Brace yourselves for a bad news post

Magen David within heart, Jewish hospice symbol

I’ve been a little quiet lately, or at least quieter than normal. That’s because I’ve spent the week wondering whether I was dying.

I am writing you from one of our local hospices, where I was moved on Wednesday, after three days of sleeping day and night. I spent three days sleeping on the couch, then moved to bed and slept through the night. Three days of profound fatigue and a very sore throat.

Initially I thought it was the flu but J. called the palliative home care nurse, who suggested Β I’d enter the hospice. I put my name in for a bed here and by that evening, we knew that a spot would be available the next morning. So after three days of sleeping day and night, on the morning of day 4, an ambulance transported me to my new home.

I will be honest with you: moving to a place I will be in until I die has been tough. It may be the right decision but it has been scary and overwhelming to move in. I don’t know how I’ve not died from the emotional upheaval of moving to a place like this, even though the care has been exemplary. J., bless her soul, has been sleeping on a cot by my side. She has been fed generously at mealtimes, the same meals as the residents, and is welcome to be here as much as she wants. And this place starts the day out with the best iced water around, and there’s nothing I like as much as a good cold glassa iced water. These folks know what dying people need; I couldn’t be in better hands.

After a few days of lazing around in my new bed, I’m questioning whether my admission was premature. I believe I am dying, and that it will happen sooner rather than later, but my death does not seem to be as imminent as it was when I was admitted. My mornings are fatigue and naps, but by noon I’m alert and even up to a visitor or two.

Late this afternoon, we spoke with the doctor. She heard my concerns and suggested the best of both worlds, for now at least: a day pass to see how I’d function in the community. If she takes me home, J. will be responsible for caring for me, but she seems up to the task. I am not incontinent, I do not need help with self care, and, although I am weak, I can make it to the washroom and fridge on my own. J. will need to feed me and do my laundry, but she’s been doing that for some time already. If my condition declines, I’ll return to the hospice pronto.

Blogging is low priority now. J. has access to my blog, and you will know if I die. But know that the end is near and, day passes or not, I imagine I will die in this spacious room with large windows and caring staff and great food. (If only our hospitals fed us so well! Two meals with bacon so far.)

I will be writing as long as I can. If I do not respond to your comments, I trust you will understand. I am grateful for your persistence and support. You have motivated me to keep going.

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24 thoughts on “Brace yourselves for a bad news post

  1. Annie – I can’t stop thinking about you and Judy. Know that you are not alone. We are thinking about you ALL THE TIME. Bruce, Rosie, Aaron and Emma send their love. I hope you aren’t in a lot of pain and the medicine is helping you to feel some calm and comfort. I love you always. xoxoxo
    Cathy.

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  2. Thank you Annie for sharing such an intimate experience. Over these months you have opened my eyes on so many things and I am truly grateful . I pray for your comfort and peace of mind. You are surrounded by truly remarkable people who cherish and love you. ❀

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  3. We send a big hug and think of you often. So glad you have a day pass and can enjoy your own home and visit with Jelly. xo R&D

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  4. Sending love and hugs to you and J and Jelly. Thank you for sharing your intimate story every step of the way. You have inspired me in so many ways. Your memory will remain especially in the context of Challah bread, wine gums and believing what can be accomplished.XOXO KG

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  5. Want you to know how much we are thinking of you and with you in spirit, all our love to you both, let us know if there is anything we can help with (if the food quality dips, we can be there within hours with some baking…..)

    XOXO MS/JE/kids and pets

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    • Thank you Mike. We know you are out there to care for us through good times and bad. It’s so day by day here that any planning becomes a challenge. I’ve never finished a project so involved. Plus I think the morphine is taking its toll on my cognitive functioning, which I swore I’d never make it do. You may notice that my conversations are a bit stilted these days as I forget what I said mere seconds ago. I’m trying but full sentences are becoming a challenge. (:

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