Tim Tunes

4-4 The Waiting Room - Part 4

May 14, 2023 Tim Rose Season 4 Episode 4
Tim Tunes
4-4 The Waiting Room - Part 4
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

What happens when the end is near, and we and our loved ones are faced with the decisions on how to end a life? What if the patient is incapacitated? How do we make those final decisions for them? Do we have the courage and the presence of mind to do the right thing? Are we acting in the best interests of the patient, or are we acting in our own selfish interest?  Play time is over. Things are about to get real.

I’m Tim Rose and this is the Tim Tunes podcast. Welcome to the penultimate episode of my musical “The Waiting Room”. This is the fourth installment of the five-part serialized version of the musical. If you haven’t listened to parts 1-3, I highly suggest that you go back and listen to those episodes before listening to this one.

In this episode we’ll cover three scenes as we rush towards our conclusion. The comic relief is over. It’s time to deal with some of the darker aspects of this topic. In this episode we’ll see how grief affects us, sometimes long after a person is gone. Then, we’ll watch as one of our characters deals with the end of life of a loved one. Then finally, we’ll get a dream view into the mind of our incapacitated loved one to see what they would want. So, buckle up as we dive in.

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[Intro]
[Intro Theme – Motor]

What happens when the end is near, and we and our loved ones are faced with the decisions on how to end a life? What if the patient is incapacitated? How do we make those final decisions for them? Do we have the courage and the presence of mind to do the right thing? Are we acting in the best interests of the patient, or are we acting in our own selfish interest?  Play time is over. Things are about to get real.

[Pod Lick]

Hi. I’m Tim Rose and this is the Tim Tunes podcast. Welcome to the penultimate episode of my musical “The Waiting Room”. This is the fourth installment of the five-part serialized version of the musical. If you haven’t listened to parts 1-3, I highly suggest that you go back and listen to those episodes before listening to this one.

In this episode we’ll cover three scenes as we rush towards our conclusion. The comic relief is over. It’s time to deal with some of the darker aspects of this topic. In this episode we’ll see how grief affects us, sometimes long after a person is gone. Then, we’ll watch as one of our characters deals with the end of life of a loved one. Then finally, we’ll get a dream view into the mind of our incapacitated loved one to see what they would want. So, buckle up as we dive in.

[Pod Lick – Big D]


[About This Part]

In our first scene of this episode KELSEY muses about losing her grandmother. She is isolated on stage and sings about her experience of grief in the song, “And Then, I Remember”.

At the end of the number SAM and KAI appear. SAM is not conscious of the surroundings and is past the point of communication. KAI who has not signed the Do Not Resuscitate Order for SAM is still hopeful that the clinic can bring SAM out of it as they have in the past. RENE tries to persuade KAI to consider the DNR in the song “Fifteen Years”. Exhausted and still unresolved, KAI falls into a deep sleep and begins dreaming. In the dream and onstage, SAM miraculously rises from the wheelchair and sings and dances and the song “Let Me Go” where SAM lets KAI know that it’s Ok and that it’s time. KAI awakes from the dream and is ready to sign the DNR.

We left our characters at the top of Act II where they had just experienced the run around from all the experts providing care. We’ll pick up the action from there.

[Podlick]


[Act II - Scene 2 – And Then I Remember]

KELSEY: Well that was fun. I had no idea that getting help was so involved. Kind of reminds me of what we went through with my Grandma, though.
RENE: Sounds like she was very important to you:
KELSEY: We used to sit together on the front porch and watch the world go by. Just the two of us.
RENE: Sounds nice.
KELSEY: She’d make these wonderful peanut butter chocolate chip cookies that we’d share. I can’t tell you how many times she ruined my appetite for dinner. She’d say it was Ok because you have to live life while you can…
RENE: A wise woman and a little conspiracy goes a long way.
KELSEY: But then she got sick, and she got too tired to make cookies or sit on the front porch. I thought I was going to die when she passed. My heart just exploded with pain. I’d never felt anything like that before.
RENE: It sounds horrible, but sooner or later we all go through that pain. Either as friend, parent, child or … patient.
KELSEY: Look. I know you’re going through something and I’m not asking you to tell me what it is. And I know we just met, and all. But no matter what it is, you should know that I have your back. If there’s anything I can do for you just ask. I know it’s what my grandma would want me to do…
RENE: You really miss her a lot don’t you?
KELSEY: Every single day…
(Crosses to coffee machine and sings, And Then I Remember)

