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Saturday, August 5, 2017

Update on Tim

Tim's decline in health has been very evident over the last couple of weeks. But this week it took a nose dive.  Friday, there were several times I checked on him in the spare bedroom to find him flat on his back with a comatose stare at the ceiling. When I asked him if he was ok, he could barely answer. He also had been feeling the need to urinate without being able to.  So I sent a note to his 3 main doctors: the oncologist, the radiation oncologist, and the neurologist. I basically begged them to consider admitted Tim to the hospital because of his weakening condition. The neurologist (neurosurgeon) answered that he was concerned about Tim's overall condition deteriorating. He said, "After reviewing his most recent brain imaging, I recommend no neurosurgical intervention. However, he needs a medical evaluation. I recommend that you bring him to the ED here for an evaluation and possible admission to the hematology/oncology or medicine service."  Knowing how Tim HATES waiting in the ER, especially when you don't feel well to begin with, I asked him if he wanted to go. He said yes, so we went.

While we were waiting to be seen, the oncologist called me to see what was going on. I told him he was even worse than he was 2 days ago when he had the brain MRI. He told me someone explained to him that the cancer has spread to the lining of the brain. He said once the cancer has done that chemo usually doesn't have much effect. He said he would work on getting Tim admitted with the idea of transitioning to hospice care at home.

In a few minutes time, the doctor's nurse called me and said they were waiting on a bed. Within an hour one of the ER nurses was taking us to his room. Thank You, Lord!

The nursing staff set about to make him comfortable. They first did an ultrasound on his abdomen to see how much fluid was in his bladder. They found it to be holding about a liter, so they inserted a Foley catheter. First problem solved.

Next, fluids were administered after his portacath was accessed. And then they began to work on his constipation by giving him a laxative.

The plan for getting him to sleep for the night was Xanax and Ambien. I asked him if he was ok with me going home to get some sleep and print out the bulletin. He said yes. I stayed until I knew he was asleep.

On the way home, I realized that I needed a hug. So I called Sharon and asked her if she was busy and told her I needed a hug. She said to come! Thank you, Sharon and Calvin for the hugs, the food and the encouragement and love.

After I got home, I started calling Tim's family to let them know about his condition. I sent texts to others and an email to a pastor friend and his wife. I printed out the bulletin and did a little bit of laundry.  I was in bed around 12:15 and didn't wake up until 5:50! I haven't slept that well in a month of Sundays! Thank You Lord!

Took my shower, packed my bedding and clothes in the suitcase, washed our sheets for the girls and threw them in the dryer, fixed up my purse and a tote with my meds, camera, books, etc., took the bulletins to the church and our tithe. Loaded up the car and headed back to the hospital.

Nothing has relieved Tim's constipation. Not the laxative or the suppository or the enema.  Not sure what they will do about that. He has been throwing up bile today.

Well, here's to another night of rest (hopefully, if Tim ever settles down and quits fidgeting). Of course, when Tim finally settled down, the nurse needed vitals! GRRR!