Diary of a Brain Tumor Patient's Wife

Jan. 23, 1999

Renette Davis

This is an update from Paul's sister:

I told Renette I would send an update on Paul. I may have her edit it before we send it. Paul is home from the hospital. At the hospital he basically slept--didn't have any more of the agitation that prompted the admission. He didn't eat or take his meds and of course, he has the right to refuse to take his meds.

He slept pretty well last night and this morning he told Renette he wanted to come home. We brought him home by ambulance, but since he has been home he has been getting up and going from his chair in the living room to their bedroom and back. He has slept off and on most of the afternoon.

The major concern I have about Paul not taking his medication is that he may have severe headaches. The nurse at the hospital suggested that he be started on a Duragesic (fentanyl) patch. Fentanyl is a morphine like drug that is used a great deal for cancer pain. Paul refused it while in the hospital but decided after he got home that he would take something for the headache; so, we had the hospice nurse order the patch.

The fentanyl patch does not provide immediate relief, but it is a continuous dosing system. In other words, once he reaches a therapeutic level it should control his pain. The dose may need to be adjusted as he was started on the lowest dose. The patch doesn't have to be changed but once every three days, so it should be easy to administer.

Renette and I thought he would be getting something for immedicate pain relief, but after talking with the pharmacy we have determined that this is all the physician ordered. The pharmacy said it would be impossible to get the other medication delivered tonight so we tried to get him to take the oral pain meds he had here at home which he refused.

Paul ate some supper and took his decadron this afternoon and evening. He has been taking some fluids; so perhaps he will take his phenobarb tonight. Renette is not even trying to get him to take anything else.

Renette is a very loving, patient, care giver. Keep her and Paul in your prayers.

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