Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Re-rehab, Feeding tube details, Bedsore itchy

Tonight Denise is back in her old rehab room 4124 at Huntington Hospital's La Vina building.
She welcomes visitors M-F 3pm-8pm and any time on Saturday & Sunday.
Park in the La Vina lot off of Pasadena Ave. Parking is free on weekends.
Phone number direct to her room is (626) 535-6458.
Click here to get to a page on the hospital's website that lets you send her email. Be sure to put "Denise Williams room 4124" in the subject line so the volunteers know where to drop off the emails. She loves getting them, whether from family & friends or complete strangers.

I learned today that the feeding tube might have been causing just enough irritation to cause the vomiting. She's been hurl-free all day, and able to eat increasing amounts. She needs it, as she's malnourished. Now that I've said that, I'd better stand back, as bus loads of my relatives will probably drop off every dish imaginable to get Denise eating well again. Doesn't matter what the problem is: Fix it with food. Anyway, feeding tube details: there are two basic types of retaining mechanisms that can keep a feeding tube in place: balloon or umbrella. Her feeding tube had the umbrella style stump to keep it in place. Not knowing squat about these things (I never did research them), I was worried that the umbrella part was broken off and would be stuck inside of her. I was relieved to find out that the umbrella stumpy thingie was with the tube when it was pulled out. My other concern was that if there was a stoma through which the feeding tube passed, did it get stitched back up? Apparently it's self-sealing, and would heal much faster than the skin at the insertion site. The doctor thought that the skin looked good enough that it might not need the dressing anymore. I just hope that perhaps the ab swelling will subside.

Denise's bedsore is healing nicely. Along with the flesh filling back in, the nerves are also growing back in. Not only is it painful, but for the last two or three days, Denise has had an itching sensation in the bedsore that's driving her nuts. She just can't get comfortable. We had a visit from the pastor today, and the topic of pain & suffering came up. I related that the book I read early on in this ordeal, "Where Is God When It Hurts?" stated that pain is painful (duh), but also serves the positive function of telling us when something's wrong so as to avoid potential or further injury. So her pain & itching, while uncomfortable, are also signs that things are healing. I also learned from that book that leprosoy isn't a disease in which body parts fall off (as I'd always thought up until a couple months ago). Instead, it's a disease that impairs a nerve's ability to sense/send sensations. So people with leprosy can get injured, not feel the warning signs of pain, and then any body parts that rot & fall off are secondary to the leprosy. Denise postulated that if she had leprosy, maybe her butt would fall off and then she wouldn't feel the pain of her bedsore.

I know that some of the parents from my school work at Huntington Hospital. Perhaps one of you can answer this question: In the hospital's east tower, what's on the third floor? I noticed that the elevators go G-1-2-4-5-6. No three. I've taken the stairs out of curiosity (and to get some exercise) and the doors on floor three have intimidating "Authorized Personnel Only" signs on them. I don't know the secret handshake, so I didn't even try to go in. Do they train spies on floor three or something?


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