Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sick and tired and frustrated and...

Sunday was another horrible day when I was running a fever and felt just awful; making it even worse is that I was sick to my stomach and kept throwing up just a little bit at a time. I called Lauren several times and after giving advice on the phone she came over in the late afternoon. By that time I was semi-delirious (my body does not deal well with fever) and probably pretty irrational. I was frightened and was wondering if this was how I was going to die--hardly the peaceful picture that's been described to me (and that I saw with my father, who did die a very peaceful death in hospice care).

Lauren's bag of tricks included two medicines that she administered by suppository (I told her I doubted any pills would stay down)--tylenol for the fever and compazine for the nausea, and within an hour or so I was feeling a lot better, just totally exhausted. No one is sure where this fever is coming from, but it certainly makes me feel totally debilitated and unable to think straight or make decisions. Of course, then everything falls on Marty and that makes it hard for him.

By yesterday I was feeling much better, just tired from the previous day, but today I have a new symptom, a nagging, tickle in the back of the throat cough that is wearing me out. I've already spoken with Lauren once today and will probably call her again.

I'm just so weary and so sick of being sick.


  1. I want to mention again the reason I like the pain pump idea:
    As you approach your death, it takes more morphine and a couple of things change. One is that the larger bollus ( all in one increase) causes the feeling of exhaustion to increase as that is one of the ‘side’ effects and the other ‘side’ effect is nausea. With the pain pump, the delivery is in smaller increments yet can be more frequent which you control yourself and which tends to smooth that out so that the effects of exhaustion AND nausea go WAY down and you tend to feel near ‘normal’.. it is about quality of the time conscious and not quantity. I have had patients say the difference in that is huge.

  2. I think the hospice philosophy generally is anti-needle (something I'm quite happy with). I know my dad, who was in hospice care, and was dealing with severe pain, which I'm not, did quite well on oral morphine even in his last week of life, when he was mostly unconscious. We were able to deliver oral morphine via syringe under his tongue.

  3. Yes I have been with patients who have used it orally also. Just thought I would mention the other for consideration as a future alternative possibility with some different value.

  4. Our hospice readily offers a PCA pump for patients who would benefit from it, especially our cancer patients. If you don't have a problem with the needle aspect, then neither should they.