How it goes

Ever have a day when everything changes, but nothing does, really?

It was cold when I drove K to the train at 6:30 this morning and still cold when I headed up to Salem an hour later. A desperate call. Abandoned coffee.

Two nurses showed up. First, the usual business of taking vitals and checking in. They know my sister. They know me.

But then, for the third time in five weeks the question arose: should my sister go to the hospital?

She didn’t feel well, was sleepy and lethargic. Breathing labored. Wanted to know if I was wearing a tuxedo.

The talk went ’round. Her leg would need antibiotics and if she stayed home, she would need more care. A lot more care. Time to switch to hospice.

She said ‘no’ to the hospital. She signed the pink form: Do not resuscitate. Do not intubate. No C-pap or IV nutrition. No admission to a hospital. No dialysis.

Now my sister was chatty and engaged, her relief palpable. The change in her attitude made me think she’d made the right decision and perhaps that it was overdue.

Later, yet another capable nurse arrived to explain how the new care plan would work. I ran to Stop and Shop for drugs and lunch.

I drove home in silence.

Most likely I’ll tag this post ‘private’ in the near future, but it helps to put it down and to share briefly.

35 thoughts on “How it goes

  1. Tina

    You are a good sister .. you are and don’t you forget it.
    Not sure if you need me to tell you that .. but I just really feel like I need too.
    Sending you both warm hugs and prayerful Blessings.

  2. Jenny M

    loving & caring, just can’t be switched off, so life can be so darn hard had times. Hoping you find strength in the days ahead.

  3. ravenandsparrow

    Oh golly Dee. This is a hard row to hoe. I, also, am sending loving and peaceful thoughts to you and your sister as you make your way over this rough ground.

    1. deemallon Post author

      I think it’s time for a little chocolate. Had a nice visit with N this morning. Cut her hair. We are calzones.

    1. deemallon Post author

      Hi Diane. Thanks so much. After today’s visit I’m not sure how much has changed. There will be more care and no one’s gonna try to get her to do PT, but?

  4. RainSluice

    I’m so sorry, Dee. I had a flood of memories and wonderings about N from our childhood last weekend. Proof, again, that there are channels of communication, important ones that I experience yet can’t understand in the moment. now this hard news. You are an anchor for her, her life jacket… true to her wishes, and now her wishes have changed. I just discovered Lucy Campbell’s paintings:
    I found that image with this quote from Joseph Campbell: “We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting us”. Women Who Run With Wolves comes to mind.

    1. deemallon Post author

      Thanks for your note, Maggie. Yes to those channels. I loved the image of the girl flying with the wolf and meant to show it to N this morning, but forgot. Next time.

  5. Marti

    Dee this road of travel for you and your sister is a hard one but you will walk it with love, strength, and all of the usual emotions that accompany such a journey…Holding you and your sister in my thoughts and heart as you both meet each day..

  6. saltwaterhillknits

    There is no easy way to do this, Dee. You’re providing love and support, which really is everything even if it doesn’t feel that way. Cry when you need to. Breathe always and know you are loved.

  7. Anonymous

    You have been an amazing sister. May this part of the journey be gentle on you all, and know what a loving bunch of followers you have by your side.

    1. deemallon Post author

      Thanks Cathy. She seemed kind of her old self today. I suppose there are many more ups and downs to weather.

    1. deemallon Post author

      Nancy — no apologies from now until one full year after you move. Are settled. Thanks for your open heart.


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