Daily Archives: 10/12/2006

Reverdy Lewin Orrell Jr – Condition Update

DadMomRebConfirmation.jpg (Photo at left: My parents and Reb Orrell, IV, about 1988.)

My father had another rough night, but I was able to get him to sleep around 11:30 and get my mother in bed. he started with a fever last night.

I woke up about every hour to check on him. When the room is fairly dark, I have to get right up on him and put my hand on his chest to see if he is breathing.

He tried to die yesterday morning and I thought it was over. He says he isn’t in any pain. I wish he could just close his eyes and go in his sleep.

He can’t walk or stand without help. Even then, he doesn’t have the strength to move. It is a real effort to move him and I’m trying to roll him over on his side every few hours as he is developing bed sores on his back. That will eventually lead to quite a bit of pain.

He is worried about my mom. That’s all he talks about. We also wants to know why Nora and I aren’t working. I told him that Nora goes to work very early in the morning, then comes over, but he can still function mentally and can tell time. His mind is still very sharp – no problem there.

He started crying last night when talking to me about my job. I told him that you and Margie said I can take as much time as I need, but he is worried that will only last so long. Even though he wants to go, he keeps saying, “But what happens if I stay like this for weeks or months before I die.” It won’t be weeks or months, but that is his concern.

I’ve told him I’d work it out and that he shouldn’t worry about it.

Here he is, in his last days, and still only thinking of others. He is the strongest person I’ve ever met, thinking only about others at a time when he should be thinking only about himself.

This is killing me.

At one point yesterday morning we thought it was over. He opened his eyes and asked if the men had finished installing the new heating and air conditioning system. Then he closed his eyes, opened them back up and asked if we had gone to MVA to put the car in my mother’s name. I told him that he had signed the papers and we would do it later. Then he asked if I had lined up the minister for his funeral. He wants a close friend from lodge to do it. Dan Stone is also a Past Master of the lodge and was master the year before I was. Dan retired, then became an ordained minister. Dan has agreed to do it. That put a smile on my father’s face.

Then he closed his eyes again and opened then, thanking me for the fried oyster sandwich. He started to cry and said he was sorry that I wasted the money in buying it because he only took a bite of it. He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “But I tried. Thank You.”

He then asked to hold my mother’s photo that he wants buried in the coffin with him. He then asked for the Masonic penny the Grand Master gave to me to give him. That made him so proud to get this year’s penny ahead of time. That has never happened in the history of the Grand Lodge of Maryland.

he then told my mother she’d have to get her own health insurance right away, but she told him she’d have 18 months to get it.

He closed his eyes again and his breathing become very short. He opened them again and asked my mother if she had checked her blood level and have taken her insulin.

I nearly burst into tears when he said he was going to give ‘Pitiful’ her chocolate candy bar tonight. Pitiful was their mixed cocker spaniel who died many years ago. He used to sit there and give her a Hershey’s chocolate bar every night after dinner.

I told him to give his parents a big hug and kiss from everyone. He said he would. He said he hadn’t seen his father since 1961 and was looking forward to being with him again.

He told me to thank my son for bringing over the DVD of Sara’s sonogram so he could see his great grandson.

He told me to keep an eye on my Mother because she wasn’t in good health. He then started to cry and told my mom that he loved her very much and thanked her for marrying him and spending their life together.

He told Nora that he was trying to die, and told her he must not be good enough, because they weren’t taking him yet. Nora told him that all the paperwork wasn’t finished yet and they still weren’t quite ready for him yet. he told her, “But I want to go now and they won’t take me. I must not be good enough.”

It was horrible to hear these things, but everyone including my mom held up very well. We just held his hand and kept whispering that we loved him in his ear and it was OK to go if it was time.

I really thought it was over yesterday morning, but he slowly came around and was pretty good in the afternoon.

Sorry for rambling on. I sometimes have nothing left in my body, then other times, have a lot of nervous energy.

I just heard him wake up. Time to get his medicine and start another day.

I’ll try to make a posting on my blog later today. I’m getting so many emails from around the world about him, that it is easier to do a blog entry once a day.

My only purpose in life right now is to make him comfortable. It is what I must focus on entirely.


Reverdy Lewin Orrell, Jr. (Condition Update)

RebJeanWeddingDay.jpg (NOTE: Photo at left from my parent’s wedding day (18 June 1948). Leaning over my father’s shoulder is his father, Reverdy Lewin Orrell Sr.)

Yesterday (Thursday) was a rather good day for my father. In the morning Nora arrived with a ‘egg crate mattress’ which we added between the mattress of the hospital bed and the sheets. My father said it was much better and softer on his back. We have noticed that brusing has started under one arm, which is the beginning of bed sores. We are trying to turn him every few hours and put him in a different position.

Also Nora came up with the idea of using a different foam wedge at the bottom of the bed. It is rather sturdy and will allow him to use what strength he has to try and straighten up a little and to keep from sliding down the bed.

We have also found that raising up the bottom part of the hospital bed, also helps out.

Getting him into the bathroom yesterday was a struggle. Even on Saturday, he was able to shuffle his feet to the bathroom. We used a desk chair, with wheels, to bring him back. He was able to help in transferring his weight, until yesterday.

He talked on the phone to his brother, Gloria (a close friend), Larry Stein (a longtime friend from the Masonic lodge, and Reds Goble (his best friend for close to 70 years).

His sister, Mary Jahnigan, came around for a few hours.

Also, my mother’s sister, Dorothy Kunsman, her daughters Pat, and Bonnie, and Pat’s daughter Michele came over for about an hour.

Dad sat in a chair for a few hours yesterday, where he received his i.v.

