In the wee hours of Thursday morning, I had a brief meltdown.
Before I relive the story – I must say that I know it wasn’t my fault. I know I was exhausted. And I know I can’t blame myself.
But for a few moments, I did.
I felt horribly guilty.
I’m not exactly sure what time it was, 2am – maybe.
I was sleeping soundly and I heard a bed alarm go off. It sounded distant, like maybe in the next room. At the time, it made perfect sense to me. There was a new patient admitted next door to Chad and he had been trying to get out of bed all day – and I just thought it was his alarm. To be safe, I glanced towards Chad’s bed. Saw no movement. Heard no sounds.
I rolled over, went back to sleep.
I remember hearing the alarm, still.
I put a pillow over my head.
I fell asleep. Again.
The next thing I know, I hear a commotion. I still felt that it was distant and not in our room – so I didn’t really move or get up.
Until the footsteps in the hallway approached our door.
I still thought it was next door. The hallways echo at night. I wasn’t very concerned.
All the room lights came on. But this isn’t uncommon if it’s time to administer medications.
Then I heard voices.
I sat up and glanced at the bed. Chad wasn’t there.
I saw a couple of heads bobbing around the other side of the bed – people were obviously on the floor.
Groggily, I started piecing it together.
The staff looked at me a little funny as they tried to get Chad off the floor and back into bed.
“Is he okay? Did he get hurt?”
They carefully put him back into bed and I just couldn’t believe he fell.
And I didn’t even know.
They got him settled and made sure he was okay.
And then I just lost it.
I am here to make him feel safe and protected, to help him feel secure.
What a joke that is at such a moment.
I didn’t even hear my husband fall out of bed.
I didn’t hear him struggling.
I’m sure he had to make some kind of sounds when he was falling or when he hit the floor.
And I didn’t hear it.
My body had just reached a point where it was going to sleep, whether I wanted to or not.
My body was exhausted.
But still, I felt responsible.
I could have helped him avoid that fall.
This is so hard.
All the time.
The rest of Thursday was pretty calm.
He slept almost all day.
He did manage to eat a small amount for breakfast (half a french toast stick and half a piece of bacon with some milk), but that was it for the day.
His seizure medications have been switched to suppositories (since Wednesday night). He can still swallow, but it is sporadic and takes a lot of time. We had to fish a few capsule casings (he actually chewed the capsules to get the medicine out) out of his mouth Wednesday morning because he just couldn’t swallow them.
He doesn’t really receive his seizure medications on “schedule” any more since he is sleeping so much. The staff wants him to get his rest and we hate to disturb him, unless he’s due pain medication. The pain medication is super-concentrated liquid that he doesn’t have to swallow – it just absorbs in his mouth after a short amount of time.
I had our friend Mark, a pastor, come over Thursday and talk to Chad about Heaven.
Mark talked to him about what he’ll experience there – and Chad stayed awake, focused on Mark, the while time.
He didn’t say a word. But he fought his sleep-laden eyelids for a good, long time. He was intently listening.
When Mark was finished, we told him it was okay to go to sleep.
And he did.
Knowing Chad’s personality and desire for answers, I felt it was best to give him a little reassurance about what was going to happen.
He believes in Jesus.
He respects God.
And he goes to Heaven.
And he gets to see everyone else there who believes the same as we do.
And I just needed him to hear all about it.
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” — Hebrews 11:1
Thursday night was quiet. He slept well. Didn’t try to get out of bed.
He woke up Thursday around lunch time.
And the day was pretty quiet.
I left the Hospice Home for a few hours today, and I seemed to have missed quite a few visitors while I was away. Sorry I missed you!
One of my dearest friends set up a massage for me, which was awesome, by the way. I felt energized and relaxed all at the same time, which is a weird combination.
I ran home briefly to grab a few things and then grabbed some lunch, all the time keeping a careful watch on the time.
I realize I need to get away and have some time to feel like an ordinary member of society, but it’s also hard to be away.
Chad’s sleeping so much – and while it’s increasingly hard to occupy my time watching him sleep, I get out at least twice a day – even if it’s to drive around the block a few times.
I always rush back, hopeful that I didn’t miss a period of time when he was awake and/or alert.
He is usually in the same state when I return as when I left, which is also hard.
I want him to wake up and talk to me.
I want him to say something meaningful to me that I can lovingly look back on for the rest of my life.
I want him to sit up, ask for a specific meal and eat with me.
I want him to walk across the room and hug me.
I want so many things.
And I suppose the thing I want most if his comfort and peace.
He is comfortable.
He is peaceful, from the outside.
I just wish I knew if he was at peace on the inside.
Given the strength and endurance of his fight, I figure not – at least not quite yet.
I just sit and wait, holding his hand and guiding him through this journey the best I can.