We are struggling to balance my mom's pain medication. Goal = pain free and somewhat functional vs. pain free and practically comatose. Not acceptable = in pain perceived as greater than 2 out of 10, with 10 being extreme. Then there are the issues of nutrition and fluid intake, and a tablet you have to swallow vs. a liquid medication given with a dropper.
She surprised me this morning and made the Hospice on-call nurse (who was previously our case manager RN) laugh when she heard the story. Despite my Mom's apparent lack of awareness, she was very aware of the conversation I was having yesterday -- in her room -- with her Hospice RN regarding the then current medication change. "Don't give both the pill and the liquid," says RN. "If you do, you will be double dosing." This morning, after consulting with Hospice, am trying to give her both drops and half a hydrocodone tablet some 2 hours after trying to give the new, extended release tablet, which I am not sure she actually swallowed. First reasonably coherent words of the day, as if giving a direction to an inattentive teen: "I am not supposed to take two pills."
Deep breath. Explain. "The Hospice doctor ["doctor" seems to be a magic word] says if you are still in pain after the first pill, this is what we are supposed to do. He doesn't want you to hurt." She allowed me to give her the half tablet. Thanks be to God!
Don't forget to pray ...!