Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I'm desensitized to all but his worst pain.

"It really hurts when you put on my socks."

"All the stops and starts in the car really hurt."

"I've got to get out of this chair. I'm burning up."

"I've got to get out of this bed. I'm burning up."

These are some of BR's primary daily issues affecting his comfort. None of them are new. We've seen doctor after doctor. We've tried many changes in routine. Still, these complaints linger.

Even remaining open-minded to suggestions from others on how to better manage his symptoms is a struggle. After so many failures, I've become numb. I do what's worked best to minimize his discomfort, and try not to beat myself up that the solutions aren't complete. I no longer believe a complete solution exists.

BR isn't in the same place, and rightfully so. He's the one in pain. In his eyes, there is always something I could be doing differently to make him feel better. I feel like a defective life preserver around a person who is never going to be rescued.

Despite my resignation on the daily discomforts, we are still fighting the occasional waves that overtop us. BR swallowed a crown a couple weeks ago, and is scheduled for a permanent replacement on the 19th. In the mean time, the temporary crown has fallen off twice. Thank goodness he hasn't swallowed it as well, and Jordan has been able to handle the multiple visits to the dentist.

Then, as I had previously suspected, BR body temperature spiked over the weekend, hitting 102.7 before I called the weekend hospice nurse. We agreed that Percocet would both reduce the fever and relieve his skin pain, and after the first dose, his temperature came down. It has spiked back up a few times since then, and is responding well to pills. His case manager came by on Monday to check on him and collect a urine sample. Until we get the results, I'll keep him as comfortable as I can.


Herrad said...

Hi Steve,
BR's discomfort sounds horrible for him and you.
Wonder if he has not got a bladder infection usually know when I have one when I suddenly keep getting the bursting in flames feeling.
Hope the test results come through soon.
Thinking of you.

Cranky said...

Steve - it really sucks when the caregiver gets to feel like part of the problem. For me, it's demotivating and I feel disinclined to help. Sometimes, in these situations, I keep my cool and can express how Skip's complaints/pain make me feel when all I'm doing is trying to help. Other times, I crank out.

I do know, as I'm sure you do as well, that our loved ones rely on us, look to us for comfort and care and appreciate all that we do.