Here I go...

Finding magic under the stars of the Camino Santiago de Compostela

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

You Can Count on Change

I guess the one thing you can count on in life is change.

Last night, all the signs indicated Mike would not make it another 24 hours.
Cyanosis had set in.
His fingernails and fingers were purple.
The skin on his neck was turning mottled and purple.
He was breathing like a fish out of water.

I sent mom to bed and stayed up all night to administer his meds and keep watch.

About 3:45 this morning, I gave him a dose of his medication, then couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. Forty-eight hours with 3 hours of sleep finally caught up on me, and I dozed off on the couch. I awoke at 5 am with Mike kicking and hollering. I called the hospice nurse who gave instructions for more medication.

Mom woke up about 7 am and told me to go get some sleep. I asked her, "Are you sure you can do this?"  She said yes, so I gratefully fell into bed and a deep sleep.

Twenty minutes later mom was nudging me in a panic, "He's twitching and yelling - I don't know what to do!"

I got up. Mike had kicked off the bedclothes. His feet were moving like he was running. He was groaning and his eyes were opening and closing.

The cyanosis had disappeared. His skin color was back to normal and he'd reached deep into himself and pulled up a second wind - a second will to live. It was almost as if he were saying, "I will NOT die!  I WILL NOT!"

We called the hospice nurse, who came right over.
We called Mike's eldest daughter, Heather, who was already on her way over.
"We need help!"

The nurse called the doctor and got permission to increase the dosages of medicine.
She gave him his meds, and after about 20 minutes, he did settle down a bit.
However, while turning him to administer an anal suppository, we realized with horror that the dark spot on his back that had been about the size of a dime yesterday now covered an area the size of a dessert plate. If we don't keep him off that back, a bed sore will result.

But it's nearly impossible. We have propped him to the left and to the right.  He wiggles and squirms until he is again on his back.

I feel hopeless.
We're all exhausted.

Siobhan, Mike's youngest daughter, had to leave this morning to return to her home at the coast.

With Heather here to support mom, I again fell into bed and managed to squeeze off 3 more hours of deep sleep.  I'm now a little punchy but am less numb.

One of mom's friends brought sandwiches.
My cousin brought donuts this morning.
Thank God for good people.

So that's where we are at 1 pm today.
Mike is restless,
and his fight continues.

Please keep us in your prayers.
We need the support.



  1. Oh dear sending you strength and prayers.

  2. Dear Annie,
    I am glad you are share your brother's journey and your own. It is so tough with the only consolation that you are all doing your best - hang on to that. I also know that loved ones who are dying and seem unaware of us really are - I have seen amazing things. So God bless you for the comfort you are trying to give you brother - it is emotional as well as physical.

  3. Thank you so much for your kind words.


All comments are moderated.