Trying to Stabilize

Yesterday Dad was sleep a lot. That is not surprising given that he had been awake for as much as 36 of the preceding hours. He continued to be weak and was not eating solid food. He drank some orange juice, Coke, and had a small spoonful of apple sauce. He continues to be without pain.

I am beginning to adjust to the new situation. I feel I have been going through the natural process of grieving since last Friday when we decided on hospice. At that time it was difficult for me to control my emotions. On Saturday when I was preparing my Sunday school lesson (on grief of all things), I realized I was not in shape to teach. I called someone to take the class for me. Since then Dad has bounced back a little and then fallen back a little. I am planning to teach the class this Sunday. I feel strong enough to do it now.

Today Dad was awake when I walked into the room. He is still too weak to talk much, but he is comfortable. He is still not on pain medication. Last night, however, I had an experience that confirms what we all know – that it is best to have a patient advocate in the room at all times. His nurse came into change the dressing on his leg. She said she needed to go back and get the morphine. I asked why, and she said it was to prevent the pain. I told her he didn’t have any pain. She said that when she touched his leg earlier she thought he had been in pain. I told her that he hadn’t expressed feeling any pain. I told her I did not want him to receive morphine until he really needs it. I don’t want him to suffer, but I don’t want him to start on morphine that would lead to his being unconscious. I asked her to put that instruction in his chart. I also communicated that to the “charge” nurse and will do the same with the hospice personnel.