As previously posted, my fathers wife was diagnosed 3 1/2 years ago with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. Dad was told that upon diagnosis, life expectancy is 4-7 years. I moved them from Tacoma almost two years ago to this date and just shy of a year ago dad and I moved Ann to a full care nursing home.
The progression of the last two years has been surreal to watch-and so very hard on my father.
Coming down to the last two weeks. I’ve been taking dad once a week to urologist for cancer treatments. On one of the treatment days, I noticed more distress than normal about his wife. This prompted me to take both of them out to lunch. Not such an easy task as she is unable to do anything on her own. I carefully fed her one of her favorite meals as dad ate. This last Tuesday I felt a sense of urgency (gut feeling) I should take her a maple bar at the nursing home- she absolutely loved maple bars. During this visit- she was trying to say something to me and I couldn’t get it. She was holding my hand tightly and restless. After I left, I messaged my siblings to let them know I didn’t think she was doing well. Maybe dying? They shrugged me off a bit, but they didn’t see her as often.
On Wednesday morning dad called me at work saying they had taken his wife to the hospital and he didn’t know how to get there. I immediately got in the car and we went to the hospital.
She was in such distress. It was explained to me that she has choked on something and they were unsure if it went into her lung or… they initially suggested they were going to scope down her bronchial tubes to take out any obstruction if one was present.
About 45 minutes later they suggested hospice care and palliative care. Honestly I don’t know where they decided against the surgery and decided on hospice. Still sort of blurry.
During this time I am trying to explain to dad what is going on, and the nurses and doctors are coming to me asking me about her Advanced Directive etc.
Soon after they came in with Chaplin, social worker at the hospital, hospice doctor. Then pain meds to help her not labor so much for each breath. Social worker was lining up hospice care at the nursing home where she lives. Doctor told me they thot she would survive 2 hours up to 2 days.
They moved us to a private room in the ER while they got hospice ready with oxygen and the social worker was getting medical transport to take her to nursing home.
Ten minutes prior to transport arriving the nurse came in and highly recommended dad ride with her in the transport in case she passed during the trip. She gave her another injection of pain medication and things became much more quiet.
Nurse urged us to come by her bedside immediately. Dad and sis on one side, I was in the other side filled her with words of love and kindness. Soon the breathing just stopped. Nurses kept checking for pulse, but was hard to find. The doctor came in and listened with his stethoscope and determined her time of death of 12:12.
At that moment my father broke with emotion. I have never seen that from my dad in all the years I’ve lived. The tears streaming from his face. They all informed us with their condolences and told us we could stay with her as long as we wanted. I think we stayed another 15 minutes or more and then walked out quietly.
Always listen to your gut!!! Don’t ignore. Be mindful. I’m glad I was. RIP BEATRICE FOSTER age 72