So, let's set the record straight on what 'hospice' looks like. I'll admit, I used to think was all tubes coming out of everywhere, gasping for air and a lot of dramatic reaching across the room at nothing. It is not. What it is - a nurse that manages my meds, comes in 3 times a week to take my vitals (blood pressure, temp, heart, O2 level), we chat about my pooping, or not pooping, and that is really about it. So I hope that paints a little more accurate picture. It also offers lots of other resources which are really helpful - from pastoral care to house cleaning to bathing assistance to assistance of any kind. I found it quite different from my stereo-typical perception. Shame on me. There, enough of that.
One thing I probably should do here, but am extremely reluctant to do is post a current picture of myself. To be honest, I'm embarrassed. I look nothing like I used to look at all. I could take the baldness, that was easy in retrospect to where I am now. I am jaundice because of my high bilirubin levels, I'm extremely thin and old looking on the top of my body, if that makes any sense, but then fat and filled with fluid on the bottom of my body. To make all the more special, my belly is protruding so badly it makes me look like I'm at least 8 months pregnant. I am relying on the walker now because of this balance issue, the cracked pelvis from Annie (which I don't regret at all!), and just general pain. It just plain sucks. I know I've been very forthcoming about this is the past but right now, I just can't be.
The pain level in my liver is slowly increasing therefore my pain meds need to be increased. That makes my bowels move at a snail's pace, causing horrific pain as well as I try to balance laxatives, stool softeners, pineapple, anything to get things moving. Sorry for being so graphic. No, I'm not; this is the real picture of what dying for me looks like, I guess.
Everything that everyone is saying about me is making me feel like I have one foot in the grave, which I guess I do. However, I see it as my port was receiving man made medicine for the last 3 1/2 years and now it will receive what God chooses to give me. At first, I didn't know how to pray. Did I pray for a miracle? Did I pray for complete healing? What I pray for now, after much thought was something that a good friend shared with me. I pray for peace and healing, either this side of heaven or the other. And, as Pastor Mary graciously gave me in her wisdom, whenever I am afraid, I stop whatever fearful thought I am thinking and I say out loud "Jesus, I trust you", because I do. I trust Him so much. To be honest, fear does not come upon me often at all. I feel like me. Sleepy, but me.
I have never used this blog to address anyone, so this post is very difficult for me because I'm not speaking to anyone specific at all. I just want everyone know collectively that I'm not dead yet and only the Lord knows when that will be. I have to say that I feel very much like the Monty Python skit "Bring out your dead", and I'm the guy slung over the shoulder shouting "I'm not quite dead yet...". On the other hand, as much as that makes me laugh, watching "It's a Wonderful Life" will mean something much more to me this year, because it is.