July 31, 2009

The long road...

Jrex is home again. There's no change in his Dad's status. He's still non-responsive. The social worker called Jrex yesterday to ask the family to visit three nursing homes and select the one they want. Which made his Mom really start facing reality. She's been hoping and praying for a miracle (understandably). Their whole church has been as well. Yet she knows that Dad never, ever wanted to be in a nursing home.

So, we're coming toward the hard choices. He's on a vent and doesn't seem to do well off of it, so that may be 'option 3'. In New York State, where they live, if someone is put on a permanent feeding tube, it takes a court order for them to be taken off of it. I doubt she could ever allow that anyway.

So, Jrex came home. His sister will fly back on Monday for a week. Then Jrex flies back out for another week and a half. We talked last night about me flying out when/if they make the decision to take Dad off the vent. It will likely take 24 to 48-hours from that point. I could say goodbye and be there for his Mom during those last few difficult days of waiting. I remember from my Mom, those were the hardest days. No movement. The breaths coming after agonizing seconds of silence. Was that it? The LAST breath? Oh, she breathed again. Over and over and over.

When I spoke with my aunts last weekend, Aunt Gemstone told me that my grandmother actually went through a similar dying process as FIL. Grandma fell and hit her head. They flew her to the city to stop the head-bleed. Then she was in and out of a coma for the next three months. She had a series of strokes that meant she was mostly in the coma until she also became non-responsive. My aunts actually had to make the decision to withdraw care (no food or water. Just wet the lips and allow the dying process to occur). It took 12 days! (Grandma was a heavy woman so it took a while for the body to be depleted). Ugh. Definitely not something I can imagine Mom K being able to handle.

On a purely selfish level, it's SO good to have him home. To chatter happily about nothingness. On the phone long-distance, we've joked a bit, but it's obviously usually been serious content.

This weekend, I've actually got work to do! Blech. The hope is that I can drop him off to watch Harry Potter (which I watched with Science Editor, aka The Lizard, the other weekend). That buys me three hours to work here in the office. Then we're hoping to eat at a local Turkish restaurant for my belated birthday.

It's always strange when death and ongoing life butt against each other so closely. Of course the reality is they always do, but it's rare our eyes are open to see it.

Hug the people you love and enjoy them while you have them.


Snickollet said...

Reading your posts about Dad K bring back a lot of memories for me. It's all so incredibly hard. I continue to keep you in my thoughts, and I'm so glad you're getting some time with Jrex.

Rachel said...

It's good that you and JRex have been able to spend some time together, at least.

The watching and waiting at the end is so hard. I will continue praying.

Mama Nabi said...

Sigh. I hate the waiting game.

Thinking of you and sending you lots of prayers for strength as you will be a source for strength for many in the coming days... lots of hugs.

Inkling said...

Why is it that life can be so incredibly hard sometimes? And why is it that Someone doesn't always intervene to alleviate the pain? These are the questions with which I will always wrestle until the other side of eternity.

I am glad you two are back in the same time zone under the same roof again. You both need that.

And during this tough time, I'll keep you two and your family in my prayers.