Indie’s Struggles

        Poor Indie is not doing well.  He is back in Hospice now.  I hadn’t been by in a month, and I was shocked at his condition yesterday.  Bless his heart, all he wanted to know about was how I was doing.

        “Tommy, how’s life treating you?”

        “For goodness sake, Indie.  I’m fine.  How are you man?”

        “Great.  This place is like a candy store.  They’ll give you all the Morphine you want.”

        “You pretty comfortable?”

        “Yeah, they see to it.  Besides if I’m not I tell ’em I’m gonna let you know.  They know you’ll raise hell.  I get what I need.”

        “Good.  Let me know if you don’t.”   I was sure he would.  Our Hospice is great.

        He rolled over in the bed, fluffed his pillow and tried to sit up.   “How’s the book coming?”

        “Fine.  At least the powers that be are reading it.  We’ll see.”

       “I don’t think I am going to make it to the finish line.”

        “Sure you are, Indie.  Of course you will.”

        He smiled.  “Tommy, you have the brain of a grown man, but the heart of a child.  You’ve a doctor.  You’ve seen my x-ray.  I cough up more blood every day.  Hell, I’m short of breath just to turn over.”

        I smoothed back his hair.  “You’re gonna make it.  I know you are….”

        “You’re a good boy.  I want you to make sure to play a song at the funeral.  I want “You go to Your Church and I’ll go to Mine.”

        “Dang it Indie.  Don’t talk that way.  You’ve got to keep going.”

         “Hell, I’ve read the manuscript.  It’ll see the light of day one way or another.  As far as I am concerned I get to live forever ’cause of you.  Damn boy, you immortalized me.  I won’t forget it.”

        “No one could ever forget you, Indie.”

        He rolled over and began to snore.  I pulled his covers up and tucked him in.

        He looked up.  “Don’t forget the tune.  Promise?”

        “Anything you want, pal.”

        “Good.”  He drifted off.

        When you have friends as brave as Indie how can you ever worry over trivia again?

Dr. B

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12 Comments on “Indie’s Struggles”

  1. Mrs. Chili Says:

    Doc, my mom is dying, and I read this with a particular slant to my thinking.

    I’m not worried about her passage, really; she taught me that death isn’t an END to anything that really matters, and I’m sure that I’ll feel her around me after she passes. What worries me is the path she’ll need to travel at the end of her journey here before she embarks on the new adventure.

    I’m trying to gather up all the information I can about end-of-life care and arrangements. Anything you can toss my way will be gratefully accepted.

  2. drtombibey Says:

    mrs chili,

    I am like you. I don’t worry about being healthy, and I don’t fear eternity. It’s the transition that is scary.

    At best, we don’t want anyone to have pain, and we want to keep suffering to an absolute minimum. Around here Hospice is excellent.

    I will keep both of you in my thoughts and prayers too, and will watch for good info, too.

    Dr. B

  3. Dr. B,
    I don’t know how it is, but somehow good people who are in bad shape manage to help their friends and family accept and prepare them for their deaths. My father did it – he managed to be cheerful and realistic before he died, and no matter how many times I tried to brush off his words, he never let me hide from it, just like Indie here.
    I can’t wait to be able to read about this remarkable man when your book comes out. You’ve definitely given him a wonderful gift – immortalizing him in writing.

  4. Indie is a brave and honest man. I hope I can be brave and honest when my time comes, and that the folks around me can do the same.

    Dr B, it’s tough to lose a friend – you know this. But he may need you to be there with him – in his lack of denial – side by side.

  5. Parson Bob Says:

    Doc, FWIW, there’s a great book on this subject (the Big Transition) that I’d recommend to anyone, anyone at all. It’s not an overtly “religious” book, but it’s a deeply “spiritual” book…if you get my drift. Title: “Guide to the Great Beyond”, by Jane Brody. The library should have a copy (or needs to have a copy), but it’s one folks can beneficially read and share from their own library.

  6. drtombibey Says:

    ms slighlty,

    You are a wise young’un beyond your years. It is hard for me lose any patient. A man like Indie is so important to me that I has to immortalize him while he is still here on Earth.

    Dr. B

  7. drtombibey Says:

    Ms Pamela,

    Bless Indie’s heart. He is wise and realizes I’ll have trouble dealing with his death. I am supposed to be helping him and he is worried about preparing me!

    Dr. B

  8. drtombibey Says:

    Parson Bob,

    Folks the Parson is rather well connected with some VERY important people. I always take his advice seriously.

    Parson, I tell my patients my job is to try and keep them here long enough for them to realize we’d better pay attention to what the minister has to stay. My business is good for a few decades, but that eternity thing y’all speak of is a right long stretch of time.

    Dr. B

  9. A very touching story, though I was confused whether it’s real or fiction until I’d read the comments.

  10. drtombibey Says:

    no heroics,

    In all my medical writing I have to change the names to protect patient confidentiality, but they are true.

    Dr. B

  11. newt221 Says:

    Dr. B,
    When you go to see Indie, give him a hug for me. I know it is hard seeing a friend or loved one go down. It hurts and the grieving starts way before they actually pass.

    Maybe he will rally….maybe not. Just love him while he is here. He knows you care.

  12. drtombibey Says:

    Ms Cindy (newt 221),

    One major reason I had to write the book, and eventually get it published (even if it winds up self published) was to keep Indie’s memory alive.

    It comforts me to know long after we are all gone someone could pick up the book and learn of his ways.

    Dr. B

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