Diary of a Brain Tumor Patient's Wife

Jan. 22, 1999

Renette Davis

Paul had a pretty rough night last night. He was very agitated and didn't get to sleep til after 4:00 a.m. He's been doing some obsessive/compulsive things lately - making towers of things, putting things like snacks and puzzle pieces in and out of a bowl together, turning a light on and off repeatedly, etc.

Up til this point, it's been pretty harmless so I've basically just left him alone if I couldn't get him interested in something else and cleaned up whatever mess there was later. I know there is good medication for this kind of thing, but I've been having so much trouble getting him to take his other medication, I didn't even ask about it.

Last night he started turning the gas stove knobs on, and I couldn't get him to stop. I even got pretty stern with him, telling him that it could hurt him and me both, and that he was not to do it any more. But he continued doing it, so I called Hospice. They said take the knobs off the stove. (I was embarassed that I hadn't thought of that myself!)

I was able to take the knobs off, and then when Paul got interested in something else, I looked around to see what else he could get into that would hurt him or me. I put all the knives, etc. in the middle bedroom and locked the door. A couple times during the night, he turned on the garbage disposal, and that was pretty scary because I was afraid he might put his hand down it or something. I'm going to see if I can get it disabled.

The Hospice nurse came this morning, and when I told her about it, she said she would start the paperwork for crisis care for Paul. Someone would either come to the house at night, or they would take Paul to the Hospice unit at St. James hospital if we continue having problems like that. Paul's sister and her husband are coming today and will be here til about noon on Sunday. She's a nurse, so I'm sure she'll help me get through tonight and tomorrow night.

The Hospice nurse also said she would get a prescription for Atavan for Paul, to help calm him. Apparently you dissolve it under your tongue, so hopefully we can get Paul to do that. She's also going to get a prescription for Decadron in liquid form. She thought that might be easier to get him to take than the tablets. She said not taking his Decadron could increase his risk of having a seizure, and said that he probably actually needs to be on a higher dose of Decadron now.

I just got a call from the Hospice nurse, and they want Paul to go to the Hospice unit at St. James today so they can get his medication regulated. Gotta sign off and get things ready to go.

Continue to: Jan. 23, 1999

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