April 8, 2008

A Quieting

Duck taking a trip around the bay, June 2007.

Duck: Sleeping.

Me: I confess to taking yesterday off. Won’t be working the CIF Finals at Petco so have 8 days off…..6 now. Paid off dentist with CC. At least I have front teeth again at a terribly high interest rate.

Tomorrow Ronnie Bennett will be posting a short essay of mine at The Elder Story Telling Place called "Play Ball."

G: Took me out for Mexican dinner at Nati’s. He’s doing better about Duck than I am. We both are shocked by how rapidly he is declining.

Work: Padre’s 2008 Schedule.

Game Weather schedule.
While I nodded away taking a day off, calls were moving back and forth from the nursing home to G; from G to the nursing home.

It’s as if that last bout of wandering was his brain making its last leap into the now. The tangles and confusions of his disease are winning, and they are slowed down only fractionally by the medications to keep him safe. The nurse called G to say that he wasn’t eating, couldn’t get up, and had begun sleeping much of his day. He was still drinking water but he hadn’t voided. Both his home doctor and the urologist were checking him out. It isn’t just the drugs that were sedating him, it was as if his cognitive abilities had quieted.

G told the charge nurse on the phone and later in person that our goals were to keep him comfortable, to keep him safe. Duck had not wanted any extreme measures and said this in his advance directive, but if there was any doubt G has the medical power of attorney. G told them that the home could call in hospice. The nurse wrote these directives in two log books, and read them back to G.

I peeked in on him several times. He lay quietly snoring with his mouth open, laying straight on the quilt and dressed ready to get up. Sunshine was creeping around the curtains, and the nurses call bell was pinned to his shirt….what ever good that would do. He can’t remember how to use it.

Middle: G and Duck, 2007. Bottom: G and Duck 1991.


  1. I send you and G all my wishes that Duck will be able to find death peacefully. Whenever that is. My childhood friend died in his sleep. Hard to believe such is possible.

    I love the photo in 1991. Duck looks smile and face shines with benevolent intelligence.

    I don't really know the details of why G and you have been such stalwart friend of Duck's, but he is lucky indeed. Your writing makes me believe that the luck was mutual on both sides.

  2. PBS aired a program on caregiving last week. Very depressing. I decided that the day I need a caregiver is the day I want to check out.

    You are more than wonderful to give such love to your friend, to be there with him, and to know when to let him go. You set a wonderful example.


What a delight to get a note from you. Thanks for leaving one.


Peter in front of a wall sculpture. We were invited up to Peter Knego’s home to see the latest installation.   Abstract flat ...