Last week, Grace had a fever of 101.6. The minute I hear that news I know it’s not good. She is so tiny and weak. How can she possibly fight this? I made a stop to get a thermometer that does not need to go under her tongue and some aspirin. In better days, she could not swallow pills so she chewed the aspirin. It still sends chills down my spine.
The fever was gone the next morning. How does that happen? She has no signs of being ill, but I warned the caregivers of her famous rash she would get on her arms with any illness. The next day, there was no rash on the arms. I know Grace would have been disappointed. It was her badge; her proof she had been ill.
Grace has a different rash a bit south of the arms. The caregivers give me updates as they have been working with Hospice to get it under control. I dutifully listen and try to synthesize all the information. They have been letting her ‘air’ dry by piling up pads on the bed and building a blanket tent. It’s quite clever. I have two very good caregivers and I am thankful every day for them. Yesterday they showed me where the rash was so I could see it was gone. Yes, the skin is healthy. But she is so thin. She looked like the pictures I had seen of the Nazi death camps. Her pelvis was draped with a layer of pale skin. Her legs are so tiny, you can trace the bone to the knee with no interruption. I knew she was thin, but it didn’t really hit me until I saw that.
I walked out of the room. I’m sure the caregivers thought I wasn’t interested. But I was and I am.