We had a very emotional scare with Hannah tonight.
It was only minutes after we had put Ethan and Abby to bed. I had noticed Hannah waking up, so I went to grab her from her bed for some cuddle time. The weird thing was she was really stiff in her lower body, something we hadn’t seen in many months (before hospice).
As soon as I sat down with her on the couch, her breathing started getting very erratic, very shallow. Her legs started having these tremors or shaking spells which we had never seen before. They were strong too. I couldn’t even bend her legs during them.
Then the worst part came. She started struggling in her breathing. Her feet were freezing, and she was wearing socks. Her stomach was also very hard, which was very unusual because she had an enema a few hours early and got rid of everything and then some.
Daddy and I got very nervous. We called our hospice coordinator, and she had us give Hannah a dose of a med we no longer use, and fortunately that seemed to help knock out the tremors and get Hannah back to sleep. But her breathing remained really scary.
Daddy and I thought that this was “the end.” As I was sitting there crying and cradling Hannah, I realized that no matter how strong I say I am about “Hannah’s plan” and everything, I am just not ready to let her go. I’m just not.
I even had second thoughts about not putting her on the vent. She clearly needed to be on a vent at that point. Daddy and I talked about it, and we both had our moments. But even though I want to keep her around as long as possible, it just isn’t fair to her to have to go through all of this. To be vented, to have her body manipulated even longer just so I could have more time with her…I just can’t be that selfish. I want to be, I do.
After a really tough 2-1/2 hours, Hannah still was breathing really shallow, and she was very apneic. Every time she would have an apnea spell that lasted more than 10 seconds of not breathing, I kept thinking, “is this it? Is it going to happen tonight? Are we going to lose her tonight?” I must have rubbed on her chest a few dozen times just to get her to start breathing again.
Daddy and I were both exhausted because those previous couple of hours brought out a lot of tears and tough discussions, nothing we hadn’t had before really, but when it seemed like we could lose her at any minute… well, they are just harder conversations and more real. When it comes down to it, we are both really, really scared for “that moment” to actually happen.
Daddy, completely exhausted and having to work tomorrow, went to sleep around 11:30 pm, and I ended up putting Hannah into her bed so we could hook her up to the oxygen and humidifier. I crawled into bed right next to her, held her hand, and just laid there crying next to her.
I must have fallen asleep in bed with her because I woke up an hour later. Her breathing was back to the way it was earlier in the day, before that episode last night. Her stomach was nice and soft, her feet were warm, and her muscles were not stiff anymore.
It is now 3 am. She has been back to her ‘pre-scare’ state now for over 2 hours now.
I am so not ready to lose her. But gosh, to see her in so much distress … ugh…