Monday, December 28, 2015

On the Other Side of Christmas

Hello everyone - I do hope you all have had a lovely few days.
Our Christmas was mixed.
FL was pretty much out of it on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  He wasn't eating much, was sleeping almost constantly, and could not hold a conversation when "awake".
A wise and medically-qualified blog-reader suggested that he might be over-opiated (taking too much morphine) but it was hard to refuse painkillers when he was clearly in pain.  I let myself be guided by his demands, responding as if to a young baby crying for milk.  He would not agree to reducing his dose.
But then something changed...
On Boxing Day, I went to fetch the hot water bottle and discovered it was lying in a puddle. It was not leaking.  FL was dozing on his chair, and I was about to confront him, when he woke on his own and said he had something to tell me.  He thought he might have had an "accident" and could I help him change his clothes and have a wash?
Ha!  He didn't have to ask twice!
I gave him a thorough going-over in the shower and a new set of clothes.  He was properly awake for the first time in ages and I put it to him that his loss of control was due to an excess of morphine.  He agreed to try a smaller dose that night, and again the next morning.
So yesterday, we were treated to an entirely more "present" FL.  He still had a few sleeps, but in between he was initiating conversation and even picked up his notebook for a while.  Wow!
I am not sure we have got the balance quite right yet, as he had to get up early this morning, in some pain.  However, I am clear that this is the key:  if we can just get the painkiller regime sorted out, he will be very much happier and able to participate in life.

In knitting news, I cast on a pair of socks on Christmas Day, using my Opal Klangwelten yarn in a red / green / charcoal/ white self-patterning colourway.  I have reached the heel flap and might put it away til next Christmas:  it feels wrong to be knitting it now.

As you can see, The Girl has been learning to knit - yay!
This is part of her homework from college.  She is on an amazing course which I must tell you about one day :)

I have also been having a ripping party:  my Monte Rosa  cardigan project has been frogged and the yarn stored away until a better inspiration strikes.
Ditto my Talia socks.
I am about to reconsider my Sunwalker Shawl.  I am not happy with it.
And we can't have that.
I intend to start the New Year with a fresh project plan.
Now there's a fun activity for today!

That, and spinning - I should finish my first full braid of fibre today - woo hoo!

Let me leave you with another picture of The Girl, and the Qwist hat and mitts set I made her for Christmas.
That pompom is da bomb!


Athene said...

I hope that in between the points above, you managed to enjoy time with your son and daughter. The hat and mitts are gorgeous! I'd love to hear about the college course

Hope you can get FL's medication sorted out, can the nurse/GP advise on this? Very best wishes to you both for a more settled few days.

Isabella said...

Might he be better off with a morphine pump which allows very small doses to be regularly administered rather than the highs and lows you get with individual dosages? You can't take too many of the small doses at once, the pump won't allow this, but it's a better way of keeping constant pain damped down.

Also may I suggest contacting the Marie Curie services, or getting a referral? They're the expert in end care pain control and don't tend to fret too much about high doses of morphine causing dependency problems, not like the average GP anyway. They do nursing care at home and while you may not feel you need the whole thing right this minute it's better to have things primed and ready to go as soon as you need them.

Thinking of you, anyway. Hard times for you all. Many of us reading this have been in your shoes and know how it feels. (((hugs)))

K.Line said...

So glad you wrote - I've been wondering about you all. Sounds like you've got a new plan on the horizon. Meds management is SO person-specific and I'm sure when you tweak it, you'll have a happier (and more present) FL.

Jennifer Hill said...

I didn't know there was such a thing as a morphine pump, but my middle girl has an insulin pump for her type 1 diabetes and it does give much better control than insulin injections, a more even dose without, as your previous commenter said, the highs and lows. I'm guessing it would work in a similar way. It goes in via a small cannula, usually in her tummy, or sometimes she puts it on her upper arm. The cannula stays in but the tube and pump easily detach to shower. The cannula is replaced every 3 days (well, it should be...she's a teenager...), which is also really easy to do. Her dose varies over the 24 hour period, according to need and is set by her with supervision from her specialist nurse. Don't know if it would be the same, but if so they're very easy to manage. Glad you had an uneventful Christmas and were able to share it also with your son and daughter. The hat and gloves are gorgeous, not to mention the pompom! Jen

Melissa said...

What a lovely photo of you & your daughter knitting together. I do like that pompom you made for her hat - da bomb!

It sounds like pain management is such a fine 'art'. I am glad he had some 'present' moments with you. I can't really comment with anything helpful but hope that you find a way that works.

(I'm finding knitting very therapeutic too.)

poppyinstitches said...

it is so tricky, was thinking about you over Christmas. There are Morphine pumps, but the McM nurse would be best to advise, I had one after major surgery and a dear friend also had one in her final weeks. Going to have to find the Talia sock pattern, its my daughters name and next to nothing has it attached!

Jenny Larking said...

Love the photo of you both knitting. Is it very cold in your house, you seem to be knitting in your coats? Glad to see you managed to get FL into the shower - he will feel so much better for it. Hope you get the morphine levels right although it should'nt be left to you to sort it out. That's what the medical profession is for.

Sabs said...

Oh I'm so glad FL has had a better day and you've got some of your old FL back. If you speak to the palliative care nurses, they will be able to adjust the doses and/or suggest alternative methods of administration to get the balance right. The pumps referred to above are called syringe drivers and may be suitable at some point, altho I would guess they will suggest other things first. Glad you got some knitting time with The Girl too x

Jennifer said...

Sending love, albeit from a stranger. My heart goes out to you as you face this struggle.

MaryinTN said...

Glad FL was able to participate more with those he loves once the morphine was reduced. Praying you and he have good days. Hugs and well wishes from across the pond.

ambermog said...

So glad managing the pain/ sleepiness is a little better . I am sending more strength and love your way.having similar problems here trying to manage the pain relief. Today Mr M has agreed to be referred to McM and I think that will prove helpful for both of us. Xx

Twelfthknit said...

Yes. A syringe driver, pump, sounds like an excellent idea. Pain is easier to control if it can be brought under control and kept that way, rather than great see-sawing between too much pain ( almost any pain imo) and too much pain killer. Did you say if you have a Macmillan nurse? Wonderful if you can get one. Should be really up to snuff. Hope people who are involved with care are doing a good job.

Take care of yourself too if you possible can xx