I went to the hospital early this morning so I could help my brother eat his breakfast. Yesterday I was really upset to come into the room where he was on his own and find him covered in porridge and yogurt. The staff had obviously taken away his main breakfast tray but left him those two items to finish. He doesn’t have the motor skills to be accurate when putting food into his mouth anymore.
It was really distressing for me to see him in such circumstances. Theoretically, visiting hours are only from 3 – 8 but I made a point of calling the ward yesterday night and asking if I could come. They were ok with it but the call was only for formalities sake – whatever they said, I was going to be there regardless.
This morning he was on oxygen as his sat levels are pretty low. We manoeuvered around the canula and he ate most of his breakfast, with me holding the cup for him and putting cut up bits of egg and toast onto a fork so he could bring it to his mouth. It took a while but it worked pretty well and we casually chatted during the process. A quick cleanup, med time and then I helped him to settle for a nap and stayed reading quietly when he slept.
It was nice. For me, it actually felt like quality time and possibly the first time I felt that I could still have meaningful interaction with him and enjoy it, without being so distressed about what the cancer had changed in him.Living in the present, rather than the past.