I haven't written for a few days, and now that I am feeling somewhat back to baseline I'm going to see if I can describe what's been happening. For the last few days, until this morning, I have eaten hardly anything. I think it was on Monday that I accidentally took too much morphine and got into a really weirded out place, so I've been scared of taking any morphine since, until this morning, and I am very carefully monitoring my intake (with Marty's invaluable help). To make matters worse, I ran out of Celebrex, my arthritis drug, a situation that I knew for weeks was going to happen, but was unable to do anything about it because it just felt so overwhelming, and I was also unable to ask for help, which I finally did on (I think) Tuesday. Marty and Donna have done a lot of work figuring out what I need to do as I am now on Medicare and have to set up a Part D account to order more Celebrex (all of my other drugs are supplied by hospice). Before the morphine made me feel so bad, it first put me into a lovely, dreamlike state, and I had spent several hours just drifting pleasantly.
Of course, without Celebrex (or morphine) I started to ache all over, which contributed to my sense of everything being terrible. Not eating, hurting, and feeling overwhelmed all acted synergistically, putting me into a downward spiral. Now, with the morphine I took this morning, I'm not hurting, and having eaten, I have managed to escape the downward spiral. I have some nice things to look forward to, which also helps. Marty and I have been lighting Hannukah candles, and tonight he's invited some people over and will make latkes (from his mother's recipe). On Monday night, we sat on the couch in the light of four burning menorahs and had a lovely time talking and just enjoying each other's company, which we both agreed we just don't do enough of. Usually people have their Hannukah parties on the first night, but things have worked out so we are celebrating the last night instead.
When I start having trouble eating, I have to think very carefully about what I want to eat which will not upset my stomach. The other day I thought I could eat a pear, but it made me feel awful, which made me even more nervous about eating. This morning, I told Marty I thought I could eat some soup, and to my delighted surprise he had stopped at the kosher deli in Brookline and gotten their wonderful mushroom barley soup. I asked him to put it in a little custard cup as too much food can seem daunting, and I ate it really slowly, enjoying the delicious flavor. About two hours later I had another small portion, and a bit later a piece of whole wheat toast with just a little bit of peanut butter, which is also sitting well. I'm not sure if my stomach is ready for latkes, but I will definitely eat some of the accompanying apple sauce.
When I start feeling as bad as I have the past few days, and not eating (not going on strike against food, but just not being hungry), I start wondering if death is approaching. It doesn't scare me--what scares me is lingering indefinitely in this miserable state, too weak to do much of anything, but still, unfortunately, very much alive.