I've developed my own method of medical explaining. I've decided that the recent bouts of nausea are a result of morphine withdrawal-in the last few days, Mom has cut her morphine intake by 50%. Huge when you consider that for over two months, she was on a LOT of it. The great news, of course, is that she isn't in any more pain than she was with the higher doses of morphine, so tapering off is great. Today was the least nauseous day-only a few minutes towards the end of the night as she was taking her last pills. But she told me she really wanted to keep them down, so she did.
I've also decided that the morphine leaving her system has alleviated a lot of the stomach problems it was (may have been) causing, so she'll be able to take fewer pills in the long run. Pills are by far the hardest thing to swallow, literally and figuratively. When she finds out she has more pills than she thought, the disappointment is obvious and heartbreaking. The only time I've heard anything close to a whine was one night when a nurse brought them in after I told her I thought she was done. So less is fabulous.
Eating continues to be a struggle. We hit meal jackpot #1 yesterday with corned beef, today we hit it again with manicotti. Manicotti used to be what Mom made for company. She would cook the pasta tubes and after they cooled, we would stuff them with a ricotta based stuffing that was delicious. I have very fond memories of sitting at the kitchen table, stuffing pasta with special long narrow spoons, and just being together, looking forward to spending time with each other and the company we were entertaining. Today's serving was two pieces and she ate all of one and a few bites of the other. Great for her, but still a small portion in the grand scheme of things.
She lost another pound this week; the term wasting constantly floats around my head.
Next Thursday is the appointment with the gastroenterologist. I will be on an airplane headed back to NY at the time. It's sort of poignant-it's the one time that I can not be involved and it's an appointment that I so want to be involved in. I considered changing my flight to a day later or a day earlier so at least I could be on the phone, but stopped myself. There are things I'm going to miss. I need to get used to that now and trust that everyone is 100% capable of making decisions without me.