Monday, 30 January 2012


Dad woke up at 8 in the morning. He had another bad night last night. Every time he says that, I think of what Marc said when he was here: that dad might just not know what a bad night is, exactly. But then, this time, dad did have a specific bad memory: a pounding on his chest. But at the same time he felt a huge gratitude, and a feeling of completion of what was going on. Mum wondered if it perhaps had been Jack who'd come to visit dad in the night.

Mum made tea for dad and herself and sat and drank it with dad. Mum had opened the curtains to a beautiful picture of white roof tops and snowy trees and gardens, which dad was extremely pleased to see. Dad happily sat watching the snow for ages, until he got tired and lay down. Still though, the curtains had to stay open for him to see the pretty outside.

Today dad is feeling pain. The fentanyl is not sufficient any more. Luckily, the doctor turned up unexpectedly (he'd called dad's number to announce his visit, but of course dad's phone was not reachable) to start the paracentesis that was suggested on Thursday. This visit gave a nice opportunity to talk about pain relief. The doctor suggested dad could start taking oxycodone (an opioid receptor agonist like morphine) tablets, 10 or 20 mg as needed. He also prescribed a certain cream to relieve some of the fluid pressure pain on dad's belly, and also to diminish the dryness of dad's skin.

Unfortunately, the paracentesis itself failed. The first needle puncture did not draw any more than one drop of fluid. The second attempt from a different angle got so painful that dad had cried out, "Stop that!" so the procedure was cancelled. Dad will now just have to endure the massively uncomfortable fluid retention in his belly.

Dad didn't much enjoy the dinner Nel had cooked today, but he was okay to have mum, Maya and Galen eat upstairs with him. After dinner dad had a rest, and at about 21:30 dad wanted more drugs. Dad was given 20 mg of oxycodone (the chemist had given 20 mg tablets in stead of 10 mg, so handy), but he spat it out straight away. He wanted to do it himself. So Maya put the tablet in dad's hand and dad swallowed it down with some water. Twenty minutes later, he was completely zonked out.

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