Sunday, January 02, 2011
There's a puppy in the house. We got our first puppy thirteen years ago when my mother in law was dying. I think I thought it would make her passing easier on the kids. It's presence really annoyed her, although she was too sweet to say anything. Now my father in law is in our home, struggling to breath after a lifetime of smoking and drinking and carousing. And he bought a puppy. I know he bought it to make his passing easier. "I am going out of this life owning a dog."
We are all taking shifts, my husband, the college student, myself... Making sure he is o.k., has his oxygen in, managing his 15 medications. He struggles to breath and sleeps in fits. Buckets of tea are being consumed and my husband is back to drinking the comfort tea with milk and sugar. The CPAP machine, the oxygen machine, all magnify the sounds of people breathing. The kids are adjusting although the puppy really annoys them. I am not used to being up in the middle of the night anymore and wish I had some nursing skills so I could be more useful. Fetching hot tea, cooking him meals he won't eat, and covering him up with a blanket is about all I can do. He is so stubborn that when the doctor told him 11 years ago he could breath or smoke he quit smoking that day. Getting him to do anything he doesn't want to do is almost impossible.
This is only for a season, and who knows how long this season will last. All I know is heart failure is not how I want my life to end. So I am going to eat right, exercise my heart daily, and get fit.
We might not be able to choose how or when we die, but every day we make choices about how we live.