A year ago we visited hospice to check out the facility and learn more about what they offer. At the time, I wrote about it here. That led to home care visits by a nurse and later, a CNA to help Angela. Over the course of the 12 months of nurse visits, the nurse’s frequency increased to two times per week.
I took Angela to the bedside commode as I had a hundred times before since transitioning her from walking to the bathroom the week before. We always did this carefully orchestrated “dance”. I locked her right arm in my right arm and my left arm with a firm grip on her gait belt helped her to stand up from bedside. We then turned around and got her to grip the bar of the modified bedside commode and she was then able to sit down.
Hacking the Bedside Commode
I don’t have the picture of the bedside commode but, it became apparent that a standard bedside commode wouldn’t work. So, with the help of my inlaws, we came up with a plan to hack a bedside commode and provide more room, safety and grab bars for Angela.
There are two parts to the Hacked Bedside Commode.
1.) Folding Toilet Safety Rail
A. Remove the arms from the drop arm bedside commode.
B. Place the folding toilet safety rail around the bed side commode.
The Safety Dance
I joked with her that this was a “Safety Dance” and quickly went into signing my best-recalled version of the intro from the 80s era “Men at Work” song.
August 7 Was Different
But this time on August 7, 2019 was different. After the usual “safety dance”, instead of helping put her legs into bed, she paused. She asked me to sit down next to by indicating with her working left arm and patting a spot at the edge of the bed next to her. What could this be about? My mind reeling.
“I want to go to that place”, she somehow formed these words so clearly among so many half utterances, I was shocked.
Always trying to clarify… I replied, “Hospice House?”
“Yes”, she said.
I cried, we cried, I called my daughter in from the other room and we cried some more.
The next day, August 8th, we worked on transitioning her to Hospice House for their residential care.
Things seemed to speed up from there and her progression worsed. Two weeks to the day, on August 22, she passed. We fell just shy of our 20th wedding anniversary.
My dear sweet, lover, mother to our child, biggest fan, partner in crime and beautiful love in my life has gained her wings. She is perfect again and free from the grip of that bastard brain cancer. I love you so much Angela and so many, including myself miss you! You and I were the perfect fit. G-d has gained one heck of an interior designer! You are missed my dear sweet Angela. You are loved, always.