He's decided that he should stop taking medications that may prolong his life. After a thorough discussion with a nurse, the two of them settled on a set of medications that will help him be comfortable.
The interstitial lung disease is making it increasingly hard for his lungs to get oxygen in and carbon dioxide out. (May 8, 2008) A year ago, he could talk for maybe half an hour. Now, he's doing well to get a sentence out before having to rest.
He does want people to sit with him - which I understand is happening. I'd be there myself, but it's over 160 miles up there, and I have responsibilities here, too.
He remembers our visit from the weekend, although he told the person from hospice that he was 'not very good company.' I disagree, but that's my point of view.
I'm told that he's said he's ready to die. And, smiles when talking about heaven. He also told a nurse that he'd had a visit from his mother twice and his older sister once - didn't see them, but felt their presence. The person from hospice says she's encountered this sort of thing often enough to convince her that it happens. I'm inclined to agree.
My father's still eating and drinking a bit, which is a sort of reassurance.
He's still eating and drinking a little bit. Odds are that his death is not imminent. I'll get a call when that changes.
I'm not at all happy about this situation: but it is a part of life. My wife, who's gone through this with her mother, asked me if I felt 'disconnected' today. I took soundings, and: yes, I did feel 'disconnected.' As if I wasn't quite keeping up with my body, or my surroundings.
This is going to be an interesting time.
More, about being Catholic and end-of-life issues, at:
- "Medical Procedures, Imminent Death, Decisions, and Catholic Teachings"
A Catholic Citizen in America (May 21, 2009)