I met the ambulance at dialysis yesterday. Vernon was already in a bad state…he did NOT want to go. Even when we gave him his calming oil, which usually works in ten minutes or so, he resisted. I waited in the waiting room while they set him up with the machine, but I was called in shortly after. He wasn’t letting anyone access his port, let alone touch him, and could I convince him? I talked to him gently and gave him pieces of chocolate, but he still squirmed and resisted, telling me to leave. Usually, I can talk him down, but this time, I couldn’t. He started throwing things around the room, whatever he could find: his pillow, the plastic clips on his tray. The nurse looked at me helplessly. “Do we need to skip today?” I asked. The nurse nodded in relief. Fortunately the ambulance hadn’t left yet, so they packed him back up and took him home.
This is the first time he has resisted dialysis successfully. I assume they came make it up on Monday, but it is a concern. Maybe it will be his kidneys that kill him.
I recognize less of him in there than ever. Last week, I thought maybe he was 10% percent of who he used to be. Now I’d say less. It’s only his body and his voice that I recognize. I think he is fading, and rather quickly. Now he can come back, just as it always is…a step forward, a step back. He still has better days and worse days. But his quality of life is so low, I can understand why he’s over it all. (Joe tells me Vernon often speaks of wanting to die.) His is not a good life, what is left of it.
But here we are. Things can change. But in my heart, these days, I think he is slowly dying. And I am ready to let him go.