The comfort I anticipated. A bit more loopy than I thought, and I think the big maintenance is having just water and juice through the feeding tube. I wonder how long I’ll last this way. Getting weaker and a bit spacer.
I can’t believe the physical denial that I’ve become aware of in myself for at least many months and possibly many years.
I guess I’ve prided myself in how I dealt with my physicality. My manufacturing of endorphin and serotonin from exercise, yoga, meditations, etc. certainly must have been a help.
My acute abdominal discomfort in the past few months has certainly been a huge part of what has made life unbearable for me.
Over the past few days through eating less, the gut pain has become more manageable, but I still had my usual” oh, anyone can handle this stuff, the sharp pain in the hip where I had the three pin operation in January, the chronic up and down back pain that I would try to reposition myself out of continually.
Two nights ago I began taking small doses of pain meds. I awoke smiling in the night, with another awareness: Love and well-being and gratitude in my heart.
It seems that lying down I feel quite normal; if I try to get up quickly I’ll feel a bit more than my usual lightheaded, I’ll be a bit nauseous also.
I’m only taking in grape juice and water from the tube so I’m concluding, as I’ve done before, that it may be soon, but the joyous point for it is that it doesn’t seem to interfere with thinking. Interestingly, I seem more alert at times. Time will tell. Certainly an interesting process.
Sometimes it feels like we are lost in a dark forest, stumbling along to find the path. Tom stopped taking the morphine after a day and a half because he felt bloated and uncomfortable and not quite sure he liked the loopy sensation. While on the morphine it was amazing to see and feel the old Tom return, light and loving as he escaped the profound discomfort.
My alarm is set for 5am so I can get Tom ready for Jim who is taking him to the VA emergency room because it seems that his feeding tube is blocked again. Hopefully they will swiftly take care of it and they will return before noon. They know Tom by name there and they are really nice. They know he wants to be home so I am sure they will do what they need to do as quickly as they can.
Tom thinks the tube is clogged with some stomach soothing medicine we have been using or perhaps something is wrong with the tube. His body is weak but his spirit is not. His mood is despondent again.
I am hoping tomorrow we can return him to a place of physical comfort so he can go deeper in to himself.
Kate (for Tom)
A terribly long day that yielded no results. Jim and Tom waited for hours. The nurses tried to clear the tube with an enzyme and then at 2pm the surgeon’s resident tried to clear it with the tool that had worked the last time we were there. So unfortunately Tom returned home with the tube slightly better, but not completely clear and totally exhausted.
He curled in to his bed as soon as he was wheeled in.
He is sleeping now.
I know tomorrow will be a better day.
Kate (for Tom)
Yesterday was intense.
Tom resumed the morphine. It is such a relief. Without the discomfort his loving nature has returned. He is able to contemplate spirit in a way that has been his work and life for the past 38 years. The illness and discomfort has challenged his deep knowing and this has created profound despair that has robbed him of his serenity, gratitude and capacity to love. I don’t know what has been more tortuous the physical or spiritual discomfort.
Hospice came twice yesterday. We have an amazingly compassionate nurse, named Jeannette who helped us understand the nature of the drugs and how to use them. The discomfort that Tom feels in his lower abdomen is likely to be caused by the cancer, so the morphine relieves this pressure. She explained that by relieving the discomfort he can get back to his spiritual quest.
Elaine is our Hospice social worker. She is a brilliant guide who echoes the teachings of Marguarite. Both of them have talked to us about how the end of the story is the same: the physical body is shed for the higher plane. Tom will get there no matter what, the question is does he want to do it through suffering or surrender?
The main point is now Tom is using the drugs for a good purpose, which is to get back to spirit and this is quite different from when Tom used drugs not to feel.
This morning he and I spoke of how the debacles of the feeding tube and in fact this whole experience has been a way to learn to take his nourishment from the Universe/God versus through the usual ways of mankind.
I am grateful for the passage written by George D who reminded Tom that the other side is beautiful. I am grateful for all you who remind him/us of the power of love. I am grateful for the guidance we receive. I am grateful that Tom seems to be returning to his faith which has comforted and carried him beautifully in this life time.
Today I am praying that the serenity he is in continues.
Kate (for Tom)
Tom had a lovely day full of connection and peace. He is sleeping now.
I can say that he went to bed full with love.
What a grateful change.
He has not been decided what to do about the feeding tube, which today felt less open. I think he will decide closer to Tuesday whether the effort to deal with it is worth it.
He is still in his process, but today he was so much lighter.
Thank you all for your loving kindness,
Kate (for Tom)
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Tom Knell is 64 years old and has lived in New York his entire life. He has worked as a firefighter, an acupuncturist, healer and massage therapist. Tom has been an avid gym rat his entire life, integrating hiking, running and yoga (which he taught at IYI in the late 70s- early 80s). Tom has been living a conscious path to varying degrees since 1974, which has included regular meditation practice, exploring his behaviors and reactions, accepting situations the way they are, in conscious service to others in professional and non-professional venues, staying conscious and present with the reality of this moment. A dear friend of several of TDL’s Reader’s, Tom has generously offered to share his Journal to TDL’s community as he travels this part of his life. While TDL will publish portions of Tom’s Journal, you can read all of his entries at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/tomknell.