Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Feeling calmer

My improved mood has continued over the last few days, and my appetite is slowly coming back. At the same time, I am finding even the simple things I do, like moving between the living room and the bedroom, or going to the bathroom, leave me even more short of breath, and take longer to recover from. I guess moving back and forth between anger and acceptance is all part of the process.

On Monday, we stayed up late watching the Giants play Washington on Monday Night Football (which the Giants totally dominated), which got me into a bad sleeping pattern--actually, a lack of sleep pattern. I know that when I stay up too late I have trouble falling asleep, and I ended up getting only two or three hours sleep not only that night, but the next night as well. Fortunately, I broke the pattern last night, and I feel about ready for sleep now, so I'll get ready for bed as soon as I finish writing this (it's about ten o'clock now).

Today Lauren came for the visit she promised when we talked on the phone on Sunday. It was so great to see her, and we sat and talked for quite awhile, ranging from the changes in my condition over the past months, to deeper concepts like the role of hospice in our death-denying culture. She brought me a present (which I guess is going to each patient in the program)--a lovely soft little blanket embroidered "Warmest Wishes from the Hospice Team 2009.

Marty just suggested to me that I should give some (very last minute) thought to giving little gifts to my PCAs (which he would go out to buy tomorrow), but I really can't think of anything. I don't feel very Christmasy. Marty came home from running errands today with a tiny potted tree complete with tiny lights. Christmas is always a big deal to Donna, and she usually has a tree and stuff, but she's been here since the weekend because there was a big snowstorm a few days ago and Marty's been unable to take her home because her house has a narrow, steep driveway that apparently has not been completely dug out (she lives behind the main house so it's necessary to be able to get the car up the driveway for her to get home). The spot in my living room where I've always set up my tree is now the corner with my recliner, and there's really no other place for the recliner (or the tree) to go, and even if there was space, the practicalities of buying it and setting it up are just too much to think about.

The "traditional Jewish Christmas" is said to be Chinese food and a movie, so we may well end up ordering take out and watching a DVD!


  1. Have a nice Chinese Christmas dinner. The kosher pork in Chinese restaurants is very good!

  2. Warmest wishes to you, Judi, for the holiday. I have learned a lot from your blog - about death, dying, courage, and self advocacy. When you ask why you are still here, meybe that is the reason. To teach. There are still lessons to be learned from you by people like me. You have offered a very rare and precious window into the process of leaving this earth and the journey of one woman down the final path. You are giving your readers a gift - a final set of lessons on hospice, and the process of living until dying.

    I very much understand your frustrations with your body giving out. To not be able to do what you once did physically is frustrating and painful. But your marvelous mind is still working, still churning out the questions that so many are afraid to ask and answering some others that many of us would not want to even think about. Your life of advocacy is resulting in a dying process full of advocacy and contribution as well.

    No life is perfect and flawless, and you acknowledge that. You have had tough circumstances to deal with in your life and you did the best you could with them. Perfection? No - none of us is perfect. All any of us can do is the best we can at that particular moment in our lives. But you have had many moments of near perfection in this blog with how you teach through sharing your own insights, and I suspect many other "perfect moments' through your speeches and writings when they cause the listener or reader to have an "aha!" moment. That is more than most people can say.

    I am sorry you are dying, Judi. I feel your frustration and pain sometimes when I read your blog. But selfishly, I am grateful for what I am learning about me, about life and death through your final journey.

    Thank you Judi. Thank you for this unexpected gift that this man will take with me throughout my own life.

  3. Hi Judi,
    Chinese food and a movie sounds very good.
    Keep warm.

  4. a 'traditional Jewish Xmas'......ha ha.. I am having my traditional Christian Hannukah :>)))

    talk to you later

  5. Hi Judi,
    Happy Christmas.