I’ve petitioned the hospice to send us a different nurse because our “chemistry” isn’t right. I know better than to be honest about her to hospice management on the off chance that she’s the best who is available for our area and that somehow my complaint gets back to her while she’s choking off our pain meds with her iron, control-freak grip.
This young, pretty, and completely full-of-herself bitch is the effective gatekeeper between us and the pain meds. Specifically, she wants to ensure that we are sufficiently intimidated by impossible protocols that we won’t demand to speak directly with the physician in charge, who is far far too busy to be concerned with our little problems. Not her though. She has plenty of time to keep us distracted.
End of life care is a sticky area—legally, ethically, and medically. However, as far as I know the whole point of hospice care is to make the end of life as comfortable as possible. In fact, prior to hospice, simply getting a refill on a pain med was at least as difficult as attempting to “score” in a back alley, if more humiliating and expensive, and less dangerous. Albeit, what is “danger” when one is dying anyway?
International readers may be justifiably perplexed at my description of this problem, which, as far as I know is an American phenomenon. When President Richard M. Nixon created the Drug Enforcement Administration it wasn’t with an eye toward reduction of the size of government or the profits of patentable drug sales. If dying people were only of stronger character they would be delighted to suffer, free of those nasty narcotics. Fortunately, government knows best. Amen.
Axel was diagnosed as “Stage Four Plus” back in June. Therefore, it is safe to say at this point that nobody knows when he will go. Certainly not Police Nurse. However, perhaps she has protocols which require her to operate on the assumption that Axel could be miraculously cured of his cancer by taking less-than-needed amounts of pain medication, but could also be injured such as to survive cancer as a morphine and oxycodone addict, and therefore, first, she must not do this latter harm, with no suffering of his too great to forestall that possibility.
It would most certainly be a crime at this point if he were to “abuse” pain medications now wouldn’t it? However, he is simply not the type. He actually prefers to be on top of things rather than to be in a “fog”. However, sometimes the pain is so acute that he is put into a state of shock which is its own “fog”. Another cause of “fog” is his inability to sleep more than two hours at a time given that the oxycodone dose he is directed to take only lasts for two hours unless he overdoes it on the morphine contrary to his directive there.
If the reader of this blog wonders how this writer gets some of her cracked ideas, sleep deprivation due to hearing the cries of pain of the man she loves every two hours can possibly be credited.
It is too much trouble for Police Nurse to have less than one week’s notice of the need to order any new drug; however, we have thus far not been dispensed more than five day’s worth of the oxycodone, when taken as directed. Axel has therefore taken it upon himself to ration his meds. He is also still of sufficient mind and body to be able to rise up under his own steam, dispense himself the pain pill that he needs, and go back to the generally sleepless activity of his nights. If I don’t have to arise, I don’t. Lucky me. For now.
However, Police Nurse now demands that I monitor Axel’s every move. On one hand, she warns me and admonishes me that the pharmacy keeps count of all drugs; on the other hand she demands my accurate accounting. Perhaps what she really wants is to watch us both pee in a cup or to forsake sleep altogether.
I could go on in my complaints but that might risk that somehow she would manage to identify herself in this blog and thereby vindictively cut off Axel from pain meds while meanwhile forestalling the possibility that a different, more reasonable, and less a stickler for sucking up to the doctors and pharmacists above her nurse might be assigned to us.
Meanwhile I caught her gaslighting me twice in our last meeting. At first she said that the pharmacy refused to increase Axel’s dose and then admitted that they have indeed granted that increase, while denying that she had ever made the first statement. What was that about?
She also told me that a month’s worth of medication was to be shipped to us, but it wasn’t. I was put into the horribly uncomfortable position of wondering whether Axel intercepted the shipment because what I saw in the package he opened in my absence was only a week’s worth. I so regret doubting him for even an instant if that doubt was relieved when I realized the essence of the other party we’re dealing with—a gaslighting control freak with all the charm of Elle Driver:
Imagine that needle in the above video is a pain-med-and-sleep-denying mechanism in service to her standing with “Bill,” an amalgam of the so-far invisible doctor and pharmacist who are probably actually more reasonable than their stick-up-her-ass toady. I wonder if it is her romantic notions which inform her lack of honesty and objectivity. She looks to me to be a well-preserved and youth-obsessed 40 year old hearing the sound of her biological clock ticking. Can I relate? Not exactly given that I had my own tubes tied at 27. However, what we have in common in that case would be our insistence on “pleasing my man” rather than each other. Perhaps this is just one stupid catfight with the suffering offloaded onto Axel. I’m willing to bury my claws if she is, but, hey, how about those meds, bitch?
Police Nurse has now demanded that I not just take an active role in Axel’s medications but to actually police him and otherwise be “in charge” of him, so that she can gaslight me with the notion that it is I who is denying him relief and that I should be grateful to serve as her emissary to my disobedient Dominant. (Of course she is in the dark with regard to our pre-hospice lifestyle roles as is the entire vanilla world. The default vanilla option is that the wife/fiance/partner/whatever is “in charge” of these sorts of matters.)
I have a deep suspicion that she is not only a feminist but also an anti-tobacco Nazi. As such, she believes that Axel deserves to suffer. By extension, I am required to suffer to for not forcing him to quit. What sort of disobedient woman am I?
Obviously, then, Police Nurse is not familiar that the studies showing a correlation between oral cancer and past or present HPV infection are deemed more rigorous (by wiser minds than I) than studies showing a correlation between oral cancer and past or present tobacco use, given the built-in bias against tobacco in all government-funded studies since those early studies were performed under the administration of Adolph Hitler by those with a bias against “capitalists, Jews, Africans, degenerate intellectuals, and loose women,” that is, smokers.
Thanks to the Fords, Kelloggs, and other megalomaniacs that precede Hitler, longevity is considered a virtue by our greater medical establishment and is the promised reward for obedience to its ill-conceived diktats. If I am less than in awe of the mainstream medical establishment, I disdain those who can’t imagine the nerve of anyone who would dare question them.
My “sins” are a) taking an active role to attempt to prevent Axel’s crippling episodes of agony rather than merely forcing him to take all medications “as directed” even though we have not been provided enough of them to even comply with those directives; b) inconveniencing Police Nurse by asking her for more medications while requiring her to do a little listening and basic multiplication and division; c) endangering her standing with her authority figures by interfering with her gatekeeping strategies.
I do not repent.