When I walked into the Emergency Room to visit Larry that next day, the nursing staff all zeroed in on me and took me aside before I could see him.
When I was being led to a “quiet room,” my heart sank.
The palliative care doctor and his intern were called and almost immediately appeared. He sat down across from me.
“Seven to ten days, that’s what you have left.”
With those nine words, life for me came to a standstill. Thankfully I had already arranged and paid for Larry’s cremation, made basic arrangements for the memorial and had the power of attorney and “Do Not Resuscitate” (DNR) order with me.
My eyes filled with tears and the only thing I could say was:
“I don’t want him to suffer. Make him comfortable, that’s all I ask.”
I handed the doctor the paperwork and promptly melted down. I wanted nothing more than to spend as much time with Larry as I could, because we now had a countdown clock.
I went to Larry, they were still treating his liver failure at this time so he was quite cognizant of what was going on. By the shape of my eyes and expression he said:
“You’ve talked to the doctor.”
I nodded – yes.
And together we wept and held each other until visiting hours were over, tucked away in the ER bay with curtains around us, nurses checking in on us but giving us what little time we had left together.