The last week has been hellish and I'm finding it hard to find the strength the deal with Dad's illness.
He's in the VA hospital hospice. He has pneumonia and a blood infection. The morphine and Ativan can't make him comfortable. At times, he's on a morphine drip and he's still thrashing and trying to pull out his feeding tube, IV, etc. He gets fever spikes that make him delirious.
(For the record, he's on minimal oxygen for the pneumonia and his CO2 levels are being monitored. I know the anti-anxiety medication Ativan also relaxes muscles - which is bad - but he's a *very* high-anxiety person and has been on benzodiazapines and the like forever. He's also on amitriptyline. For him, ALS and a long-standing anxiety disorder are a horrible combination.)
I hadn't expected the end to be like this. It's been a week and I can't imagine how he can hang on much longer. He still refuses the bi-pap despite our best efforts to introduce it to him. He literally gasps for air which scares the daylights out of me. I know he's scared and I wish I could make it easier on him.
I keep reminding myself that this time represents only a small fraction of his life. He's so much more than this.