Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Speaking to Ghosts

And I thought I was tired yesterday.

We are still trying to get a grip on C’s nausea. The hospice folks recommended a couple of drugs that get administered together every six hours and that seemed to control things pretty well, but there was one unfortunate side effect – tremors. In an attempt to alleviate those, we deleted one of the drugs, a fluid, and continued on with the pill. That worked for a while, but last evening, C started to become sick again.

We reached the on-call nurse at the hospice program who walked us through the possibilities. None of the options sounded particularly good. In the end, C took only the tablet again along with an Ambien to make her sleep.

As the house slowly cleared of people (we had quite a crowd again), I was feeling the overwhelming pull of the pillow, and at about 10 o’clock, I hit the hay thinking I could get a good six to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep as the Ambien would keep C down. Boy was I wrong.

I had no sooner laid my head down than C began to speak. I rose back up to understand what she was saying, but that did not help. Her speech was sometimes clear, sometimes mumbled, but it did not take long for me to determine that she was not talking to me. She was talking to someone only she could see. This began a ten hour marathon of hallucinations and constant one sided conversation.

On top of that, C would have to get up every forty-five minutes or so to try to go to the bathroom. This meant that I also would get up to help walk her to and from the throne. Only one in five trips was productive. I would just start to drift off to sleep when she would either start to get up or start to talk. It was endless.

I am now a physical wreck and am not looking forward to this evening. I have calls into the hospice staff to help us adjust the med list, but I don’t know when or how that will happen. Right now, C is upstairs feeling very barfy and is not a happy camper.



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