I couldn't have been more stunned if Helen Keller signed it in my palm. That moment is still like yesterday in my mind, but I started the post on the nineteenth. Since then my sister came to see Dad. Danger Baby and his precious wife have been here after their Alaska trip because they couldn't fly back to NYC due to Hurricane Irene. They brought souvenir clouds and rain from their cruise.
This afternoon Danger Baby and I arrived during the hospice RN's visit. I got some information that is not just anecdotal for a change. Dad's heart rate is 49/min. It has been declining slowly but steadily for weeks. If Dad were in a hospital situation, they would be trying everything to get it up over 60/min. Dad's lungs have lots of fluid that no treatment will really remove. His breathing is very shallow, and his lungs do not expand. Dad is still responsive, and can smile when requested. He is not in pain. Medication is available should pain become a problem, or for agitation. We are to be even more careful feeding Dad, and to stop any time he starts coughing until he can clear his throat.
The nurse's educated guess is that Dad's heart rate will continue decreasing. He will stop taking food or liquids. He will sleep more and more, and be unresponsive when awake. When we were leaving I told Dad, "See you tomorrow." Then he told his grandson, "See you tomorrow." I explained again that Danger Baby will fly back to NYC tomorrow morning, so Dad said, "Toodle-loo."
*To make ravioli salad first drive your cart up and down and up and down and up and down the frozen food aisles at Kroger. Finally ask for help. The store brand frozen mini cheese ravioli is on the top shelf of the freezer. Cook the ravioli as directed, drain and cool. Cut up cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, and bell pepper. Cut up the artichoke hearts and pitted olives from the deli olive bar at Tom Thumb. Add to ravioli in large glass bowl. Make a vinaigrette. Look up the spelling, AGAIN. 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 3/4 cup olive oil, dry mustard, fresh oregano, basil, and sage, dry thyme, squeeze of lemon, fresh ground black pepper, and 1/8 t honey. Mix in the blender. Pour 1/3 to 1/2 the dressing over the ravioli mix. Gently stir with rubber spatula while admiring the pretty colors and popping a few mini raviolis into your mouth which is the chef-mommy's duty to taste test.
© 2011 Nancy L. Ruder