To all our loving friends, and all our loving family,
At this point, Pam is almost unresponsive. Almost, but not entirely. My marvelous sister-in-law Carol Bradford just spent thirty or forty minutes with me as we cleaned, and bathed, and dressed my darling wife and then lifted her from the hospital bed to the reclining chair. She is, as we say, ‘out of it’ because of the drugs, and the cancer, and the overall physical exhaustion. Just the same, though, we’re all going on the assumption that she can hear, and understand, everything that’s said in her presence.
At any rate, I continue to ask her for her assent whenever she needs medication, or to be rolled over, or to be changed, or to be lifted somewhere. That’s particularly true when it comes to pain medication since the only way for us to monitor how much pain she’s in is for her to tell us. A few hours ago I could say “squeeze my hand if your want your medicine” and I could find out that way. Now I can’t see any evidence of deliberate movement — even from her good side. I can see her deteriorate by the hour.
So, I was tremendously pleased earlier this evening when I suggested that I could change her shirt and she gave me the ‘thumbs up’ sign. Such a little thing — but it meant so much to me.
If you don’t already know, I’m keeping the house open twenty-four / seven for as long as Pam is still with us. I’m hoping that anyone who wants to pay their last respects will feel free to come over. Frankly, I’d prefer that you’d come in the ‘wee small hours’ since I’m going to need all the help I can get to negotiate that particular time period.
Don’t worry, though. I am sleeping. It’s just that I’m taking hour long ‘cat naps’ all through the day. Is that the right thing to do?
As if there were a ‘right thing’ when it comes to saying goodbye to the love of your life…. as if there were a manual to consult.