We have shared some rather intimate stories, you and I. Few things rank more intimate than death. But you’re still reading ElderBlog and I’d like to think that’s because you’ve established a caring relationship with us. What I will write today will likely be the last of the graphic descriptions of my father’s condition. After this, I think, my words will be more reverent of a life near its end.
I received a call from the doctor today. Fluids are collecting in Pop’s lungs, meaning, essentially, that he’s drowning. They used a suction device to collect fluids (maybe 20cc’s the first time, even more just a couple of minutes ago) and it’s the wrong color. Immediately thereafter, he is gurgling with every exhalation again.
Pop is not responding to treatment and there are no indications that he will. The doctor said that it’s time to make a decision. The Palliative Care people here at the hospital will evaluate him in the morning and we’ll meet to share Pop’s end of life wishes. I have all of the documents with me, so that should go rather easily.
And then, we wait.
We siblings and spouses will teleconference tomorrow. Then Elizabeth will throw her schedule to the wind, and Michael will fly in from Europe.
Mom is well aware that Pop is not doing well. We haven’t sheltered her from the truth. But tomorrow morning, I will visit her at Piedmont Place to share with her the reality of this situation. I will choose my words and tone carefully. Any way I say it, though, it will be heartbreaking.
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