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Puzzled

11 years 3 months ago #22745 by Patricia
You're probably right..its just so hard to tell isn't it? But certainly if the oxygen is not getting to the brain it can cause a myriad of cognative problems. I wish you had more help if not just to be able to get away a few hours a day . Pat

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11 years 3 months ago #22741 by Julie
Pat, I read the article and I don't think that he has elevated calcium levels but it would be a good idea to have them checked. I notice that one of the remedies is furosemide and he is already taking that. He doesn't take calcium supplements. His confusion used to be because of fevers. It may be that he was dehydrated. I have to keep reminding him to drink more. He was better this morning. He was able to put his pain meds in his mouth and drink water through a straw from his water mug. The RN was here for the blood draw and his vitals were good. He also said Dick's lungs sounded better than last week.
He did complain of much more pain last night and he said his pain level this morning was 8.
I think between the anemia and his shallow breathing he is not getting enough oxygen to his brain as there are not sufficient red blood cells.
The pain is hard on him and the confusion is hard on me.

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11 years 3 months ago #22737 by Patricia
Julie..just a long shot but how are his calcium levels?
http://www.virtualcancercentre.com/symptoms.asp?sid=31&title=Hypercalcaemia
There are so many things with metastatic disease that can throw the system off and cause confusion and irritability.
Pat

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11 years 3 months ago #22722 by Julie
Dick had about 3 good days in a row. Sunday we spent the afternoon together watching TV. This morning he was cooperative about his medication and inhalers. We had a discussion about whether he was up to going out for a chest x-ray. We decided that it was better that he stay home. Then we talked about the possibility of draining fluid from his lungs for comfort and whether or not he would want to have that done. We left it that for now the decision is no but we could change our opinion if the benefit of comfort outweighed the risk of the procedure. He ate very little for breakfast as he was falling asleep. By the time the hospice nurse arrived he was having trouble staying awake. She also observed his breathing is very shallow. Later he was restless and when I helped him get up he had lost his knowledge about his routine. He couldn't use a straw for water or juice, he had problems swallowing and seemed very confused. He kept pushing away the water. I have no idea what caused this change. He has had periods of confusion before but they were related to fevers, bladder infections, or low blood sugar. This time none of those reasons applied.

I don't know if this type of confusion has been seen by anyone else caring for someone with metastatic cancer. All I know is that i get somewhat frantic when I can't get him to take his medications and can't get him to drink enough water. I have run out of ideas on how to get him to take his meds. He also becomes verbally aggressive when he becomes irritated with my repetitions of requests for him to take his pills or take a drink to help swallow the pills. He holds onto the water mug but doesn't bring it near his mouth or if he gets it near his mouth he takes it away before drinking. I can only think of how much worse it is going to get.

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