We had an appointment on Thursday with the primary care physician, Dr. Bliss, to get a prescription for portable oxygen. But when the nurse checked the oxygen level it was 95 and she tested it a bunch of times -- even had Marshall walk around the office twice -- and the oxygen level was still within the normal range.
So that was puzzling. When we are at home his levels go down to 77. So it appears that altitude has something to do with it. Our house is at 8300 feet and the doctor's office in Canon City, Colorado, is at about 4800 feet. So they would not approve portable oxygen for us..
However, he obviously is going to need oxygen at home and it would be nice to have portable canisters rather than this long tube running through the house. So when we get home we need to go to the clinic in Westcliffe and get them to do an oxygen reading and, assuming it will also be very low just like the tester we use at home, they should write a prescription for portable oxygen that we can get filled.
And, of course, I am also hoping that once Marshall can get off of the morphine his respiration will improve and oxygen won't be needed at all.
Marshall was still in extreme pain all day yesterday, even with the full doses of morphine and Dilaudid.
Today he woke up with huge pain again. He also had some pretty bad nausea this morning. But we had to hit the road for Denver so I gave him the morphine and Dilaudid and we got going.
It was a miserable 4-hour trip. Every little bump and turn caused him pain and I felt like I was personally torturing him. I was a wreck by the time we got here.
We checked into the hotel and Marshall got a little nap and then we went over to the radiation oncologist's office. The first treatment is now behind us. The oncologist said that it is possible to experience pain relief after one treatment but it is more likely that he won't notice any relief until up to 4 to 6 weeks after the last treatment. He said that if Marshall doesn't feel a relief in his pain level after 6 weeks, then the radiation didn't work. But he said that he truly feels the radiation will work.
Marshall thought he felt better today. We came back to the hotel and he went to bed. He still hasn't really eaten anything for several days but he has had a few bottles of Boost so hopefully he's getting a little nutrition.
We discussed the nausea situation with the oncologist and he said that instead of one anti-nausea pill a day, Marshall should start taking two. So he took an anti-nausea pill before he went to bed. I'll wake him up at 10:00 to take the rest of his daily medications and to get his 10:00 morphine pills.
Tomorrow and Sunday are going to be rest days.
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