I thought she talked too much. She began her endless chatter by explaining the death process to me, then proceeding to tell me what I need to do for myself. From there she went on to tell me how people with terminal illnesses feel, giving me pointers on how to respond to them. All the time, I'm thinking: "What ever happened to the art of listening?" I had to remind myself that she didn't know either of us; she didn't know our history; she didn't know our faith and unless she stopped talking, she never would. When I had had enough, I told her that I understood terminal illness because I had one myself and that Tom and I determined at the onset that we would live and that we would care for one another. What's more Tom had actually thanked God for the Parkinson's, praying that God would be glorified in his illness. Fortunately, she's the exception on the team, not the rule.

Today I went for an Avastin infusion in Corinth. Because I have two unexplained sores under my left arm, I promised Marty that I would have the nurse look at them. They just happen to be on the side where the lymph nodes were removed almost thirty years ago. Long story short: until two nurses and the doctor took a look, they would not treat me. Avastin slows down healing and I could choose to stop treatment for two months or could continue how I was treating the sores and be patient. I chose to keep the Avastin on schedule and be patient. After over an hour delay I received the treatment. What a day!

To add to everything else, the case manager told Marty today that Medicare will start pressuring us to find another place for Tom after two weeks--one has already passed. I don't think Tom would survive a move. Honestly, I'm too tired, too numb to think about that today. Jesus tells us to Be anxious for nothing, so I will not. Every day, in every way God is faithful to His promises. I will not be anxious and I will trust God to make the right decision when the time comes.

Blessings,
Pastor Margaret

2 comments:

Little Bit Of Land... said...

Tom is going down the same path as my dear mother... as far as the no food & little water. Mom went 19 days without eating but only 4 days without water. Tom's time to take the Lord's Hand is near. Fear nothing & worry about nothing. All will be taken care of by the Almight Healer.

Praying for you all~ Andrea
Indiana
xoxoxoxoxo

Dot said...

GOD IS YOUR STRENGTH ALONE! AMEN. WOW..What a fine example you and Tom are of HIS Love, patience, grace, peace..leaning on the promises..You both are a witness to me.
Wish I lived closer!! HUGS and more hugs to you, sweet friend!
love you, dot