October 1, 09 Thursday
I must first say thank you to all who continue to send "snail mail" letters to Val. She gets a card or letter almost every day. She no longer reads them herself, but Dad reads them to her. She wonders what is wrong on the day she might not get one. The letters and cards bring her more joy than anyone can imagine.
There have been a lot of changes this week for Val. Last night Wednesday, was the first night ever that Val slept the night in her hospital bed downstairs and Dad upstairs. Dad listened for her with the baby monitor, plus he gets up almost every two hours to go to the bathroom or feed the cat ( The cat had Val trained to do this so now Dad does this.) All went well, except Val complained of pain,which she never does, in the middle of the night so Dad gave her a double dose at that time which seemed to help her.
The morphine is suppose to help with the cough which occurs when Val changes positions. Tuesday night after climbing the stairs (to Val it is like climbing Mt. Everest), she sat in the chair at the top like she always does coughing so hard she vomited. That was scary for both of them.
It was Tuesday of this week that Val's pain medicine was changed from vicoden to morphine orally via syringe in her mouth. I think 1mg every 4 hours is the dose. After two days, Val's pain seems to be controlled on a very low dose, and she is NOT so out of it that she can't verbalize her needs. There is a fine line. Val doesn't want to be in any pain, yet Dad wants her to not be knocked out by it either. Val continues to sleep 90% of the time. The morphine has a high constipation effect. The nurse Mary used a suppository to help Val today. Val remains on the 125 fentanyl patches on her back for pain also.
Val continues to take a few bites at every meal; usually less than 6. That is joke as when we were in Maine I asked her to take as many bites as her age. (as that is how my young children do it 4 bites if you are 4 years old). Val compromised and took 6 to represent the years of her life by tens. She also drinks only when you put the glass in her hand. Her desire to eat is dwindling away. Dad has IV fluids for Val on heand in case she needs them, but for now she is OK.
Hospice trained personnel has been coming twice this week. Tuesday and Friday. Tina Ruth is her name. Dad describes her as a small woman in her 60's. Kate the other hospice trained personnel will come when Dad needs her too also. Dad is getting used to the help and realizes he needs it as much as Val does.
Love and prayers to Val always....Salynn