Saturday October 3, 09 ( My post last night mysteriously deleted so I will try again)
I flew to VT this morning to spend the weekend. I fly out late Monday night.
Val is tremendously weaker than 8 short weeks ago when we were in Maine
together. Now, she needs one person assistance for all these activities: getting up
from the bed, rolling in the bed, standing, walking to the bathroom is almost
a two person job, but I will call it one person for now. She walks to the bathroom
4 times a day, but that is as far and as much as she is able to do in her weakened
state. There are things she can't do any more that all of us take for granted: brush
her teeth, wash her hands standing at the sink (Dad and I have a basin for her to try
to use while she is seated on the toilet), even wipe herself she can't do.
Val 's mental status is declining. There are more periods of confusion and hallucinations.
She has difficulty finishing her train of thought (sadly, she has little spontaneous
conversation), she even has difficulty answering questions ( like would you like this pasta
with sugo or chicken broth?) Actually, the mental status seems unchanged
or no different than when she was on Vicoden. The morphine 1ml = 20mg of morphine which is given every three hours for the break through pain. The fentanyl patch of 125mg on her back is the long lasting pain control. It is sad to she her change positions and tell us she feels
abdominal pain. The fine line will be not to give her too much pain meds so she can't communicate to us, yet control her pain. We trust our nurses to help us with that. Val has moments when she is asking me " who are you? and where am I?". She is not oriented to time or day or year either.
Val's desire to eat is leaving her. She takes less than 5 bites when many small
foods are offered. Her desire to take her medications is leaving her. Her
desire to close her eyes and sleep or rest is #1. She still gets moments of enjoyment when I show her some photos of things she likes, read her a card or letter, or show her photos from the trip to ME. She smiles when I speak her animals. Diamond her male cat continues to find her legs on her bed to sleep which is his favorite spot. Before she was sick, Val would sit for hours in a chair if Diamond had come to sleep on her legs/lap so as not to disturb his sleep. Fuller, her dog, comes to sleep under her bed, in front of the bed or on the love seat which faces her. When Val is up walking the dog is under her feet and as close to her as possible giving her love an affection. She almost trips on him every time, but he is there.
Love and prayers to Val always......Salynn