Ok, so, my mum takes a whole lotta pills. And, until recently, they were doing their job of keeping her comfortable. Last week however, we mentioned that she is in some pain when she wakes up. The nurse thought that she should switch to a pain pill that would last through the night so that she would still be comfortable when she awoke. Good idea. Wrong pill.
They prescribed morphine tablets, which apparently work for lots of people. My mum, who takes handfulls of vicodin and flexeril and other stuff every day, is quite susceptible to the effects of morphine. We found this out the hard way.
My pop gave her the prescribed dose of two blue pills on Friday evening. Then the prescribed dose of one blue pill on Saturday morning. She slept 11 1/2 hours on Friday night, and she slept nearly the whole time I was there on Saturday morning and was pretty groggy the rest of the day. On Saturday night Pop gave her half the recommended dose, just one blue pill. She slept really well again. On Sunday morning he broke a pill in half and gave that to her. At this point I said, let's not give her anymore! Let's go back to the vicodin. He spoke with the nurse on Sunday and she said yes, go back to the vicodin, give her some extra haldol to counteract the morphine and increase the steroid. (Also, it turns out, you shouldn't break those morphine tablets in half. They just work faster.)
Another consequence of the morphine was the loss of strength in her legs. She is having a hell of a time standing and walking. She has needed help getting up for a while now, but since this weekend she is so much weaker.
And, a consequence of the increase in the steroids is that old demon, 'roid rage. Holy smokes! My mother has always had a strong will. When you mix that with steroids and anger at fate, well, you have a pretty potent old lady rage going on. Since this weekend, I'm going over earlier in the mornings and going back at night to help my pop get her up and into bed. It has been crazy.
One thing she insists on is spending a very long time on the toilet. This became a problem when she had been there for 3 hours and refused to get up. Yes, three hours on the pot. I arrived at 9am, as usual, and my pop said that she had been there since 6. He couldn't wrestle her up by himself and every time he tried she told him no. Well, he's a good husband, and when his wife says no, he listens to her. I said this is ridiculous and she can't stay on the toilet for three hours. Her feet were like ice! Cold! Circulation cut off! I said we were getting her up and that there would be no arguing about it. We decided who would lift where and on the count of three up she would come. This whole time she was saying NO! I said, Yes! We started to lift her and she said, "No, stop, put me down!" And, dammit, my pop started to lower her back down! I said, Pop, No, we HAVE TO GET HER OUT OF HERE! Well, we did. And she was mad. And this keeps happening. In fact, yesterday, after we got her to the living room, she looked at me and said, "Don't you have somewhere else to go?"
You gotta laugh. It's the only choice. I know it's the drugs talking. At times, though, all I can think is, good thing her short term memory is gone... she won't remember the next day how mad she was.
This morning we switched her old comfortable leather chair for a firmer, higher wing back chair. And, tonight when I leave work, I'm headed to the store to buy one of those elevated toilet seat things. And then I'll go over to their house and put it on and give her 10 minutes on the pot. Then she's up and out and into bed. I can be strong willed too...