Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I'm voting for the home option!

Dear Family and Friends,

Here's the short version:
Francis MAY stay at Mercy Hospital until his radiation treatments are completed - last one Tues Nov 10 -- OR he may come home with the option of getting his meds via a fanny pack -- a subcutaneous approach which is easier to maintain than a "live IV" with a "morphine pump" approach.

I'm voting for the home option because:

1) he'll get much better quality food at home (Did you ever buy organic wild caught salmon?) and 2) staying in the hospital holds a risk of infection.

Lastly, because of the good support system in place now, even though a subcutaneous ...(Is it called "pump?)... raises Francis' return home to "another level of home care," I believe we can do it.

And I'm fresh for this second round too, as I promised! As one friend said, -- there's nothing like motivation to do the impossible. I've become a morning person again, with the energy of 8 hours of sleep behind me to face the day. (After all, I used to have to arrive at Thornton Academy in Saco -- a 30 min drive -- by 7:30 am in the 70's and early 80's! So I'm doing it again.) I can't bear the idea of Francis worrying about me! So I've caught up with my sleep now and am into a new rhythm where thankfully my sitting practice is back on track.

Here are more details:

Even though his own doctor believed Francis should stay in the hospital until he's ready to leave, yesterday there were signs that insurance company rules were nudging him out. The social worker called about "the option" of sending Francis to a nursing home for rehab.

So I consulted with Jane McGillicuddy (at VNA) who connected me with VNA's palliative care manager. She was very encouraging. It's she who gave me the code word: PCA, -- "patient controlled analgesic," -- the fanny pack. So from then on I made several calls pushing for the home option instead of the nursing home option.

They tried oral medication for Francis last night but it failed. He told me this morning he was very "unimpressed" with the oral meds which made him vomit twice. And this morning his pain was "really really bad." The manager explained -- "If the gut is already irritated from radiation ("intestines are in the way,") it's not surprising oral meds are harder to take.

I don't want to control what is meant to be, but I'm asking for prayers that Francis' doctors will also come down on the side of the home option!!

Thank you EVERYONE for your cards and support of all kinds! Your loving kindness touches our hearts and moves us to want to respond individually, but I know you understand!


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