Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Walked w/IV pole, Stay put at SNF, Disabled

Denise has had a relatively good past few days in the nursing home. She walked while pushing her own IV pole with the feeding tube bag & pump on it. She had one 300cc emesis right after the Super Bowl on Sunday (in my opinion, the FedEx commercial was the winner) and felt nauseated last night (Monday), but otherwise, throwing up is becoming less frequent. The feeding tube continues to chug away. However I just found out that the PICC line in the arm has clogged. The danger is that if there's a clog and any other meds are put through, they could dislodge the clot and that would be bad news. I don't know much about PICC lines, but I guess that some styles can simply be flushed with saline solution, while other styles require the addition of heparin (an anticoagulant). The poor nurses are already overworked & running around like crazy, and have really stepped up to the plate in flushing Denise's feeding tube even more frequently than what the GI surgeon recommended. Now it looks like frequent flushing of the PICC line needs to be added to the work load.
We will have a plan of care conference hopefully Thursday. At that time we will meet with PT, OT, doctors, nurses, case workers, and others to discuss Denise's care. It does look like this SNF (skilled nursing facility) will be Denise's home for a while. You might remember that we were thinking of trying to move her elsewhere a while ago. We kicked around ideas quite a lot on Saturday. It turns out that she doesn't fit the criteria for moving to an acute rehab setting. The staff to patient ratio at other non-acute rehab places would be about the same as where Denise is now, so we'd still have someone be with her to complement the staff's work. If we went somewhere else, we'd have to start all over with the paperwork, peoplework, and learning curve for care. That's already been done here, and the people working with us and Denise have been very responsive to our squeaky wheels. A very nice benefit of staying put is that this SNF is very close to home. Going anywhere else would likely make it harder to work at maintaining any family cohesion. Denise's opinion was to just stay put for a while.
A new to-do list item for me is to look into getting Denise declared disabled. Being a stay-at-home mom has been of incalculable benefit to the family. But not being in the work force means that she hasn't stocked up enough credits to qualify for SSI, SSDI, or any other money. But being declared disabled will likely result in her being able to get some of the services that she needs.
On an unrelated note, Gracie told me the name of a boy that she thinks she wants to marry from her preschool class. And so it begins...


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