Sunday, December 6, 2009

An even stranger day

Today was another day that started out really awful but has gradually improved. I was hoping to sleep late again like I did yesterday, but I woke up about twenty after seven and it seemed like I was awake for the morning. I did a nebulizer treatment, and then Marty and I listened to Will Shortz on NPR, which comes on at about twenty to nine. But when that was over, and since I was feeling really bad, coughing a lot and aching all over, I decided I could just roll over and go back to sleep, which I did, not waking up until the monitor's mechanically cheery voice announced "It is now time to take your vital signs" at ten thirty. I just didn't feel like bothering--I was in a bad mood and everything seemed like too much of an effort. So I just lay there and listened to the machine make multiple attempts to get me to hook up to it, finally announcing "No vital signs monitored."

Marty had been trying to tempt me to go out by suggesting we go to the Arlington Diner, which makes a fabulous veggie omelette, but as an alternative, he had Ann stop at the diner and pick up a takeout order. By the time I had this breakfast, it was about noontime, so I guess it counts as Sunday brunch. I ate half of it and will have the other half tomorrow.

Today was also a day for watching football games, first the Patriots played the Dolphins, losing by a heartbreaking single point, and then the Giants defeated Dallas, in a game that was closer than the final score (31-24) indicated. Unfortunately, Marty, who had originally been planning to take Donna home early enough to at least watch the second game, left much later than planned and didn't get back till a little while ago, when the second game had already ended.

Meanwhile, I was attempting to manage my symptoms of feeling generally awful, and I used enough morphine, ativan, and ABHR gel to finally start feeling better, with no more pain, and just a slight amount of spaciness, which seemed like a reasonable trade off. Combined with the general pattern of feeling better as it gets later, I'm feeling better right now than I have all weekend. Yesterday I needed resting chairs to get from bed to the living room, but today I made it without the chairs, and I've gone back and forth to the bathroom as well without getting totally exhausted (a big change from yesterday).

I'm going to have to go out on Tuesday, since I didn't do anything about getting an absentee ballot, and I definitely want to vote in the special election to fill Ted Kennedy's seat. I hope I'm feeling strong enough that it doesn't turn into a major production, and if I am feeling up to it we could combine it with going out to lunch or something.


  1. Congratulations Judi on your one year blogging anniversary. I just posted about your blog over at Pallimed. I apologize I had not featured it at Pallimed earlier. Keep writing because your insights are so helpful to learn from. I am sorry I have not commented more. I am reading though, as are others.

  2. Judi--thank you for blogging about your experience. I am a hospice physician working with Christian. It's not often our patients can tell us what it happening with them as you have been able to do. Congratulations on your blogiversary!

  3. Hi Judi,
    I am a Palliaitve Care nurse at a community hospital in Kansas. I found your BLOG through Pallimed.
    I want you to know that by sharing your experience you are doing something extraordinary and incredibly helpful for those of us who care for dying people. Thank You!
    I plan to follow your Blog with deep appreciation.
    Peace and blessings to you,
    Dorothy from Kansas

  4. Hello Judi,

    My 67 year old mom is in end stage small cell lung cancer, and I am meeting with the hospice care team tomorrow as she is getting out the hospital. I really want her to be able to be home, but it is just her 'boy'friend and I as caretakers, and I have a family of my own and he has a small p/t job. I am really hoping this turns out to be what works for her, because I really want her to be able to live her last days/weeks/months at her own place, in peace. She is a terribly heavy smoker and I pretty much told her if she insists on continuing that behavior, oxygen will not be brought in and this will probably not work. I cringe every time the phone rings. I'm really happy I found your blog and plan to follow it- thank you for sharing!

    Jeannie, in Chicago, IL

  5. Hi Judi,
    Hope you are having a good day today.
    Worried not seeing a post from you ni the list but yesterday may have been a tiring day for you.
    Thinking of you.
    ps notice that in the time I have been visiting your blog that I have become very fond of you.

  6. Hi Judi,
    Don't like the silence for days. Although reading about you getting weaker makes me very unhappy and sad too. Thinking of you.Wilma

  7. Thanks to everyone who has worried about my silence--I thought I'd better post something to bring people up to date. I'm still here, hanging on, and appreciate all the care and concern I am getting from so many people.

    Jeannie, I appreciate what you're trying to do for your mom, but you are so right that she has to take some responsibility as well. You csn't change her history of smoking, but if she keeps smoking now she clearly can't be around oxygen. Hospice can help with many practical things, and I hope it will work for you and your family, but your mom has to be part of the solution. Please let us know what happens, and I'm sending you my best wishes.