Since Larry’s birthday, things had been getting worse for him and the home care nurse had been visiting regularly and I’d been trying my best in focusing at work.
It was clear that we were nearing endgame. Larry’s kidneys were gone, he was in acute liver failure and the treatment was becoming less and less effective.
Rev. Moore had visited several times as had my family and friends. I don’t know what was harder to watch, my husband failing and fading away or witnessing the reactions of our loved ones realizing that this was IT. This was the big one.
On July 29, 2013 the lactulose stopped working altogether and Larry was entering acute liver failure. He was unable to walk, unable to answer simple questions and all sense of “him” was slipping away.
I called Avi, the palliative care nurse, to ask what to do and was told that I could either call 911 myself or wait 45 minutes and he could.
I dialled 911 and a good friend and neighbour answered the line “Hi Myke, it’s Larry isn’t it?”
I was in tears and unable to speak but somehow conveyed “yes,” Joe confirmed he would send the paramedics, however the fire department would most likely arrive first.
While I don’t want to disrespect our fire department, Larry did not need their help, he needed to go to the hospital so I held them off with the magic words “end stage liver failure due to hepatitis, needs a transfer to the hospital.”
They retreated immediately and went to get their hazmat gear while the paramedics arrived. I explained the situation and suggested they get the chair as Larry was no longer able to walk, let alone handle stairs and the stretcher would not work.
They did so and as Sunny, Chloe and I quietly watched in shock, they escorted my husband from our home for the past 13 years for the final time. I was beyond tears at this point and just frightened and confused.
The paramedics confirmed that they were taking Larry to Juravinski for cancer care consideration, we had hoped that we may eke out a few more weeks or months in hospice with the right treatment at that point still.
Incredible neighbours Michele and Jeff didn’t hesitate and drove me up to the hospital behind the ambulance. Where I spent a sleepless night by my husband’s side in the ER until they sent me home at Larry’s insistence, exhausted.