Morphine or Milkshake?

#hospice #caregiver #Caregivers

My left hand grasped the bottle of liquid morphine. It’s come down to this. The king of pain meds. “Mom, I need to squirt this between your teeth and your cheek. It’s pretty bitter, but I’ll give you some Lime yogurt after, okay?” The dropper between my right-hand fingers shook, suspended with a loaded dose near her face.

“I don’t like it.” Mom stared at me with her lovely green, but glazed eyes.

I grimaced. “I know. What’s your pain number? You said it was a ten a few hours ago, then it went to a five. Is it back to a ten?”

“Hm.” Mom’s jaw clenched around her words. “I don’t know what to say.” I glanced at my sis sitting in the corner chair. She wrinkled her nose and raised her brows.

“What is your pain number from one to ten?”

Mom gingerly shook her head.

“Mom, what number?” I asked that question two more times. Sis scrunched up in the chair with squinted eyes, pursed lips, and contained her giggles at my lack of success. All my attempts to get information were met with Mom’s reluctance to speak. “Mom, I need to know how much to give you.”

Mom raised her pointer finger. “I want to say this. I do know that I want a milkshake.” Milkshakes were Mom’s treat after doctor appointments and made the top of her list for any reason. This was an excellent reason.

“Sis will go get you one. How’s that?” I smiled at Sis, who nodded and left us. “Mom, now, will you tell me your pain number?”

“Nine. It’s a nine.” Mom whispered. It’s tragic to hear this number but thank God we live in the age of morphine and milkshakes.

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