Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Oct 5th- Why

Wed, Oct. 5th, 05-4:37pm
Just thinking about all the things we stop giving to those we love because it wasn`t good for them. Like for instance my Uncle Nate who died from Lung cancer. My Dad even took him off to Chicago, Ill. because they had a better cancer Hosp there yrs ago, but they gave the same result-- only a few months to live. I was just a kid at the time and I remember many times when I would stand beside his bed trying to think up things to say that might bring a smile to his face. My Mother passed away 10 yrs ago, but I remember many things she told me. One thing was that she thought it was wrong not to let my Uncle ( my Fathers bro) have the cigars that he enjoyed so much. She said that since it was too late now, why not let him enjoy his last days doing whatever made him happy.
When I think of this, I feel that we often try to protect others for our self more than for them. So, smoking his cigars might have caused him to have a few less days left to spend with us, but were they realy thinking some miracle might happen and he might get well if he didn`t smoke anymore? Or did they simply feel others wouldn`t consider them good Family members if they let him continue enjoying his cigars during those final days.
Then I got thinking of Walt saying one day that he wished he had a beer. He wasn`t a big drinker -- seldom except maybe at a Wedding or Our Anniversary or new years. But I remembered the Dr telling us that he could have no alcohol with the pills he was on. So, I told him he needed to decide which he wanted most- the drink, or the pills. I told him he would need to be off his pills for at least three days for them to be out of his system enough to prevent a reaction. Guess he decided he needed the pills much more than the beer as he never stopped the pills or ever again mentioned beer. If I had known he had only a short time left, I might have gone and got him that beer. But I knew he had only 19% use of his lungs for over 3 years, and guess I was living in a dream world hoping that 19% would just go on forever. I did Nursing work in the Hosp ( before Marriage) so I knew I was playing with fire and time could end at any time. But, I guess you keep pushing anything unpleasant off to the back of your mind when it`s something you don`t wish to face. After, I called his lung Dr to ask about his last check-up which was just 4 days earlier. I remembered the Dr telling him at his last apt that he was doing a speck better. Where was my head that day. You can`t work in a Hosp and not know that most get a little better at the end. Thats when I probably should have gotten him that beer. Such fake hope we all draw from that.
Well the Dr said to me. If you are wondering if there was anything more you could have done, I can tell you- nothing more , for if there had been more I would have already done it. Then I remembered the time that Walt said they can replace lungs, so why not mine. I could only tell him he needed to ask his dr that question. Whether he ever did or not, I will never know as he never mentioned it again.
Then there was a couple of my mothers sisters. One went into a coma and my Mother asked me if I thought people in a coma could hear what was being said around them. I told her yes. Then she said that their other family members should not have talked about this Aunt as if she were already gone. Then I almost wished I hadn`t told her yes as it was upsetting her even more. Another of Mother`s sister with cancer also drifted off into a coma just before my husband and I arrived that morning. I kept talking to her and told her to hang on as her daughter was coming soon. I watched her start breathing so hard that after about 10 minutes I could take it no longer. So, I told her that it was ok, that Thelma ( my cousin) would understand and not want her to fight so hard. Then she relaxed her hard breathing and I knew it wouldn`t be more than a few hours. So, I do believe she heard me. As for the first Aunt who had been in a coma for almost two days when this happened. I went down every morning to be with her till the others got home from work to get there. This one morning, while I was talking to her, I told her that I would give anything to see one of her beautiful smiles again. Suddenly tears started rolling down her cheeks. That hit me so that I held her hand and told her " Thats ok Aunt Mary, God and I can both see you smiling on the inside. She relaxed and the tears stopped.
Then there was another time when one of Walt`s nephews was in a car accident and was left in a coma. The Dr said he wouldn`t make it. I told his Mother we were not giving up yet. That we needed to just keep talking to him with hopes he might hear us. After spending a few days in a coma, he suddenly opened his eyes and just layed there staring at us.I could tell he didn`t know where he was or who we were. So, I just told his Mother to keep talking to him. Then the Dr said he had a mind left of a 2 yr old and would never get any better. I still refused to believe it. I had his Mom bring in a deck of cards. She asked what I wanted them for, told her to teach him his numbers, which we did. Then we started with teaching him letters. Then even the Dr was surprised with how fast he was advancing. I figured we just had to get his mind remembering what he had learned in the past. He was discharged and I continued every day for three more weeks going to their home to help his mother teach him. Well, about a yr later he had his old job back- repairing cars. As soon as he started everything came back about cars. But to this day, he has never remembered anything that happened at the hosp. One day he told me Thank you. I asked him for what. He said his Mom told him how I was at the hosp all day every day, first just talking to him while he was in the coma, and then how I helped teach him. Told him I was just glad it helped.
There was another time while I was working at the hosp years ago. There was this patient who was one wonderful , very intelligent lady who was a teacher in a state college. She was our Patient till she got worse and needed a Private Nurse. She had been a Patient for months and I sorta got attached to her. So, I used to come on duty a few minutes early just to stop and speak to her. She would always call my name when she saw me coming from the elevator. This one day, she didn`t call me, so I decided to go in and check on her. When the private nurse saw me. she motioned me out and she told me " she won`t know you, she went into a coma last night shortly after you left at 11pm and she didn`t even know her family. I asked if it would be ok with her if I just popped in and spoke to her anyways, and she agreed. I no more took her hand and asked her how she was doing today when she suddenly said "Dorothy, is that you". Boy did her nurse come running to her bed. I shook my head no to let her know she hadn`t come out of the coma. The Nurse said she was going to tell her family, but I asked her please don`t tell them. Told her it would be heartbreaking for them to hear their Mother called someone elses name when she never spoke to them. She understood and said she was glad I told her no. So, Noone will ever convince me that people can`t hear whats being said around them when they are in a coma.
Wonder what times others have had that prooves what I believe and how many others believe as I do.

hello dot.
well i never knew that about people in a coma. i am glad she had you as a friend.
where are you dot. did you stop posting on your blog?
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