C, G4/B, F2/A, C, (Dm7,Em7)                                                                                                               INTRO

        C                      G4/B                                                                                                                              VERSE 1
I open my eyes and what should I see
          F2/A                          C                    (Dm7,Em7)
But the beautiful day that’s a head of me.
               C                                              G4/B                   
Then I’m drinking my coffee, or maybe reading the news
F2/A                                                         Am
             Everything is fine until I think of you

       Em2        Dm7               Em2       Dm7                 G7                                                              CHORUS 1
And then I remember - And then I remember

        C                           G4/B                                                                                                                        VERSE 2
So I put it behind me, as best as I can
          F2/A                          C                    (Dm7,Em7)
And I set about working as best as I can stand
  C                                    G4/B                   
Then I’ll hear a tune or a phrase that you might use
F2/A                                                          Am
And I can’t stop myself from thinking about yo

       Em2        Dm7               Em2       Dm7                 G7                                                               CHORUS 2
And then I remember - And then I remember

Dm                     G7               C             Am7                                                                                             BRIDGE
  How can the world keep spinning     around?
Dm                     G7             Am9
  How can the moon still shine?
Dm                       G7                      C                Am7     
  How come everybody just keeps go- ing       along?
F
Don’t they know what’s happened?
G7
Don’t they know what’s happened?

        C           G4/B           F2/A        C  (Dm7,Em7)                                         VERSE 3 (Instrumental)
Ooooooo                        Ahhhhhhh 
        C           G4/B            F2/A        Am
Ooooo                            Ahhhhhhh       

       Em2         Dm7              Em2      Dm7               G7                                                                CHORUS 3
And then I remember – And then I remember –

           C                             G4/B                                                                                                                  VERSE 4
Then slowly, but surely as time heals the heart
          F2 /A                                    C       
These moments are fewer and farther apart
 C                                         G4/B                   
  Memories fade and then life intrudes
         F2/A                        Am
Until all that’s left is the soul of the memory of you

      Em2     Dm7        Em2              Dm7                                                                CHORUS 4 & ENDING
But still I remember – Suddenly I remember –
       Em2         Dm7     G7          (tacet)      C   G4/B  F2/A   C       
And then I remember -                   You are gone.


[Act II - Scene 3 – Fifteen Years]

(KAI enters pushing SAM in a wheelchair replete with IV bottle and blanket approaches the desk. KAI, though very tired and worn down, is resolute and resigned as opposed to angry. SAM in the end stages of the journey sits sleeping or barely conscious. A wool cap or other covering is on SAM’s head. SAM has obviously been in treatment and has the look of someone near death.)

RENE: Hello, Kai, Sam. Let me introduce you to the latest addition to our crew, Kelsey. Kelsey, this is Sam and Kai. They’ve been coming here for, how long is it, 6 or 7 years?
KAI: Well, with all the remissions and recurrences it’s been 15 years. I guess we can consider ourselves lucky. When we first were diagnosed they only gave us one year. We’ve had fifteen years instead, thanks to you folks.
KELSEY:  That’s a beautiful tribute. You must feel very fortunate.
KAI: Not lately. These last few months have been very, very difficult. The doctors say it won’t be long now.
RENE: Why don’t you two wheel over here? (leads them to a somewhat isolated section) That way you can have some privacy and take a nap if you like. Your doctor’s running a little behind today.
KAI: Ok, thanks.  (KAI wheels SAM over to the indicated area. KAI adjusts SAM’s blanket or IV or whatever to make SAM more comfortable and then sits in a seat next to the wheelchair).
RENE: How is SAM doing today?
KAI: Not one of the better days, I’m afraid. How are you?
RENE: I’m taking it day-to-day.
KAI: Aren’t you scheduled for a procedure soon?
RENE: Hence, my little trainee. (She indicates KELSEY.  Both look at KELSEY. She sees them look at her. She smiles and gives a little wave) Look. I don’t want to pressure you, but have you thought any more about signing the Do Not Resuscitate form?
KAI: I don’t know. It just seems like every time we get this close Sam rallies or some new treatment pops up.
RENE: But this time is different...
KAI: This time is different. I just can’t face it. I don’t want to lose, Sam. We built our life together. What am I without Sam?  These last few years all I’ve done is take care of them. What will I do without her/him?
RENE: Well you seem really stressed out and depressed, if you don’t mind me saying.
KAI: You have no idea how stressful it is. The end is the hardest. We’ve been dealing with this for so long it’s become our life. I can’t help but think that SAM will rally and pull out of this like so many times before. I don’t know whether I should hope for a recovery or accept it as over. I have so much grief and anguish over what to do. But that’s not the worst of it…
RENE: What do you mean? I can’t imagine anything worse.
KAI: Sometimes. Sometimes I feel…exhilarated. I feel such relief and I’m happy for it finally to be over. And then, of course, I feel guilty and sad and ashamed for feeling this way. It has to end soon, one way or the other. Not just for me, but for Sam, too.

