Well, my post from earlier today was a bit premature. We do, in fact, have hope, though it is more of the eternal variety. And things have definitely progressed today, although not in the direction we had hoped. This line from my previous post: “They have just started another sedation vacation for him today and we are anxious to get to communicate with him again.” is something I would now like to retract. Today’s communication with him was not that fun.
When they gave Daddy his sedation vacation today, his cognition and responsiveness were again very clear and present. And his communication was also very clear to us today, unlike yesterday. Daddy blinked his eyes and squeezed our hands each time we said, “I love you.” And he made many signs with his hands that became more clear and also gave us a good sense of what he wanted to tell us yesterday. He waved goodbye and made many “end it” gestures with his hands. And finally, we gave him a pen and paper and he wrote clearly the word “turn” and what looks like “off”. Taking that and comparing it with yesterday’s signs and note that he wrote, we can now read that yesterday’s note says “cut breathing tube”.
So, clearly, my mom, sister and I fell completely apart and sobbed together for a while. We talked together at length about the things we know of Daddy’s wishes and we determined that it is a blessing to know his thoughts on the subject. We truly feel it is a gift from God that he was able to communicate so clearly with us, painful as it was. But we agreed that we still needed to hear from Daddy’s doctor about his full prognosis. We don’t want to do anything prematurely but we also don’t want to drag things out for naught. This process has been dragged on plenty, as it is.
The doctor said that there is really nothing he can do to reverse the downward slide of my daddy’s lung and respiratory health. And we already know the same is true about reversing his cancer. After seeing his labs and the progression of disease, the doctor does not recommend any new invasive procedures or medications, as he believes they will be unsuccessful. His best medical advice was to let daddy try to breathe on his own and see how he does. The doctor left it up to us to decide whether we will reintubate Daddy if he fails to breathe adequately on his own. So after much prayer, consideration and conversation, we have decided to let Daddy try to breathe on his own in the morning. And we have elected to respect his wishes and not reintubate him if he fails to sustain on his own.
This is the verse we pray over my daddy tonight:
This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
The LORD ‘S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.”