Wayne Green

Wayne Green

Saturday, September 5, 2015

September 5, 2015

Today is Saturday September 5, 2015, I continue to be amazed at how quickly  everthing transpired with my father. Last year at this time, it felt like it took so much longer and I realize that each blog entry for this date seemed like a day within itself. I spoke to my brother Gary today. Both of us really wanted to go up to Cadillac on Monday which will be the one year anniversary of my Dad's death and see his grave stone. Neither of us are going to be able to go. I am disappointed, yet, well aware that I can go another time when it will be better for my soul. (because I will have additional time and I won't feel rushed). I have seen a number of posts from family members remebering my dad, so many people loved him. He was loved and even more, he loved with amazing Joy. Again, please go to the bottom of this post and read up one post at a time. Something that I didn't expect to think about as I "relived" these days.....remembering  being with him during this time and although he was not with us so much in the end.....I still miss him and miss the moments that I had with him at the end. I promised him that he would never be forgotten and it is the truth in more ways than I ever knew to be possible. I will love and miss him forever.

Friday, September 5, 2014

September 5, 2014 - Rally

We were able to enjoy a rally that my father had. For those who don't know what I mean by a Rally; this is a time that a person who is dying and has become unresponsive has a few moments of clarity. My Dad opened his eyes and one by one we each got a giant hug, some of us heard the words "I love you", some he just looked us in the eye and held a gaze. Me. I got the GIANT hug and a very long hold.............almost as if he was holding on to me so that he may be able to stay..........This man is the gift that keeps on giving........

Friday, September 5, 2014

September 5, 2014 - Late Evening

My dad is basically comatose. The coughing that happens for him was making him very uncomfortable so we stepped up the very LOW dose of morphine that we would give when his respirations became too labored. Just to explain a bit here.......My dad has Heart Failure. Specifically congestive heart failure. He also has COPD, Insulin dependent diabetes, kidney failure (after kidney transplant)....as you can see....he is quite the train wreck. He took a licking and kept on ticking.......and ticking.....and ticking.....until now. With his heart condition and the dying process, typically what we see with this type of disease process is that the lungs fill up with fluid and it makes it very uncomfortable to breath. It also causes very noisy breathing that in hospice we often refer to as the "death rattle".  We have been able to succesfully keep his symptoms under control. Most people are afraid of morphine and incorrectly think that by giving it death will come sooner. In reality the morphine used correctly increases the oxygen levels and can actually extend the dying process. Since we have managed his secreations, it is likely that our interventions have worked too well....and he keeps ticking........Somehow, I don't mind it at this moment. Earlier I was afriad that he was suffering and I was contributing to extending that suffering......now.....I am just thankful that my father is lying on the bed in front of me....still breathing.....even if he can't tell me he loves me right now.....somehow I find comfort that his soul remains present with us because I know all too soon his beautiful soul will be ascending to meet the other souls that await him........tick, tick, tick..........

Friday, September 5, 2014

September 5, 2014 - Evening edition

We attempted to fake my dad out and make him think that we had all left so he could have alone time with Sonja....I think that is how he wants to die.....privately with her. He has told a few people that he wants to die in his sleep or be dreaming. He didn't take the bait. We are thankful that Uncle Terry was here to pray with all of us around Dad.

So.....we wait. I beleive that he will take his exit at stage left some time in the night....with Sonja sleeping on the sofa next to him. It won't surprise me in the least. I know that he loves having everyone around and I don't think that he is afraid to die in front of all of us. I just feel that he wants it to be with this woman that he has loved for 43 years...in a more intimate way.

We have shared tears and laughs. It shouldn't surprise anyone at this point that each family member tells the same story....of the love that they have felt when he hugs them. Even as he lays here dying, the grip of his hand on our hand is so strong, as if he is giving us all of his strength in that one squeeze of the hand to say....I love you....and even as he has one foot in this world and one foot out.....we have no doubt that he loves us beyone measure.

