It was this Thursday three years ago that Dr. Kabinivar told us there was nothing more that could be done for Michael, and it was time to transition to hospice care. I know we all saw it coming, but hearing our trusted physician articulate that was really devastating. Our mothers were with us in that small examination room. Michael was in a wheelchair and on oxygen 24/7. He wanted to pray and led us in the Lord's Prayer. I think I asked him some stupid questions about what he'd want for a memorial service. That's me. Always got to be thinking ahead and making plans. I just cringe thinking about that now.
What followed after that was coordinating all the hospice services, and the onslaught of family visitors rushing to see him at least one more time. I think we both just wanted to be alone, but that was not an option. It was Valentine's Day weekend. There was some strife between his sister-in-law and me. I was upset because she was not respecting our wishes for short visits. I cried angry tears and felt powerless in my own home. Michael was frustrated, too, but he was so weak and tired. I burdened him with my anger and frustration. I was past the point of being able to filter my feelings very well, and I was used to being so open with him.
We had help every day from that point on. Hospice visits. Family. But fewer and fewer friends per Michael's choice. His friend Arlette (pictured below) was an exception. She is a massage therapist, and she gave him a massage each week. He loved that. He needed that.
I can hardly believe that it's been three years already. So much has changed, but it seems like he was just here in some ways. Now our living room is cluttered with Michaela's toys instead of Michael's medical equipment. I am focused on living instead of dying, and that is a blessing.