The Hospital Bed

Several days ago I wrote about Bo’s changes, how his sad decline is so noticeable,  but today I write of an even greater change.  Yesterday Jon  moved him into a hospital bed where we can care for him more easily. Now, when I look into our bedroom … well, there are no words to express my sadness.

The change began four days ago when I went upstairs to see how things were going  with Bo’s shower and discovered that the wet, glass shower doors were leaning against the bureau  in our bedroom.  Bo had passed out in the shower and Jon had to remove the doors to get him out.   Bo was seated,  slouching  against the corner of the shower,  his eyes closed, his head flopping sideways as Jon dried him, then picked him up like a baby and carried him to his bed.

When he was settled in the bed,  I stood beside him,  rubbing his forehead and holding his hand, wondering if this was the time.  Jon had thought Bo was dying in the shower.  But he  began to slowly get a little better. By the next day  he was chewing and swallowing  when we  fed him.  (We have been on the alert,  knowing that one of the final stages of Alzheimer’s is forgetting how to chew, pocketing food, and the inability to swallow.)

When the Hospice nurse visited later,  she commented, “This is the first time I’ve really seen Bo as an Alzheimer’s patient.  His look has changed.  He’s weak,  unfocused, and feeble.”

And then she and I talked about our future…again, but this time with a feeling of imminent decision in our words.  There will be no antibiotics.  Food will not be forced.  Comfort is what is important.  If he knew  …. oh, if he knew how things are, he would be despondent.  Nine years of no life, and now just lying there, unable to tell us anything, unable to understand, unable to decide. The final decisions all rest in my heart.

Bo’s slide into Alzheimer’s has been gentle and graceful,  but now I’m having to think that it’s time for this to end.  When I think of losing him, my heart breaks and, selfishly, I think of how it will affect me,  my loss.  But no one could want this existence for him,  for a man who was so vibrant and smart , now  so feeble and sad …. this is wrong.

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10 Responses to The Hospital Bed

  1. So sorry to read this – heart wrenching. It is inevitable but still upsetting. I wonder if we all hope that our partner will be the one to fight it off and survive.

  2. Very sorry to hear of Bo’s further decline, especially at what should be a joyous time of the year. He is so fortunate to have you by his side, guiding his care. Sending positive thoughts your way, Sara

  3. Pauline Koch says:

    Nancy, what a difficult time for Bo, you, Jon and others who so beautifully cared for him during his illness! My heart goes out to you! My thoughts and prayers are with you!

  4. Pat says:

    Nancy, I am so sad. Be faithful and strong, and trust your decisions.

  5. Scarlett79 says:

    It’s all about perspective. This morning I was up early, as there was just so much to do to get ready for my boys to come home. I was so excited that they would be home for Christmas. Usually we do not get to see them until after the holidays because their show (Nutcracker usually closes after the holidays, i.e. December 26th. This year however it closed on December 23rd, so I was just over the moon to be able to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas with them. Well the as the fates would have it, the weather god’s were not smiling upon us. They called this morning and told us their flight had been cancelled and they would not be home until the earliest tomorrow around 5pm. Well I have a ton of food and am very sad right now. The tears are flowing and my head is pounding. I told the husband, I’m not doing this anymore !!! But back to my opening line, it’s all about perspective. After reading about your Bo and the crosses you have been carrying for so long, this little inconvenience pales in comparison. Just know God is watching over you and your family. I know from many things that I have been through that saying that brings very little solace, but he really is. I do believe that in my heart and soul. Please forgive me if bringing God into might offend you, I only hope for peace and happiness in your world. Merry Christmas, Nancy, Bo, and Jon. You truly are doing God’s work ❤ Blessings from Scarlet ❤

  6. Arleen Stolzenberger says:

    So sorry for this decline. I know it was a hard decision, but you know this is what Bo would have wanted. I know it will be hard to have a Merry Christmas but make the most of it. Our best wishes to you all.

  7. Mary Smith says:

    I’m so sorry, Nancy. It’s so hard. Sending loving thoughts to you all.

  8. Maureen says:

    Thinking of you during this difficult time.

  9. Paula says:

    I am so very, very sorry Nancy! My heart is breaking for you right now. I have stood in your shoes and it is the hardest of all places to be. We love them so much and we want them to always be with us but then we look into those faces and know that it will all be better for them soon!! Sending you a big hug and saying an extra prayer for you tonight. Bo will be okay! He will be with God!

  10. MCI Alice says:

    Oh Nancy, what you are facing is so scary and difficult and you are so strong and honest and generous in how you are dealing with Bo at this crisis point. My thoughts are with you of course. I am glad you have Jon to help but I realize that ultimately you are facing this alone, just as Bo must be in his own way. All my love.

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