Posted by: Ken Wheatley | August 6, 2009

Hospital 8/6/09

I was way too tired to blog last night. The long hours and stress finally caught-up to me.

By the time I got home and dealt with the airline and hotel issues for MD Anderson on Wednesday, it was almost 3am, and Sheila called at 6am, and I was at the hospital by 9am.  We actually fell asleep on her hospital bed for a few minutes yesterday afternoon. (It was really nice to snuggle up to her. She immediately fell asleep too, so that was nice.)  So by the time I got home last night, I was a zombie. Fortunately I slept pretty well.

She had an up and down day yesterday. The main topic of conversation was pain management. We met with two doctors from the pain management department, and they suggested a 3 times increase in the amount of morphine Sheila was receiving. I expressed concerns/doubts about whether that much of a jump was necessary or appropriate. They felt it was, based on the level of morphine she received her last visit, two weeks ago.

Turns out they were wrong. Sheila ended-up having a rough night because the extra dosage made her really incoherent and her head was “swimming.” Worse, it did nothing more for the pain. So this morning they discontinued the morphine drip that she was self-administered, and they’re giving her a slow release morpine that lasts for 12 hours and Oxycodone on request. Hopefully she’ll be able to take Oxy as her pain medication when she leaves in a few days.

Sheila is downstairs getting a brain MRI at the moment. It’s been probably a year since she had one, and with all that’s going wrong with her they just want to be sure that she doesn’t have a clot or a tumor hanging around in her brain, undetected.

Her resting pulse rate is still up – between 100 and 106 – and she’s still not able to go without oxygen assistance. The hope is that the Heparin will break down most, if not all, of the clots soon, so that will allow more blood flow to the lungs, relieve the exertion on her heart, and get her pulse rate down.

They’re thinking of putting her back on the Lovenox blood thinner, but at a higher dosage and monitoring her because she’d have a higher risk of internal bleeding, especially when using the USC trial drug.

Her spirits are pretty good today. She is able to sit in a chair, so that’s good progress. I was so happy to see her out of bed and in a chair when I rounded the corner and entered her room. It’s a sad testament, isn’t it, that we’ve been reduced to getting so excited about being able to sit in a chair? Something we obviously take for granted, regularly.

Well, I sit and wait for my sweetie to return. It’s been about an hour. And let us hope for a negative finding on the brain scan. We certainly don’t need anything else to deal with.

Oh…she just got back and looks good. So now we wait for the results….

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