Pearly Lou Head
Pearl Randolph passed away peacefully Saturday, February 5, 2011, at approximately 11:30 AM from complications of kidney failure.
Neither I nor Brenda can pass by Pearl’s “boudoir” without looking for her.
The story really starts where the tale of our 2010 Thanksgiving trip ends. You may read that story here. We went to see our children and grandchildren, with the expectation that Pearl would not make it through the holiday weekend. As stated in the original post, we simply didn’t want her to die at home alone.
That story ended saying, Six Wednesdays from the day before Thanksgiving we continue to thank God for Pearl’s amazing ability to hang on. She’s still losing weight. She requires a ton of Brenda’s time. And mine when I’m home. Every two days or so we have to dream up another food she might eat because she has rejected almost everything after eating it for 48 hours.
We wouldn’t trade these days for anything.
Here begins the story of what transpired during those six weeks and the four weeks that followed. As far as I can tell there is no medical explanation for Pearl’s survival for those two and one half months. That blessed time could only be a gift from God.
In the first sixteen and one half years of Pearl’s life, the only people food she ever ate came from grandbabies accidentally dropping food on the floor. During the Thanksgiving trip to Louisville I was able to persuade Pearl to eat canned Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d, finely-ground Hill’s Canine Treats and Butler Lean Treats. However, as her condition worsened, she refused to eat anything at all. In desperation I asked son Andy for some of his homemade lean white turkey. “Sure,” he said. “Anything to help. The bird is huge and I have more in the freezer.”
Pearl went absolutely nuts over the turkey, and ate like she did when she was a puppy. I was shocked, but I wasn’t questioning our good fortune. We kept k/d, both kinds of treats and turkey in “her room” at Andy and Nan’s house all through the holiday weekend. She never ate anything on her own, but she would eat every time we fed her by hand.
One time Brenda and I were gone for a few hours and we asked Nan or Andy to take Pearl out to relieve herself every two hours. Poor Andy went to pick her up one time and told us later, “I couldn’t do it. She was so thin and frail, I thought she would break. I had to ask Nan to take her.”
On the trip home we dispensed with the IV pump for her intravenous fluid therapy because Pearl was drinking so well. Back in her FidoRido pet seat, she was comfortable and seemed to rest well. Somewhere in Tennessee we stopped at a McDonald’s and I gave her the rest of my ice cream cone. “What harm can it possibly do now?” I thought. With the little packets of fresh turkey Andy had packed for us I was able to feed the baby as we traveled. She chowed down at such a rate that I had to stop in Hattiesburg to purchase sliced turkey. That was OK for a while, but Pearl tired of it shortly after we arrived home on Sunday.
Pearl’s final story will be presented in four parts: today; Monday, March 7; Friday, March 11 and Monday, March14.