by Bernard Brandt
Since I wrote my entry entitled “Lamentations”, much has happened, little of it good.
Since then, my wife Beth has gone down hill, both figuratively and literally. For the last week, she has not eaten even the little that she had been eating before. She drank only enough (teaspoons) to take the morphine and other pills that she needed against the pain. Her mouth, being dry, or perhaps, because of her progressive weakness, is unable to frame the words she wants to say. Her speech is now a quiet, indistinct mumble, except when she is crying out from the pain, or calling for help.
But worse, because she could no longer transfer from bed to commode or wheelchair, she needed help on a constant basis, 24/7, and would wake me every five minutes during the night. The resulting sleep deprivation was driving me to the point of madness.
Finally, during the nights when she was not calling for help, she would work at attempting to get out of bed while I slept briefly. She would of course fall, and it would take a 911 call to get several EMTs to get her back into bed. This has happened three times, the first on the morning after the Fourth of July.
It has gotten to the point where I can no longer take care of her adequately. Her needs have grown to the point where I no longer have the skill set nor the endurance to help her.
After the first fall, I called hospice care and asked that she be transferred to a convalescent home. I asked Beth about this, and she told me, with such words that she still had, that she wanted it too. She had been asking that it be done for a few days before, but I could not bring myself to do this.
Please pray for Beth. Unless she starts drinking water or something, I fear that she will be going soon.