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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hospital Updates

I guess I will save some of this for tomorrow, but it doesn’t mean I cannot write about it.

Stephanie is noticing a pattern.  Every time she vomits, the pain intensifies.  When they give her Phenergan, she settles down a little bit.  When they give her the other nausea med, it does no good, and the pain stirs up again.  But they can only give her Phenergan every four hours and it wears off more quickly than that.

For lunch I grabbed a turkey sandwich in the cafeteria.  It was on wheat bread with some Swiss cheese, lettuce and tomato, no mayo or anything.  I also got a banana.  I was okay with that.

When Steph’s pain was a little better under control, I went to run an errand or two – I had to buy a phone charger because I did not have mine with me and my phone was dead.  Of course, the stress is getting to me.  When we went to The Porch (Restaurant) the other day, they had Starburst fruit chews on the hostess stand (where most places would have mints).  Since it was a splurge meal, I ate one.  It tasted so good, but I only ate one and that was it.  Well, today they sounded good.  So I got me a package while I was out.  I looked up the calories on them and they have 20 calories apiece.  I was only willing to spend 60 calories on them, so I only ate three of them and I left the rest of the package locked up in the car so I won’t finish them here in the hospital room.  I am okay with that and actually feel good that I only wanted three of them.  The whole package only has 240 calories, so if I eat the rest of them in one sitting, it wouldn’t be horrible, but I plan to only eat 2-3 at a time.

I need to give you a little history here.  Stephanie is no stranger to hospitals.  I think it started when she was about 15 and she had to have knee surgery.  That was before my divorce.  Then she had her gall bladder out when she was 17.  She has had 5-6 foot surgeries (for a congenital problem that also affected her knees), another knee surgery, major back surgery (from a major car accident) and surgery to remove a diverticulum in her intestine (or something like that).  These have all been since my divorce.  So I have done this hospital thing a lot.  But there is something different about this.  It’s one thing when she is having surgery.  There is a certain amount of pain after surgery, they give her pain meds and she gets better.  This is different.  They don’t know what is wrong and so they don’t know what to do to fix it.  So I am seeing her writhing in pain and there is nothing I can do about it.  And I don’t know what’s wrong.

I am naturally a pretty passive person.  I have not been feeling all warm and fuzzy about this hospital.  They don’t seem to listen (particularly one nurse).  We have been trying to tell them about the pattern we have been seeing and she seems to jump to the conclusion that Steph is some kind of drug addict or something and writes her off.  I had to go out to the desk and tell them that this is not how Stephanie acts and something is WRONG.  Hopefully they are listening a little better now.  I think Stephanie would have liked a Mom who got up and cussed everyone out today, but that is just not me.  But I had to work a little harder to come out of myself and be her advocate.

During one of her major foot surgeries, which happened in 2010, we spent 5 days in the hospital.  That was part of when I really fell off track after all the weight loss.  It was so stressful and I never felt so alone in all my life.  She was in an extreme amount of pain and I was cooped up in that hospital room.  Plus I had started having the chronic headaches again.  I started eating then – cookies from a bakery in the lobby of the hospital, cheesecake that came from the cafeteria (and was really good), vending machines, etc., etc.  So I have to be really careful.

Here is what I have eaten today:

1 protein bar
Turkey sandwich (wheat bread with Swiss cheese, lettuce and tomato, no mayo, etc.)
3 Starburst chews
1 SF Red Bull (oops)
Grilled Chicken sandwich with sautéed onions, peppers and mushrooms (on white bun)  -- I could see oil on this, but it seemed like the best choice
App. ½ cup cantaloupe
1 protein bar

I had approximately 4 hours of sleep last night and I have taken two cat naps today.  Plus I have been doing some crying (it’s hard to watch your baby in pain) and that’s very tiring.  I only just now had any pain medication (except for some Aleve this morning).  I took a half of one because I only had one left and I am far away from my pharmacy.  But pain has not been a big problem today.  I have done a lot more walking than normal.

All in all, I think I am doing pretty well.  So far.

One thing I find interesting – sodas are not even on my radar screen anymore.  Usually a time like this would call for sodas out of the vending machine.  Except for the SF Red Bull, just water (except not enough today).


At least we got a little sleep last night.  The nurse on the night shift was much better.  She actually listened and Stephanie had a little more bearable level of pain.  However, she is vomiting dark bile.  I called that to the nurse’s attention and she said I definitely should have.  I guess we will find out what that means today.  A friend of mine, whose father was misdiagnosed at first when he had acute pancreatitis, told me I need to press them about this.  I am going to have pull out of my passiveness and make sure they have absolutely ruled that out.  It could mean a blockage too.

For breakfast I had a yogurt parfait from the cafeteria and a banana.  Approximately 280 calories total.  It was pretty tasty!

The doctor came in and Stephanie has a blockage.  They have put a tube down her throat (she hates it!) to pump all the bile, etc. out of her so she won’t be vomiting anymore.  He said if he had been told that last night (he was not on call), he would have told them to put it down her throat last night and saved her vomiting so many times last night.  Anyway, it should help her pain level a lot.  A surgeon is going to come in and look at her sometime today.  They want to treat it conservatively to start with, because the blockage came from scar tissue from the last surgery and if they do more surgery there will be more scar tissue.  She cannot eat or drink until the blockage is fixed.  Talk about a forced diet!  Bless her heart.

She is resting reasonably comfortably right now (considering she has a tube down her throat).

I went to run a couple of errands – getting her a change of underwear and pants and picking up my medicine.  I had a hard time going to sleep last night because I was hurting.  They transferred my prescription up here so I could pick it up.  Seemed like that took forever.  It was almost noon when I got back.  Picked up a small tray of “seasonable fruit”.  I was eyeing the candy at the checkout counter in one store, but then forgot and didn’t get any.  I saw the fruit when I went in Wal-Mart to the pharmacy.  I picked up another sandwich downstairs for lunch and then had some of the fruit.

Now, I’m worn out.

Struggling some today.  I confess I have sought out some junk food, but they don’t seem to have any in this hospital!  Guess that’s a good thing.  I got a protein bar.  That means I have eaten fruit and a protein bar this afternoon.

Wish I had some more help….  I just want to go home, but of course, need and want to be here for my daughter.  I am also concerned about work.  I have to go tomorrow, if things stay along this track (they are using conservative treatment to see if that works).  My backup cannot be there tomorrow.  Wish I didn't feel so torn, and it is times like these I wish I didn't have so much responsibility.

I had tickets to the Rangers game for tomorrow night (it was my birthday present), but won't be able to go.  :(  Oh, and I miss my doggie.  Am I pathetic or what?

1 comment:

  1. When my mom was going through her surgery for cancer, people used to tell me "you can't cure her cancer by eating" but let me tell you, the stress, the lack of sleep (I stayed with her in the hospital for a week), the eating random things from the hospital's just hard to keep everything together. I feel for you with this situation, and I am sending healing thoughts for your daughter to get well, get healed, and for y'alls life to get back to normal. Big hugs!


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