We’ve started 24-hour hospice care. Later on Saturday, Larry started moaning and we realized that we needed to call the hospice number. I told them what was going on and they agreed, sending Edison, an LVN, over at 6pm and through to 8am the first night, to be able to take care of Larry. Larry really stopped being responsive at this time, in terms of being able to communicate. He could grunt and react in pain or surprise to certain things, but we don’t hear words anymore. That Saturday night, Sveta came over. It was nice to have her there. I used that time for us to go through the many pictures I’ve taken over the last 11 years – a nice trip through memories. We also just drank wine, cried, and helped each other get through the night and this new experience of having someone there all the time. Sveta drove me to Carl’s Jr. to get some dinner, and then went home. It was nice to get out of the house. A happy surprise was that my cousin Rich and his wife Su sent a framed print of the doppelgänger we found at the Norton Simon museum. It was amazing, and provided a much needed smile.
On Sunday, we then met Kathleen, who was taking the 8am-8pm shift. Both of these nurses have been very kind and are able to take care of Larry – and I think there’s only been one time the diaper needed changing, and I’m still thankful to Noel, the bather, who came over on Saturday morning to help us out as Larry had filled the diaper that morning and while I had been able to at least get Larry out of it and put a new diaper kind of on him, it was not a solid job. Noel showed how to do it effectively. I’ve not had to do it though as we now have 24-hour care. During the day on Sunday, we watched a couple movies (Casino Royale, Inside Out) and then in the evening, Nicki came over and we all watched the Golden Globes ceremony and had some dinner from Maria’s. During this time, Larry was basically unconscious and sleeping, although we’ve learned that hearing is the last sense to go, so he is able to listen. His understanding isn’t known and he barely responds now.
It’s Monday now, and it’s getting worse. His breathing is very labored and his vitals are certainly dropping more and more. I can’t imagine he will live beyond today, but because his heart is so young still, he may fight longer than he would if he were in his 70s or 80s. He’s getting morphine and Ativan every hour to try to help calm his breathing, but it really isn’t working. So we’re bedside most of the time now.