Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sad days to come

First off, not really sad, but a bit annoying -- the Creepy Man seems to have extended his hours of operation. When I brought Tom home from the hospital today, the Creepy Man was out there in his usual spot, but in a much more casual stance. Actually, not a stance at all, as he was sitting. Usually, he stands and faces south to perform his orations, but today he was sitting, orating rather tepidly, but still facing south. The midnight crowd is probably a more tolerant group, and he must feel fairly comfortable unleashing his venom to them. The afternoon set is another matter entirely and perhaps this cramped his style, as he was venomous in a subdued way, relatively. Here is a picture taken from inside my house, so you can see that he is Right There .
I brought Tom home, as I said, and he is not doing well. He is having trouble breathing, is on home O2, and nothing tastes good to him. As a nurse, I have always felt that if patients don’t want to eat, then they should not have to eat, and while I have understood why they do it, I have been annoyed at families who pester a very sick or dying patient to eat. Now, I am a bit frantic because Tom won’t eat. I know intellectually that when the body is shutting down, food and even fluids are counterproductive, usually do more harm than good, and can actually cause quite a bit of discomfort. But when it is our own loved one who is not eating, intellectual knowledge flies away, and it is so difficult to act on what we know rather than what we feel. Our instinct is to nourish, and it goes against the grain to be unable to do that. I tell families that the most important thing they can do is be there, and now I am having trouble remembering all my own nursely preaching.
In the picture of Tom, note the tail in his lap. That is Nurse Michael. The third picture is of some Tibetan prayer flags which Rachael's friend Jake gave Tom.

2 comments:

Samos said...

Hi Joanna and Tom... You are both so lucky to have each other as friends. Joanna's house is such a warm (not literally, of course) and comforting place to spend time for any reason, so Tom, I'm glad you are there. Joanna, don't get so involved in being a nurse that you forget to read a poem, play the piano for Tom, or ______. I'll be thinking of you both all day. :-)

FugueStateKnits said...

You both are still in my prayers and hopes for health. I'm glad Tom is home- and even though I really don't know either of you, I believe you are both lucky to have each other as friends.
Love his taste in music:)
Peace!
Joan