(Note – Photo at left taken 13 Nov 1999 – Reverdy Lewin Orrell Jr, Jean (Malle) Orrell, Nora Skerry Orrell, Reverdy Lewin Orrell III, Reverdy Lewin Orrell IV).
This has been a very difficult 24 hours. My father’s breathing became labored about 7 PM last night. He was breathing heavy, then hardly at all. He voice became very weak and it looked like he was ready. My mother and I went to him, hugged him, kissed him, and kept whispering in his ear that it was OK to go. He said that he wanted to pass. I called Nora, who rushed back to my parent’s house. My son, Reb IV, just arrived before he went to work.
Reb’s arrival perked my father up a little. Reb had brought a DVD showing a sonagram of his and Sara’s son. I dismantled the computer in my father’s office and brought it to his side. He watched the entire 12 minute video and said how much he liked it.
Both Nora and Reb left. Then later the same thing happened, only worse. I called Aunt Mary, who lives around the corner. She was here within 5 minutes. We stayed at his side until he got better about 2 AM.
By then my mother’s diabetes had kicked in and her levels were down. It took an hour of eating to get her under control. I finally got her to bed at 3:30 and checked on my father. He was resting comfortably.
I kept checking on him every half hour or so. I’m sleeping on the sofa at his side. Whenever he moves, I jump up.
At 6:30 he woke up and looked very bad. At that time he said he didn’t want to i.v. anymore, that it wasn’t doing any good. We asked if we could call in some people to help out, meaning Hospice care. We had been told Hospice would not help, unless the person was not on i.v. We were told this by the doctor and social worker at Hopkins.
As we found out later today, these idiots don’t know their ass from third base, as the Hospice worker (who arrived later) informed us. After our meeting with Hospice, I ran another i.v., telling my father this might help him. He said OK. I hate lying to my father, and have told him more lies in the last few days, than I have my entire life.
About 9 PM last night, the portable oxygen maker blew up. I immediately put him on a large backup tank and called the provider.
I’ll get in the company’s attitude, carelessness, and lack of concern at a later date. That is another battle, as I my only concern is making my father’s last few days as easy as possible. I’ll get into the same discussion about one doctor at Hopkins at the same time. I’ll also get into the ‘new’ Hospice program, that hopefully, only my family has experienced. Dale Carnegie has been replaced by Don Rickle’s. I’m still amazed I didn’t throw that little bitch right out the window. Again, I must stay focused on my father and not let these other things get in the way of his last few days. Those battles will be fought later, right here on this blog.
The bottom line is that I’ve taken care of the oxygen situation and will deal with Hospice tomorrow. The Hospice nurse, who was here today, will never step foot in this house again.
This afternoon he perked up a bit. While not bright eyed, he was very lucid. We were able to get some pudding, candy, and grapes in him. Certainly not a balanced diet, but more than he has eaten in weeks.
It is now 9:30 PM and he is very tired. I hope he can get some rest tonight. I’m trying to get both my parents to go to sleep early tonight.
We’ll see what tomorrow brings.
On behalf of my father and the entire family, we would like to thank everyone for the birthday cards, get well cards, and emails of encouragement.
I’m not a doctor, but I don’t see how he can continue for another week or so without eating anything substancial.