Tuesday 22.1.2013 – Tonight is the first night in a long time that I lay on my sofa, in my own TV lounge, watching Law & Order. I kept listening for the sound of Vic’s little feet shuffling down the passage…It is the first time since Vic’s death that I truly experienced the “emptiness” of the house.
The house has been so busy. In the days preceding Vic’s death the boys went to stay with friends and family. Vic’s suffering was too horrible for them to witness. I did not want them to remember life ebbing out of her. On the 15th my brother arrived from the coast and my sister from a neighbouring city. I was in such a dazed stupor that I don’t remember them arriving. I fell asleep next to Vic with my head next to hers, and my hand on her heart whilst the minister was saying a prayer….
On Wednesday the 16th Leeann started staying with me. Danie, my brother, Lee-Ann and I took turns on Thursday night staying awake with Vic. The time still passed in an absolute maze of unreality. I knew on the 16th that Vic would die by the weekend.
Vic was still able to communicate with her eyes. She blinked when I asked her a question and her answer were “yes”.
Thursday Dr Sue came to see Vic.
“It is close” Sue said.
Murky red urine dripped into the catheter bag…. Vic’s eyes no longer closed completely… Her eyes had “broken”… she was gasping for breath.
“We must increase the Buscopan” Sue said.
“I think I have heard a rattling sound once or twice” I said
“Yes” Sue said. “I can hear it clearly through the stethoscope”
Sue increased the pain medication as well as the sedation.
We decided to let the boys come and say their goodbyes… Someone, I am not sure who, went and fetched the boys from school. The boys walked into their Mom’s room. Their eyes wide and sad. They lay with her and whispered soft words into her ears. They softly kissed her and walked away. It must of been the hardest thing they had ever done.
I send Danie out to go find me a new blood pressure measure that fits around the wrist and would not hurt her little arms every time I took her blood pressure. (Sue had one…) I became almost obsessive in trying to ascertain where she was in her journey. Vic was very unstable – within minutes her blood pressure went from 150/123 to LO (too low to measure) on the machine. Her pulse was racing at 160 beats a minute.
I lay next to her with my hand on her heart. Her little heart was pounding against the palm of my hand. Vic was fighting with every fibre in her body to stay alive. I looked at my child and thought “If I have her admitted to the Donald Gordon ICU they may be able to save her…” but then I realized that it was futile. Vic was slipping away and nobody could do anything in the world to change that. Vic was dying and I was helpless. I could not save my child.