Diary of a Brain Tumor Patient's Wife

Apr. 7, 1999

Renette Davis

Paul slept most of the day yesterday. He also continued to have a fever most of the day. One of the Hospice nurses had told me that if Tylenol doesn't relieve the fever, then it's probably not an infection but rather an end-of-life symptom. His temperature at noon was 100.4, so I gave him a Tylenol suppository. I checked it again at 1:00 and it was still 100.4.

About 4:00 in the afternoon, he perked up quite a bit. His temperature was down to 98.3 axillary and he was much more alert than he had been earlier in the day. He was able to eat some banana cream pudding and play a little balloon volleyball. The Hospice nurse's aide came about that time, and she gave him a bath. We also did some leg exercises with him.

Then the Hospice nurse came. His blood pressure at that time was 112/82. His left lung sounded clear, but he's not taking as deep a breath as he used to. His right lung had some congestion. His pulse was 78. She didn't count his respirations because he was coughing quite a bit, but she said they were irregular with apnea of about 5 seconds.

He was awake awhile in the evening again. I read to him from "The Quotable Cyclist" and played a little more balloon volleyball with him. The person who spent the night here last night brought us fixings for strawberry shortcake, so I mushed up some strawberries and mixed it with whipped cream for Paul. He really liked that and ate quite a bit.

He slept well last night until about 4:00 this morning, when he woke up coughing. I gave him some Roxanol, but he continued to cough for quite awhile. I woke up the person who was staying here and we changed the linens under him. I did some cupping (I think that's what it's called) on his back. One of the Hospice crisis care nurses had done that when he was coughing, and our regular nurse yesterday said I should do that when I can. Basically, it's just cupping your hands and banging lightly on his back.

He went back to sleep about 5:30 and slept til about 8:00. He's had all his morning meds and is sleeping again now. His temperature this morning was 100.7 axillary.

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