No more suctioning

Was thrilled when my eye doctor did not dilate my eyes last week.  If he had, he would have used Atropine.  This medication is also used to decrease bronchial secretions.  It's now on the "as needed" list for my dad, along with Mucinex.  

Rx googling might be unhealthy, but I found the information about Atropine on Wikipedia appropriate:

Atropine is a naturally occurring tropane alkaloid extracted from deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna), jimsonweed (Datura stramonium), mandrake (Mandragora officinarum) and other plants of the family Solanaceae. It is a ... drug with a wide variety of effects....[The name] derive[s] from Atropos, one of the three Fates who, according to Greek mythology, chose how a person was to die. Atropine is a core medicine in theWorld Health Organization's "Essential Drugs List", which is a list of minimum medical needs for a basic health care system.

Well, dang, I just put Edith Hamilton back on the shelf since she didn't mention Thor's goats!  This time she writes on page 44:

Very important, but assigned to no abode whether in heaven or on the earth were THE FATESMoirae in Greek, Parcae in Latin, who, Hesiod says, give to men at birth evil and good to have.  They were three, Clotho, the Spinner, who spun the thread of life; Lachesis, the Disposer of Lots, who assigned to each man his destiny; Atropos, she who could not be turned, who carried "the abhorred shears" and cut the thread at death.

I don't have much luck growing datura aka jimsonweed aka moonflower in Texas, but we grew it from seed every year in Omaha.  It attracted lovely evening moths around our deck.  I took this photo at Texas Discovery Gardens, so datura can be grown here, just not by me (a common refrain of my brown thumb gardening song).

Working with the hospice aide and RN, the skilled care facility nurse, I got a new order in place banning all future use of the dreadful ineffective airway suctioning device.  Proactive use of nebulizer breathing treatments and the medications to decrease bronchial secretions will be used instead.  Dad's blood oxygen level is good now, so he can use oxygen just when it makes him more comfortable.  

While Dad napped I finished reading Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks.  Hellebore is the plant used to induce visions by the Wompaontoaonk people in the book.  Hellebore is from a different family than datura.  Just thought you would want to know.  

© 2011 Nancy L. Ruder


Kathleen said...

Really, that's a moonflower? Wow! Gorgeous.

I was scared by your title today, but I am reassured.

Except for the whole deadly nightshade part. Which I have growing in the back yard.

Christine Thresh said...

I've been thinking about you and your father's treatment all day since I read your last post. When my husband was under hospice care no uncomfortable treatments were used. Comfort care was all. I'm glad you have this settled now.

Genevieve said...

I am glad that there will be no more suctioning.


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