Today was just a bit quieter than yesterday. Which was a heckuva lot calmer than Saturday.
I went home last night around 6pm, as Chad was finally sleeping peacefully.
There was more I wanted to share with you regarding his day yesterday, but I was beyond exhausted.
Frankly, I do not know how I made it home. No sleep within a 24-hour period is definitely not something I want to experience again.
No fun, at all.
So, from yesterday…
He had a few moments where he was scared.
I had the television on for him, and I found a movie I thought he might like.
It was something with Arnold Schwarzenegger – a guy flick.
There was a scene that terrified him – he sat straight up in bed, eyes huge, and pointed to the tv, shouting, “Look!!! Look!!!”
He then immediately tried to get out of bed, trembling the whole time.
I quickly changed the channel and found Tommy Boy. I figured it was better – it was funny – he liked that movie.
Again, there was a scene that scared him.
Something about a car – I wasn’t really paying attention.
But again, he started shouting “You can’t do that!”
He started throwing off his covers – moving his legs.
He was really, really scared.
So, I changed the channel again.
This Old House.
Turned out there was nothing scary about that…
Later in the day, I mentioned to him how happy I was that he had eaten well on Saturday and I wished he was hungry on Sunday, too.
The mostly one-sided conversation led me to this little exchange:
Me: It made us all happy that you were feeling better this weekend. We all thought you were leaving us.
He: Why would you think that?
Me: Chad, you were so sick last week. You were asleep, with a fever. You just weren’t doing well.
Me: And you wanted to eat Saturday. That made us so happy.
Me: Because you haven’t eaten or been hungry in two weeks.
He looked completely confused, as if what I was describing to him could not possibly be true.
I assured him it was, and that he was feeling better now – today – and that’s what mattered.
He just kept repeating, “I don’t remember.”
And that makes me wonder if he actually heard anything we said to him last week.
I’m glad he doesn’t remember how much pain he was in, or that we were all fretting over his bedside everyday.
Chad also seemed to be talking to someone in the room that the nurses or I just couldn’t see.
He looked up into the corner at one point, and asked, “What do you want me to do? I’m not going to yet.”
And this just shocked us all. His speech was clear.
The nurse tried to redirect him, asked him who he was talking to.
He turned to her, looked her in the face and shrugged his shoulders.
Today, I called to check on him when I woke up.
The nurse said he was doing well, that he had been outside (they wheeled the whole bed out on the patio) with a friend, and she really liked his clean shave.
Apparently, someone shaved his beard off last night.
Which thrilled me.
I couldn’t wait to get there this morning and see his face without the scruff.
He tried to smile for me, as I told him the girls would want to see a picture of him without the beard.
Then, I popped in a DVD of pictures. Anything and everything about Chad, our life together, his childhood.
I wanted to see his expression and see if he could remember some of the things included on the DVD.
Some things he remembered, like friends and trips we’d taken.
But he didn’t remember things we had done with the girls – the zoo, Great Wolf, our trip to the beach…I was so sad.
Then again, he did remember other bits and pieces, and watched the images intently.
He wanted to remember.
The nurses came in while we were watching, and they stopped. They enjoyed seeing the healthy, happy Chad too.
Chad didn’t sleep a ton today.
He continued his routine from last night – cat naps followed by restlessness and trying to get out of bed.
The staff would put him back in bed.
And minutes later, he was trying to get out again.
I opened the patio door for a great part of the day – it was just so nice outside and this is his favorite time of year.
At one point, he told me “the light is so bright” – so I closed the door. Closed the blinds. I didn’t want to hurt his eyes.
And a few minutes later, he asked me to open the door.
I let a fly in by accident, and I thought he was annoyed by this.
He was repeating, “It’s all around! See! all around…”
His eyes were darting back and forth like he was seeing a myriad of butterflies floating around.
Sitting in the table by the bed, he never saw it – he wasn’t tracking the fly.
And then, he told me, after looking at my borrowed watch on his wrist a few times, “it’s almost time. It’s almost time.”
I prompted him further, asking if it was almost time for a show on tv or time to eat.
No. That was not it.
He told me “Shhhhhhhh!” several times today – and I wasn’t even talking.
I asked him if it was too loud (the tv), and he just stared.
I muted the tv, and he still said “Shhhhh! Shhhhh! Shhhhh!”
I didn’t know if I was annoying him in some way, so I asked him what was bothering him.
“All the people are loud in here.”
There were no people.
Just Chad and myself.
And the hallway was quiet.
The physician came in today, and I was really looking forward to talking with her.
Our last conversation indicated Chad was in his final days.
And then Saturday happened, with spurts of energy still present.
I was curious to get her take on all of this.
She also thought that Saturday was a surge of energy, not uncommon in the last days.
The days following Saturday have just been ‘unexpected’, and she’s unsure of what will happen.
Chad is clearly not following a typical, textbook timeline.
The rattly breathing is gone. No sign of a fever.
He had all of the symptoms on Friday that lead us all to believe that the end was imminent.
And, well, I guess it’s not quite that imminent.
It’s wonderful that we are getting some extra time with him, where he is more lucid and attempting to communicate with us.
The doctor did also note that Chad has signs of body breakdown, such as a new bedsore that is forming on his coccyx (tail bone), indicating that his body isn’t receiving proper nutrition or circulation to keep itself going normally.
She also let me know that the cancer cells are growing rapidly – becoming more and more toxic to Chad’s system.
Which I knew – but hadn’t thought about in a while. Those pesky cancer cells are taking over.
He is still fighting through it.
And she also reminded me that people often die the same fashion in which they lived.
I confess Chad was always a bit stubborn. And liked to do things his way, in his time.
And that appears to be the case. Even now.