Sunday, October 20, 2013

Maintaining the Course

This week was more difficult for managing symptoms than we have faced lately.  Over the course of the week, Trent's nausea and vomiting became less and less controlled.  We tried yet another medication which did not seem to help at all.  Trent had still been able to keep down his pain meds and so things were somewhat okay on that level -- until yesterday.  When the pain meds won't stay down, and we get several hours behind, then things start to spiral downward at a terrible pace.

I was thankful that my brother in law had arranged for the kids to be with another family for a few hours.  That way, the kids didn't have to see how bad off Trent got, and I could focus solely on trying to help Trent.

We tried several things - all to no avail.  I decided to call the on-call Hospice nurse.  She gave me instructions on using the concentrated liquid meds we had been given when we signed up with Hospice, and I did as instructed.  However, an hour later, he was still in agony.  I called back and she told me that she would be on her way to the house as quickly as she could.

She did arrive in a relatively short time, and she got right to work.  She said she was going to hit this hard with meds to get it under control, and then we would talk about maintaining.  Between what she had me give him an hour before and what she gave to him when she arrived, the concentration was many times more than what he would normally have, but it did get the pain under control. 

Once Trent's body had settled, she and I sat down to talk.  We are switching approaches to pain meds.  We are now using as few pills as possible and, instead, giving concentrated liquids.  Since the nausea and vomiting has been so hard to control, this approach requires less to actually have to go into the stomach and should, therefore, be less irritating.  I was also given much higher limits for the medications than I had been instructed to give prior to this point.

After all was said and done, the adrenaline level dropped, and I felt like I'd been hit by a truck.  The emotional and mental drain of the day was taking its effect.  I am thankful for God's strength to get through the 'crisis' moments.

As much as I had hoped we wouldn't end up in another 'pain crisis', I am extremely thankful for the benefits of Hospice care.  Without that, we would have been back in the ER, and possibly back in the hospital.  This way, I did not have to transport Trent anywhere, and we are home today.  I feel blessed.

Trent has been pretty out of it today - I fully expected that knowing how the one medication affects him and knowing how much he was given.  His head is a little more clear this evening, and that is good.  I just hope he was awake enough  this evening that he will sleep tonight.  I'm hoping the kids will sleep tonight, too. This Mama could use a decent night's sleep.

Psalm 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.



  1. Praying earnestly, fervently, and with love.
    Norman and Francie