I have an older friend going through chemo, etc... taking morphine about every night to sleep... i'm just looking for ways to help this person stay positive, happy? I don't know anything about morphine, so pretty much any info would be helpful. Do they crave sweets? Chocolates a bad idea?
The best thing you can do is be there for her. Hold her hand if she needs it, listen if she needs it. Let her vent. I'd get her anything she wanted to eat. There's no actual effect everyone has from morphine but she may have a personal desire. Enourage her to use her pain meds when needed, some people are afraid to take it. If she needs you to do something for her, like run to the store, do it.
They can usually eat anything they can keep down! If chocolates tempt his or her appetite-go for it! I agree with what Kaismama states. Be sure that she takes her morphine when she needs it. This is NOT the time to worry about addiction. Once he/she is feeling better they can wean down off of it but for right now, it is very important to treat any pain that they are having! Pain meds like morphine work best if they are taken prior to really severe pain. It is best to keep ahead of pain rather than waiting until they cant stand it to take the medicine. As soon as they know that they are having pain come on that is getting uncomfortable, they should use their medication. Pain stresses the body and they will not be able to fight this disease at their best if their body is stressed out. Very few people who treat true pain and are well monitored by their Drs become addicted to medicine. I am talking addiction NOT dependence.
Dependence upon medications is not equal to addiction, contrary to popular beliefs. Everyone who takes an opioid drug for a period of time will become dependent, meaning that their body goes through withdrawals if they dont have the opioid. Addiction is a complete different beast. Addiction is a behavior disorder characterized by cravings for the drug, taking it for reason other than pain (i.e the euphoric effects or the "high") and loss of control over their use of the drug. So you can see that addiction is very different from dependence. Dont let your friend worry that he/she will become an addict because they are taking their medication!! Also get them outside into the sun and fresh air as much as they can tolerate, at the very least, open the curtains and drapes wide to let the sunshine in. A dark, gloomy house leads to dark gloomy moods and this is an issue with Winter coming on. Keep them busy with hobbies or things they like and can do be it movies, books, crossword puzzles, crafts-whatever. When they feel sick and their minds are idle is the time they are most vulnerable to depressive thoughts. Stay upbeat and happy with pleasant positive thought yourself when you are around this person. Be willing to listen to their fears but dont let them dwell on them too much, let them talk their feeling s through but try to point out the positives. If this person is a religious or spiritual person, encourage them to look to their spiritual leader for guidance, pray if they pray. Spiritual health is just as important as physical health! Just be a friend and be there for this person in whatever capacity they need you! Remember though, you need to get away and have respite time for yourself too, especially if you are a caregiver for this person. I have seen more caregivers work themselves into the grave before their sick loved one dies because they never took time for themselves to get away and tend to their own needs. You cannot take the best care of a person if you are not well yourself both spiritually and physically. Caregivers need to get away from their patient even if it is just long enough to shop or get their hair or nails done-whatever just to get that respite! It is very important for caregivers to do this. If the caregiver is not you, encourage whoever IS the caregiver to heed this advice. If you can spell them in watching this person so that they can get away for a bit then offer to do so! A person like this is very valuable. Good Luck to you! Yours will not be an easy job but it can be a rewarding thing to do!
- Morphine Information for Consumers
- Morphine Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Morphine (detailed)
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