Thursday, July 23, 2015
Mom, 93, has been living with us for almost 2 years. Up until a month ago, it was OK living with her. 1-1/2 months ago she came down with pneumonia. Actually, everyone in the house came down with some bronchial ipazooic. While in the hospital for 8 days they found she had cancer of the right lung. It's a good thing she got pneumonia because it was a very early diagnosis.
They operated within two weeks and took out 1/3 of her right lung. She's cancer free and doesn't need chemo nor radiation.
However, there are the pain drugs; Oxycodone and Hydromorphone to be exact.
She almost overdosed on Saturday. She took 20 mg. of oxycodone. So, I've taken over giving her her pills and give her oxycodone, lorazapam, Zofran, Tylenol, stool softener, suppositories, Ducolax, Prune juice, warm milk etc. Pill after pill after pill to counteract the symptoms of the first pill. It's depressing and very tiring. Some every 6 hours, some every 4. All of them with food when she doesn't want to eat anything.
Mom is coming down off the drugs very well though. She tried to go cold turkey and went 27 hours without pills but finally started asking for them again. She's cognizant but still a tiny bit loopy and still in some pain. I think I still need to adjust them downward some more even though there is some breakthrough pain. Maybe smaller doses closer together?
Unfortunately she is going to be on some sort of drug like that for her shoulder pain. She has no cartilage in her left shoulder and she's left handed and uses a walker.
I really wish that I could give her cannabis. It would ease the withdrawal from the opiates, relieve her nausea, relieve her anxiety, and relieve her pain - all without side effects (unless you count the munchies or the sleepies - which in her case would be good). Fortunately there is no way to overdose on cannabis. Unfortunately we're a good year away from even being registered, now that they changed the law a little bit, much less acquiring the leaf/bud legally. We, America, pays Israel to do cannabis research and they use it in their retirement and assisted living homes for pain and for Alzheimer. (Google Cannabis and Israel Research.)
I finally got her into a tub yesterday, she was conscious enough from the drugs to move, but she still wouldn't let me wash her hair. This is a very fastidious woman. She normally uses a walker but I had to get her to the bathroom with a wheelchair. She's afraid now of everything. I believe it's the opiates. She wants to shuffle along instead of taking steps. She wants to sleep 24/7 - bad for the lungs. She doesn't want to sit up and hasn't turned the TV or Netflix on for days. This is not quality of life and she's begun to "wish God would let her die".
But, she is showing signs of getting better. I just wish I didn't have to give her those pills.
Thanks for hearing me out. I needed to talk to someone.
Have a hug full day,