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Ted Ted, BSN (New Member) New Member Platinum Nurse

Wednesday - March 20th, 2018 - Good Morning!

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Good Morning -

As you know now, my Dad passed away Tuesday, yesterday, at around 12:40 AM. Dad passed away knowing he was well-loved. Dad passed away knowing that he would be with His Loving Maker in Heaven, a soul-felt belief that he preached throughout his service as an Episcopal Priest.

I read your Daily Diary Posts from Tuesday (yesterday), and all of the posts written on Facebook. I read all of the posts. It did comfort. 

As I shared here recently, I believe that the aging process was cruel to Dad. At least in my mind, that cruelty seemed to extend into his final days of on this Earth. That "Death Rattle" and labored breathing went on for days! I know that most of us have watched this throughout our nursing life. I've never grown used to that sound of the "Death Rattle". Following Hospice instructions, we gave the prescribed dose of morphine and Ativan. The medications seemed to help ease the labored breathing, but that sound persisted.

I was with Dad when he drew his last breath. With the exception of Linda and myself, the family had left to go to the hotel(s) and catch some sleep. Dad's loving wife, Linda, sang their favorite country song to Dad. It was a love song, of course, and Linda held Dad and kissed Dad while she sang that song. Dad's wife then went to their bedroom to try to catch a few ZZZZZs. After she left, I went to Dad and kneeled beside him so that I can softly whisper into his ear. By this time, that "Rattle" seemed to be at full-volume. (It was a sound that will reverberate in my head for a very long time.) Leaning into Dad's ear, and while stroking his forehead, I very slowly and very clearly recited the Lord's Prayer. I knew that this prayer was recited to Dad many, many times throughout these past days. Priests and a Bishop recited this prayer. Dad heard other family members recited this prayer to him. But it was his son that whispered one of Dad's favorite prayers into his ear. When I finished the Lord's Prayer, I then whispered several times to Dad that God Loved him. I whispered several times to Dad that I loved him. Then, no longer than two minutes later, that "Rattle" stopped. Oddly enough, Dad was still breathing. Dad's eyes were wide opened after being closed for hours, he seemed to mouth a couple of words, Peace replaced the struggle on his face, and Dad drew his last breath.

Now. . . I had NO idea that Dad would pass away almost immediately after I recited the Lord's Prayer. I have to believe that it took hearing his son reciting that prayer for him to finally "let go". I do not know if there is an all-powerful, all-knowing deity that exists in this universe. But, if there is, that God received a Faithful Servant.

I did not want to be there as Dad drew his last breath. In fact, my plan was to go to the hotel with Amy and try to catch some ZZZZZs. But "instinct" told me to stay. Reluctantly, but willingly, I stayed. And, I followed that "instinct" to the point of whispering words of Faith and Love. That was all that I did.

Gosh, Dad will be missed. . . 

I thank you all for being kind, and for reading these words.

Dad's funeral is Monday. 

In the meanwhile, I leave you this video that I made for Dad and Linda which showcased Dad's 80th Birthday Party that took place in 2013. It was a rare but well-remembered Big Family Get-together.

 

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Ted, what a blessing it is to be so loved, with loved ones so close.  Thanks for sharing your experience.  I wish you peace in the coming days and months.

Working my "bad week".  Got a lot done yesterday, not sure what I'm walking into.  Census was a bit low last week due to surgeons going on vacation and Spring breaks.  

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Ted I'm glad you followed your instinct and was there with your dad in his final moments.  I hope you can find peace now that he's at rest.  

Interview yesterday went well, but the manager said it was only a 3 month temporary position with a less than certain possibility of becoming permanent.  Which is not what i'm looking for.  And they want someone to start 4/1, which would preclude giving 2 weeks notice.  And the commute would be tricky.  So this is probably not the position for me.  Oh well, have another one next week

Drive up there was good, the drive back not so good.  But I got home at a reasonable time

Tonight meeting with J at one of our usual places, then choir practice

Rainy day, temps will dip a bit during the week but should be pretty warm by the weekend

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Such a lovely video, Ted.

You were a loving son, Ted, until the end. I hope you find comfort through your loving actions.

