Yesterday we endured a three hour round trip to the Emory Clinic in order for them to tell me what I already know: I am beginning to circle the drain.
My respiratory function - 50% on October 5th has now dropped to a mere 23%. This is, to use the words of Captain Obvious, "Not Good." This illness has raged through me like a forest fire. It is burning me out. I have two choices at this point: to have them put a hole in my trachea and ventilate me until I am completely locked in, or the power goes out - whichever comes first; or to just place me in the comforting hands of hospice and the first option is not only of no interest to me but is probably something I'm too late for.
So the bottom line is that, as of yesterday afternoon I am now under hospice care. Some people see that word and are terrified of it. And, in a certain way it does mean I am getting close to the cliff that we all eventually must march towards. But I see hospice as a way to soothe what remains of my journey. I only wish that our mother had been able to avail herself of its services.
My world has become circumscribed. My appetite is diminished. I take comfort in bedtime and mostly I take comfort in the tender ministrations of my beloved family and the company of my friends.
I'm not in a hurry, mind you but I am a realist and I am preparing myself for the inevitable coda of my life's sweet symphony.