A medicated Mother’s Day

So far, the hospice-provided “comfort kit” has not brought my mother as much comfort as she had hoped.

pills

My mom had a false impression about morphine, after experiencing the temporary euphoria of the IV morphine given sometimes during emergency medical situations. I think Mom was hanging on to the idea that morphine was going to be this miracle drug that was going to magically remove her pain and let her get things done and bring back her appetite.

Well, we all know what morphine does, especially to an elderly, frail person like my mother. It knocked her on her butt, once we adjusted her dosage to effectively relieve the pain. Then she ended up getting a bit too much (even though she was still self-reporting pain as a 7) and ended up getting sick twice.

That was Saturday night. She did manage to sleep through the night, a rarity.

Today the hospice nurse visited and recommended we try Haldol. I had read some things about it (often used for mental health conditions like schizophrenia) but also read that it is a proven anti-nausea medication.

So I tried Mom on the lowest dose and that really knocked her for a loop! I am a naturally cautious person around medications, but it is still surprising to see the effects they can have on an individual. Mom was hardly able to walk and she was very groggy, but still in pain so she couldn’t really sleep.

Figuring out the correct dosage and cocktail of drugs is really trial and error, and when done in the home environment, is quite stressful.

I just put her to bed, giving her a small dose of morphine along with an Ativan, the latter which she has taken for years and tolerates well. This worked for her overnight, so I’m hoping we have found the right combination to relieve her pain and help her sleep without making her sick.

I hope for another quiet overnight period. Ironically, I still slept poorly last night, because I kept waking up to make sure Mom was okay.

If you have any medication tips or experiences to share, please do so below in the comments section.

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4 Comments

Filed under Memories

4 responses to “A medicated Mother’s Day

  1. I think it was the addition of Ativan to dad’s morphine that worked well for dad. He even told me when he woke uo that it was just what he needed and he slept much better. He was getting a liquid pain medication in hospice though I don’t remember if it was morphine or what. But whatever it was, it worked for him, he wasn’t in a deep sleep, but by then he really couldn’t talk any more as he was just days from death.

  2. All I can suggest is to beware of constipation as a side effect of the morphine. It seems minor but can cause new sources of pain if you don’t watch it.

    • Thanks, yes Mom already suffers from constipation and the hospice nurses warned us about the morphine. The Smooth Move tea really worked last time, so trying that again.

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