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.
The Dad likes satin. Specifically, The Dad likes satin bed sheets. Shortly after Christmas, I ordered a beautiful set of sky blue, satin sheets for our water bed. The timing ensured it was not a Christmas gift, since the Dad and I don’t do Christmas gifts. They came, and surprised him, a couple of days ago.
Yesterday, The Dad decided to put the satin sheets on the water bed. Our water bed mattress is old, almost fourteen years old. When The Dad took the boring, non-satin sheets off, the water bed sprung a leak. Our patch kit still had a small amount of patching material in it. The Dad patched the bed and waited for it to dry. We had decided three weeks ago we needed a new mattress, after needing several patches in one weekend. He had the number to call, but hadn’t gotten around to it.
After the girls were asleep, The Dad decided the patch was set and the new, satin sheets could be put on. At this point I have my pillow and bolster on the floor and am halfway to dreamland. I have viral pneumonia, and really didn’t care where I slept. The Dad had started to put the sheets on when he noticed another tiny leak. He took the last bit of patching material, fixed it, and we waited for that patch to set. I stayed on the floor still dozing on and off.
Sometime later, The Dad put the beautiful sky blue, satin sheets on the bed. I took my last meds of the day, put on my CPAP mask, and crawled into bed. As I am drifting off, I am thinking I wet the bed. I ignored it because that didn’t make any sense, I don’t wet beds. Through my non-thinking stupor, I realized I was really wet. I took my night gown off, which was dripping, and threw it in the tub. I put a dry nightgown on, started back to bed and realized my sheets were soaked. The Dad jumped out of bed and saw the water running unto the floor. The bed had sprung a different leak.
Fifteen minutes later, with towels and blankets soaking up water everywhere, I found the leak. It didn’t look big enough to account for all the water, but that is what we had. What we didn’t have was any more patch material. The Dad pitched a fit, which I silently watched. After a while, he realized that maybe he was over reacting and stopped. We (mostly he) brainstormed about what he could use as patching material. The Dad ended up using the vinyl from the zippered bag the beautiful set of sky blue, satin sheets had come in. I would have never thought of this.
The patch held, and I, personally, was grateful to climb onto old, ripped, cotton sheets that were dry. Two and a half hours of turmoil and Hope peacefully slept through it. There is a message there somewhere, but I am not currently thinking well enough to find it.