Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Don't Be Mean to Your Angel

Rick had been on narcotics/pain killers since he was in the hospital.  Narcotics can take their toll on your digestive system.  In the hospital they had started him on stool softeners and Senokot, a laxative.  Next, in the arsenal, were suppositories.  Stephen happened to be in the room when they were giving it to Rick.  Steve said it looked like a bullet.  He told me if he ever got to the bullet stage to please just "pull the plug."  He could not think about it.  What a whimp!  

When Rick left the hospital, it had been three days since he had seen any "action."  However, since he had been sent home, it was my problem.  I continued to give him the Senokot and Colace.  After five days I called the oncology nurse coordinator and let her know the situation.  She called in for some "LIQUID DYNAMITE" a.k.a. Latulose  It was a powerful laxative that was supposed to do the trick.

After 24 hours, I called her back and told her it was "no go."  She was astounded and  told me to up the dose and said that surely this would take care of the problem.  Two days went by at the higher dose and still nothing, until that night.

At about midnight it started: all hell broke loose; Rick was immobile and he needed the bedside commode.  He was still unstable.  He was back and forth between the bed and the commode.  Rick was sick all night; it was a brutal situation.  I was back and forth between the bathroom and the family room.  He was in agony.  I had to put on a surgical mask and gloves. I was crying; I felt like I was in my own nightmare.

Rick took one look at me and was furious.  Okay, it really was that bad, the kind of thing where I was wondering if I'm the next one getting sick.  I couldn't go back and forth without the mask.

Steve arrived at about 7:15 to take Rick to radiation and I met him at the door.  He could see in my face that something was up.  He walked in and took over.  I got on the phone to the nurse.  He was unable to stop and it was fluorescent green bile-like.  She was concerned about a blockage and dehydration.  She told me to have the ambulance take him to the emergency room instead of radiation.

Five minutes later Paul arrived at the door.  He walked in the den and saw Steve.  Steve stood up and did what any older brother would do; he handed the bucket to Paul and went to help me get the boys up and going.  Karen took them over to school and day care.  I was dropping from exhaustion, having spent the entire night up, but had to drag myself and Rick together to go down to Fairfax.

It was Steve's turn to take him to radiation so he came with me.  We spent hours in the emergency room.  The pumped him with IV fluids and sent him for an x-ray to see if he was impacted.  The good news was that he wasn't.  We spent about a total of four hours in the emergency room and then they sent him down to radiology oncology for his radiation treatment.  It was too much for me; I was really on the brink.  I sat in the waiting room crying while we waited for him to finish.  When he finally finished, we had to wait for another ambulance to come and get him.  We arrived back at the house at about 6 p.m.

Rick's mom was there with his sister, Suzy when we walked in the house.  Karen dropped off the boys and I started getting homework, baths and dinner finished while they spoke in the den.  When I had finished, I went into the den and lay down in the hospital bed while Grammy, Suzy and Rick chatted.  He was telling them about the day. He was pretty comatose and was slurring his speech.  I had just given him morphine when we returned from the trip.

Rick looked at his sister and mom and said, "She let me sit in the sh_t."  I was so shocked; I sat up.  He said it again.  "She let me sit in the sh_t. I was so flabbergasted I couldn't speak.  Tears were welling up in my eyes and I felt so betrayed.  If I could have given up right then, I would have run away. I sat there incredulous to his mean-spirit.
Remember, it's not your Ricky.  He's not in there right now.  

I looked at him and said in a quiet, gentle voice, "Rick, you should never be mean to your angel.  You should never be mean to your angel."  Suzy and his mom looked at me with empathetic eyes.  They could see he was killing a little part of me.
I know he loves me.  This isn’t really him; this is Chemo Rick.  Come back to me, Rick.  I need you.

1 comment:

  1. It is so hard when the person you are taking care of is mean to you. I remember when my dad was in the hospital in San Diego after his brain cancer took his usually sharp mind. He wanted me to go outside the lawyer’s office, (which was really his hospital room) and tell the secretary talking out there (really a nurse in the hallway) not to speak Spanish or the person on the phone wouldn't understand her. I tried to explain to him what was happening, which was probably foolish of me, but I was still figuring out what his real mental state was. He got really angry with me, not for the first or last time. Finally I left the room for a while and stood in the hall, hoping that would help him let it go. It was hard enough to see him suffering like this, probably dying, but to have him sometimes be so mean to me was an extra challenge.

    It is another prick to a heart that is already bleeding.

    I remember you telling me about Rick saying this to you. You were sort of laughing when you told me, but reading this blog entry helps me understand more about how you were really feeling.