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Yesterday, mom said she had pain in head, arm, back and chest and said it was at a 7 on 1-10 scale. I went to see her and begged her to go to the doc. She refused and said she just wants to die. That was hard, and I cried, asked a nurse to come over. Then I found out she was only taking tramadol! I told her that stuff is useless (I've taken it before) and urged her to take her vicodin. She did and felt so much better. Such a simple remedy - - not sure why that didn't occur to her.

Anyway, I'm with her now this morning and her breathing is pretty bad. She just sleeps and sleeps. The nurse who came yesterday told her she needs to be taking vicodin on a regular schedule. The nurse asked me if I had talked to my mom about her death, if she is "ready." I then asked her, and she said she is ready, with the exception of wanting to explain her obituary wishes and to make sure everyone's "on the same page" about money (she has worn the pants in the family!). She said very calmly she is not afraid of dying, but she is afraid she will have a painful death. I told her that's not necessary with medication.

So, she is set to have scans next Monday. I hope she will go. I'm going to see if she will go out on the deck today to get some fresh air, even if just for a minute. I'm all about respecting her wishes now. Even without the cancer, she has suffered so long from emphysema. Her granddaughter is coming today - - that should perk her up. :D Peace,


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I worked with a medical director of a hospice for a while when I was a medical student. He told me that the things most people were afraid of when thinking about death are being alone and being in pain. Thanks to you, she can know she won't have to worry about being alone. And hopefully the docs will give appropriate pain medications and she will readily take them to help her. There are also longer acting naroctics like MS contin and oxycontin that might be helpful if she's experiencing enough pain to need stronger pain medication most of the time. There's nothing wrong with that...as long as she's getting enough to relieve her.

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