It's 2:30 AM on Friday, the 13th. The superstition behind the date doesn't mean that much to me; however, the significance of Thursday, the 12th, weighs on me
Dad took a turn. A bad turn. He couldn't breathe. I gave him the medication as directed, which usually does the job. I wait. Dad doesn't relax. The coughing continues with abandon. He moans. I try to determine the source of his pain. What compromises his breathing? He will not respond. I can't panic. I cannot morph into his little girl who cries for help. I am his help.
The Hospice nurse returns my call. I report what little Dad has shared with me concerning his discomfort. Recent vital signs are recited in a cool professional tone. I hold it together. The nurse tells me I'm doing the right things. Keep up the med every two hours.
One hour later, I'm back on the phone with a different Hospice nurse. Dad's still in distress. I swallow my panic in order to focus on bringing him some comfort. She's a straight shooter and shares some comfort measures. She says, he's "turned the corner", a euphemism for "buckle up, things are going downhill."
I read somewhere that some faith traditions recommend leaving a window open in order for the soul to take flight when its ready. I walk to the window, open it, and reflect on the loneliness of the night.
I need to circulate some caffeine in my body in order to be of any help to Dad.
Mom's asleep. Oblivious to what's going on with her husband. A blessing in disguise.
I shuffle over to the coffee brewer and pour a cuppa Joe. This vigil isn't about me, but my eyes are heavy with fatigue. I don't dare close them because I don't want to know what's around that corner.
Links to the Outside World
- ▼ July (10)