Wednesday, November 25, 2009

How low can it go?

I continue to get weaker. This morning I went to the bathroom and just barely made it back to the bedroom, where it took about five minutes before I could catch my breath. I wanted to move into the living room but just felt too weak. When Barbara, the physical therapist arrived, she suggested a few strategically placed chairs so I just needed to take a few steps before resting, and so I was able to make it, in stages, into the living room. I'm much more comfortable in the recliner, and Barbara's bodywork always makes me feel better.

Later Nancie arrived; I'd been hoping to feel strong enough for a shower but definitely didn't have the energy, so she gave me a sponge bath here in the living room, and used dry shampoo on my hair. My hope is to get dressed and sit at the table tomorrow and feel like a normal person!

Ann and Donna have been cooking a good part of the day, and Marty went out to get the turkey from Whole Foods, along with a pumpkin pie and an apple pie, and some champagne. It would be so nice if I have a better day tomorrow and can really enjoy Thanksgiving and all this yummy food. I really love turkey and stuffing and gravy and cranberry sauce and all the other stuff that will be on the table, including baked sweet potatoes, acorn squash, mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts (and I think Donna has added some other things that I don't even know about).

But a morning like today leaves me feeling very discouraged. I get weaker and weaker, everything gets more and more difficult, and I'm quite ready for it all to be over. Apparently, this sounds like "whining" to at least one reader; all I am trying to do here is to document how it feels to have a terminal illness and the effects not only on the patient, but on the family and caregivers. I appreciate those readers who came to my defence and who seem to understand the purpose of this blog.


  1. Hi Judi,
    Someone said you were 'whining' did they?
    How ignorant and insensitive can you get.
    Richie says congratulations that you can 'whine' do so all you want and need to.
    I can't believe someone can be so cruel to you.
    Not the feelings I get wihen I read your posts.
    Thinking of you.
    Have a great Thanks Giving Day.

  2. The person who attacked you and didn't have the guts to reveal her identity is nothing but a vicious bully. There cannot be any positive reason for a person to do such a thing. You have given so much to so many people around the world and you continue to give even now, when you are dying. How many people would have the courage, stamina, and self-awareness to do that? I think very few. Love, Hopey

  3. Judi, you are just so objective! It is beautiful! We physicians need to understand very clearly what it is like to have a terminal illness so we can help others like yourself. I do not detect one word of self-pity in all that you write. I hear acceptance and love of self and others. Happy Thanksgiving!! hugs from patty

  4. I know that any of us in the chronic pain support group would understand completely that telling others about the bad days is not whining, but a sharing. We may not be dying, but we get the bad days when we can hardly move. It gets scarier when we have to face it alone. I'm glad that you have so much support around you.
    Your friend,
    Janice Dallas

  5. Isn't it amazing how those who are NOT going through something always manage to hear 'whining' in the open talk of those who are. In my experience with the dying, and also the 'mentally well' these who correct others are usually the most difficult to deal with when it is their turn to share the same experience. Either one of them...Go figure.....

  6. Judi, I just signed on with hospice six months ago, and I follow your blog with interest and, I hope, understanding. I am 72, was diagnosed with COPD 30 years ago, am on O2 24/7 at 5 or 6 liters, have been hospitalized 8 times since 2002. April 1 I had a pneumothorax and two invasive "repair" procedures, together with an overdose of morphine, and spent a month in the hospital and a "rehab" center. Hospice seemed like a great idea at the time; I couldn't walk more than a few steps, even with O2. Now I'm not so sure! I am back to my pre-pneumo baseline and though often fatigued am mostly OK otherwise. Hospice wants me to stay with them; what I get now is a every other week visit from a nurse and a social worker. They have been of help in getting my wife and I used to the idea of being "comfortable" with the dying process, and tying up some loose ends, but I fear I may "graduate" at my next evaluation, only to (presumably) link back up with them at some future date. Anyway, enough; just wanted to sign on here, and wish you well.

  7. Judi, I have COPD and I have been reading your blog for a few months and I normally would not comment but I just have to tell you to ignore the person who said you were whinning! My gosh I can not believe how insensitive some people are courageously sharing your life in hospice and for that I am grateful. Some people are just too opinionated for there own good.