(KAI sings "Fifteen Years " to /with RENE)

KAI:
Am                                              C                                                                                                                  VERSE 1
Last week, fifteen years ago, we got the diagnosis
Fmaj7                                           C                           E
Just one year or maybe less was all the time they gave us
Am                                                                        C
So we looked for help and we found this place, and you gave us hope anew
Fmaj7                                                      C                          E7
Now here we are at the journey’s end and I’m not sure what to do

Am                                               C                                                                                                            CHORUS 1
After Fifteen years of walking side by side. Of taking the setbacks all in stride
Fmaj7                                                C                                 E7                  stop!
Of endless coffee in waiting rooms and endless tests, as the darkness looms

Am                                                                                                                                                                  VERSE 2
Why do I feel so unprepared? (
RENE: (sings) Let them go)
C
Always knew it would come to this (
RENE: (sings) You have to let them go)
Fmaj7
Now here we are at the journey’s end
C                                        E
Waiting for the other shoe,

                         Am                                                                                                                                    CHORUS 2
for over Fifteen Years of sharing secret hopes (
RENE: fifteen years)
    C
of inside jokes and chemo shots (
RENE: fifteen years)
     Fmaj7
Of wasting and crying while others are dying
  C                                       E7                                stop!
I can’t give him/her up, but God knows, I’m trying


(music underscores this spoken dialogue)                                                              SPOKEN VERSE
                                                                                       Am           
RENE: But you had fifteen years! It can’t all have been bad. I wish I knew I had that long…
C                                                                         Fmaj7
KAI: It’s never enough, but you’re right. I should stop thinking about myself.
                                                            C                                                 E7  E7 (stop)
RENE: Think about the extra time you’ve had and the things you’ve done together

                                                           Amaj7                                                                                                  BRIDGE
RENE: You’ve had Fifteen years
                    Dmaj7                                             
KAI: of weddings and graduations   and even a birth or two…
Amaj7                                                        Dmaj7
Of holiday parties and eating ice cream  and music and dancing and dreams
             Amaj7        E7                     stop!
Fifteen Years      Of being together

           Am                                                                            C                                                                         VERSE 3
KAI: God help me do the right thing now. I fear the time has come
          Fmaj7                                    C                                                      E7
The end is near and I must find the strength to carry on
(KAI falls asleep in the chair)

                  Am                                                                                            C                                                       END
RENE: Rest now my friend, for what’s to come. And remember the time you shared
Fmaj7                                                    C          E7    Am9
Fifteen wonderful, beautiful beautiful beautiful years


(RENE returns to the counter)

[Act II - Scene 4 – Let Me Go]

KELSEY: Is SAM in a trial?
RENE: Her last trail wasn’t successful. There isn’t much to do. We’re just keeping her comfortable. Unfortunately, Sam didn’t have a DNR. And Kai isn’t ready to sign one, yet.
KELSEY: DNR, that means Do Not Resuscitate, right.  I learned that in my training.
RENE: When the time comes, a DNR is very helpful in these situations. Though we may not show it, this stuff affects all of us who work with Kai and Sam.
KELSEY: It must be really hard when you’ve been with a patient for so long. It’s affecting me right now and I just met SAM.
RENE: Yes. It’s hard on all of us. Especially the doctors and nurses. But we have each other to help us get through it. And we have a job to do. There are others that rely on us.
(RENE crosses to ANGELO who is crossing to get something from vending machine or coffee pot/cooler)
RENE: SAM looks even worse today.
ANGELO: Yes, a rare soul, that one. I wish you could have known SAM earlier. But I guess all we can do is keep trying and working. Sometimes we are the victims of our own success.
RENE: They have been coming here since before I started working here.
ANGELO: I just hope KAI can sign that DNR soon. (ANGELO exits and RENE returns to the desk)

(The lights fade except for the area where SAM and KAI are both sleeping. The lights change as we enter KAI’s dream and SAM’s mind to hear what SAM would say to us with faculties still intact. During this number SAM magically transforms into health and then back into illness and sleep at the end. SAM removes the IV and blanket and takes off the cap revealing a full head of hair. SAM moves behind and starts singing to a sleeping KAI.)

