Posted by: Paulette
On The second day that I went to visit my father, I brought chocolates, and a Life magazine about George Washington. I wasn't sure which he would like most, but after our conversation from the day before about how how liked history shows and enjoyed reading, I thought he's like the magazine. The idea for the chocolate came when he really enjoyed the chocolate kiss that I'd pinched from the nurse's station. I brought Dove Dark Chocolate Raspberry promises. I thought that if we lacked for conversation, the messages on the wrappers would be something to get us started. It turns out that we didn't need the help.
Paul thought that he wouldn't be able to eat more than one because he's a type 2 diabetic. After speaking to the doctor about his prognosis and the goals for his treatment, I was able to set his mind at ease about that one. She said he was allowed to have all of the chocolate that he wanted. They weren't monitoring his blood sugar, or anything. If he asked for pain meds they'd give them to him. If he looked like he was in distress and not able to breathe, they'd take care of that too. Other than that he was allowed to do what he pleased. When I urged him to drink more water, and stay hydrated, he told me it was hard to "get a drink around here." And requested some tequila. I brought him a steady supply of coffee and chocolate, but he never got that tequila!
On this day we were able to speak about his drug abuse. He told me that it was the only way he knew to treat his depression effectively. Such a vicious cycle. Get depressed, do drugs, feel guilty, do drugs....
One of the side effects of his meth use was having hallucinations. He told me that he had a memory that he didn't know was true or false, and it haunted him and gave him a great deal of guilt. No one is able to confirm or deny that this particular thing happened. It weighs heavy on his soul.
One of the things I tried to teach him about while there, was the love and sacrifice of our savior Jesus Christ. This was not an easy task. I didn't want him to think that I was trying to proselytize him. I just wanted to let him know how I felt. Going into this on the first day, I was under the impression that he was an Atheist. He'd told me that he was in one of our phone conversations. But on the day that I'd arrived, Uncle David told me that Paul had written that he had "confessed his sins to Jesus," and was "ready to die."
After spending some time with him, he changed his mind. He wants to live.
This day was full of more forgiveness, and teasing. We were building some trust. By the end of the day, he's told his brother to give me his flat screen TV. This was a huge step for him. I was becoming a daughter to him, not someone who was there to take his stuff.
The hospice social worker and I had a conversation about what Paul needed at this time. I almost feel like I want to say, either hurry up and die, or hurry up and live. The in between part is hard for me. I don't want to leave New Mexico with so much undone and unsaid.
I'd spent 10 hours at the hospital, and left about 6pm, exhausted.