Thursday, April 13, 2006

Farewell to Nova Scotia.

Up early today.
We had to go up to the hospital to talk to my grandfather's doctor, Dr
F., before he spoke to Grampy about what decisions to take in the event
of his condition, mobility and prospects taking a downturn, but we were
a bit late. My grandfather is already DNR; having died once already, he
only wants one last shot at it. In the event of him needing full-time
care, needing to leave my grandmother and the others at the home, he
just wants to be made comfortable. Treatment should be withheld, pain
managed and family called.
Somewhere in the stress of all this, Mum mentally edited out the middle
step of treat, evaluate, release, repeat until release isn't an option,
discuss and carry out wishes; she got to treat then wishes. Our
conversations managed to take a load off her mind. Still, the idea of
making him comfortable as he waits to die feels like killing him.
I'm my typically conflicted self. I believe in dignity and quality of
life as self-evident; I don't want to loose my grandfather however. A
storied war vet with a presence in our family like his is a hard thing
to let go of. He may be the last Military Medal holder left in Nova
Scotia. That makes him at the pointy end of a passing generation.
And he's sick.
And he belives in quality of life as well.
And I don't want to not be able to call him and ask him about his card
He likes hearing from my sister and I. He enjoys our phone calls.
He hates most everything about what his life has become.
He feels useless. He doesn't know what he's good for.
He's sick. He can barely breathe.
We love him. We have to let him go. Within a couple of months we will.
We trucked to his room and sat with him for a while. I told small
stories of my wife not wanting to try a French restaurant in Tokyo for 2
years before she relented to my needling. Then we ended up there once
every month or two for supper.
I got him apple juice.
We made our good byes with Grampy around noon and visited my grandmother
briefly. I'll see her again.
Around 1300h we departed for Halifax Airport (I'll have to check if it's
actually international or not. We seem to have a fair number of
international airports that only fly to Moncton) in our Altima with the
dickey front left tire.

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