That’s a word that I’ve heard on a few occasions this past week. The first time was last Thursday evening when I received a call from hospice regarding my Dad. He had “declined”, the nurse said, and while things were not imminent, they had certainly taken a turn for the worse. Dad had a low grade temp of 100.8, had some fluid in his lungs which resulted in difficulty breathing, and was shaky and mottled. He was given breathing treatments and some medications to make him comfortable. When I visited on Friday, he opened his eyes only once and slept the remainder of the time.
By Saturday, however, Dad was sitting up and talking to my brother. Ditto Sunday and Monday when other relatives went to visit. They even said he was “chatty”. When I visited on Tuesday, he was awake, talkative and looking for snacks (as always). He’s a perpetual snacker… preferable something with sugar. Usually the first thing he says to me is “did you bring me a doughnut?”
At today’s visit Dad was back in bed and sleepy. One nurse said that some of the staff felt things were “imminent”. Others felt it was hard to tell, as Dad has been up and down. They were going to call me early this morning because of a fever again, but then it dropped. The mottling came and went. Eating ranges between 0% and 150%. He’s tired and then he’s not. She indicated that this unpredictably is common with brain metastasis. I was told we should expect the fever spikes, and maybe even seizures.
Dad talked to me quit a bit after he woke up this afternoon. While much of it was not steeped in reality, there was a part of me that felt like he was trying to get his affairs in order. He said he hadn’t checked the coal bin in a few days (the house was converted to oil a number of years ago) and I made sure he knew the house was in good shape. He worried about his bills being paid…if he wasn’t working, he had no money. I assured him that all his finances were in order and he needn’t worry. I had always made a little joke about his “all inclusive resort” every time he brought up needing money. He talked about how they took good care of him, how everybody loved him (they do!), and how everybody rubs their hands through his hair because it’s so soft (it is). 🙂 His voice was soft and weak, and the visit was bittersweet.
I don’t know if death is “imminent”. Who can know, for any of us, really? But I ask for prayers, light and positive energy for Dad. That, whatever happens, and whenever it happens, it is peaceful.
IMDb: Imminent (2012)