The beginning of the end

 

The beginning of the end (the final chapter)

 

Interesting side note on the "Commitment" essay.  I wrote a reply as a "Letter to Editor" and so did John. We both wrote with out knowing the other was making a reply.  When we showed the other what we had written the two replies were an almost perfect match.  The two "Letters" became one story.  We never expected it to be a cover story.    I was the "Man" of the house.  John was the artist, he would design and I would build. John was the Display Manager for a major store at the local shopping mall. I was more socially active than John.  I was quick to react while John would want to think things out.

 

Johns' body was wearing out.  We were both WW2 babies, Johns family were poor farmers and as a child John was in poor health.  He went in for an angiography and had a 5 way bypass the same day.  The operation was OK but for the first time in his life he was exposed to modern medication.  His body did not react well. Prior to the surgery he had rarely taken anything stronger than Tylenol. Two years later he fell down the back steps and broke hip.  I am certain the fall was because he had Parkinson's disease and we didn't know. The fall cracked his hip. This was the beginning of the end. The medical people put him on a pain medication with no consideration of the side effects. 

 

He began to hallucinate and have wild imagination.  He called me one night from his hospital bed and begged me to come and get him before "They sold him into slavery." This tore me apart.  I knew he needed the treatment he was getting. He would see things that were not there.  I had to learn that when he was hallucinating that it is not good to try and correct him.  That was really hard for me to do.  The care that John needed was much more than I could do.  We spent the better part of a day visiting full care facilities and finally found one that John said he liked.  I moved him in August of 2004.  Looking back, (hind site & all that) I can see that what he had done was pick the place, with the staff he liked, to die. The Parkinson's, the dementia and all the rest of the disorders seem to magnify. I could tell buy November that John did not know when I came to visit.  We both had a living will and Durable Power of Attorney, I instructed the staff on no extreme measures.

 

January of 2005 John passed away after a combination of heart problems, Parkinson’s and dementia.  He went peacefully and I was with him when he “went home.”  Ashes were scattered in the woods he loved.  September of 2004 was 42 years of togetherness.

 




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DocLivingston
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Synopsis
A side note on the "Commitment" essay
A Word from the Writer
42 years together.
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