Monday, April 29, 2013

His Ending...

March 2013...Dan becomes jaundice. He didnt notice it but I did and then my friend Stacey did. That was like the second week of the month.

That same time period Palliative turned him over to Hospice care. Mostly because there wasnt more that they could do for him pain management wise nor did they want him driving to Salt Lake in his weakened state. They wanted me to drive him but with 2 kids in school it was impossible to take them out all the time for his appointments.

So Hospice it was. Access Home Care and Hospice to be exact. Kristy was the first lady we met. She came by and did the initial questions and such. She was the director of Hospice care. She was an RN. She loved her job but was ALWAYS in meetings. I had to call a few times that first couple of weeks and hated that she had to call me back after she was home. Always felt bad disturbing her off time and disliked that she always sounded irritated.

Next up was Cami, think that was her name, she was the social worker. We met her a few times before she went on maternity leave and Jenn took over. Both sweet ladies who did what they could.

Met Shadd, he was Dans nurse. Nice man, actually gave a damn about how I was doing too and really meant it. Most people would ask me as a second thought so it was nice to not be so. He took care of Dan pretty darn good and put up with his stubbornness and all that jazz. Didnt mind my questions via texts or anything...never sounded irritated, just helpful.

Met the chaplain, forget his name, just once. Never heard from him again and I wouldnt be a bit surprised if it was because we said we were Pagan and he hadnt a clue what to do about that as he knew nothing about it.

Angel was the aid who came to help bathe Dan. She was sweet and strong...I had such a hard time getting him to sit up and take his meds those last couple of weeks and she didnt seem to strain at all! LOL Bless her...

Towards the end of March Avery was hugging Dan and asked him about his yellow eyes. That did it! Dan wigged and had me call Shadd and had me using a flashlight to check his eyes every few hours to see if they went more yellow or got better. Tried drinking more water and gatorade and such...didnt do any good. He got yellower and then orange.

He made it to March 31st, the day after Connors 9th birthday. Thats when he altered, mentally I mean. It was small stuff at first like he added parts to movies and big deal.

However, by Tuesday he was really out of it. Waking Connor up to talk about sugar amounts in tea and a "morning fizz". Making sure I had the recipe for one. Asking me to open and shut windows that didnt exist or checking for people that I had never heard of before. Having me cut holes in one of the boys' socks so those little bits could go in some Russian capsule. Wanting me to print out a picture of cosmonauts for it too.

Just very odd stuff. Stopped taking his meds on time, not eating and barely taking sips of soda to take meds when I could get him to.

By Friday April 5th I had to use my friends baby side rail to keep him from falling out of bed and hurting himself really bad. He'd done it like 3 times so this was a step to protect him.
Saturday night I had to sleep on the couch cuz he was taking up most of the bed and talking so I couldnt sleep decent.

Mind you he wasnt getting out of bed at all except to potty by Wednesday night. Sunday he was really bad and I had to get an aid there to help me change his clothes cuz he couldnt use the toilet anymore and had had an accident and I couldnt move him myself. Then that afternoon he just HAD to get out of bed and sit on the couch so I tried to help him but he fell back against the wall and Connor had to run and get our neighbor to help me get him back up and into bed. That night he started making odd noises just groan type sounds but loud. Was spooky.

Monday he wasnt responding, the aid came to bathe him and called Shadd to let him know that things had really progressed downhill fast and he needed to come asap. Dans eyes were barely open enough to see the pupils and the moans had been going pretty much non-stop since the day before.

She bathed him and got him cleaned and fresh and I waited for Shadd to come...grateful Connor was off to school and the other two were occupied with Ben 10 on the tv followed by Tom and Jerry and Looney Tunes. Cartoons their daddy loved and got them into.

Around 1030-11am(ish) Shadd got there. Took one look at Dan and said it wouldnt be long...maybe today or tomorrow but he'd know more once he got his vitals done.

His vitals...bp was 66/36 and his pulse and oxygen were both at 65. Shadd said...a few hours was all that was left to the life of my Love. Told me to keep an eye on him and when he stopped breathing call him and he'd come.

