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Friday, March 04, 2011

Update on Dad (and me):
I talked to Karen the student nurse at the hospice two days ago and yesterday and she said that dad is not doing so well.  He had some pain on Tuesday and Wednesday night plus he was short of breath so they had to give him more oxygen and plus some fentanyl (this frug is about 100 times stronger than morphine and is used to treat breakthrough pain in cancer patients.  He is already on Hyrdomorphone which is a derivative of morphine and is used to treat chronic pain.  He's been on various strengths of this medication for the last 3 years but in the last few months, the dosage is at the higher end of what he was taking.  This one is a 12 hour capsule plus he takes a 4 hour one and so far he's been pain free for the most part expect for some times when he gets pain and needs to take the fentanyl which acts very fast.     

I talked to Karen the student nurse at the hospice two days ago and yesterday and she said that dad is not doing so well. He had some pain on Tuesday and Wednesday night plus he was short of breath so they had to give him more oxygen and plus some fentanyl. This drug is about 100 times stronger than morphine and is used to treat breakthrough pain in cancer patients. When Karen questioned him about why he was not feeling well, he said that he could not explain so Karen asked him if he was scared and he said yes This is a lot for him to admit because he continually tells everyone that he is ready to meet his maker and he has made peace with his life. I know that he is scared because two weeks ago when he was telling me that he was ready to go, I asked him to look me in the eyes and tell me that he is really ready to die. He could not do it. He wants to be able to close his eyes and go but I told him that Hindus believe in karma and he will go when it’s his time and not before and I cannot help him to get there any faster.

He is already on Hyrdomorphone which is a derivative of morphine and is used to treat chronic pain. He's been on various strengths of this medication for the last 3 years but in the last few months, the dosage has been increasing. This one is a 12 hour capsule that he takes twice a day plus he takes a 4 hour one and so far he's been pain free for the most part except for some times when he gets pain and needs to take the fentanyl which acts very fast.

Monica the head nurse spoke to him a few days ago about being discharged and she reiterated that she would not support his discharge for the same reasons that we won’t – that he needs medical care which we cannot provide at home. She also asked him if all of this was really about wanting to be at home and he said that he is lonely because when we visit, several of us show up and leave at the same time. As unfortunate as that is, it is the reality of trying to balance hospice visits and the rest of our lives but at least one of us is there every day. Monica suggested that he speak to Fred Nelson who is a palliative care counsellor with over 30 years experience and he agreed to that. The good thing about that is Fred’s office is at the hospice plus Fred had already visited mom and dad at home more than a year ago so he is not a stranger.

Yesterday Auntie Bauline and Auntie Bhano called the hospice while mom was there and he is still trying to tell them that he is doing fine. When mom said to stop pretending, he finally said that he is not feeling so good. His voice is strong which belies his physical condition. If you are not paying attention, you could think he is doing well. He’s managed to fool a lot of people with his ability to say a few words in a strong voice but very quickly, he’ll turn the phone over to one of us so that callers don’t realize that he is as sick as he is.

I probably won’t go for a couple days because I think I got some kind of flu and with dad’s immune system so compromised, the last thing he needs is the fllu. Did you get the flu shot this year? Well, I did but it didn't stop me from getting what I think is a milder version of the flu on yesterday. I went to work at 7:30am feeling fine and had to facilitate a workshop from 8.30am-1:30pm. As the morning progressed, I could feel my head getting foggy and I started with a runny nose. By lunch, I could not see straight from a blinding headache. By 1:30pm, the workshop was over but I think I was not longer coherent because every pore on my skin was hurting and I felt like I was hit by a bus. I came home about 3:00pm and went to bed with a hot water bottle, waking on and off with a fever and chills and a very mucusy head. I slept fitfully until about 9pm, got up had a shower, used my netipot (great little apparatus for stuffy nose) and went back to bed till about 5 this morning when I got up and repeated the same thing. I am feeling less achy but tired and my eyes are very light sensitive so I will go back to bed if you don't mind. Here is a video on how to use the netipot.  It looks a bit gross but it's quite easy to use and works wonders expecially if you have allergies or hay fever.
                                                

Take care all and have a healthy weekend
sandra

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