Wednesday and Fridays are my days to sit with Kenny while he has dialysis. On Wednesday, I put GB on the bus and drove the 20 minutes to the hospital. Kenny was awake but in pain. I asked him how bad. The pain was a 9. I went to get the nurse and she gave him Oxycontin by mouth and dilaudid through his PIC. He wouldn’t eat or drink. He asked if I was staying for the whole treatment today. I was. They came to wheel his bed to dialysis, one floor up. Hooking him up was uneventful. I sat next to him, watching. He was cold. I found an extra blanket. He was still cold. I found another one. Five blankets later, he was comfortable. An hour into the treatment the pain hit. They gave him Morphine. The pain got worse. They gave him more dilaudid. It didn’t help. Kenny asked to stop the dialysis. That got the nurses attention. They paged his doctor, who ordered more Morphine. It did not help. Kenny told me he was done. He couldn’t do this any more. I thought he meant done for the day and went to have the nurse unhook him. He stopped me. He said he was done. He was tired and couldn’t fight any more. He asked me if it was Ok. I said yes and asked him what he wanted me to do. He wanted his people so he could say good bye. I called his brother and told him what Kenny had said. His family came to the hospital. I kissed Kenny and told him I loved him. He asked where I was going. I said you have everybody here, I am going home. He said, “That would not be good”. I asked if he wanted me to stay. He did. I recounted the morning for his family. His brother tried to talk him out of it. Kenny kept repeating he was done. I repeated what happened to anyone who asked.
Back in his room, I sat on the arm of the chair. I played with his hair and drew curlicues on his arm. People came and went. I made sure they didn’t touch anything but his head and arms. Everything else hurt him. The doctor put him on a constant IV drip of Morphine. It took awhile to find the dose that got rid of the pain, but the nurses kept with it. Kenny had been in the hospital since Thanksgiving. The nurses struggled with his dying as if they were family.
Kenny died at 1:40 this morning.
Kenny Bryant 1962-2012
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.”
2 Timothy 4:7
Home with our Lord, pain free at last.