for Pat Adair, and the people who love her...

Our beloved Pat got some shocking news recently, and we're off and running on a mysterious medical adventure. Not an adventure we would have picked, but we're off just the same... (If you're new to the blog, start here.)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Overflowing with love

The roller coaster continues, but maybe not for much longer. On Monday night Mom was super agitated, and having tons of pain, which was being managed with morphine injections every two hours. She also got another medicine for the agitation, which enhances the effect of the morphine.

By late this morning, Tuesday, the oncologist was saying that nothing that was happening would prevent the hip replacement surgery Friday. It's a horrible situation to be in, but the hip pain is so bad that it made life intolerable. Since then she's been non-responsive, and incredibly, hasn't had any pain meds since 9 a.m., and it's now 10 p.m. How could that be?

Mom opens her eyes sometimes, and sometimes tries to say something, but we don't have the feeling that she understands, even when it makes sense. I can't even remember all the ups and downs of today. Mike and I were thinking that maybe this was the end, while the docs and nurses were mostly saying it was the meds. Then the oncologist said she seemed to have internal bleeding, which would account for the red blood cells dropping.

Around nine o'clock one of the doctors who we like a lot and who'd seen Mom twice before in ER, including on Sunday, came by. She looked at Mom's distended belly, heard about the lack of pain meds, saw the unresponsiveness, and went on to describe the laundry list of the ways that Mom's body seems to be shutting down. She then summed it up by saying we might want to spend the night tonight if we'd be really disappointed to not be here when she passes away. That just hit Mike and I like a ton of bricks. We knew that was a possibility, but hours before we were still planning on a hip replacement on Friday. Now we don't know that she'll be alive Friday.

This evening Mom woke up and kind of came to, for the first time today. She got a little agitated again, kind of wrestling with us and trying to pull off her covers so she could make a run for it when no one was looking. But after a time she got very still, even looking serene, and though she mostly doesn't know who we are, she looks right into our eyes. Her eyes are bright blue, and even now they're as clear as a bell, and she really looks beautiful. Something startled her and she said, "Oh!" and smiled. She's holding onto both of our hands, and her skin is cool and soft. It's always been nice to sit with her, but I'm sure I've never appreciated it the way I do right now. I am really cherishing this moment, appreciating it more knowing that it won't be available for much longer. It actually makes me gasp to write that.

Mike and I are crying like babies, and I can't speak for him, but I feel like my suffering has ended, because I've stopped fighting. I'm surrendering to this inevitable moment, and this hospital room, our home away from home, is just swimming with love.

If you're in the area and want to see dear Patio, knowing that you may not get another chance, please feel free to come by the hospital. We have no way of knowing what is happening, or even if this is really the end. But please come by if you want. She won't recognize you, if she's like she was today, but she's still here, and her blue eyes are still beautiful.

Overflowing with love and gratitude,
Dave (and Mike)


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