The last time we went back to the Neurologist, I told him what had happened with the Dermatologist, and for some reason he suggested we go to see Alan’s family Doctor, which we did. However, our own Doctor had left the Practice and we saw someone else. He listened to everything, read Alan’s notes, then asked me what help I had at home, or via family. Having no family, he was mortified to think I was doing everything on my own, started tutting, and then walked out the Office muttering he would sort this out. When he came back, he explained that Hospice would be contacting me. They did, and that afternoon we had a visit. Alan was sitting in the Florida Room, overlooking the lake and garden, with the windows open and a light breeze blowing in. By now he was almost completely aphasic, and his neck had stiffened up, and his head was drooped over with his chin resting on the top of the table – my dear man could no longer support his head.
The lady spoke to me, and then to Alan – obviously with his face resting on the table, he didn’t respond. She said quite bluntly, he will be dead within 3 weeks. I thought she doesn’t know what she’s talking about, and was horrified that she was speaking over Alan, as if he wasn’t there; something I never did – I always felt he knew what was going on around him, and always gave him that grace and dignity. He was still in this world, he could still hear, just couldn’t hardly speak. Anyway, she said someone would be assigned to us, and they would be in touch. Another lady came later in the day, she was lovely, and actually squatted down on the floor to make eye contact with Alan. I can still picture his face, trying to turn his head and give her a little smile, she was holding his hand and talking to him very softly trying to get a response. I declined the offer of 24 hour care, or someone who could give me a break so I could get out of the house. I had just been told he only had 3 weeks to live – whatever, would be more important than spending every precious moment with my dear, wonderful man, and no I didn’t need help with bathing him. What I did request was someone who could come and check his vital signs, draw blood etc. to save me having to try and get him to the Doctor, which they did, She assured me at no time, would he be in any pain and left a booklet on death. In reality, her daughter was getting married and she took three weeks off, so we were left with different people who came once a week, so her assurance fell through the cracks.