May 04, 2013 - 4:33 am
I will sleep very little, if at all, tonight. I made the decision today to have my beloved husband removed from life support systems at noon tomorrow. His condition has rapidly deteriorated over the last two days. The ventilator is now completely breathing for him and the pacemaker has taken over 100%. He is in a drugged sleep, not responsive to anything, and will never wake again. I am crying as I try to type. At least four doctors have validated that he will never come out of this. They have deactivated the defib portion of his device so that he won't receive continuous shocks. I will hold in my heart the memory from two nights ago as he waved his fingers at us as we told him we loved him & would be back in the morning. It is all I have right now. Later, I will have time to reflect on our forty one years together.
Hospice has arranged to put him on a portable ventilator & transport him home. Home is where he would want to be & I have done my best to honor his wishes. A bed and other equipment now faces me in the family room where I am sleeping as I gave Debbie & her husband my bed. I will look at that all night long. A doctor & two nurses will be here to make him comfortable & remove the ventilator. It will be a matter of a few minutes to hours for us to spend with him one last time. I am frightened as Hospice does not stay until the end, but together Robert & I will do this for him. Robert & I will ride in the ambulance in case he expires during transport. I could not ask Debbie to do that, nor can I ask her to be present as he goes on his final journey. She faces her own mortality each day & it is too much for her.
We left the hospital for a few hours today to make funeral arrangements. They are simple, but expensive. He always used to tell me "When I'm gone, just put me in a pine box & stick me in the ground." So I selected a wooden casket that looks like that pine box. There will be a small graveside service on Tuesday. It is a surreal feeling to know that I've done this & that on Monday, I'll select flowers for my husband. I know some of you have faced this very thing.
I hope I have not offended anyone by posting this much information.
Please keep us in your hearts as I do this thing. It is the most difficult thing I've ever had to do in my life.