Got my errands done yesterday, and dinner with the county's Democratic Ladies was good.

Tonight is dinner with my book club, the Liberal Literary Ladies of Lexington. We will discuss the book: Evicted.

Got my ticket from Boston, back to Louisville, yesterday. Still have to book ticket to Albany in June.

Otherwise, everything is in place for Nantucket trip.

Rhode Island trip is next week.

Slept beautifully from 2100 to 0000. Tossed until 0100, then got up and took 9 mg of melatonin. Tossed until 0200, then slept til 0730.

Sorry the job wasn't what you wanted,Joe.

Better get this day started.

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I enjoyed the video with Ted's beautiful family and music. Wonderful!

I too was blessed to be with my Dad when he died. 

Took Step-Mom to the doctor yesterday. Her KUB CT with contrast was normal. Dr. " could find no medical reason for her lack of appetite. When asked what flavor drink she wanted step-Mom said, "Whatever." Me, my sister, and caregivers had told the doctor they think she is depressed. She has always been proud to have never been depressed. Yesterday when asked she said, "Probably." MD had her drink an Ensure and eat a meal bar with protein. She told her she would stay until she ate them. She did. 

She is now on an antidepressant takes at least six weeks to help. A side effect is increased appetite.

Monday will be her birthday. Sister is bringing wine to have with lunch and birthday cheesecake, her favorite. She knows she has to eat half her lunch before the wine can be opened. MD agreed with the plan. The head caregiver said, "I'll drink to that!" The party will be with the other ladies who live there. 

I'm wondering how to get her to have a conversation with one woman. She is over ninety. Type one diabetes took one leg and most of her eyesight. She is friendly, pleasant, and smiles a lot. She has lived in four countries and I find her good to converse with. Step-Mom is polite, but told me," I don't like to be around her because if is too sad that she can't walk and can't see. I guess people feel the same about me having to live in an old folks home."

That same woman's granddaughter painted everyone's nails last week. All their hands look better than mine, including Step-Mom's.

Oh well. Maybe she will feel better with one class of wine a day, starting on her birthday. If she is better nourished she may feel better before the medication helps.

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Finally got a chance to see Ted's video, after I got off work.  It is to be treasured!  Nice work, Ted, and even more special at this time.  Again: hugs.

OK day at work.

herring, I hope your step-mom's outlook and appetite improve.  You are right to encourage her to reach out/step outside her comfort zone.  It remains to be seen if she will take the plunge.

Joe, keep searching.  Something else will open up for someone with your skills.

Yay!  Another trip to enjoy vicariously!  Share with us, please, Lil Nel!  Have not been to Rhode Island, looking forward to hearing about it.

Tweety, how did today go?  Hope it wasn't too bad, for being in your "bad week," and for your "bad week" being near a full moon.

It is raining, has rained all afternoon with some thunderboomers thrown in for extra special effects!  It's a soup evening..

Have a nice evening!

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What a wonderful video, Ted! I smiled through the whole thing!

 I have to tell you that I have had at least a dozen patients who passed within minutes of me having recited the Lord's Prayer, The 23rd Psalm,and sang  the hymn that starts: "I come to the garden alone..." It is like letting them know they don't have to be afraid.  I consider it a great privilege to be with someone who is passing, to be the one who holds their hand until they reach across 'the still waters', and Jesus takes them from there. You were guided to follow your instincts to stay, and what you did and said (whispered) were exactly the right things. I hope it turns into a calming and peaceful memory, knowing how you honored your dad to the very last.

Tweety, Hope your "bad week" surprises the beejeebers out of you by turning out to be "Q" and easy-peasy! Wouldn't THAT be a "mackeral", I mean, a miracle? 

Joe, Sorry the interview revealed nothing you were hoping for.

Nel, The L.L.L's of L.???? 🤯 Mind-blowing! (I still think this 'blown-mind' emoji just looks like an emoji with an ice-bag on it's head!)

herring, Yeah, Nannie also has an aversion to socializing now, and resists most all efforts to get her to participate in anything that "smacks of" someone who wants to to, instead of being nice and helpful, "just wants to get rid of me..."

