Four weeks have gone by since Lisa was admitted to the in-home hospice program. I can’t believe how fast the time has passed.
The hospice folks have been wonderful, providing as much, or as little, support as we request. A nurse comes by three or so times a week to check Lisa’s condition and bring or order any supplies or medicines we may need. An aide drops by a couple days a week to massage lotion onto Lisa’s legs, give her a sponge bath, or just be with her so I can run errands. Volunteers come over anytime we may need some extra help.
Her pain seems to be fairly well managed, but she is starting to complain of pain in more areas of her body (neck, throat, ribs, back, belly), especially when I need to move her while changing cloths or bedding. Since she can’t swallow, she receives her pain meds through an IV, which allows us to easily give her an extra shot of meds to help deaden the pain.
Lisa is exhibiting several signs that indicate she is entering her final days. She has no appetite and has not eaten anything in a couple weeks. Swallowing is very difficult and painful. Eating ice chips or sipping water results in a coughing fit, which limits her ability to intake fluids. Needless to say, she is extremely weak and emaciated. Her ability to talk and concentrate has declined severely. She spends most of her time resting comfortably in bed drifting in and out of sleep.
When she is awake and aware, she continues to be as upbeat as always even though she knows that she is dwindling slowly away.