With candles flickering on the windowsill beside Ellen and soft daylight fading outside, we enter a night with winter-time temperatures and marvel at how the seasons are changing so markedly during this period of Ellen Time. Ellen’s body continues to diminish before our eyes while her spirit fills up the room. We are grateful that we’ve succeeded in keeping her at home all these weeks, thanks to Eric’s dedication and that of the other caregivers, as well as the support from medical and hospice professionals.
Our records aren’t 100% complete, but it seems that the last day that Ellen ate a grape or two and took a sip of grapefruit juice or lemon tea was October 16th. That’s when she started having trouble swallowing and that’s only been getting harder, causing occasional coughing that we try to soothe. Since September a year ago, Ellen dealt with edema (swelling) of her left arm and hand, and a few days ago we noticed her slender well-shaped hand reappeared. Unfortunately, that same hand is increasingly causing her discomfort, likely pins and needles and pain from neuropathy, and we’re exploring a shift in her medications to address that.
With steroids out of her system, Ellen’s high cheekbones and gorgeous jawline are once again revealed. Here is a photo of her lovely face, taken 27 years ago.