She wouldn't even sit in the car when hubby was going to stop at the County Senior Center (NOT a residential place, but a hub for activities of ALL kinds) and wait 2 minutes to let me hop out and see if they have info re cheap or free ass't w/ tax prep. You wouldn't believe how she just sizzled when hubby started to turn in to their parking lot! "Why would I want to join a group of old people; you think that'd be FUN?" We pulled out of the parking lot immediately, after telling her the stop had nothing to do with her. She steamed for about 20 more minutes, until we got to the restaurant we were going to. Whew, tense! Then she glowed and preened when the restaurant hostess, who she's known for years,  made a fuss over her: Oh, how good she looked and how pretty her outfit was, etc. 

Guess we don't get to see that huge, big 'ol' moon tonight. In spite of the weather prediction to the contrary, it is overcast. *sigh*

Good night, Moon.

 

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27 minutes ago, dianah said:

Finally got a chance to see Ted's video, after I got off work.  It is to be treasured!  Nice work, Ted, and even more special at this time.  Again: hugs.

OK day at work.

herring, I hope your step-mom's outlook and appetite improve.  You are right to encourage her to reach out/step outside her comfort zone.  It remains to be seen if she will take the plunge.

Joe, keep searching.  Something else will open up for someone with your skills.

Yay!  Another trip to enjoy vicariously!  Share with us, please, Lil Nel!  Have not been to Rhode Island, looking forward to hearing about it.

Tweety, how did today go?  Hope it wasn't too bad, for being in your "bad week," and for your "bad week" being near a full moon.

It is raining, has rained all afternoon with some thunderboomers thrown in for extra special effects!  It's a soup evening..

Have a nice evening!

I am just going to visit family, Dianah.

I will spend a night in Providence with a friend, as we are seeing live theatre at Trinity Rep.

Two night with my mother, then back to my boys in KY.

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Stars,  the 4Ls, the Liberal Literary Ladies of Lexington, are reading A Year Of Living Danishly.

Denmark is either the happiest, or one of the happiest countries in the world.

The author and her husband spent a year there, and the book examines what makes life there so good, and enjoyable.

Spoiler alert: the welfare state has a lot to do with folks being happy.

Should be an interesting read.

Has anyone heard of Libby, the library app?

I just used it, to borrow and download the book onto my phone.

Wonderful.

I hate Amazon, and have really detested purchasing books from them.

Libby will download onto a Kindle, as well.

Such a useful tool!

 

 

 

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Checking in late . . . thank you Ted for the video.  And the story about your time with your dad.  I have to say as a hospice nurse, I've had stories similar to yours.  Sometimes, we open a window . . . sometimes a family member will say it is ok to go.  (Did you use the Atropine drops for the rattle?).

Went for a  walk. Saw a rainbow.  Heading to bed shortly as we leave early tomorrow for a baseball tournament in Redding at Big League Dreams.  

Tomorrow is also my eldest son's birthday.  He turns 36.  

Hope we ALL get a good night's sleep. 

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3 hours ago, Spidey's mom said:

Checking in late . . . thank you Ted for the video.  And the story about your time with your dad.  I have to say as a hospice nurse, I've had stories similar to yours.  Sometimes, we open a window . . . sometimes a family member will say it is ok to go.  (Did you use the Atropine drops for the rattle?).

Steph - It seems that our Hospice nurse didn't supply anything to manage Dad's secretions. We looked everywhere. Otherwise, we had what we needed. 

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On 3/21/2019 at 1:35 AM, Ted said:

Steph - It seems that our Hospice nurse didn't supply anything to manage Dad's secretions. We looked everywhere. Otherwise, we had what we needed. 

Hi - just saw this.  Not sure of every hospice's "Symptom Relief Kit" or SRK and not sure if they all call it that.  We have liquid Morphine Sulfate 20 mg/ml.  Lorazepam 0.5 mg tabs (8 of them to start and then if needed, we refill more), Odansetron 4 mg dissolvable tabs, Senna-S, and Atropine eye drops that are used orally to help with secretions.  I guess they found a side effect of the eye drops was dry mouth, etc.  So they incorporate them orally for end-of-life care.  

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