I love you Dad, I will love you forever and you my father will live on for years to come through all the lives you have touched while you have been on this earth. You will never, ever be forgotten.

PS- his eyes have yellowed indicating the failure of his liver, his lungs are beginning to fill with fluid which makes him cough and that is the one thing that is causing him the most discomfort. I am watching the clock and giving the morphine every hour to help keep his cough under control. I do not want to see him suffer, that is what hurts my heart the most. Me. The hospice nurse expert. Unable. To. get. him. comfortable. It hurts my heart. Although, finally he does seem to have found this comfortable place to rest. I asked him this morning. "are you fighting to stay with us?" He said "yep" "I am giving it my all" That he is. That he is.

Friday, September 5, 2014

September 5, 2014 Afternoon Update

I remain in awe of how many lives my father has touched. So many of his grandchildren are posting photos of him on their facebook. It shakes my resolve as I find tears streaming down my face knowing that the looks that are defining of my father are captured in the photos posted.

These are 2 shared by my nieces. The first one is Chelsea Irwin getting a kiss from her Grandpa Green. It represents just how much passion he has for his family and a peek into what it feels like to get a kiss or a hug from him. The Second one is from Anna Bogen a shot she took of Grandpa at Christmas. He was laughing and this is so amazing to see because it represents his love of laughter and a face and laugh I have seen so many times. Together this represents my father perfectly.......love and laughter......<3

He continues to rest comfortably. He needs almost no medications. Occasionally his breathing gets too labored and I will give him some morphine and ativan. It is a very small amount. His best friend that he has had from high school is here to visit him. There are more grandkids enroute to get one last Grandpa Green hug and one last child of his Scott Warne that is also enroute. I believe that he is going to be able to leave this world seeing those who have wanted to see him and were able to get here.......he just needs to hang on for a little bit longer <3

Friday, September 5, 2014

September 5, 2014 - Mid Morning thought

It was raining here......just really raining......all I can think is how appropriate that today......the heavens are crying......crying for us that will be left here without this wonderful man

Friday, September 5, 2014

September 5, 2014 Morning update

Changes. No one expected any of this. There are so many who have been taken by surprise by the speed in which my dad has transitioned. I have some guilt about what I told my family about hospice care. I didn't lie and just for the record I believed that hospice would lengenth his life and improve his quality of life. The research tells us that is true. What I did not think of at the time, nor even consider as a posibility, is that there are some patients that fight so hard to stay alive and carry a heavy burden for those they are leaving behind. When hospice begins for this group of people, often through the hospice care and the family feeling more open to discuss end of life issues, the burden is lifted and the patient is able to relax into what their body has been trying to do for some time which of course is stop working and die. I believe this is what has transpired for my Dad. He loves us all so much and didn't want to leave us. Through hospice and our family discussions with him....his burden was lifted and he has relaxed into the present and quit fighiting so hard.

The changes have been fast. We are thankful for this time with him. for those who have been able to say goodbye. I said earlier today to come today or tomorrow. I just want you to know, if you don't make it before he leaves us, it wasn't that he didn't want to see you, but that he knew you would understand that it was time for his suffering to end.

Again, I have no crystal ball however I do beleive that today is very likely the day that he leaves us. He is stubborn enough to make it longer and that is possible, however the changes from last night to today are significant enough that I beleive his time is far more limited.

I will keep you posted. Please keep my brothers in your thoughts. I think this is harder on them then I anticipated. Pray for saftey for those who are driving to reach him in time. I have been praying for my Dad's Grandma Green to come to him......he loved her because as he told me....she loved him. I want someone that he FELT the same love that he gives to come to him and bring him home.

Friday, September 5, 2014

September 5, 2014

A slightly bumpy night here. Sonja sleeps on the sofa and I don't think anyone could take that spot from her (I don't think we would even try). One thing you should know is that he loves this woman in the truest possible way. They have been married 43 years. I know it wasn't the easiest road for them, but they share a love that runs deep. 
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. 

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