Wednesday, December 28, 2005

G.I. tract seems OK, Appetite returning

This morning Denise had to down some barium and they performed some x-rays to see what's going on in the G.I. tract. As of tonight, nothing's wrong. She's holding her liquid diet down. We slipped up and she ate some of the Payday bar that I brought for her. This was after the barium went in, so it was OK for her to take things by mouth, though solid food may not have been OK quite yet. This afternoon she asked if I could bring her some antipasto salad. It's a good sign that food is sounding appetizing again. But since she was still supposed to be getting only clear liquids, I couldn't bring her the requested food.
I'm still waiting to hear/see the results of the ultrasound, echocardiogram, and today's procedure with the barium. Denise said that the doctor from USC came by today and opined that Denise may have just had a bout of flu. The neurologist tonight said that so far, the G.I. tests aren't showing anything bad. He thought Denise was just anxious about going home and said he's seen all sorts of things happen at the time of discharge... vomiting, seizures, etc. He also thought that from his slice of the pie, there'd be no reason to keep Denise in the hospital and she may get a discharge tomorrow or Friday. He's not calling the shots and that's not official. I'm not too keen on the idea of going home on a holiday weekend again. In addition to the pharmacies being closed and nobody answering the phones, Denise's primary care doctor is on vacation until January 4th. So that would make it hard to have him come by to get briefed on Denise's case before discharge and schedule an office visit with him within a week of discharge, as we're supposed to do. The case manager might not have enough time to pull together home PT, OT, and RN check-ups for the holiday weekend, either. Denise's potassium is still low (3.2 yesterday, 3.0 today, and that's with the IV going).
Denise is tired and not as animated as usual. She's a little slower on the draw when it comes to answering questions, too. In the back of my mind, I wonder how much is attributed to being tired after a possible bout of flu, not eating for a few days, being whipped just from being in the hospital for this long, and how much damage was done by the cocci. She's also much weaker than she was at the time of discharge. In rehab, they had her walking around the corridor twice each day, at the least. Today a PT came and they only went a few yards, then turned back to go to the room. Denise was wiped out after that. My hope is that they can get her back into the rehab section if there's a bed and let me take her home next Tuesday when everything will be open and all the regular people will be on hand for support. That would also give Denise a chance to regain some of the ground that's been lost and we can also be sure that food's staying down and see how the electrolytes go.
Tonight Denise finally opened the last of her Christmas gifts from the kids & me. Gracie was very excited to see mommy opening the gifts that she picked out herself... a box of See's candy and an angel figurine. I didn't even know what the gifts were, because a friend took the kids shopping for me. I got Denise a nice wool coat. I know, I know. We're in southern California... why would she want a wool coat? Well, she asked for one, so I got one, and she loves it. But she's so malnourished that she's swimming in it. About a week ago, the USC doctor likened her to photos of prisoners after being released from WWII concentration camps. That's a good description.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so wise, Phil...let us all pray that the power's to be at the hospital will also see the wisdom of not sending Denise home on another holiday weekend. Just too much at stake. I'll pray for Tuesday!!! And for Denise to recoup all the strength she lost during the first trip home. She will make it. God IS willing!

December 29, 2005 9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm here in Coalinga, praying for Tuesday!!

December 29, 2005 9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with these comment's...and will continue to pray for a smooth transition home on Tuesday!!

God is with you both and working the best for all of you...

Athens, GA

December 29, 2005 8:50 PM  

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