About 2am Sonja comes into the downstairs bedroom where I sleep and I woke up and my first thought was......oh no........and she said that my dad wanted to use the urinal. I felt a huge wave of relief. I got to see him sitting on the side of his bed. He said that he didn't think he could stand up. We trouble shooted a bit and I asked if he was having any pain related to the need to urinate. He said no, he didn't have to go that bad. So I said, let's wait until you do have to go. (My hope was maybe we could get some depends or something by that time). He was good with that and we got him laying back down. I sat up for a few minutes until I felt as if he was just resting comfortably again.
About 4:30 I see the dining room light go on (I think Sonja knew I was a bit startled the first time so she took a "lighter" approach, pun intended...ha). So I jumped out of bed to find my father sitting on the edge of the bed again. We were not sure what we were going to do. Sonja and I were going back and forth with ideas when my dad opened his eyes big and said, "just hold me up" and he just jumped up on his feet. (He is very stubborn). So we went with it and he was able to empty his bladder.
His nose was plugged, so we used some nasal spray to help clean it out. This lead to a few rounds of vomiting. Another round of nasal spray and then back to bed. I gave him some morphine for the shortness of breath. Sonja and I sat on either side of the bed and just held his hands. I asked him if he felt like he was fighting to stay alive. He said "yep, I am just giving it all that I have". For a long time in hospice we told people to "give permission" to your loved one to die. We learned a few years back that it was a rather silly notion and may even be harmful. Really....who wants someone sitting on the edge of your bed telling you....I give you permission to die.....I would be like...sweet....Thanks a lot! Thus, there was no permssion offered to my Dad, however I did use the opportunity for there to be some frank discussion for him and Sonja.
As I initially sat on the edge of the bed, he tried to scoot himself over. I told him not to worry about making room for me. He said, "I want to make room for you". This is the image of my father I want to share with you. A man who truly is suffering at this time, laboring for each breath and yet he is more concerned about my, not so small, arse having enough room to sit. I think you can see why I don't want to lose him. But now.........this suffering.......is so great. Tears streamed down my face just sitting and watching him work for every breath. I know he is fighting, fighting to take each breath ,to stay in this world to see as many of those that he loves as he possibly can. He knows that he can't see everyone. He told me a few days ago that I will see who I see and those that I don't get to see, I just won't get to see. But he knows......there are more coming......so he continues to fight for every breath.
If you wish to see my father, I am asking that you try to come today or tomorrow if it is possible. This suffering is so great. I am sure to him there is value in this suffering knowing he gets to be here for those who are coming. That sounds just like my father......letting himself suffer so others can be cared for.