Diary of a Brain Tumor Patient's Wife

Apr. 1, 1999

Renette Davis

Paul had a good day yesterday. He started getting agitated in the morning, so we decided to let him sit up on the side of the bed for awhile. His brother, Ray, and sister-in-law, Sue, were still here so we had lots of strong hands. We used the draw sheet to pivot him sideways in the bed and scoot back far enough that he wouldn't slide off when we sat him up. Then we lifted his shoulders up and put his feet down so he was sitting on the side with his feet on the floor.

One of us sat on each side of him and helped him balance. The crisis care nurse, who is studying massage, gave him a back massage, and he really relaxed. In fact, after about 15 minutes he fell asleep so we laid him back down in the bed. The crisis care nurse was here earlier in the week when one of the women from the church came to give Paul a Reike treatment, and she was very interested in it. She read my Reike book yesterday, and I think she has decided to pursue Reike training herself.

I received several calls yesterday regarding the aide who had upset Paul the day before. She was called into the Hospice Office, and told how much it upset Paul and the family. She was very sorry for what had happened, and I'm sure she'll never do anything like that again. They said they won't have her come here anymore.

Karen heard me talking to the Hospice nurse about it yesterday, and it really upset her. She didn't say too much about it while she was here, but after she left here, she went to the Hospice floor at St. James and I guess she really told them off. The people at St. James were able to calm her down, and then they called me and the Hospice Office. The Hospice counsellor called me later and she said she thought it was good that Karen was able to express her anger and grief.

Today is the last day of this round of crisis care. I'm sure it doesn't have anything to do with that incident, because I made it clear to everyone I talked with that we weren't complaining at all about the service we had been getting. We have loved most of the nurses who have been here. They have really become part of the family. I think the crisis care probably would have ended sooner except that our regular nurse has been sick.

I had been wondering if they were continuing the crisis care because they thought death was near, but apparently that wasn't it. My understanding is that we will get it back again if death appears imminent. The social worker is coming this afternoon to talk with me about "what's next."

Our good friends, Al & Barbara, are coming to spend the night tonight. Then tomorrow the daughter of one of the crisis care workers (who's studying to be a physicial therapist) will be here all day. A young man from church will be here Friday night and will stay til Paul's sister, Charlotte, and her husband, Tom, come up on Saturday. Charlotte and Tom will be here Saturday and Sunday night, and that's as far as I'm worrying about at the moment.

Paul had a good night last night. He didn't settle down til after 11:00 - probably because he had a good nap in the late afternoon & early evening, but then he slept all night except when we woke him changing the linens under him, etc.

His vitals this morning were:

Blood pressure 116/78
Pulse 84
Respiration 11 with 12-15 seconds apnea
Temp 98.2 axillary

He has been very alert this morning - ate several bowls of cream of wheat for breakfast, and also had a smushed banana a little later. The crisis care nurse who was here yesterday is here again today, and Paul told her that she was wonderful. He also said very clearly "God is near." It brought tears to her eyes and to mine.

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Created: June 19, 1999
Last updated: July 21, 2010