Still dying


Mom and Dad just had their three-week (well, 3.5-week, but who's counting...I mean, besides all of us?) assessment meeting with Dad's care team. A doctor, nurse practitioner, nurse, charge nurse, and social worker met with them for almost an hour.

They discussed Dad's declining brain function, brought on by the kidney failure. He often has to search for words or whole ideas, which is something I noticed when we were there two weeks ago and which I have observed getting gradually worse when we talk every day. It will of course only continue to do so.

Dad's main concern is his declining physical strength, because he's tired of being confined to bed, the recliner, and the wheelchair. But there again, there's nothing to be done about it. It is what it is. There are no recumbent trike rides in his future.

He also sometimes has confusion when he wakes up in the middle of the night--it's hard to tell 6 a.m. from 6 p.m., especially as he's sleeping longer and longer. They're going to try different sleep aids to help with that.

As Mom put it in her email, "there was nothing earth-shaking to come out of the meeting. But it's good to know that everyone is on the same page."

I can certainly say I'm on the same page, especially with the non-earth-shaking part. Again, I don't know what exactly I expected them to say, except for a slightly more medical-jargon-laden version of "Yup, you're still dying!", but it nonetheless feels like a bit of a letdown. It's not as if there's a plug to pull or a machine to turn off. Or rather, there was; we turned it off 3.5 weeks ago. And yet here we still are: waiting, our hearts breaking over and over again.


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