What do I do when something goes wrong in the middle of the night?
It is likely that something will go wrong in the middle of the night at some point. If your family member with mesothelioma gets suddenly worse, in regard to breathing, or pain, or any other serious symptom, you may need to make a trip to the emergency room. If things seem to be going very badly, you may have to dial 911. Hopefully before something like this happens you will have talked about what your spouse wants to do if he or she needs a breathing machine (ventilator) or a shock to the heart if it stops beating. If you and your spouse want everything possible done and he or she is suddenly having more trouble breathing, you should call 911. If all you want is some control of the symptoms, a visit to the emergency room might be the best thing to do.
Often, a call to the doctor may be a good choice. Someone who is very familiar with your spouse’s condition may know what will help make him or her feel better. It may be supplementary oxygen, or a stronger pain medicine. Or the doctor may want to have his patient seen in the emergency room to see if fluid has re-accumulated in the chest and can be drained.
You and your spouse or partner need to discuss this before a middle of the night emergency, if that is possible. You should have all the phone numbers of the doctors and hospitals and pharmacies that are open all night someplace where you can find them easily.