September is gone.
The month we’ve dreaded for three months is behind us.
The heat has given way to cool breezes and crisp mornings.
The downpours of this week will give way to dew-kissed grasses and shades of green, amber and yellow.
The lingering evening sun has given way to the gentle glow of the harvest moon.
And today is giving way to tomorrow.
While I’m not sure how many tomorrows I have left with Chad, I have a promise.
His pain will be no more.
His tired body will be restored.
And he will watch over us from a much better place.
Free from strain.
Free from worry.
Free from a body that doesn’t work.
Free from all of this – from everything.
Today has been quiet.
Chad has had a fever off and on, ranging from 101.5 to 102.6 degrees.
His breathing sounds vary; sometimes he doesn’t breathe for a few moments.
Sometimes it’s loud. Sometimes it’s heavy. Sometimes it’s so quiet that we check to see if his chest is moving.
He has had a few periods of apnea today, and the rattle in his throat appeared louder.
Medications helped quiet the sound, and the apnea seems to be gone for now.
He has had nothing to drink since yesterday. We offer small ice chips and he accepts, chewing and absorbing them as they melt.
Dehydration is slowly kicking in.
Two weeks without food.
His liquid medications, morphine and Ativan, have been switched to suppositories only, as he found it extremely difficult to swallow this morning. Liquid is just too much for his exhausted body to handle.
He is now receiving morphine routinely every four hours.
Seizure medications twice daily.
Ativan every three hours.
Tylenol as needed for the fever.
And more morphine as needed for break-through pain. Which, unfortunately, happened quite a bit today.
The nurses have been crying, a few of them clearly avoiding me.
And that’s okay. I will miss seeing them, too.
His eyes are bloodshot and the whites are turning slightly yellow.
His face is dry, peeling.
His heels, the bedsores, are increasing in size. No cracking yet, thankfully.
A new one has formed on his right ear. So, four, bedsores in all.
He is extremely uncomfortable if we touch his head or move an arm or leg.
Everything is sore. Everything hurts.
And there is nothing more I, we, any of us, can do.
He is nearly done.
He is still fighting the good fight.
Still finishing the race.
Still keeping the faith.