I am guessing that the Atropine did the trick because I was not awoken by the sound of Debbi trying to clear phlegm. I turned in at 11pm, got up on my own at 2am, and now am up at 6am. At each of these times I checked Debbi with the oximeter and listened to her breathing. Numbers were good all around and her breathing was even and quiet.
As I started writing this morning, I began to hear a bit of the sound that kept me awake the past few nights. And, I used up the entire container of Atropine so I will have to put in a call to the VNA. The Atropine included in the Hospice Pre-Staging Kit is packaged for opthalmic use and only contains 2ml. I consulted Debbie A. about the Atropine after the previous post and the dosage was raised to 4 drops every 2 hours. I guess I used up the container a little ahead of schedule. A drop is 1/20 of an ml so the container should have held 40 drops and the squeeze bottle does not deliver 100% of its contents. No matter, I expect to come up with some more Atropine this morning.
I wrote yesterday that I found it difficult to position the tiny container to deliver the droplets of Atropine while Debbi was sleeping. An interesting factoid was revealed to me by a nurse with 20 years of VNA experience including administration of a VNA area. I did not let the notion that none of her experience was gained on Cape Cod stop my from listening closely to her idea. She mentioned that even the lips are part of the mucosa so drops on Debbi’s lips would still be effective. Drug delivery does not have to be inward of her lips. With that idea, I went one step further. I washed my hands very well and applied 2 drops to my right index finger which I then used to massage Debbi’s lips. After a few minutes I repeated the procedure. I think that this worked. Her lips were moistened and the Atropine was delivered.
This not-of-Cape Cod nurse turns out to be a classmate of Debbi’s from her undergraduate days at the University of Bridgeport. A close friend through the years since, possessed with an immense capability to heal even in non-traditional ways. We simply call her Peach. Peach looks at a person as an entity and tries to focus on making the person healthy and not just supplying the recommended therapy associated with a particular disease code. Plus, Peach has a great personality and is just so much fun to be with. Our whole family loves her and loves her family as well.
Peach stopped in to see Debbi as a friend however she also naturally brought her storehouse knowledge of medical care and human touch. I told Debbi that Peach was here. I would like to report that Debbi perked up when she heard this but I can not be sure. Peach helped me reposition Debbi in her hospital jail (I mean hospital bed) and was sure to maneuver Ralph just into the right geometry to provide a cradle for Debbi’s head and to wrap his right arm and right leg to give Debbi hugs while she was sleeping. When we were finished, we made sure to allow Debbi’s right leg to emerge from the bars and rest on the step stool to give her the notion that her escape was just at hand.
Peach also gave emotional support to the whole family. She knows each of my children as individuals and spent time with them collectively as well. Certainly Peach was helpful to me. Peach and her husband Lee just purchased a summer home 30 minutes to the east of us and we hope to be able to see each other’s families more often.
Hmm. What about Debbie A? She was supposed to pay us a visit yesterday and I did not see her. Truth be told it was my fault. I was working on real work for my employer DBRS around 1PM. DBRS has been more than kind in allowing me to work remotely at this challenging time. Anyway, I was typing, computing, calculating, you name it. The keys started to get fuzzy and I literally could not read the screen. I konked out. I was told that Debbie came to see Debbi an hour later, saw me sleeping, and did not want to wake me. Later I called her and thanked her but I admonished her to wake me up next time. Debbie is very expressive and some times she gives you that look that says it all… whatever that means… but you just know it at the time. That is not conveyed by telephone and sometimes it is necessary for Debbi’s care. I told Debbie that I would be able to go back to sleep after her visit so she pledged to wake me from now on.
Debbi slept the entire day yesterday. I wonder if she will have any waking moments today based on the idea that she may have slept more soundly last night. Maybe she is transitioning and she will just sleep until the end? We are just taking things as they are presented to us but I would sure love to have her back.