Monday, November 14, 2005

Creeping numbness panic, Great EF improvement

Of the several hours of therapy scheduled, very little happened. Denise just wasn't feeling well or able to get comfortable. The magnifying glass isn't helping her see print very well, and that was disappointing. She noticed that glare is a problem, and it's easier to see at night in dim light than during the day in bright light. She had some vomiting episodes throughout the day & couldn't really hold anything down. She was very discouraged about that late this morning. A paracentesis was performed this afternoon and 4 liters of clear fluid were drawn from her abdomen. Tonight she had a panic because (probably due to dehydration) she had a creeping numbness moving on her chest & up her throat. She called me from her bed phone (couldn't reach the nurse call button... it was there, but slid way down the bedrail so she couldn't reach it). I called the nurse station to have them check Denise. Once again today, she had the same attentive caretakers she had yesterday, and they were right on the problem. Anyway, the sensation that Denise had was something new to her, and very scary. She was afraid that it might stop her from speaking, breathing, or stop her heart. She was scared she was going to die, and asked if such talk was worrying me. I told her that she could talk about whatever she wanted, that the bulk of my worrying was in previous weeks & months, and that she's sick, but has a long way to go before being dead. "OK, good" was her response. Then she immediately commented that the food at the hospital was really pretty good, and that it was a shame that she wasn't able to eat much of it. I told her that when she gets well, I'd take her on a date to the hospital's cafeteria. Eyes rolled. Things are getting back to normal. Yay!
Soon thereafter, iv fluids, some ativan, and some morphine (she had considerable pain from both the bedsore and her ab) were administered. Instead of dinner, she had to drink barium, and was scheduled for a CT scan of the abdomen & pelvis around 8pm tonight. She fell asleep way before that time. I tried to be as much comfort as possible to her this afternoon & evening. She thought I did OK, and the nurses didn't seem to mind that I was on hand. I just try to help where I can and otherwise shut up & stay out of the way.

Her stats today included a normal temperature, heart rate upper 80s & low 90s, blood pressure 100-110 systolic, WBC good, hemoglobin 10.9, hematocrit 33.8, liver numbers normal with the exception of high alkaline phosphatase (512... down from the 700 when she arrived at Huntington a few days ago). The echocardiogram from Saturday showed an ejection fraction of 60. Music to my ears. Lungs sound good, too.

All in all, there were some disappointments & panics, but also some progress in the stats toward normal. After the rapid progress and major milestones of the past three or four weeks, things seem to be slowing here and there.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey it's me, Margaret. Thanks, Phil, for letting us know all that is going on. For us that aren't there, it makes us feel as though we are. Give Denise A hug and kiss :)

November 15, 2005 9:40 PM  

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