The other day, we asked Vernon how he felt. “Superimposed” was his answer. What a remarkable way to put it.
place or lay (one thing) over another, typically so that both are still evident.
I’d say that even in his state, he sometimes still has a gift of saying the most unexpected, but exactly right thing.
That’s probably what dying feels like. Superimposed. Wow. I love his mind, even the little left of it.
It wasn’t long into this hospital run that I knew: if he made it through and death didn’t come this time, it would be another time in the not-so-far future. It’s turning out to be this time. I’d waited to say anything here until I had confirmation from the doctors and after that, had contacted his family.
I’m sure I’ll write more about this fascinating, surreal, superimposed time in another post, but for now, here is the basic story.
It wasn’t exactly the infection in the end, but complications from the infection. It wasn’t exactly his kidney failure in the end, but complications with his catheters.
It was made pretty clear that Vernon would only be able to have dialysis a little longer, and only if I’m aggressive with more surgery. I’d already been informed months ago that stopping life support ( dialysis) would make for a gentle death for him. They say the body holds on about 8 days in hospice (though could be more or less) after dialysis is ended. I decided yesterday that this would be the most compassionate plan for him, as he had run out of options (run out of clean, usable ports.)
I stand by my decision as I’ve watched him get weaker and more confused the past few days. Today was meant to be his last dialysis, but already his nephrologist called and told me his numbers don’t call for dialysis. His body is already shutting down. In the end, it wasn’t a decision at all. He was already dying despite what I felt was a choice. I am glad for that as it leaves no doubt that this is the right time and we are ready.
Joe has requested that Vernon stay in the same room with him as he ends his days on hospice care. Absolutely, I agreed. Maybe Joe needs this time too.
I let Maki and his mum know the other night, and they were able to get him on an earlier flight. I’ll pick him up at LAX in about two hours, bringing our good friend Chris along for moral support. Then we’ll stop by the hospital. I believe Vernon is holding on for Maki, the heart outside his body. Justine is visiting cousins with my mom, and she’ll be home Friday. I haven’t told her yet, but don’t feel I need to.
Thank you to everyone for caring like you do. I feel very loved and lifted. Just a little superimposed.
And very sad.*
*(Especially since we didn’t make it to our 10 year anniversary in three weeks. That’s the sad thought that always brings tears the fastest. As if it matters…but somehow it does.)