My son came over after work. He showed my father another unbelievable photo of his son, taken during another sonogram. This was actually better than the DVD, as you could clearly see the baby’s face. When I get access to a scanner, I’ll post.

When Reb left he told me to tell my father that the baby’s name would definately be Jackson Reverdy Orrell. You should have seen the look on his face when he heard that.

Later, he started to run a fever, but it didn’t last. He slept quietly last night, but every time he made a sound, I jumped up from the sofa.

The ‘new’ Hospice nurse arrived this morning and spent about an hour examining my father and talking to us. He was exactly what he had heard about Hospice and their staff; completely unlike what we experienced on Wednesday. Nora called Hospice yesterday and requested a different caregiver and gave the full reason why, when asked. I won’t go into that now.

This morning was father didn’t perk up as he has the last several mornings. He went right back to sleep after I gave him his 8 AM pills.

His voice is very weak when he speaks, but he is in no pain whatsoever. That’s all we can ask for.

He told Nora and my mother yesterday, that when he goes to sleep at night he sees what he thinks are people. He hears them talking, but can’t understand what they are saying. He has also said that heaven must not want him. Nora told him that all the ‘paperwork’ hasn’t been done yet and all the relatives and loved ones in heaven must be rounded up and be ready to greet him. He smiled at that.

I notice that when he does open his eyes and look about he looks at a photo of his parents, one of Reb, Sara, and my parents, and his favorite photo of my mother. He then looks for his masonic coin. Also he stares at a large photo on the wall of ‘Pitiful’, his dogs of many years.

The Hospice nurse said, that while he is very weak, and his pulse seems to be dropping, he isn’t quite ready yet. He still has lucid moments, most of the time. He says this could go on for several days.

Reverdy Lewin Orrell, Jr. (Condition Update)

DadMomRebConfirmation.jpg (Photo at left: My parents and Reb Orrell, IV, about 1988.)

My father had another rough night, but I was able to get him to sleep around 11:30 and get my mother in bed. he started with a fever last night.

I woke up about every hour to check on him. When the room is fairly dark, I have to get right up on him and put my hand on his chest to see if he is breathing.

He tried to die yesterday morning and I thought it was over. He says he isn’t in any pain. I wish he could just close his eyes and go in his sleep.

He can’t walk or stand without help. Even then, he doesn’t have the strength to move. It is a real effort to move him and I’m trying to roll him over on his side every few hours as he is developing bed sores on his back. That will eventually lead to quite a bit of pain.

He is worried about my mom. That’s all he talks about. We also wants to know why Nora and I aren’t working. I told him that Nora goes to work very early in the morning, then comes over, but he can still function mentally and can tell time. His mind is still very sharp – no problem there.

He started crying last night when talking to me about my job. I told him that you and Margie said I can take as much time as I need, but he is worried that will only last so long. Even though he wants to go, he keeps saying, “But what happens if I stay like this for weeks or months before I die.” It won’t be weeks or months, but that is his concern.

I’ve told him I’d work it out and that he shouldn’t worry about it.

Here he is, in his last days, and still only thinking of others. He is the strongest person I’ve ever met, thinking only about others at a time when he should be thinking only about himself.

This is killing me.

At one point yesterday morning we thought it was over. He opened his eyes and asked if the men had finished installing the new heating and air conditioning system. Then he closed his eyes, opened them back up and asked if we had gone to MVA to put the car in my mother’s name. I told him that he had signed the papers and we would do it later. Then he asked if I had lined up the minister for his funeral. He wants a close friend from lodge to do it. Dan Stone is also a Past Master of the lodge and was master the year before I was. Dan retired, then became an ordained minister. Dan has agreed to do it. That put a smile on my father’s face.

Then he closed his eyes again and opened then, thanking me for the fried oyster sandwich. He started to cry and said he was sorry that I wasted the money in buying it because he only took a bite of it. He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “But I tried. Thank You.”

He then asked to hold my mother’s photo that he wants buried in the coffin with him. He then asked for the Masonic penny the Grand Master gave to me to give him. That made him so proud to get this year’s penny ahead of time. That has never happened in the history of the Grand Lodge of Maryland.

he then told my mother she’d have to get her own health insurance right away, but she told him she’d have 18 months to get it.

He closed his eyes again and his breathing become very short. He opened them again and asked my mother if she had checked her blood level and have taken her insulin.

I nearly burst into tears when he said he was going to give ‘Pitiful’ her chocolate candy bar tonight. Pitiful was their mixed cocker spaniel who died many years ago. He used to sit there and give her a Hershey’s chocolate bar every night after dinner.

I told him to give his parents a big hug and kiss from everyone. He said he would. He said he hadn’t seen his father since 1961 and was looking forward to being with him again.

He told me to thank my son for bringing over the DVD of Sara’s sonogram so he could see his great grandson.

He told me to keep an eye on my Mother because she wasn’t in good health. He then started to cry and told my mom that he loved her very much and thanked her for marrying him and spending their life together.

He told Nora that he was trying to die, and told her he must not be good enough, because they weren’t taking him yet. Nora told him that all the paperwork wasn’t finished yet and they still weren’t quite ready for him yet. he told her, “But I want to go now and they won’t take me. I must not be good enough.”

It was horrible to hear these things, but everyone including my mom held up very well. We just held his hand and kept whispering that we loved him in his ear and it was OK to go if it was time.

I really thought it was over yesterday morning, but he slowly came around and was pretty good in the afternoon.

Sorry for rambling on. I sometimes have nothing left in my body, then other times, have a lot of nervous energy.

I just heard him wake up. Time to get his medicine and start another day.

I’ll try to make a posting on my blog later today. I’m getting so many emails from around the world about him, that it is easier to do a blog entry once a day.

My only purpose in life right now is to make him comfortable. It is what I must focus on entirely.