I’ve been sitting here for almost five minutes trying to figure out where to begin. Oh I remember now, I left off with Sarah just showing up to do the first night shift. Just as we suspected, Bernadette was up all night and kept Sarah a little busy. A few times we heard Sarah in the kitchen and my only thought was, “Oh good, Bernadette is eating” and I went back to sleep. Sure enough she had a bit to eat during the night, watched a lot of “The Cat in the Hat” and when I came down in the morning she was watching a Barbie movie. After Sarah left, Bernadette slept for the rest of the morning on and off and then close to noon she asked if Stephanie could come over. My intent was to pretend to go upstairs and call but then report that it wasn’t a good day for Stephanie to come over but Bernadette must have read my mind because she asked if she could dial the number. Busted! So I called and Stephanie came over for a few hours. It didn’t go as well as the day before but still it was okay. Bernadette ended up falling asleep during the movie again. The morphine is certainly doing its thing to help her sleep, that’s for sure. Since yesterday morning she’s been able to fall asleep almost instantly, sleep a little while, wake up enough to turn over, then sleep again for a while. She hasn’t gone more than an hour without a little nap since yesterday morning. Little being an hour sometimes.
Today was a much rougher day. Just as her IV treatment was starting she was in a lot of pain and asking for morphine every five minutes. We tried to space it out more than she wanted but she was extremely uncomfortable and very agitated and kept complaining that her tummy was too full. It wasn’t very long after the treatment was over that she started throwing up. Over the course of the next two hours she had to have her bed changed six times and went through four pillows. When Mary Jane arrived to do the dressing change it wasn’t an option because we couldn’t risk her throwing up while it was going on. Thank goodness it was her day to come because Marc and I don’t know what we would have done without her. She helped us get Bernadette settled, talked to Dr. Weicker and started her on a pump for the morphine as she wasn’t able to keep it down long enough for it to get into her system. She also gave Bernadette two enemas to help get her unclogged, hoping that that was what all the pain was. Bernadette was able to fix the full tummy problem herself. Three loads of laundry and four stinky pillows later her tummy is feeling much better. Now we just have the challenge of washing her hair some how. Would like to manage it tonight but she’s resting so comfortably right now I hate to disturb her.
Someone was reading my mind again! Just as I typed that I think she’s resting so comfortably, I heard this little voice say, “I think I’m done.” “Done what?” I asked. “Being tired! Can I sit up?” Then guess what we just did? Washed her hair! I filled a basin with soapy water, put a towel over her shoulders, Joseph held the basin up as high as it could go and I washed her hair in the soapy water. Not the top of her head but everything that reached into the basin. Then we rinsed it the same way. It’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but it’s much better.
Bernadette asked two things when we were done. 1. Can we do that again tomorrow? 2. Can I get a treat? (She always got a treat for having a hair wash as it was always such a big ordeal for her.) Too cute. Right now she’s waiting to play Clue Jr. with Joseph. They played yesterday and she won.
For someone who is done being tired, she’s certainly acting like she’s asleep again. Man morphine can be a good thing sometimes, huh. Today she wasn’t nearly as talkative which stands to reason, but Bernadette did muster up the energy to tell Mary Jane that she was puking this morning (she never talks to Mary Jane except to complain when she’s pulling on her central line cords – hey maybe she saw through the disguise and was talking to an angel) and to tell us she wasn’t going to lay down until “he” got out of the room, he being Dr. Weicker. Oh she still has a little spunk in her yet.
Marc and I thought it wise to do the night shift given what transpired today. I get the first half and he’ll relieve me in a few hours. I’m off to play Clue Jr. with Joseph and Bernadette. Wish us luck tonight.
Again, thanks for sharing. Without these informative daily insights we wouldn’t begin to be able to understand all that you go through.
God’s blessings on you for all you are doing for Bernadette. We pray that today will be a better day for you Bernadette.