Monday, January 09, 2006

87 pounds, Endocrinology & GI appointments, J-tube recommended

I started back at work today. Gracie also started her first day back at preschool again. Here's a picture of her showing off her new shoes. They light up, and it's important that everyone knows it. Denise weighed in at 87 pounds this morning. If you’ve never met her in person, she’s 5’3” and usually around 125 pounds. She’s in pretty good spirits, but too tired & weak to do much.
Denise went to an endocrinologist today to see about her high calcium and hear the results of the bone scan. They were ruling out bone cancer being the cause of high calcium The bone scan came back normal. But he’s puzzled by why her calcium continued to go up (12.4). So there will be another series of blood tests. Our hope is that the lack of mobility and weight-bearing is the cause. If so, the problem would probably be correct itself. Valley fever causes granulomas that excrete a substance like vitamin D that makes calcium go up, so that’s one of the things that we hope to rule out. By the way, Denise’s high calcium makes it harder to feed her. All the high-protein, high-calorie drinks we can find are also calcium-fortified. That just makes her problem worse. So if you’re aware of any supplements that might be good, please let us know. While I’m on the topic of supplements, let me throw a shopping task out for everyone. One of the problems Denise is facing is that if she downs a can of supplement, the volume prevents her from being able to eat much else. We’re aware of a powder called Scandishake that’s over 500 calories per serving, without having to make her consume all the volume (just sprinkle the powder on whatever she’s eating). We can’t seem to find it anywhere but online stores. Being a computer teacher, I’m all about online stores, but I’d like to get a few packets lickity-split to start giving her and I can’t find it anywhere. If you know of a local store that sells it, please contact us.
She had another appointment today with a GI doctor. Looking at Denise, he also wondered if Denise was released from the hospital too soon. He thinks that Denise’s vomiting is due to the problem of her being so malnourished & thin that a major blood vessel is pressing down against a part of the intestine and causing it to collapse (Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome). So he’s recommended a J-tube (inserted into the jejunum portion of the intestine). This is better than a G-tube inserted into the stomach. So we’re scrambling to try to get that taken care of. The problem is that a J-tube insertion is a little more involved than a G-tube, and requires a surgeon. And surgeons are busy, busy, busy. So we wait. And we all pray for an opening, and pronto. For dinner tonight, Denise is dining on a decadent normal saline IV drip lovingly infused with a delicate dextrose & potassium sauce.
Her pulse is at 100. Still too fast, but it’s been coming down. That’d be nice if the trend continued.
The home care nurse asked us if we’ve been measuring urine output. No. We don’t have a gizmo for measuring. The home care nurse doesn’t remember seeing the gizmo in the supplies. So here’s a scavenger hunt: We need a “hat,” and I guess it’s not one that Denise will be wearing on her head. So if you can procure the kind of “hat” we need, please let me know. Chances are that Jacob will try to wear it on his head, and you bet I'll snap a picture and post it for you all to see.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil and Denise, We are sending up prayers for both of you right now. For your strength and courage and for our God to continue to carry you both in his arms.



January 10, 2006 7:13 AM  

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