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Peace, Thou Talkst Of Nothing

Thursday had its share of drama; they had put him on medication which was gentler on his kidneys or something, and two friends came to visit. He got frustrated and pulled all his tubes out.

When we got there yesterday he was unconscious. His skin was yellow, and my companion noticed an odd very slight sweet smell coming off him. I noticed that the tubes previously full of green and brown goo were empty.

We talked to the Nurse about what we hope will be his book launch party. Despite her kind tone she was not swayed by our plans; With genuine regret she told us we couldn't have more than 6 people in there, she wasn't sure he could take it. So we asked her if one person could take in a copy of his book, while the others stood outside in the garden, all raising a toast to him, and then people could come in one by one and congratulate him, because this was something he had wanted all his life. She agreed.

But even if all this happens and we get hard copies of his book while he is still breathing, he may not be aware; he can't sign books, he can't do anything. The nurses told us that sometimes hearing remains to the last, so talking around him might be good. So we sat there and blathered on.

I told him that his book was being published, and we all congratulated him and clapped our hands. That woke him with a start; for one terrifying moment I thought we'd finished him off. But he sank down into sleep again, waking only to try and join the conversation one more time. After that, he remained comatose.

We left him as other friends came in, and we hit the dreaded party number 6. One of the shift-change visitors emailed us to say the only signs of consciousness he saw during the visit were Mark's eyes opening momentarily when Elvis Diary and I left. My hope is that the nurses are right about the chatter. If he is aware at all, he must wonder about our ability to just keep talking. He probably suspects we breathe through our ears.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
romney
Jun. 20th, 2015 04:57 pm (UTC)
I know a dying person may still hear, so be careful that talk in the room is "with them and not about them".

I was told my Mother was probably too far down the line to respond, so I told her that dinner would soon be ready and it was a tuna sandwich. The response from behind her fading countenance was a determined and in-character "Yuck!" - she hated tuna, which was a family in-joke.

Store up a last few good things while they are there to remember.

Edited at 2015-06-20 04:58 pm (UTC)
smokingboot
Jun. 20th, 2015 05:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the tuna story, it made me smile and reassured me ! Likewise for the good advice - I think we're ok for keeping up a sense of his involvement, but we're definitely running low on good jokes/stories .

My utmost respect to your memories and your mother X
theoclarke
Jun. 21st, 2015 08:11 pm (UTC)
I have my hardcopy of the book. It is beautifully glossy and I like the photo on the back. The blurb is appealling. I must finish two of the nine books that I am already reading and then I will start reading: "The whispered prayers of a beadsman..."
smokingboot
Jun. 22nd, 2015 06:02 am (UTC)
Oh thank you so much Theo! I will be seeing him today and I'll mention this, it will make him so happy!
november_girl
Jun. 23rd, 2015 11:26 pm (UTC)
He's so lucky to have friends like you, visiting and reading to him.
*big love*
smokingboot
Jun. 24th, 2015 12:41 pm (UTC)
*Big Love Right Back* Thank you Anita X
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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