She was cold up to her knees.  We called Hospice; the Nurse just left.  I have been in many hospital and Hospice House rooms as the end approached and finally came.  Cold feet meant that the end was creeping up the body.

Her vital signs were good this afternoon when our regular Hospice Nurse made her visit.  The conversation then suggested that the week end, but not likely past the middle of next week would be the time of Mary Ann’s departure.  The fact that she is taking in no food or water played into that expectation.  She would not take even a straw full of water dropped into her mouth.

When we uncovered her tonight to change her, I felt her cold feet.  There is a light yellow hue (not jaundice sort of yellow) up to her knees, and to my touch she feels very cold.  The Nurse checked her pulse in her foot and it was still strong.  Mary Ann’s feet did not feel to the Nurse to be cold in the way they are cold when the dying process has reached the final stage.  There was no mottling on her legs, something expected when death is getting near. Her fever was back to almost normal.

The Nurse reassured us that given the signs, she was very likely to make it through the night. The thought that she might go tonight scared me.  Of course, it is hardly a surprise that her death is imminent.  My defense mechanisms are holding tight and trying not to let go until the end actually comes.  As a result, I am living in a holding pattern.  When there is not some change that tells my insides something else, they maintain the illusion that this will be going on indefinitely.  Every time I go in and look in her face, my insides waver — reality begins to overwhelm the defenses.  The cold feet and legs breached the defenses and started to crack open the dull pain in the belly.  The Nurse took the pressure off and the crack closed for the moment.

One of the spots from lying on one side was concerning this morning.  That red spot needed some attention, so when Nurse Emily came by, we asked her to check it.  She went back to the office to get a translucent dressing to put on the spot.  We will turn her more often tomorrow (morning, noon, supper time, before bed).

During the day three different times spread throughout the day, Mary Ann’s face indicated that she might be in pain.  Each time we gave the lowest dose recommended of Morphine.  Each time it seemed to help.

Hopefully there will be some rest tonight.  Today was a day with much less activity than yesterday.  I got a routine fasting blood test this morning at a nearby lab.  Somehow, a small chip managed to break off a spot on a lower tooth in the very front of my mouth.  My tongue spent twenty-four hours rubbing against that spot — no matter how hard I tried to stop it.  The pain in underside of the tip of my tongue forced me to call the dentist.  He filed it off the rough edge of the tooth so that for the moment the pain should subside  There will have to be more work done at some time in the future.

Last night when I first went to bed, I thought I would leave the light on and watch Mary Ann breathe.  Sometime just before 3am and realized that I could turn off the light I was using to see her body move with her breathing, since I was asleep anyway.  So much for that idea.

Somewhat reassured about tonight, I hope to get some rest.