C                                           Fmaj7                                                                                                             VERSE 1
I know that you love me, of that there is no doubt
G                                                              C
But I won’t fight the battle when I know how this war turns out
  Am                                          Dm
I don’t want to leave you - you know it hurts me so
F                                                 G
‘Cause sooner than later, you’ll have to let me go

Am G  Am                                             F                                                                                            CHORUS 1 
Let me go – to face the next thing that I will have to do
Am   G   Am                                  D
Let me go – to see whatever my faith will bring me to
                F                                                  C
  Though someday you may follow, soon I must go on alone
Dm Am G                     Am       D   Dm Am   G Am G
Oh my Love – Let me go

C                                           Fmaj7                                                                                                            VERSE 2
We fight this war together; you are always by my side
G                                                        C
Though I show the scars of war, you bear your wounds inside
               Am                                          Dm
We have fought the good fight love, but surely you must know
F                                                 G
When comes time for surrender, you have to let me go.
 
 Am G Am                                             F                                                                                            CHORUS 2   
Let me go – to face the next thing that I will have to do
Am G  Am                                  D
Let me go – to see whatever my faith will bring me to
d e           F                                                  C
  Though someday you may follow, soon I must go on alone
Dm Am G                     Am       D  Dm Am G                   Am   G
Oh my   Love – Let me go              Oh my Love  Let me go

Am G Am                                           Dm                                                                                                BRIDGE
                I won’t live as a shadow in my former frame
Am G Am                                         D
                I won’t be your burden when my ghost’s all that remains
F                                                 C
I won’t chase the shreds of hope just to fail again
  Dm                                         G                             A7
I won’t live like a scarecrow, tattered in the wind, tattered in the wind

Bm A   Bm                                G                                                                                                        CHORUS 3   
Let me go – as I release you to do what you will do
Bm A   Bm                                          E
Let me go – so you can seize the gifts tomorrow gives to you
e  f#          G                                            D
   Though surely you will follow, now I must go on my own
Em Bm A                     Bm       E         G   D/F#    A/E                  B
Oh my Love – Let me go.             Oh my eternal Love – Let me go.


(Returns to the chair asleep as the lighting and scene return to reality and KAI startles awake and looks around. KAI approaches the counter and speaks to RENE.)

KAI: Sorry, I fell asleep. Did I miss anything? I feel like something just happened.
RENE: Nope. Quiet as a (almost says “tomb” and then realizes) … a very quiet place.
KAI: I was really out there. I had the craziest dream… I slept so hard that I had to remember where I was when I woke up. (pause) I’m ready to sign the DNR now. (KELSEY gives KAI the DNR form which they sign)
RENE: (quietly, taking the for from KAI) Thank you? The doctor is ready for you. Pat will take you back to the exam room.
(PAT accompanies KAI and SAM to the exam room offstage. KELSEY reenters and crosses in front of the desk to RENE.)


[Outro]

That’s all for episode 4. Join us in about two or three weeks for the final episode of the serialized version of “The Waiting Room”.

As always, please feel free to send me comments on this episode via Facebook at the Tim Tunes Podcast group or email me at timtunespodcast@gmail.com or via twitter @rimtoes or if you are a Patreon subscriber you can send me messages via Patreon.

All donations to the podcast are appreciated. And, if you’d like to donate to cancer research, may I suggest that you go to vohboston.org/donate and make a donation to Voices of Hope. 

You can also help out the podcast by writing a review on whatever podcast tool you use or by liking us on Facebook or iTunes. That will go a long way towards increasing my reach. Also, you can support the show just by listening to some of my songs on your favorite music streaming service.

Whatever you do to support the show, I appreciate you. 

We’ll be back in a few weeks with the conclusion of “The Waiting Room”. Until then… take care of each other.

Intro
About This Episode
Act II - Scene 2
And Then, I Remember
Act II - Scene 3
Fifteen Years
Act II - Scene 4
Let me Go
Outro