Good morning from Deshler, Nebraska 68340.
It’s been a wild last 2 days, lemme tell you what. Wild! If there’s one thing I can say about my dad is that he always keeps us on our toes, the rascal.
My brother Nate and nephew Shane drove from Idaho on Tuesday and got down to Deshler late Tuesday night due to the news Dad dropped on us last weekend about his anticipated remaining days. Luckily, Dad was put on a steroid and muscle relaxant to help aid in the pain medications he takes and that seemed to give the old man some pep in his step. The men were able to go out to the farm, shoot some guns, and help Dad move some stuff down in the basement.
Dad was feeling so well, in fact, he was able to go out to his cabin at the farm and sleep up in the loft, which blows my damn mind because well, it just does. He’s been in a constant state of pain the last few weeks, so for him to have the gumption to go out there is fantastic.
Early Friday morning, though, his fun came to a bit of an abrupt end and he drove back to town because he was in such severe pain.
Now, me being me, all last week knowing the conversation I had with Dad, I kept expecting my brother to call me some morning and tell me Dad was gone. I know, I know…I am a pro at worrying about things like that, but you can’t blame me. I was feeling a bit cocky by Friday and had plans to join the boys that night after I got off work and have a good old time with the Hoffmeyer Men.
Friday morning as I’m driving to work, my phone rings. It’s my brother. My stomach dropped into my shoes.
Nate called to tell me about Dad. Dad had called hospice around 3:30 Friday morning to see what he can do and he has a small white box in his fridge that has liquid morphine and some other medications that are used towards the end of things for terminal patients–there’s lorazepam, some anti-nausea stuff, and some other jazz. The nurse told my dad to take some morphine. The first dose didn’t help, so Nate called back and they told him to give him some more. Still nothing, but it was enough to knock the guy out, so when Nate called me, Dad was sleeping and the hospice nurse was on her way over to see Dad.
My brother’s a pretty stoic guy and tries not to let things rattle him, but when we were talking, he was definitely shaken up by what was going on, and rightly so. I wish he hadn’t had to go through that with Dad, but it happened and I’m so glad he was there. I asked if he needed me to come down to Deshler and he told me to stay put, but would call me if anything changed.
Two hours later, he calls and says I should get down to Deshler quick. The nurse had just left and gave Dad a lot more morphine. Like, a lot more. I left work unsure of what the rest of the day would hold, whether or not Dad was on his last legs. Needless to say, I might have been speeding on my drive down.
I got to Deshler about 90 minutes later and my brother and nephew are outside. Dad was obviously knocked out and snoring loudly when I went in to check on him.
On my way to Deshler, I called hospice and talked to the nurse and she told me that she thinks Dad just did far too much the last two days and it kicked his ass hard and now he was paying dearly for it. She said he was stable but put him on a schedule of morphine every 3 hours. I also had to ask her about how long she thought Dad had and if his guess of not seeing the beginning of May was accurate. She told me that when patients can feel the changes in their body, that they’re usually “spot on” abonight. Cool.
Dad got through the rest of Friday and then, yesterday morning, I had gotten up at 6am to give him his medication and he seemed better, and even told me he felt good and wanted to go out to the farm later as was our original plan for the day before the incident 24 hours earlier. I left and got coffee and donuts and when I got back, the old fart was up and sitting on the steps to the back door, a cup of coffee in his hands and I was like, “say whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa?” This was definitely not the man I had seen a few hours previously. I was shocked, actually. And by god, the four of us went out to the farm yesterday afternoon and had ourselves a grand old time together. I shot a rifle and handgun! I know, right?!
We got back to town, grilled food, and watched freaking Star Wars last night. I have to say, that’s one of the best times I’ve had with my family in a while, and I think it did all of our hearts so much good. Yesterday was a great day.
Nate and Shane decided to go back to Idaho and left at about 3:30 this morning and I think Dad’s pretty worn out from our day because aside from the few minutes I woke him up to take his meds, he’s been sleeping.
His time is nearing the end, but I can’t express how happy I am he got to see his son and grandson before that comes. The next few weeks will be rough, but that’s to be expected.
And there you have it. I want to apologize for blowing up Facebook yesterday with all my pictures and posts. I got a little carried away, so thank you for humoring me. Also, thank you for allowing me to write about all this lately. It helps me tremendously to do so.