Theodore (Ted) Fenske

First post: Sep 11, 2016 Latest post: Sep 12, 2016
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This past spring, Dad had a surgery to try and repair some vascular issues he was having that were impacting his mobility. After the surgery, Dad was in and out of rehabilitation / transitional care units and the hospital. Unfortunately, it was just too much for his body to take, and he wasn't recovering as he had hoped.

In late July, Dad made the decision to switch from actively treating his many medical issues to a comfort care model (hospice). He's been living at Sholom Home East in St. Paul since then.

However, in the past 2 days, Dad's condition has worsened, and it appears that he is beginning his "transition," as the hospice nurse called it. If his condition continues as it is now, our best guess is that we'll be saying goodbye to him very soon.

We've really moved to an intention of pure comfort for dad without regard to anything else. Sadly, he's in quite a bit of pain from the bedsores/ulcers on his tailbone, and pain in other parts of his body too. To combat that, he's receiving oral (liquid) medication every 4 hours. This helps keep the pain down and has an added benefit of helping him breathe easier. On the down side, it makes him groggy, and he can drift in and out of consciousness. But we all agree that his comfort is #1, and our ability to have him awake is not a priority.

He's getting great care at Sholom Home, and the Allina Hospice team is checking on him regularly too. Due to his conditions, we doubt that Dad will ever really answer the phone, so it doesn't do much good to call him.

Dad can still have visitors, and if you visit, we encourage you to talk to him even if he seems like he's sleeping or unconscious. The key message we want Dad to hear is that we all love him, and it's ok to let go and be free of the pain. We tell him that we'll all be ok and that we'll see him on the other side when it's our turn.

We don't know for sure how much longer we have, but we know it will be soon. We'll post updates here as we know them.

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