The biggest issue we face right now is managing the pain. Debilitating pain can make a bad situation appear absolutely intolerable and literally shatter hope. We have been told that using the drugs and following the schedule would be the most significant approach to managing the pain. It makes perfect sense, right? But there are so many drugs, some at 8 am, some at 1030 am, some at noon, again at 2, then 430, and on and on….. So although I dole out the meds, the patient is less than willing to take them all. I cajole, beg, plead, and he says “I’ll take them when I need them. I feel pretty good right now.” The thing is he feels good because they are in his system, not taking them on the schedule means he dips and the pain comes back and, in our case, we got to a crisis point, where nothing was really touching the pain.
Today, we had the visiting nurse in. I took a different approach. We had all of our conversation in the room with my husband. I asked the nurse to explain the dosage of certain drugs, the interactions – if any, the role of each drug, etc. At the end of the conversation I did a simple summary of what we had discussed. “So the intent of the schedule is to ensure that the pain medication is delivered in a constant flow. The schedule requires that he take the meds even if he feels reasonably good, correct? There are three different types of pain relievers he is taking, they all have different roles, correct? One is for nerve pain, one is for chronic pain and one is for break through pain, he needs to take all three on a regularly scheduled basis – correct?” We talked through all of this, the three of us, the nurse, me and my husband, and a variety of other things as well. We will take this journey together.