February 25, 2017
We had our usual day here at the hospital. Pain Meds and breathing treatments for Den’s wheezing. Late in the evening Den was taken for a CT without Contrast of his back. Den was taken off of one of his medications because his potassium level is too high. When it comes back down, he will start taking it again.
On one of my visits to see Pa Hess, I found his wife and sons were in to see him. I asked what his prognosis was…not good. I told the entire family what room Den was in and that any of them were welcome to use our couch for a nap or just to get away at any time….day or night. It broke my heart to find out later in the afternoon that Pa was not on hospice care and it was only a matter of time.
Ma Hess came to our room around 8PM to try and get some sleep. We all talked for a few minutes and then she laid down for some rest. I could see on her face and in her demeanor that she was drained. Den and I were both happy to see her and support the family in any way that we could in this difficult time. Sometime around 1030PM, one of Ma’s sons (I don’t remember which), came to get her. Pa was now refusing oxygen and his time was very limited. Den urged me to go with them. I asked if it was alright that I come with and Ma gave me a hug and said yes.
Just walking in to the room and knowing this might be the last time I would see my dear friend was very difficult. My heart was breaking. When we got there, I hid my feelings and started rubbing Pa’s feet and hands. I think I cried the entire time…silently. I stayed for about an hour and then I had to go. I could not hold my emotions any more and I was afraid that my breaking down would be contagious in the room. That would not do the family any good and Pa even less. I told Chris, one of Ma & Pa’s sons, that I would like to come back later if they would let me. He said that I could come back anytime I wanted.
I went outside to get some air. I called Den while I was there. I was still crying and could not stop myself. Den understood my emotional state and just talked to me while I was outside. When I got back to the room, Den hugged me and let me cry until I could cry no more. I think some of my emotions came from the dark place that we had been in just one year ago. I could not cry or scream then and I think those pent up emotions were finally showing their ugly faces.
Den and I tried to sleep, but sleep was as elusive as a greased pig for me. I dozed on and off, but never really slept. Den had more tests tomorrow and I had planned to see Pa as much as possible.