It was a week of transitions, some positive and some not so positive. First off I've become more emotional with uncontrolled outbursts of crying and sobbing. It started with the Hospice Nurses visit where I totally lost it. This behavior has continued and culminated today with a breakdown on the phone while talking to the manager of the Storage facility where I keep some furniture from my old home in Phoenix. I ended up explaining why I was behaving in an odd manner. I'm uncomfortable losing it in front of compete strangers while trying to get some business done. But we struggled through our conversation and finished off our business. This suggests that my ability to detach from my situation is failing and that I'm moving into the next stage of this process.
Next on the list is eating, my appetite is failing. Living in the southwest for 30 years has taught me that hydration is very important so water intake is not a problem but food is another story. My desire for food is declining and currently I've not eaten in a couple of days. I try to get some ensure down but even that tastes off. This decrease in appetite parallels the increase in nausea and vomiting which started this week. Several mornings of vomiting has left me somewhat weaker, but another rally should help with the food issue combined with a more regimented approach to the anti-nausea drugs.
On a positive note, the laproscopic incision in my navel finally closed and I'm no longer leaking fluid everywhere. I've been taping feminine bladder control pads over the site and using puppy pads to absorb the liquid, but was changing them several times a day. As my energy levels decreased it was often easier to sit in wet nappies rather than change them, but I'm dry all the time now which is much better. Now that it has closed I've noticed urinary volume has increased and conclude that absorption of liquids in my gut, from the VP shunt and tumor weeping, still functions which is encouraging. I will just have to watch my gut and make sure the fluid build up does not become excessive.`
In addition, I'm no longer taking any hydrocodone and have moved to only morphine for pain in combination with a strict regime of anti-nausea medications for the vomiting and nausea. In fact this transition has resulted in a rally and I feel much better today. The lesson I learned was listen to the Hospice nurse when she suggests stopping the hydrocodone and take only morphine, do it. Trying to use up the remaining hydrocodone was a waste of time. It was failing to control the pain so I should have discarded it. I also noticed that Hospice nurses operate differently from nurses in a medical setting. They are more attuned to the patient and bring a more holistic approach to their care whereas in a medical setting it is all about the earth suit and the “who I am” is not relevant to their job. As a result Hospice nurses make suggestions based on their their training and experience (they have walked this road with others many times). So I'm learning to heed their advice and glad my brother-in-law made the suggestion that a hospital bed was needed. The Hospice nurse got right on it and the next day I received a call from home health medical services saying the bed would be delivered Monday.