Ray Russell

First post: Jan 12, 2020 Latest post: Feb 9, 2020
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I am going to write Ray's story as if I were Ray.  Most of it will be my perspective of Ray's journey.

 My health issues started with a congenital enlargement of the wall between the lower chambers of my heart. I was very fortunate that I did  not die as a teenager playing sports.  
 I learned at an early age to listen to my body. Therefore, in my 70s I still listened to my body and did less.  The idea that I might be dying was certainly foreign to me. I was just slowing down. However, my doctor said that I needed a liver transplant but was not a good candidate.  Judy made the mistake of asking Dr. Neuschatz if I was a candidate for Hospice.  After that, it seemed that I was tossed into the pool of dying.  I was not ready for Hospice.  I left Lutheran Hospital on 12/20.  When I saw my primary care physician on 12/23, he told me that I belonged in the hospital.  I just didn't want to return to the hospital.  I wanted to be home for Christmas and the arrival of my daughter and granddaughters and for my birthday.  I chose Hospice rather than the hospital, but I didn't like the choice.
I wrote a letter to God.  I wrote a letter from God to myself.  I wrote "It is time for you to die", but was that from God or from the hospital staff trying to force me to give up and die??
It really sucks when you are use to being in control and find that you have no control over your body.  So, I planned my memorial service and told my children and grandchildren what they meant to me and how they enriched my life and gave it meaning.  But, I was angry and disgruntled over the possibility of dying before I was ready.  I spent time in prayer. Judy told me that she could see how my healing angel was healing me emotionally and spiritually.  I believe that God told me that he will grant my request of being a guardian angel for my grandchildren.  I told Kate and Kiley that they can talk to me after I die, and I will be listening.  Dying is easier knowing that I will be able to help my grandchildren in my new life without physical problems.
Even though I have accepted that I am dying, I can't accept the weakness and dependence that is coming.  So I struggle with arising from my recliner and climbing one step with my walker to go to the kitchen and to the bathroom.  I played bridge this morning.  I have so many losses but there are a few things that I can still do even if I am exhausted afterwards.

I appreciate your friendship and your tolerance.  You no longer need to reassure me that I may live months.  I know that I am dying.  Don't try to protect me.  I do feel your prayers, support, and love.  Thank you!  I may not reach out.  I have so little energy.