Friday, February 24, 2006

CT scan results, Stitch removal, J-tube clog, Coke trivia

Results from the most recent CT scan: The feeding tube is where it should be, stool backed up (suppositories taking care of that now), small amount of ascites in the "right pericolic gutter." I had no idea that a gutter was part of the anatomy. I learn something new every day.
Denise complained of pain so much at the insertion site for the feeding tube that she didn't want to do physical therapy today. The interventive radiology people removed most of the stitches holding Denise's feeding tube in when they unclogged it the other day. So my aunt got permission to remove the last stitch. Hopefully that'll work.
The j-tube clogged again tonight. My aunt worked for a good hour & a half, using Coca-Cola and a syringe to eat away the clogged "food" so Denise wouldn't have to miss feedings & have to go the hospital again. During that time, I noticed that the bottle of Coke was probably a bit flat & warm, since it had been used for at least a day (they only flush the j-tube with a little bit of Coke at a time). I remembered a science class from high school in which the teacher told us about acid rain being similar to the carbonic acid, like in soft drinks. I thought that if the carbon has to do with the acidity, then the flat bottle of Coke might not be as efficacious as a fresh container of Coke. So my uncle (an engineer-sort) spent plenty of time on the phone & Internet late tonight trying to figure out if that was the case. He found some info to support that notion and other info that indicated that the phosphoric acid in Coke is what would eat away the food in the tube. He also found out that a can of regular Coke will sink in water and a can of diet Coke will float. And Coke has the highest acidity by far among the major soft drinks. I think that one of my eighth grade students should do their science project about Coke and set the record straight. At any rate, I ran to the 7-11 very late and picked up a case of cold Coke (colder soda retains more carbonation than warm), and my aunt tried using the fresh Coke in the tube. She worked it in & out for a few minutes, then gave me the syringe because her hands were hurting. I only gave it one or two pushes and pulls, plenty of plaque came out of the feeding tube, and the Coke went right in. The clog was cleared. Now I can be a doctor. Or a roto-rooter guy. So the feedings resumed and Denise doesn't have to leave the nursing home to go to the hospital tonight. Whew!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Phil - My husband has this annoying habit of ..........oops, sorry, you're not THAT Dr. Phil.........
Just thought a little levity could do you no harm. So fantastic to see the picture of Denise UP and read of the gradual improvements happening. We continue to lift up Denise and all of you in our prayers.......Carol B.

February 26, 2006 10:47 AM  

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