Monday, August 12, 2013

The view from inside

I was thinking about the book Dying: A Natural Passage by Denys Cope today, which a bunch of us were reading recently. It's an excellent book - short, super informative and also comforting  somehow. But it is from the point of view of the caregiver, as are all the hospice books, for obvious reasons.

What's it like for me? I thought I'd try to give a glimpse.

Tonight I was lying on my bed for some length of time staring into space with the following list in my head:

  1. Throw away the used dental floss in my hand.
  2. Take a crap if poss. 
  3. Take some morphine to deal with this infernal cough.
The trash can for throwing away the floss is a few feet from my bed, by all accounts, not far. But it does require movement. Sometimes, moving even a few inches feels like an enormous effort. So I lie here - no idea how long it is - 'til due to some unknown force I laboriously turn over, pull back the curtain on my closet, and toss the dental floss (possibly to the floor if I miss!)

After a rest, a trek to the toilet. I sit there a while huffing and puffing to recover from the walk. Inadvertently knock over the little garbage bin. Hm, with my raised toilet seat I'm about a mile away from it. Do I just leave it? No, that's nasty. I manage to kneel down and put the spilled contents back in and set it upright. Rest a while. Crapping successful though always painful (multiple meds I am taking cause constipation, though other ones relieve it to some degree.) In any case, my digestion happens very slowly.

I've been coughing like crazy for the last few days. Yesterday I coughed up some thick brown goo. The doctor that came a few weeks ago suggested that that I might be less tired if I got a handle on the cough, which I am trying to do. Not so hesitant about taking the morphine anymore, which has been the only thing that will stop the coughing, besides making me feel super relaxed. Sometimes the cough syrup works fine. 

So that's a snapshot.

Getting up in the morning involves many tasks that often take me a long time. Sometimes I fall asleep between things, and when I wake up my upper body, my neck somehow, is drenched in sweat. My body is full of surprises!

Some mornings I wake up and feel dreadful, low energy, and can't manage much at all. On others it's easier, things don't seem like such a chore. I feel better when I eat less.

Friends have been bringing over lunches, very nice food. Hot soup lately has been hitting the spot. I'd love to write about some visitors I've had lately, but I don't have the energy for that kind of detail anymore. Also, I'm working on my book (from this blog) and it is hard to work on both. 

Now it's around 10pm, and I'm trying to finish this post before bed, but I probably won't. My laptop is on my table, and I am lying on my bed typing this with my left hand, listening to flamenco guitar on Pandora...  

1 comment:

  1. Writing poetry, too, apparently:

    "and I am lying on my bed
    typing this with my left hand,
    listening to flamenco guitar
    on Pandora"