So I kept a vigil over my husband that day. Checking on him every 10-15 minutes. Talked to him each time telling him I loved him and it was ok to go be with his mom and out of pain. Had the younger two come in and tell him the same and promise they'd be good boys for him. I swear he knew what we were doing and was complaining LOL.

Shadd had told me to sit and spend time with him but I had said most of what I wanted to throughout the day. However, when Devinn went to nap at noon I took some time to go in and lay next to him...knowing it would probably be the last time I ever did that. I rubbed his arm and touched his face as I had for 10 years and I thanked him. I thanked him for 10 wonderful years and 3 handsome sons. I thanked him for loving me and being a good man and a good daddy. I told him it was time to be with his mom and we would never stop loving him and we would know he was watching over us from a different perspective now. He groaned, I knew he was not thrilled I was talking that way and when I mentioned his mom he said "she's here". It was the first real thing he had said that was understandable in 2 days.

When Connor came home from school, I had him drop his backpack and come tell his daddy goodbye, I love you, its ok to go. They each got that opportunity and for that Im grateful. I dont think it means much to them right now but it will when they are older, I know it.

At around 615p(ish) I checked on Dan and he was gurgling in his throat. As he'd thrown up brownish crap a couple times before I called Shadd to see if I needed to turn his head or not. Shadd said this was normal and I could turn his head if I was wanting to but it wasnt necessary.

Then about 15 mins later I went to check on him again and he wasnt breathing. My husband, my Love, my "crazy chicken" was gone. I called Shadd and as I talked to him Dan made one last gasp and it freaked me the hell out! Apparently, Shadd heard it too and said it was the final air leaving his body and totally normal. Might even happen a couple more times(if it did I never heard them). He was home but was turning around to come and would be here in an hour.

I called my mom and my friend Stacey. She came and got the boys so they wouldnt see the mortuary take their daddy away. They hadnt been told anything at that point either, I wanted everything tended to first plus I couldnt make the official call that he was passed so I decided to wait til Shadd did.

My neighbor, Robert, came to be with me. He is the husband of my best bud Lynne. She was out of town so he was her proxy LOL. He stayed til Shadd came and did his thing, stayed til the meds were counted and taken out by Shadd and stayed by my side til the mortuary took Dan away. I appreciated that very much. I appreciated that Shadd stayed by my side too and didnt just leave once the mortuary showed up.

My Love was dead at age 50. Leaving behind a wife who adored him and 3 little boys who thought he was the coolest thing ever!

I woke up a married woman and went to bed a widow at age 40. But the next day I woke up and that was where the next adventure was gonna start.

Life As I Knew It

So, after we found out what was up with Connor we began getting him on new meds that have so far helped him. We also got him into counseling because he has behavioral issues that needed tending to. So far, he likes the counselor but nothing has changed and new "quirks", as I call them, have appeared.

Dan, well he was still seeing his oncologist every 3 months even though they said nothing could be done anymore since chemo didnt work. However, after a bit they decided to try one other experimental type treatment called the Y90 procedure. Basically inserting radioactive pellets into his liver directly via the artery in his leg. Could only do one session because of his platelets and so that was a dead end too.

Once that failed the oncologist sent him off to Palliative care and we never heard from him again. Palliative care was full of good ladies who treated him nicely and seemed to care. They got him on a med schedule that worked decently, not 100% but well enough, he started acting less PMSy and so the edge of my seat wasnt as worn out as it had been.

Im pretty sure I mentioned Dale before but you should all know that much of his easing was due to the fact that he kicked Dale to the curb in November 2012. Finally had it when he smelled liquor on Dale and Dale lied about having had any. One thing Dan didnt tolerate was lies...honesty was ALWAYS the best policy for Dan.

So, Christmas 2012 came and went. Dan got onto a new hobby...model planes. Something he used to do as a child and wanted to do again. He was big on nostalgia stuff by this point. Simple days of youth and all that. So my mom bought him a plane and he continued to buy and buy and buy. Never finishing any of them. Got one very close to being done though and thats the one I will keep.

I have to say, I enjoyed not sitting on the edge of my seat all the time but I still was on a roller coaster ride. Never quite knew what would happen or when. But the kids went to school, we watched Perry Mason at night before bed and we moved onward as best as we could. Found happiness and laughter when it was there and cried when needed.