Diary of a Brain Tumor Patient's Wife

Feb. 20, 1999

Renette Davis

Paul seems to be declining again. He's done so well the last couple of weeks, and it's really hard to see him going down again. He hasn't been able to play solitaire the last few days, even with a lot of help, and his speech seems worse again.

He's been real agitated at supper time the last two nights. On Thursday, I was able to calm him down by rubbing his back and giving him some Reike, but last night nothing seemed to work. He didn't want to eat anything and wouldn't take his medicine. He acted like he had a headache, and I tried to give him some Tylenol 3, explaining that he would feel better if he took it, but that didn't work either.

It seems to come on very suddenly. He was fine during the day. His friend Bob came over for a little while in the afternoon, and Paul was very chipper. Then his brother and sister-in-law came and he was still doing fine. We had a snack and visited with them for a little while, and then I had some errands to run, so I was out for about an hour. He didn't seem to have any objection to me leaving, and when we got back, he still seemed fine.

When I was getting supper, he sat down at the table, and just seemed to fade away. It didn't take long to fix supper, but by the time we sat down to eat, Paul was really out of it. After we finished eating, he continued sitting at the table, and kept saying a swear word over and over. I rubbed his shoulders and back, and he didn't seem to mind that, but whenever I tried to get him to do something else, he yelled "No". (The previous night after I rubbed his back awhile, I was able to get him to move to the bed so I could put lotion on his arms, legs, and back, and he really enjoyed that.)

Finally, I just laid down on the hospital bed and started reading my book. His brother and sister-in-law found something to read too. Then his brother noticed that we had a couple of videos. One of them was City Slickers II, and he thought that might be fun to watch, so we put it on. Paul perked up quite a bit then and really seemed to enjoy the movie. During the movie I asked if he wanted a milkshake and he said he did, so I was able to sneak his Ativan and Phenobarbitol in it.

He was up during the night a couple of times. One time I didn't hear him at all, and he got up and fried himself an egg. I had forgotten to take the knobs off the stove because he had been so agitated after supper. I told him this morning that I wanted him to wake me when he wants something to eat at night, but I'm not sure he'll do it. The scariest thing was that he had found a candle in our camping things and apparently had lit it from the flame on the stove and sat it on the table while he ate.

I'm going to try to give him an Ativan in the middle of the afternoon today, so maybe that will prevent him from becoming so agitated at supper time. I'm also trying to figure out what to do so that he won't go downstairs in the middle of the night without me hearing him. I thought about putting one of the alarms on our bedroom door, but he doesn't like them on the outside doors, and I'm sure he would object to it on our bedroom door. I also thought about getting a child gate to put at the head of the stairs, but I'm afraid he might try to climb over it and fall down the stairs. Maybe I'll just sleep in the living room and hope that I'll be more likely to wake up that way.

Continue to: Feb. 24, 1999

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Created: June 11, 1999
Last updated: July 21, 2010