Thursday, May 29, 2008

Pop Update

So last evening was interesting, to say the least. After some preliminary examination by the doctor in the Emergency Room, some odd things took place.

The Resident told Pop's daughters that there wasn't much to be done because the mass on Pop's liver was to blame. It's very large, according to him, and most likely the reason he was in so much discomfort. Two weeks ago, Pop's regular doctor, the head of Oncology at that hospital, ordered a CAT scan for him, and that is to take place tomorrow. The reason, according to that doctor, is to determine the extent of the cancer spread, and to assess what's going on in there. I assume that the Resident had a clue or two, but it's very confusing how he could make his assessment without the assistance of anything like a CAT scan. But they have the medical degrees, you know?

The next step was for the Resident to prescribe some sort of morphine patch to apply to Pop's skin. When his daughters took the prescription to the hospital pharmacy, the pharmacist went a little crazy. He told them that if Pop was being discharged that evening, there was no way he could have this patch, as it would essentially render him comatose. A lot of confusion.

Anyway, the latest is, Pop is going to get the CAT scan tomorrow as planned. His Oncologist won't be back at the hospital until Wednesday, and we're scheduled to see him next Friday. Until then, he's home, without the patch, and using his regularly prescribed medicines. He's apparently not quite as uncomfortable today as yesterday, as he has been resting peacefully most of the day. He actually requested a regular old breakfast this morning, and ate it all. He's having a nap now, and I'm hoping he'll have an appetite for dinner as well.

He cut his arm the other day...scraped it actually, but his skin is very soft and easily damaged. We got some great bandages and tape to use on his wounds, and so far, so good.

It's just all very unsettling. I don't possess a medical degree, and I don't want to be one of those people who is perpetually skeptical about medical care. I have learned to ask questions and clarify things when they're not clear, but there should be some sense of confidence in trained doctors. Last night didn't do that for me.

But I guess it's "all's well that ends well" for the time being. Thanks everyone.


  1. Keeping Pop in my prayers!

  2. I too,try my best to remain open to the medical folks...but find it difficult at best. When mom was in the hospital, we had 2 brilliant specialists with completely opposing view regarding her LIFE. It sucked terribly.
    Of course, we chose to believe in the optimistic one, which kept us happy for at least a little while.

    So my point is...whatever is going to happen is going to happen. You can only advocate to someone with the power to make him more comfortable (ie. morphine). But no matter what you do, you can certainly believe that you've done a phenomenal job taking care of him. And phenomenal trumps amazing any day.


  3. Always question anything that doesn't sound right....doctors & nurses make mistakes too~

  4. I'm keeping you and your family in prayer. HUGS, Anne

  5. This is tough and not easy to go through. I watched my dad struggle through the pain of cancer. Hospice did a wonderful job in helping my dad and our family through a very difficult time.
    I've also worked in the medical field and yes, continue to ask questions because mistakes are made.

    It sounds like Pop is managing the pain today....and I hope he continues to rest and be comfortable.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you.


  6. Anonymous10:19 PM

    Scary situation. I know what you're going through. My Mom was sick for several years. I commend you for caring so much to take care of your father-in-law. Take care. You're in my prayers.

  7. Anonymous10:42 PM

    Ever notice how docs talk to you like you're supposed to know what they're saying, then when you ask, they just reiterate what they just spewed? You're no closer to understanding, and to ask again makes one feel even more like a dunce than the first time you asked. You are all in my prayers! Take care...
    xoxo ~Myra

  8. Anonymous11:02 PM

    Jimmy sending good thoughts and vibes Pop's way. I do hope the discomfort lessens for him... and you I know this is hard on you.

  9. Ok, when I need 24-hr care, I am totally calling you. You are amazing (yes, I'm using that word you hate). Pop is so lucky to have you. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  10. Hope you and Pops are plugging along fine. I am thinking of you both . . .

  11. Anonymous7:33 AM

    I just recently went through this with my mother in law. The unanswered questions..... Fortunately the pain medication when she needed it worked very well. Hang in there. Your doing a great job.


  12. Wow. That's a lot to handle. I don't ever think it's a bad thing to question medical care. I have yet to have an ER Doc diagnose me correctly. They see so much so fast and have such a broad but shallow depth of knowledge that they often get things slightly or completely wrong. My dad is a urologist who is always fixing pediatricians mistakes. There's a reason people specialize and there's a reason for the term "second opinion". Don't be afraid to trust your instincts and don't feel bad questioning things. If you don't, who will?

    I'm sorry Pop's in so much pain and that it's so much to handle for everyone involved. I'm sure the time you're giving is not time you will regret. Hang in there and don't worry about all us out here floating around the web. We'll still be here when time allows.

  13. I'm sorry that it all doesn't sound too 'put together'. I'm keeping Pop in my prayers. ((HUGS))

  14. Anonymous11:24 AM

    You did the best you could with dealing with the drs. lyy cass

  15. Medical degrees mean squat it is the person with the degree that matters. Everyone should get tests to back up diagnosis and at least two opinions on course of treatment.

    It took 4 top guys getting it wrong and 4 years to finally get a diagnosis for me. It was all do to one simple missed test.

    Good for you guys!

  16. Anonymous3:41 PM

    I hope pop is feeling much better. I will keep you all in my prayers. Linda (sangrialel)

  17. Hi Jimmy,
    I'm praying and sending positive vibes for Pop. I've given this whole "medical" thing a lot of thought and come to the conclusion that, unfortunately, Doctors are people, too. It's tempting to put them on a pedestal, but they're only human. Pop is lucky to have you there for him, asking the right questions and just being you.

  18. Anonymous1:42 PM

    Jimmy I do hope Pop continues to control his pain ~ you are both in my thoughts and prayers ~ Ally x


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