Update: February 20, 2017
The days are getting harder. Ana’s breathing is severely compromised and I think it’s probably because her left lung is finally gone either because it’s collapsed or the blood supply has been cut off. I can see her heart working furiously whenever she exerts herself and even when she’s sleeping. I can SEE it.
We had a few days of trying, unsuccessfully to alleviate this breathlessness – it’s called “air hunger” – with her current regimen of pain meds. She was so miserable by last night that we called the on-call hospice nurse who advised us to give Ana morphine from the emergency med pack they gave us when was first admitted to hospice. Most of the meds in this packet are sublingual – meaning you stick them under your tongue and they dissolve. She hates the taste of them though, so they’re really a last resort at this point.
The morphine helped a bit, but Ana still had difficulty sleeping. This morning she was so uncomfortable from breathlessness, exhaustion and pain that she could only sit and cry. So, I called our hospice nurse and asked what we could do to sedate her – help her sleep. I never thought I’d want that for Ana, but her relief is all I can think about. It’s my singular goal. The hospice nurse explained that Ana’s still on a fairly low dose of pain meds for someone so sick and we can increase them. Dr. Yamashiro (who I’d emailed earlier) also gave us his blessing to double all the pain meds she’s on now, if needed.
We ended up giving her more oxycodone and an Ativan after we spoke with Hospice. This finally gave her relief. She slept on the Yogibo from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
I’ve been sneaking pictures of her lately. The one of her sitting up in bed and playing guitar is from Saturday. She practiced and made it to a three hour rehearsal that day. It’s hard to believe that was only two days ago when now she can barely move from her bedroom to the living room. This shift feels so sudden. I don’t know if it’s normal. I don’t know if there are any good days left.
The picture of her asleep on the Yogibo with Roo standing next to her is from earlier today. It broke my heart to watch him trying to get her to play with him. He kept picking up his toy and dropping it next to her. She ended up going upstairs and sleeping most of the day and she’s asleep now (thanks to additional meds.) Emily’s at a friend’s tonight. The house is too quiet right now.