Visiting hospice nurse thought C. sounded "wet" when she came for the weekly visit yesterday. The groaning, humming, gurgling attempt to clear his throat (which never occurs) had been increasing for a few days. It was only after she left (about 2 hours) that I discovered he had spiked a fever when I tried to wake him from a sound sleep (102.1 F, his usual temp is in the low 97.1F). Nurse had given him Hyoscyamine Sulfate .0125 mg to "dry up secretions" and we stopped Mucinex because he can't produce anything to cough up and out, it just seems to rattle around in his chest and throat.The Hyoscyamine likely knocked him out.
He was barely able to stand for transfers, we made it upstairs (stair glide) and to bed. Tylenol and cool compresses brought the fever down 1 degree by the wee hours, continued fluids every 6 hours along with cool compresses and Tylenol suppositories (he would not have been able to swallow he was so out of it and has swallowing issues even in the best of times.) By morning his temp was down to 98.1 almost to his normal. So far he's had a sizable 28 ounce fruit/vege smoothie and apple sauce to swallow meds (he's feeling a bit better). Not interested in the high calorie smoothie but I'm about to push it. Antibiotics were started today. Z-pac. The Diarrhea will start if I don't get some Florastor but can't get to the pharmacy!
Even while acknowledging that we have lots to be grateful for, it's very difficult at times to maintain a good attitude. Watching someone struggle and being unable to help them with something as basic as breathing is anguishing.
I haven't smoked cigarettes in decades. Lately, I've considered taking it up. I won't, but, that's how long that darn addiction lingers. ha!
I needed to vent. I've edited out my usual "language" that would offend even the saltiest sailor. I'm Okay. For today.
So glad there are folks out there who get this -- the disease and the trials of caregiving. Somehow, sharing the particular disease makes the connection even stronger.