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 med. “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 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 was 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. 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 now for any reason. This was a good reason.

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

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

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