Diary of a Brain Tumor Patient's Wife

Jan. 19, 1999

Renette Davis

This morning a couple of women from church came and sang for Paul. I think he really enjoyed it. He even sang along on one of the hymns. One of them brought a CD for him. It's "On Eagle's Wings" by Michael Crawford. We're listening to it right now and it is just beautiful. (Michael Crawford sings the part of the Phantom on one of the recordings of The Phantom of the Opera.) It's all sacred music - Amazing Grace, The Holy City, Ave Maria, Now the Day is Over, etc., and is mostly quiet, soothing music.

I have been having problems lately getting Paul to take his medicine. He started last week refusing his medicine, particularly at night. Since he took phenobarbitol at night, and that prevents him from having seizures, I was pretty concerned about it. Finally I called the Hospice nurse and asked what I should do. She said I could try to disguise it in something, but ultimately he does have the right to refuse his medication. I know that's true, and I agree (intellectually, that is), but I hate to see him have headaches if he doesn't take his decadron or seizures if he doesn't take his phenobarbitol.

I have basically cut out the medicine that seems less important (with the ok of the Hospice nurse) and have moved his phenobarbitol to supper to cut out the bedtime medicine. If he refuses his supper medicine, then I've been sneaking the phenobarbitol in a milkshake, which seems to be working so far. If he refuses his breakfast or lunch medicine, I've mostly just let it go, particularly if he hasn't eaten any food. Sometimes he eats real well by himself, sometimes he wants me to feed him, and sometimes he just doesn't want to eat at all. At first I tried to coax him into eating when he didn't want to, but that just made him angry, so now I just let it go if he doesn't feel like eating.

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Created: June 7, 1999
Last updated: July 20, 2010